Do you know what is IP Rating? Here are the simple facts!
What is an IP Rating?
IP rating stands for “Ingress Protection” or “International Protection”. This is essentially an international standard rating that classifies an electrical product’s (a light fitting in our case) degree of protection against external environmental elements such as moisture, dust and physical contact. This international standard gives us a concrete information (without all the vague marketing terms) that we can use to objectively compare one lighting product to another.
An IP rating is comprised of two parts, with each having its own specific meaning:
- 1st digit : DEGREE OF PROTECTION AGAINST SOLID OBJECTS
The first digit indicates the level of protection against the intrusion of foreign solid objects such as dust, tools or physical contact.
- 2nd digit : DEGREE OF PROTECTION AGAINST LIQUIDS (WATER)
The second digit indicates the level of protection against the ingress of water and moisture from steam.
The diagram above explains in detail the various levels of protection and what each number actually means. When combined together, the two numbers will determine the likelihood of any foreign object entering the light fitting and possibly damaging it.
Why do some light fittings have IP rating listed while others don’t?
If a light fitting does not have an IP rating listed on its features or specifications, then chances are the light fitting is designed for indoor use (except shower area). Light fittings that are specifically created for outdoors use will usually have the IP ratings listed.
In general, high-end outdoor lights have an IP rating of 65 and higher. Outdoor lights that are IP rated 65 or higher will be highly resistant to external elements and are perfectly suitable for areas that are exposed to heavy rain and strong coastal wind. IP44 is another common rating in the lighting industry. Light fittings with IP44 are also suitable for general outdoor use though preferably not exposed directly to heavy rain.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Light fittings that do not have IP ratings listed are likely to be designed for indoor use (except shower room)
- Use light fittings that have IP ratings of 44 and above for outdoor lighting