Proper lighting is essential in any room of your home, and your bathroom is no exception. Whether you're getting ready for the day ahead or winding down for a relaxing evening, having the right bathroom lighting can make a world of difference.In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bathroom lighting. This will include different types of lights, safety considerations when installing lighting in your bathroom, the concept of light zones as well as tips and some advice on how to choose the best bathroom lights for your home.Read more to find out about:Types of Lighting for the bathroomBathroom lighting safetyBathroom lighting zonesLooking for new bathroom light?Types of lighting for the bathroomWhen it comes to bathroom lighting, you are completely spoiled for choice. Each type serves a specific purpose and can contribute to creating the perfect ambiance in your bathroom.Overhead lightsOverhead lights, often in the form of recessed ceiling lights, provide general illumination for the entire bathroom. They distribute light evenly and are ideal for larger bathrooms or those without windows. These lights help eliminate shadows and ensure a well-lit space.Ceiling lightsCeiling lights are a popular choice for bathrooms. They come in various styles, including flush-mount fixtures and semi-flush mounts. Ceiling lights also provide ample light and can be an attractive focal point in your bathroom's overall design.LED lightsLED lights (which standard from light-emitting diodes) are energy-efficient and long-lasting, making them an excellent choice for bathroom lighting. They conserve nearly all the energy they generate into light, with a very small amount wasted as heat.LED lights are known for offering bright, clean illumination and can be used to create both task lighting and ambient lighting effects.Vanity lightsVanity lights are commonly installed above or alongside bathroom mirrors. They provide focused illumination for personal grooming tasks like applying makeup or shaving.Vanity lights come in various styles, including sconces, vertical bars and horizontal fixtures. This means they come with the flexibility allowing you to find the perfect match for your bathroom décor.Wall sconcesWall sconces for bathrooms are light fixtures that are mounted on the wall, typically at eye level or slightly above, and designed to provide illumination for your entire bathroom while enhancing the overall design of the space.These fixtures are also an excellent choice for adding both functional and decorative lighting to your bathroom.Bathroom lighting safetyEnsuring safety in the bathroom extends beyond choosing the right fixtures and bulbs. It also involves understanding and implementing proper bathroom light safety measures.From electrical considerations to moisture resistance, a comprehensive understanding of bathroom light safety is essential for a secure and comfortable environment.Are bathroom lights safe?Yes, bathroom lighting is safe if correct installation procedures are followed.The safety of bathroom lights is a common concern for many homeowners. Bathrooms are high-moisture areas, which can raise concerns about electrical safety. Obviously, the combination of water and electricity can be fatal in many circumstances. Incorrect installation can lead to potentially deadly electric shocks and also devastating fires.However, rest assured that bathroom lights are designed and manufactured with safety in mind. They undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet safety standards and regulations. In particular, bathroom lights must:§ Be rated in a strict grading system known as Ingress Protection (IP), and§ Only be installed within particular bathroom zones.We will discuss these concepts in further detail below.What are IP ratings?An IP (Ingress Protection) rating is a two-digit code that represents the level of protection provided by a light fixture against solid objects and liquids. It is also known as an International (or Internal) Protection Mark.The first digit indicates the protection level against the ingress of solid objects, such as dirt or dust.The second digit represents the protection against moisture ingress at different levels of angles and intensities.In the United Kingdom, bathroom lights IP ratings are determined by British Standard BS EN 60529:1992.The first digit – protection from foreign body and particulate ingressFirst digitProtection from foreign body and particular ingress0Also referred to X. No rating for protection against foreign body and particulate ingress.1Protection against solid objects larger than 50mm (i.e. from accidental hand contact with an open palm). No protection from deliberate body contact.2Protection against solid objects larger than 12mm (i.e. accidental finger contact).3Protection against impact form solid objects larger than 2.5mm (i.e. tools and wires)4Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (i.e. fine tools and wires, but also nails, screws, and other potentially invasive small objects. Would include larger insects.)5Partial protection against dust and other particulates, so ingress will not damage or impede the satisfactory performance of internal components.6Complete protection against dust and other particulates. Vacuum seal tested against continuous airflow.Second digit – protection from moisture ingressSecond digitprotection from moisture ingress0Also referred to X. No rating for protection against moisture ingress.1Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation. Enough protection so no damage is incurred when an item is upright.2Protection against vertically dripping water when enclosure is tilted up to 15° off vertical.3Protection against direct moisture spray at angles up to 60° off vertical.4Protection against splashing water from any direction. Tested for 10 minutes minimum with an oscillating spray (only a limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).5Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (only limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).6Offers protection against powerful jets (with a 12.5 mm nozzle) of directed water from any direction.7Protection against full immersion for up to half an hour at depths between 15 cm and 1 metre (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).8Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Certain parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the product’s manufacturer.May include extra factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.9Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures. Most often seen in certain road vehicle applications.Bathroom lighting zonesTo ensure safety and proper functionality, bathroom lighting is divided into different zones based on their proximity to water sources. Understanding these light zones and their requirements is crucial when choosing and installing bathroom lights.What is IP zoning?IP zoning refers to the practice of dividing the bathroom into specific areas or zones based on their proximity to water sources.Each zone has specific IP (Ingress Protection) rating requirements to ensure the lights can withstand the conditions present in that area.The zones are zones 0-3, and are explained in further detail below.What IP rating do bathroom lights need to be?Bathroom lights require different IP ratings depending on the zone they are located in.The following zones are outlined in British Standard (BS) 7671, sometimes called the IEE Wiring Regulations. § Zone 0 – the bathtub and inside the shower. It comes into water with a lot of steam. In Zone 1, an IP67 lighting is the most appropriate lighting, which is a fixture you can submerge under water. This is to ensure you aren’t electrocuted when you bathe.§ Zone 1 - the area directly above the bath or shower, extending up to a height of 2.25 meters from the bathroom floor. In this zone, it is recommended to use fixtures with a minimum IP65 rating for optimal safety. Fixtures with an IP44 rating may also be suitable for this area. Many shower lights are designed with an IP65 rating, making them a secure choice for installation above your showers.§ Zone 2 - the space extending 0.6 meters from the outer edge of the wash basin or bath up to a height of 2.25 meters from the bathroom floor. It is essential here to use light fixtures with a minimum rating of IP44 for enhanced safety. It’s a good idea to consider the area within a 60cm radius from any water source, such as the wash basin, as an extension of zone 2 for precautionary measures.§ Zone 3 (also known as Outside Zones) - refers to the areas in the bathroom that are located outside of zone 0, 1 and 2. In this zone, there is no direct exposure to water jets or splashes. While the risk of water contact is minimal, it’s still a good idea to use light fixtures with a minimum rating of IP20. By opting for an IP20 rated fitting or higher, you can ensure a secure lighting installation in this zone.What wattage is best for the bathroom?When selecting the wattage for your bathroom lights, it's essential to strike a balance between functionality and ambiance. Brighter lights are generally ideal for grooming tasks and ensuring visibility, while softer lights can create a relaxing atmosphere for bathing or unwinding.For general illumination in larger bathrooms, consider using overhead lights or ceiling lights with higher wattage bulbs ranging from 60 to 100 watts. In smaller bathrooms, 40 to 60 watts may be enough.Vanity lights and above-mirror lights should provide enough brightness to eliminate shadows and facilitate grooming activities (like shaving or applying makeup). Opt for bulbs with wattages between 25 and 60 watts, depending on the size of the fixture and the desired level of illumination.How to choose the best lights for the bathroomChoosing the best bathroom lighting for your home involves considering various factors to ensure functionality, style and safety.Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make the right choice.Determine how you want your bathroom to 'feel'Consider the overall aesthetic and mood you want to create in your bathroom. Do you prefer a bright and invigorating space or a soft and relaxing ambiance? Understanding your desired atmosphere will help guide your lighting choices.Assess the size and layout of your bathroomTake into account how big or small your bathroom is, as well as the placement of fixtures such as mirrors, sinks and showers. This will help you determine the number of lights needed and their placement for optimal illumination.Consider the style and designBathroom lights come in a wide range of styles, from sleek and modern to traditional and decorative. Choose fixtures that complement the overall design theme of your bathroom and enhance its aesthetic appeal. You can read more about how lighting impacts interior design here.Astro Lighting offers a wide range of high-quality and stylish light fittings for the bathroom, with a large range of IP44 bathroom wall and ceiling lights that can be safely mounted.Ensure proper IP ratingAs discussed earlier, consider the IP rating requirements for each light zone in your bathroom. Ensure that the fixtures you choose have the appropriate IP rating to withstand the moisture and dampness present in those areas.Select the right bulb typeConsider energy-efficient options such as LED bulbs, which provide longevity and cost savings over time. LED lights also offer versatility in terms of colour, temperature and dimmability, allowing you to customise the lighting to suit your preferences.Seek professional guidanceWhen trying to find the perfect lighting for your bathroom, it can help to work with a professional like an interior designer or architect. However, it’s important to also work with a registered electrician when it comes to wiring and installation as there are a lot of potential safety hazards when fitting lighting in a space like the bathroom that is exposed to water.Looking for new bathroom lights?Proper bathroom lighting is crucial for creating a functional, safe and inviting space.By understanding the different types of bathroom lights, the concept of light zones and the importance of IP ratings, you can make informed decisions when choosing the right fixtures for your home. We hope the advice in this article has been of some assistance.If you're in search of high-quality bathroom lights, look no further. Here at Sparks Direct, you'll find a wide selection of stylish and functional lighting fixtures suitable for every bathroom style and budget.Browse our collection of bathroom lights today and transform your bathroom into the well-lit and inviting space you’ve been dreaming of!
