A Tala Guide to IP Ratings and Zones
Finding the right lights for your bathroom can be a challenging task. Many of us will be familiar with strict advice from electricians, navigating IP ratings, and scanning a sea of harsh white spotlights that lack style or dimming capacity. If this sounds familiar, this guide will prove enlightening.
IP stands for Ingress Protection. It is a 2-digit number assigned to a product (in this case your light bulb or fixture) to define the degree of protection provided against intrusion from liquids and solids.
The first digit instructs the level of protection from objects, such as dust, and the second digit instructs the level of protection from liquids, such as water. Simple enough?
For bathroom lighting, you will be focusing on the second number listed in IP ratings (moisture) and will refer to the first number as ‘x’ as we don’t need it.
In a bathroom, there are four Zones. Zone 0, Zone 1, Zone 2, and the Outside Zone. These zones are all areas that require different specifications of electrical products.
The area inside the bath or shower tray.
Electrical products must be SELV low voltage (a maximum of 12V) and be IPX7, i.e. can withstand total immersion in water.
The area above the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25m from the floor.
For areas with no water jets, i.e.. bath tub, IPX4 is allowed. For areas with likelihood of water jets, i.e.. showers, IPX5 is required.
Please note: if the intended fitting is 240V a 30mA residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone, i.e. SELV with the transformer located beyond Zone 2.
Outside the bath or shower, extending to 0.6m beyond Zone 1 & including the area around the wash basin.
Minimum rating of IPX4
All other areas of the bathroom.
No IP rating is required here
Zones and IP rating
When installing lighting in a bathroom the IP rating of the product needs to be suitable for the zone you are installing in.
All Tala light bulbs are IP 54 (suitable for outside, zone 2, zone 1)
All Tala pendants are IP 20 (suitable for outside zones)
Lochan is IP 44 (suitable for outside, zone 2, zone 1 with a RCD installed)
The Muse is IP 44 (suitable for outside, zone 2, zone 1)