IP ratings – What are they?


13 February 2023

An IP rating, or ingress protection rating, is used to measure the protection level of an electrical enclosure against dust, vapour, mist, or any other foreign bodies. IP ratings of a luminaire is an important factor to consider when specifying lighting. The two digits used as part of the IP rating denotes the  level of ingress protection which the equipment provides. The IP rating measures the sealing effectiveness of an enclosure and provides specifiers with an indication as to whether the luminaire is suitable for its intended application.
An IP rating measures the protection of both solids and liquids. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Protection against solids

To measure the protection against solids, the first number of the IP ratings ranges from 0, which offers no protection, to 6, which is the highest level of protection.

Protection against liquids

The second digit of the IP rating measures the resistance it has against moisture intervention. The measurement of protection ranges from 0-9K. 0 being no protection and 9K being the maximum level of protection.

Which IP Rating Do I Need?

When specifying lighting, the required IP rating is entirely dependent on the application and the environment in which the luminaires will be located.

If specifying lighting for use in a hazardous area, luminaires must have an IP rating of at least IP54 in order to obtain the necessary certification (such as ATEX, IECEx or UKEX). However, the nature of a hazardous area means the application is often more demanding and a higher IP rating may be required.

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