IP rating of light fixtures

What does IP rating mean in lighting and how important is it? An IP rating is shorthand for an Ingress Protection mark. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating of a bulb or light fixture declares the level of protection it has against dirt and water.

Any fixture that is used in a bathroom, garden or wet environment should have an IP rating that is sufficient enough to stop the ingress of dust and water.

An IP rating consists of two digits. The first digit represents protection against the ingress of solid objects i.e. dust. The second digit represents protection against the ingress of liquids i.e. water. The higher the value of either digit, the greater the protection.

So, what protection do you need?

Lower IP Ratings

Lower IP ratings - such as those below IP44 - are mostly suited for indoor use in spaces that have virtually no exposure to dust or water, like your living room or bedroom. Most light fixtures inside your home will be rated IP20 and that is sufficient for most indoor purposes.

Ratings between IP44 and IP65 are acceptable for both indoor and general outdoor use, provided they are installed in a sheltered location and are protected from the harshest weather conditions.

Higher IP Ratings

Higher IP rated light fixtures are more suited to areas that will be exposed to harsh weather conditions. If there is a chance of contact with dust or liquids, selecting a fitting with a high IP rating will give the most protection.

Light fixtures that are rated IP65 and above are considered to be waterproof and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

IP65 and IP66 are common IP ratings that offer more protection. IP65 lights can withstand water projected directly onto the fixture but are not completely waterproof and should not be submerged in water. IP66 lights can withstand water being sprayed forcefully from any direction but should not be submerged in water either.

A quick guide to Ingress Protection:LED strip light IP ratings what is an IP rating

What IP Rating Will You Need?

If you don’t anticipate a harsh environment that is extremely dusty or wet then a lower IP rating would suffice.

In places that will have a lot of dust, debris, or potential to be in contact with any solids or liquids, you’ll want to make sure that the IP ratings are high and that you have adequate water resistant or waterproof coatings on your LED lights.

Examples of IP Ratings and Uses

Low IP ratings are appropriate for:

- Indoor use
- Protected use inside sealed products
- Inside sealed signage
- When using aluminum extrusions

High IP ratings are appropriate for:

- Unsealed outdoor locations
- Places that have a lot of debris
- Areas with heavy foot traffic
- High splash areas
- High contact areas (people touching them)
- Wet locations

Post time: May-31-2022
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