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IP Ratings Demystified

This light has an IP Rating - what does it all mean ?

IP rating stands for “Ingress Protection” or “International Protection”. This is a standard rating that determines how waterproof and dust / solid object proof a light fitting is.

The first digit in an IP rating refers to how dust proof a fitting is and the second digit refers to how waterproof a fitting is. With the 2 numbers combined this will determine the likelihood of any foreign objects getting into the light fitting and possibly damaging it.

 

Below is a table, which represents the various levels of protection as well as what each number means. Generally speaking, high-end outdoor lighting will be IP rated 67 or 68, however a rating of 44 will be suitable for general outdoor use though preferably not exposed directly to heavy rain.

 

Number First Digit Number Second Digit
  Protection against ingress of solids   Protection against ingress of water
0 No Protection 0 No Protection
1 Protected against solid objects over 50mm in size. Eg large tools 1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water
2 Protected against solid objects over 12mm in size. Eg fingers and hands 2 Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 15 degrees from vertical - light rain
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm in size. Eg wires and small tools 3 Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 60 degrees from vertical - strong rain
4 Protected against solid objects over 1mm in size. Eg wires and bugs 4 Protected against sprays of water from all directions - gentle spray with a hose pipe
5 Limited protection against dust ingress - harmfull amounts cant get in. 5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions - strong spray with hose pipe
6 Totally protected against dust ingress - dustproof ! 6 Protected against strong jets of water from all directions - cleaning light with high pressure hose
7   7 Protected against temporary immersion in water no deeper than 50cm - bit of flooding
8   8 Protected against continuous immersion in water no deeper than 100cm - pool or pond light

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