Throughout the world each country requires electrical products to be manufactured to certain standards so we know where to use them and within Europe particularly the IP Rating is the certification that regulations specify.
You really need to know this so we’ve kept it simple so you can choose your lighting with confidence.
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Lighting needs power to run and whether solar energy running a DC current, 110V in the USA or 240V in Europe – it all needs protecting against the potential hazard of solids and liquids, usually water and rain, from getting into a product.
At best failure to do so will corrode the fixture causing it to fail early, at worst become a risk of electrocution and potentially death! So correct choices are therefore so important and demanded by regulations.
An IP rating is a numeric value assigned to a device in order to indicate its level of resistance to solids and water. The higher the number, the greater the protection.
This value is the IP code, defining the Ingress Protection Rating or International Protection Code, specified in the international standard EN 60529 (British Standard BS EN 60529:1992).
The degrees of protection provided by enclosures (eg. a lighting product), applies to the classification of degrees of protection provided by enclosures for electrical equipment with a rated voltage not exceeding 72.5 kV.
In terms of lighting products, the IP Rating is primarily a standard for the type of liquids you can safely remain in contact with to avoid damaging an electronic product or causing harm to anyone who touches it.
To avoid being misled by unclear specifications, make sure that the product you are thinking about buying has a clear IP code suitable for its intended application.
A lighting product will be given a measured IP rating, which is made up of two numbers, for example IP20.
The first digit in the IP code represents the product’s protection against solids from 0 – 6, while the second digit indicates its liquid resistance from 0 – 9 with 0 being without protection.
So IP20 has a ‘2’ for protection against solid objects getting into the product, the ‘0’ is for no protection against moisture ingress.
Products that did not demonstrate these properties have an X instead of this number. For example IPX4 means the certification rates the protection against liquids (the 4 at the end), but the solids part was irrelevant and not tested or less likely it failed.
An IP44 rating means that your product has an IP44 protection from solid particles that are over 1mm in size (protects against most solid objects) and from liquids that are every sprayed or splashed from all directions at a low level of force. Ingress of moisture is allowed if proven to be harmless ie. water allowed to drip out of the product without compromise.
So IP44 waterproof lights will have an IP44 waterproof rating that that protects the product and user against some penetration of liquid but not fully protected against the ingress of moisture and water and therefore not completely waterproof.
IP44 rated is the usual first level of protection for lighting against moisture and water in bathroom and partially protected outdoor lighting.
An IP65 rating provides a higher degree of protection than IP44, meaning that your product is fully protected against solid particles and against low pressure water jets from any direction.
IP65 rated is a common level of protection for outdoor lighting that will be exposed to all weather conditions.
IP65 is also the standard required for lighting with Zone 1 of a bathroom over a bath and shower within the EU.
An IP66 rating is provides a higher degree of protection than IP65, meaning that your product is fully protected against solid particles and against high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP66 rated is an uncommon level of protection for outdoor lighting as the next level of protection manufactured after IP65 is IP67.
An IP67 rating provides a higher degree of protection than IP66, meaning that your product is fully protected against solid particles and against full immersion in water for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 metre and exposure to high pressure water jets.
IP67 is a common level of protection for professional grade in ground floor lighting both for interior and exterior applications.
An IP68 rating means that a product is dust tight and can also withstand being submerged in water for extended periods of time. IP68 rated is the highest level of protection available.
IP68 is a common level of protection for underwater products in ponds and professional commercial use.
The IP rating for outdoor lights is crucial to both the safety and reliability of any unit installed where humidity, rain or windblown items might pose a risk. This includes wall lighting and soffit units like downlights, security flood lights or PIR sensors, etc.
Please use this IP Ratings chart for outdoor lights and bathroom lighting, as a guide and not as a substitution for a qualified electrician and installer.
|First Value||Solid Object Protection||Second Value||Moisture Protection|
|0||No protection.||0||No protection.|
|1||Protected against solid objects over 50mm||1||Protected against vertically falling drops of water|
|2||Protected against solid objects over 12mm||2||Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical.|
|3||Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm||3||Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees from vertical.|
|4||Protected against solid objects over 1mm||4||Protected against water splashed from all directions, safe ingress permitted.|
|5||Protected against dust limited ingress||5||Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions.|
|6||Complete protection against dust ingress.||6||Protected against strong jets of water from all directions.|
|7||Protected from full immersion between the depths of 15 centimetres and 1 metre.|
|8||Protected from permanent full immersion up to a specified pressure.|
IPX waterproof ratings IP refer specifically to moisture ingress, so only the second digit is important hence the X in place of the first number.
When choosing between IP44 vs IP65, it’s important to note the key difference between the two:
So, which one should you choose? If you’re looking for outdoor lighting for a covered porch or patio, then either IP44 or IP65 would be a good choice. However, if you need lighting for an area that is exposed to the elements, then IP65 would be the better option.
The comparison between IP65 vs IP44 is comparing a higher waterproofing rating against a lower one. IP65 is better than IP44 in terms of waterproofing protection.
IP65 rating can withstand low pressure water jets from any direction, while IP44 rating can only protect against splashing water from any direction.
In terms of resistance to solid particles, both IP65 and IP44 are equal. However, when it comes to resistance to immersion in water, IP68 is better than both IP65 and IP44.
When choosing between IP65 vs IP66, it’s important to note the key difference between the two:
IP65 rated and IP66 rated are both dust-tight and waterproof to a degree, but IP66 provides a higher level of protection against high pressure water jets. If you need lighting that can withstand heavy rain or complete submersion in water, then IP66 is the better option.
When choosing between IP65 vs IP67, it’s important to note the key difference between the two:
IP65 and IP67 are both waterproof ratings. However, IP67 is a higher level of protection and can withstand submersion in water up to 1 meter, whereas IP65 cannot be submersed.
If you need lighting for an area that is heavily exposed to the elements or could be left under water from puddling, then IP67 would be the better option.
When choosing between IP65 vs IP68, it’s important to note the key difference between the two:
The IP68 rating is the highest level of protection available. This rating means that your product can withstand submersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
So if you’re looking for outdoor lighting that can withstand any weather condition, then IP68 is the best option. However, keep in mind that this rating comes with a higher price and is not always necessary for all applications.
The comparison between IP67 vs IP65 is comparing a higher waterproofing rating against a lower one. IP67 is better than IP65 in terms of waterproofing protection.
IP67 rating is waterproof and can withstand heavy rain or even complete temporary submersion in water, while IP65 rating can only protect against water jets and heavy rain but not immersion.
When choosing between IP67 vs IP68 waterproof, it’s important to note the key difference between the two:
IP67 and IP68 are both dust and waterproof ratings. However, IP68 provides a higher degree of protection than IP67.
So, when choosing between IP67 vs IP68, the main thing to keep in mind is the specific needs of your application and the environment it will be used in. If you need a light that can withstand being submerged in water for long periods of time, then IP68 would be the better choice.
European bathrooms are separated into lighting zones, each stipulating which IP rating is required for lights installed within these areas. The following is a guide and not a replacement for a qualified electrician or installer.
No matter which IP rating you choose, you can be sure that your outdoor lighting will be protected against the elements. So whether you need lighting for a covered porch or an exposed area, there’s an option available to suit your needs.
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