Bathrooms are one of the most challenging environments when it comes to lighting. The design of latest generation LED luminaires often aims at achieving aesthetic and binding price goals rather than targeting the safety and satisfaction of the end consumer.
This dysfunction has led to overly widespread use of low quality, poor performing and non-compliant equipment with no respect to safety standards in environments which and thus extremely hazardous in the presence of electrical equipment, especially if power-supplied by the mains (220-240V).
This is a big burden left lying squarely on the shoulders of the end consumer, who is often not aware of the minimum security standards. When buying a luminaire for bathroom environments, the end user should pay close attention to the label applied on the device and to the symbols printed on it.
A short guide of security
Bathroom environments are generally divided in three areas. Each of the zones illustrated in the figure has specific requirements regarding the electrical equipment that can be installed and used in that zone and each device must meet certain protection requirements.
On the basis of its insulated degree the electrical equipment are classified with a certain degree protection (e.g. IP21, IP44, etc.) that increases whether the resistance to water penetration is higher.
Closer to the water the device is installed, higher is the risk that it comes in contact with. Therefore, the degree protection (IP) has to be high in order to guarantee the protection against electrical shocks. LED lighting products on bathroom mirrors are usually installed at certain distance from the sink, and generally, an IP44 degree guarantees an appropriate protection degree.
Ever keen on quality and safety requirements, Domus Line has developed the Domus Bath collection, a full range of LED lighting devices dedicated to bathroom environments with exactly the IP44 degree protection.
The best way for lighting the bathroom mirror
In order to create the perfect atmosphere in a bathroom is recommended to mix the general ambient lighting with LED lighting sources installed on top or on the sides of a the mirror. The light beam should orient light towards the face to eliminate possible shadow cones, better if the device generates a wide diffuse lighting.
The light colour is also important, and the most recent trends, especially in the European market, seem to point towards natural temperatures, around 4000 Kelvin, which are definitely more performing and reveal details with greater precision. This being a widely sought-after factor when it comes to make up and shaving.
Colour temperature, whether natural or warm, it should be “neutral and clean” too, i.e. without dominating colours like yellow, blue, violet or red. The quantity of light has also to be balanced – neither too much nor too little – so as to avoid missing out the details or being blinded by the light.
Quality and price are not in clash
Through a smart design, a good quality lighting device with IP44 degree protection does not cost excessively. However, beware of incredibly “cheap” products. Always be sure to ask the origin of the product and thus who is in charge of the safety. Quality is not just about the light source alone but also other components of the equipment – metals, plastics, colours, power supply etc.
Always make sure the product bears the CE marking and, if present, always lean for a lighting equipment certified by an independent body.