IP Ratings for light fittings

IP ratings classify the level of protection each lamp or complete fitting can provide against solids, including dust particles, and liquids, including water.

The IP Rating or International Protection Rating or Ingress Protection Rating defines the level of protection that all electrical appliances provide against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water.

An IP rating is expressed as “IP” followed by 2 digits.

The first digit relates to protection against solids, including dust particles.

The second digit classifies the protection against harmful ingress of water.

For example, an IP rating of IP65 relates to both protection against solid matter and water, according to a predetermined scale.

The higher the number, the greater the protection.  Lower numbers are better suited for inside areas such as homes, offices and other internal environments.  Higher IP ratings are better suited for areas with more exposure to external elements or to the by-products of manufacturing processes, such as external floodlights, streetlights, etc, or lighting within wet or very dusty internal environments which may be associated with industries.

IP Solid Rating Chart – First IP Rating Digit

First Digit Effective Against
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part (>50mm)
2 Fingers or similar objects (>12mm)
3 Tools, thick wires, etc. (>2.5mm)
4 Most wires, screws, etc. (>1mm)
5 Dust protected–Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment
6 Dust tight–No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact

IP Water Rating Chart – Second IP Rating Digit

Second Digit Effective Against
0 Not protected
1 Dripping water from vertical
2 Direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical
3 Spraying water of up to 60 degrees from vertical
4 Splashing water from all angles, limited ingress
5 Low pressure water jets from all angles
6 Powerful water jets, like decks for ships
7 Immersion up to 1 meter
8 Immersion beyond 1 meter

NB: This simplified guide is presented as an overview only. Please consult local authorities for more detailed information.