When installing or revamping your bathroom’s lighting, there are some important issues to consider which you can read about here. Once you have decided upon the general layout of the lighting you will be installing, there is more specific lighting to focus on. Nowadays, grooming has become a more time-consuming activity for men and women alike, and appropriate lighting should be afforded for the exact needs. In this article we will discuss task lighting, wall lights, magnifying mirrors and mood lighting - all the specific lighting trends that are increasing in popularity. Your Basin Mirror as a work desktop - the origins of Task Lighting Think of your bathroom's basin mirror as the equivalent of a desk in an office; it is where most of your ‘work’ will be taking place in the bathroom. People now want full lighting coverage - but not to be startled with an uncomplimentary view of their unkempt face first thing in the morning. With inconsiderately placed bathroom lighting there is always the problem of unflattering lighting. Overhead lights beaming down onto your mirror tend to cast deep shadows below your eyes, nose and chin, ageing you about 10 years. The optimum solution for this is a light that illuminates both sides of the face, ensuring an even and flattering glow without any shadows. This can be achieved via the use of an illuminated mirror or wall lighting on either side of the mirror. Effectively placed task lighting will prevent aggravating eye strain in the morning and improve precision when you are applying makeup or having a close shave. Illuminated Mirrors Every basin needs a mirror, so to a large extent illuminated mirrors kill two birds with one stone. The mirrors may have integrated horizontal or vertical lighting depending on your preference, and many incorporate a shaver socket. With some innovative illuminated mirrors, ambient light is provided by a gentle spread of light shining from behind the mirror, making it appear to float.Wall Lights - introducing a '5-star' touch of class to your bathroom The trend that started in hotels has now well and truly spread into people’s homes: wall lights fitted onto either side of a mirror or mounted directly above the mirror. This gives your basin mirror a luxurious ‘5 star’ feel to it as it is so reminiscent of lights previously found only in premier locations. Practically speaking, they provide the even spread of light that is requisite for a proper bathroom session. We here at Sparks offer a wonderful range of bathroom wall lights, including the Belgravia 600 LED. This exquisite wall light uses an extremely powerful 19W LED and includes an integral LED driver that will save you bundles on running costs, over the long run. More budget options with bathroom lights at Sparks, which still offer a great deal of class. For instance, the beautiful Bari Polished Chrome bathroom light. Mood lighting - for when you want to create a peaceful Zen-like feeling in your bathroom Many people now envisage the bathroom as the ideal place to unwind, reflect and re-energise. Bright white light may be great for ensuring a neat shave but is not the most relaxing colour light available. Mood lighting gives you leeway to have a relaxing time in your bathroom, as you may use dimmable lights to provide softer ambient lighting. This is perfectly suited for when you have plenty of time to spare and fancy a relaxing soak in the tub. Recessed LEDs are also ideal for providing a splendid wash of light across your bathroom floor. A bright idea is to fit a strip of LEDs along your bathroom panel to cast mellow lighting; your bath will appear to float. We offer an ideal LED mood lighting solution with the Self-Adhesive LED Strip Light. This 5-metre long strip of IP65 rated LEDs provides 5000K of white light. It has a spread of 60 LEDs per metre and is effortless to install. Magnifying mirrors - an overlooked lighting appliance for your bathroom? Task Lighting is all about ensuring that you are doing a particular job in the bathroom - with that job being to look at your best and transform your bathroom to be a place of comfort. Magnifying mirrors come with a whole host of advantages including their adaptability in positioning. They can be placed right next to your illuminated mirror, for instance, to provide a two in one lighting solution. They are highly useful, with their swing-arm adjustment making them highly unobtrusive. For instance, the resplendent Catena Round Magnifying Mirror is fully adjustable and offers x3 magnification. They are an invaluable asset when it comes to aiding your shaving or makeup routine. Once you buy one, believe us - you will quickly find it to be an indispensable part of your bathroom.
