Three Must Know Ratings for Bathroom Lights

It’s our last post in our lighting series so we thought we’d end it back where we started, in the bathroom. In our final chat with Lauren she gave us some great pointers on the three types of ratings to look for when buying lights for your bathroom, Dry, Damp or Wet-rated.

First things first, let’s break down the difference between these three ratings.

  • Dry-rated: fixtures are to be installed in areas where there is little to no moisture contact – like the living room or dining room.

  • Damp-rated: fixtures are specified for areas where there will be a fair amount of moisture – a bathroom or screened-in porch.

  • Wet-rated: fixtures are more sealed-in and can handle some direct water contact. Your outdoor wall lanterns or a ceiling fan in an open porch should be wet-rated.

According to Lauren, “Manufacturers design their fixtures for certain areas of the home. It's important to know the rating of your fixtures before having them installed so that you don’t risk damaging your fixture, starting a fire or getting electrocuted.”

A dry-rated fixture in a bathroom can fail with repeated exposure to moisture – whether that’s due to sockets burning out, or the finish rusting. It’s important to make sure that your bathroom not only has the appropriately rated fixture, but that the other light sources in your bathroom are rated for damp/wet environments as well.

If you have or are planning to have any type of can or recessed lighting in your bathroom you want to make sure that these fixtures are also wet or damp-rated.

“I highly recommend a wet-rated fixture in a shower, steam shower, or wet room. You’ll have peace of mind regarding safety, and your fixture will last longer,” said Lauren.

Below are some sample spec sheets to show you where to find the ratings for your fixtures. Most fixtures won’t explicitly say on the box or packaging, so it’s good to do your research and see if the website offers this information. You can always reach out to Lauren too, she’s a pro!

Our final tidbit from Lauren is that, in addition to fixtures, light bulbs also have wet, damp and dry ratings. Who knew!? For bulb ratings, be sure to pay attention if you're putting the bulb in an outdoor fixture that may take on lots of damp/wet weather or you're using a unique shaped bulb like the ones in the spec sheets. For this, and any of the fixture ratings, Lauren is your go-to expert. She’ll recommend the best looking (and best suited) fixtures and bulbs to suit your needs.

If you have more questions about the ratings on light fixtures or would like to set up an appointment to pick out new light fixtures for your space, reach out to Lauren at 319-338-8275 or

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