Do you know what IP ratings of the lights do you need?


When choosing LED lightings, do you consider the IP code of the lights? Do you know what IP rating will you need for your lights? Today let’s talk about what IP code is and how we choose the right lightings.

What is an IP Code?

The IP Code (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating) is defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users with more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. It consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter.
(IP Code Example. Pic via google)

What do the numbers in an IP Code mean?

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first number indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second number defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). 
(pic via Wikipedia)

IP Codes Chart – What they mean

A number replaced by x indicates that the enclosure is not rated for that spec.

First Digit (intrusion protection)

(or X – see the section below): No special protection. Not rated (or no rating supplied) for protection against ingress of this type.
Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
Protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter (accidental finger contact).
Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (wires, nails, screws, larger insects and other potentially invasive small objects such as tools/small etc).
Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment.
Totally dust-tight. Full protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow.

Second Digit (moisture protection)

(or X – see the section below): No protection.
Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation. ensuring that no damage or interrupted functioning of components will be incurred when an item is upright.
Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
Protected against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
Protection against direct high-pressure jets.
Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 meter (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Precise parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
(K): Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs, or steam-cleaning procedures – this rating is most often seen in specific road vehicle applications (standard ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles – Degrees of protection).


IPX Codes

Not an entirely valid IP rating, but still occasionally seen on websites offering enclosures (but more commonly lighting). The “x” simply denotes that the value for that number is missing. You can replace it with a zero, assuming that it has not to ingress protection rating. This may not be the case, but better safe than sorry. The first number denotes foreign body ingress protection, the second moisture. So “x”5 for example, means that there is no defined protection from solid objects, but protection against low-pressure water jets, while 5″x” would denote partial protection from dust, but no particular protection from moisture.


What is the difference between IP65, IP67 & IP68?

The differences between commonly sold IP65, IP67, & IP68 strips are slight but very important. Using the above chart as a guide, we can see that all strips are protected at the highest level from solids and dust. The variations come with protection against liquids.IP65 = Water resistant. “Protected against water jets from any angle” *Do NOT submerge IP65 LED lights, these are not waterproof.IP67 = Water-resistant plus. “Protected against the events of temporary submersion (10 minutes)”*Do NOT submerge IP67 LED lights for extended periods, these are not waterproof.IP68 = Waterproof “Protected against the events of permanent submersion up to 3 meters”  


What IP Code Will You Need?

If you don’t anticipate a harsh environment that is extremely dusty or wet then a lower IP rating would suffice.In places that will have a lot of dust, debris, or potential to be in contact with any solids or liquids, you’ll want to make sure that the IP ratings are high and that you have adequate water-resistant or waterproof coatings on your LED lights.

Examples of IP Ratings and Uses

Low IP ratings are appropriate for:
  • – Indoor use
  • – Protected use inside sealed products
  • – Inside sealed signage
  • – When using aluminum extrusions
Recommend lights: 

Common LED panel lights

High IP ratings are appropriate for:
  • – Unsealed outdoor locations
  • – Places that have a lot of debris
  • – Areas with heavy foot traffic
  • – High splash areas
  • – High contact areas (people touching them)
  • – Wet locations
Recommend lights: 

IP65 panel lights:

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