Winter is coming around the corner and many of us can expect to experience the 'winter blues', also known as 'Seasonal Affective Disorder' (SAD). What is SAD? It is a common mood disorder that is a growing phenomenon in modern society. It is widely perceived to cause decreased mood levels and depression and has now been directly linked with seasonal changes and the light levels people are exposed to, especially in countries with irregular weather patterns such as the UK. Why is SAD affecting more people? The adoption of electronic light in recent times has led to a change in the ‘circadian’ rhythms of the human body, which controls key features such as sleep-wake behaviour and hormone secretion. Other modern-day factors such as technology, globalisation and shift work has been seen to disrupt the lines between night and day, disturbing the 24 hour sleep cycle we ought to be operating on for maximum health and happiness. The hidden powers of LEDs and why they may be a surprise solution However, there could be a solution to the problem, which itself is partially caused by artificial lighting; this solution is from another artificial lighting source - LEDs. LEDs are more helpful in tackling SAD than traditional incandescent light sources primarily due to the quality of light provided by LED bulbs, which give the options of different shades of light, from warm white light, to cool light and daylight. Having these options available is essential for combating the ‘winter blues’ associated with shorter days and less natural light. Commercial lights often max out at only 10,000 lumens, which has far too little effect on the mood to help with the effects of SAD. When SAD light therapy research was initially being conducted, scientists could only operate within the confines of the 10,000 lux offered by the best traditional lighting at the time. However, it was soon acknowledged that a far higher number of lumens was needed, and then LED lamps came to the rescue, with a far more powerful light than that offered by fluorescent bulbs. The importance of Kelvins provided by LEDs The best LED lights can offer up to triple this amount, with 30,000 lumens, which research has demonstrated is the equivalent of 1800 wattage from regular incandescent bulbs or 1500 watts of halogen bulbs. A proponent of LEDs swears by an LED with a Kelvin level of 6000K which replicates that of natural daylight and is described as ‘crisp and invigorating’ on the Kelvin Colour Temperature scale. According to the ‘Psychology Today’ website, LED lights perpetuate the bright blue light of daytime. This is essential in a time when the interval between day and night has become increasingly erratic and the natural 24 hour sleep cycle that should be natural to people has been broken due to the high demands and stresses of modern life. How LED lights that can brighten up your 'Winter Blues' At Sparks we thankfully have no shortage of LED lighting, adapted for every type of interior or exterior setting. You can start your day off by grooming in the light of a Palermo LED Bathroom wall light, which offers a generous helping of bright and vibrant 3000K light to immediately brighten your mood. Our range of Louvre Fascia LED wall lights will brighten up your outdoors with 3500K of white light if you are spending a some evenings outside, or if you just came home from work and need some welcoming light along the way. Finally, if you arrive home after a day cooped up in the office, feeling you haven’t got your share of sunlight, then we at Sparks also provide a range of Flos table lamps, to be placed by your bedside or on your table as you read or surf the internet to unwind. So, if the winter blues has you feeling under the weather, a few well-placed LED lamps may have you feeling better in no time.Articles on LED lamps affect on SAD which inspired us: An explanation of SAD (via Wikipedia) The effect of light exposure on mood and brain chemistry (via US National Library of Medicine) information on light-levels effect on our psychology and stress levels (via Psychology Today). Factors that could be increasing the cases of SAD in our population (via Meaningness) Via Meaningness, why more lumens could be the solution, and how LEDs can improve mood levels. Kelvin Colour Scale explained (via Lumens)
Astro Lighting - the company began in the basement of a house in Sevenoaks in London in 1997 - is one of the most wonderful lighting manufacturers in the UK, being present now at most major lighting shows with their amazing light fittings. Nominated for many awards and winning quite a few prestigious awards, Astro brings to the UK market a wide range of both domestic and commercial light fittings for indoor and outdoor. We at Sparks distribute a wide range of Astro Lights, and they seem to be quite popular and sought after by both installers, home owners, and commercial companies alike. The bathroom lights made by Astro range from shaver lights to ceiling lights, wall lights, shaver lights, magnifying mirrors, marker lights, spotlights, and floor lights. In this article we would like to showcase some of the Astro Bathroom Mirror Light Fittings and Illuminated Mirrors which we think would look great in your bathroom. You choose which you prefer, and you can purchase them in our lighting showroom in North London (in the Archway area) or online on our website. Niimi Round LED Light (AX0760) - Magnifying Mirror with LED light Coming in a polished chrome finish and with an adjustable arm, this magnifying mirror is great for a modern bathroom, catering to both ladies and gentlemen alike for their personal grooming needs. If you don't need the light, it can simply be switched off. You can purchase this vanity mirror light online here. Livorno Bathroom Mirror Light (AX0637) - Bathroom Shaver Light It uses energy saving fluorescent lamps and has a pull cord switch at the bottom. Excellent bathroom mirror with light - illuminated mirror, for those who need a small toiletries and hygiene stuff closet. Excellent for domestic use in the bathroom. Galaxy Square Illuminated Mirror (AX0440) - with Pull Cord Switch A square 60cm x 60cm illuminated mirror for the bathroom, allowing you to turn the light on only when needed. No need for ballast or driver. The IP44 rating for this square mirror light allows you to safely install it above the sink, in the place most needed when you wash your face in the morning. Imola 900 Bathroom Mirror Light (AX0782) - Rectangular Mirror Light Great for those taller among us or where there are a few generations living in the same house, this 90cm tall mirror with two strip lights on the side is a great addition to a modern style bathroom. Part of the Imola range of bathroom illuminated mirrors, this uses fluorescent lamps as the lighting source.