Understanding IP ratings for bathroom lighting

1st May 2024

Understanding IP ratings for bathroom lighting

Australian regulations require minimum Ingress Protection (IP) ratings for lighting in different areas of your bathroom.

Zone 0

This refers to areas inside baths and showers.

The IP rating should end in 7 or above (e.g. IP67) and the fitting should be low voltage, not exceeding 12V.

Zones 1 and 2

This refers to any area within 60cm from the sides of baths, showers and sinks, as well as within 60cm above a sink or up to 2.25m from the floor above baths or showers.

IP ratings should end in 4 or above for residential (e.g. IP44) or 5 or above for communal areas.

Zone 3/Outside zone

There is no minimum IP rating requirement for lighting placed outside Zones 0, 1 or 2 for residential installations. Even so, we recommend and IP of at least 44 in all wet areas

The minimum for communal areas is an IP ending in 5 (e.g. IP45).

Why can’t I just use any light in my bathroom?

Installing a light that does not reach the minimum IP requirements may cause the fixture to malfunction, potentially leading to electric shock or fire. It will also void the product’s warranty.

In Australia, bathroom lighting requirements are governed by the Electrical Wiring Regulations (AS/NZS 3000:2018) and the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Many electricians will simply not install a light that does not meet regulations.

IP ratings should not be overlooked when selecting your lighting for bathrooms and outdoors. If in doubt, speak to your lighting professional to ensure correct selection.