Lighting Guide

Lighting Guide by Hoxton Lights

This guide will provide you with inspiration and advice to help you develop an optimal lighting scheme for your home or business. An optimal scheme will make the most of your space and its features as well as providing form and function. The guide will also cover the important technical and safety aspects of your lighting scheme. This page is intended as a buying guide and should not be regarded as a substitute for the advice of a qualified electrician.

Types of Lighting

Ambiant Light - This is general lighting in a room and provies your base lighting. Ambiant lighting is usually provided by a ceiling light or pendant, usually in the centre of a room. To generate ambiant lighting choose a wide projection or transparent or translucent shade so that the area is flooded with light. Some good examples of ambiant light sources are shown below:

The Cranton Oval pendant light fitting by Original BTC  provides ambiant light to the room above together with a definitive statement thanks to it's beautiful form and transparency.

Accent Lighting - This is a more focussed type of light aimed at highlighting a room feature such as a painting, plant or architectural element. Accent lighting can help provide atmosphere to a space and dramatically improve the appearence of a room. 

Hatton Accent Lighting Image

Wall lights are a very effective form of accent light as demonstrated by the Hatton wall light by Original BTC (Shown above with matching table light) which highlights the lines of the wood panelling as well as providing a statement through its elegant form. Spotlights can also provide dramtic highlighting of room features.

Task Lighting - This is lighting provided for a specific activity such as reading, cooking or dining.  Task lighting will also provde a degree of ambiant and accent lighting.

The Stanley pendant by Davey Lighting shown above provides task lighting to a kitchen worksurface as well as creating accent lighting via its narrower projection angle. Grouping of such lighting in 2 or 3 units can also generate an exciting design statement. Table and floor lights are an obvious choice for task lighting.

A well lit room will include all of the above lighting elements,generating atmosphere as well as form and function.


The IP (Ingress Protection) rating given to a piece of electrical apparatus is a two digit code indicating the degree of protection its enclosure provides. The first digit represents protection against penetration by solid objects accessing hazardous parts, the second describing the enclosure's, protection against the ingress of water. An X in place of either digit means that either the enclosure has not been tested or that the test is not applicable.

IP First number - Protection against solid objects

0 No special protection
1 Protected against solid objects over 50 mm, e.g. accidental touch by persons hands
2 Protected against solid objects over 12 mm, e.g. persons fingers
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires)
4 Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires)
5 Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit)
6 Totally protected against dust

IP Second number - Protection against liquids

0 No protection
1 Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation
2 Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical
3 Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical
4 Protection against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted
5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress
6 Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g. for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted
7 Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m
8 Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure


Lighting a Bathroom

Safety is paramount when designing a lighting scheme for a bathroom. Bathrooms are divided into 3 zones with differing IP (Ingress Protection) rating requirements.  The diagram below depicts the 3 zones within a bathroom.

Bathroom Zones Image

Zone 0: Inside bath or shower tray. Any light fitting installed in this area must be low voltage (12v max) and have an IP rating of at least IP67. An IP44 light is not suitable for this area.

Zone 1: Directly above the bath or shower tray up to a height of 2.25m from the floor. Light fittings installed in this area should be IP44 or higher. If the fitting is 240V a 30ma RCD must be used to protect the circuit.

Zone 2: Over the bath or shower tray but above Zone 1. Zone 2 also covers the area stretching 0.6 outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. The area around the wash basin is also Zone 2 if within a 60cm radius of any tap. Lighting in this area should be at least IP44.

Other areas of the bathroom have no special requirements unless water jets are likely to be used for cleaning purposes.

Always seek the advice of a qualified electrician when planning and installing bathroom lighting. 

Outside Lighting

Types of  Bulb and Types of  Bulb Cap or Base