6 Step Guide to Bathroom Lighting

6 Step Guide to Bathroom Lighting

The right bathroom lighting can transform your space into a relaxing sanctuary or a functional haven. This comprehensive guide will help you understand IP-Ratings, Bathroom Zones, and various lighting types, allowing you to create the perfect balance of illumination and ambiance in your bathroom.

1. Safety First: Bathroom IP Ratings Explained
IP-Ratings (Ingress Protection Ratings) indicate the degree of protection provided by an electrical enclosure against solid objects, dust, and water. The first digit represents solid protection, while the second digit indicates water protection. Higher numbers signify better protection. For bathroom lighting, look for IP44 or higher ratings to ensure the light is safe and suitable for bathroom use.

2. Guide to Bathroom Zones

Bathroom Zones are areas with different levels of water exposure, determining the required IP-Rating for lighting fixtures. For safety, the light fitting installed in each zone will need a certain minimum IP Rating to pass Australian Standards.The three zones are:

  • Zone 0: Inside the bathtub or shower, requiring a minimum IP67 rating.
  • Zone 1: Above the bathtub or shower, up to 2.25 meters vertically, requiring a minimum IP65 rating.
  • Zone 2: An area extending 0.6 meters horizontally from Zone 1, requiring a minimum IP44 rating.
  • Outside the Zone = No IP Rating required

To be safe, it is best to run your lighting plan past your electrician first before purchasing any bathroom lighting fixtures. 

3. Ambient, Task or Accent?

There are three purpose types for bathroom lighting which, when combined well, create a gorgeous space that feels wonderful and is a pleasure to use. 

Ambient Lighting for Relaxation: Create a warm and inviting atmosphere with ambient lighting. Consider dimmable ceiling lights or a statement pendant lights to control the brightness and set the desired mood for a calming bath or invigorating shower.

Task Lighting for Precision: Task lighting provides focused illumination for specific activities like applying makeup or shaving. Install vanity lights or wall-mounted sconces at eye level on either side of the mirror to reduce shadows and ensure even lighting.

Accent Lighting for Visual Interest: Draw attention to architectural features or artwork or plants using accent lighting. Recessed lights, spotlights, or wall lights can add depth and dimension to your bathroom by highlighting your chosen focal points.

Layered lighting is key to achieving a well-lit and versatile bathroom. Combine task, ambient, and accent lighting to create a functional and relaxing space. Task lighting ensures precision for grooming activities, ambient lighting sets the mood for relaxation, and accent lighting adds visual interest by highlighting focal points. By incorporating these layers, you can create a balanced and inviting bathroom environment.

4. Bright Light vs Relaxed Glow: Control the Mood

Dimmable lights can turn your bathroom into a sanctuary where you can relax and unwind, as well as accommodate the needs of your daily routine when they are turned up bright. 

This simple function adds a sense of luxury to any bathroom and transforms a family bathroom into a calm oasis once the sun sets. 

Pro tip: ensure your light fitting is dimmable before installing a dimmer switch

To further control the ambience of your bathroom, make sure your electrician knows to layer your lighting.

This means each fitting can be controlled independently via its own switch, so all lights can be on together to provide maximum brightness, or just one element can be turned on at a time to provide a softer glow or concentrated task light. 

5. Deciding On Your Lighting Style

Incredible bathrooms evoke emotion and are more than just functional spaces. 

Design a bathroom lighting layout that excites you; choose light fittings that bring you joy! 

There are so many options to choose from today, it is worth taking your time and visiting specialist retailers to find pieces that resonate with your style. 

Pro tip: The style of a home should flow and be reflected throughout.  Your bathroom is no exception and should tie in with the rest of your home’s décor.

Our stunning curated pieces on offer at Nook Collections are available to view online

6.   Maximise Natural Light

Natural light is a wonderful source of lighting which both saves energy consumption and provides a bright bathroom during daylight hours. 

Windows are the most obvious option, but skylights and rooflights can work just as well. 

Pro tip: To increase the brightness of a room naturally, place large mirrors on the walls opposite windows or doors to reflect natural light. 

Decorating with off-white paint and glossy white tiles will support natural light while giving a warm feel to your bathroom. 

If privacy is an issue, consider frosted glass or water-resistant blinds or shutters that allow light in while obscuring the view. 

We understand that choosing the perfect lighting is one of the most important parts of your new bathroom design in terms of style and function. 

The myriad of styles available can seem daunting, which is where our friendly team of lighting experts can help.

If you’d like some advice or someone to bounce design ideas off, we’d love to hear from you.