Decorative Outdoor Lighting Buyers Guide: IP Ratings Explained

maandag 31 juli 2023
IP rating is short for Ingress Protection rating which may sometimes be referred to as the International Protection mark.

An IP rating is a two-digit code – the first digit establishes the level of protection against intrusion of foreign bodies. The second digit shows the resistance against moisture intrusion. Both digits together tells you the exact level of protection that is offered.

Any product that has an IP rating must go through an assortment of tests which then determine the efficiency of the product in a range of circumstances. The IP rating of a product allows buyers, consumers, customers, to make an educated choice about how appropriate a product’s suitability is for its application.

IP Ratings Explained 

IP ratings focus on three key metrics:
· Resistance to ingress by the user, accidental or otherwise
· Resistance to ingress from foreign bodies – dust, dirt
· Resistance to moisture ingress

First Digit – Protection from Foreign Intrusion

Starting from 0 to 6, each digit represents something different. They indicate the degree of protection from ingress of solid objects such as the product owner and other potentially harmful materials such as dust and dirt.

0 - No protection
1 - Objects greater than 50mm - Example: Protects from larger body parts like hands but doesn’t protect against deliberate contact.
2 - Objects larger than 12.5mm - Example: Finger contact.
3 - Objects greater than 2.5mm - Example: Tools, thick cables.
4 - Objects larger than 1mm - Example: Most wires, screws, nails, insects.
5 - Partial dust protection - Example: Protected against small quantities of dust
6 - Dust tight - Example: Full dust protection, including a vacuum seal.

Second Digit – Protection from Moisture Intrusion

The second digit in an IP rating is usually between 0-8. There is also a 9 but that is often only seen in specific road vehicle applications. The secondary digit establishes the quality of the resistance to moisture at differing intensities, angles, depths, and pressures of either exposure or immersion.

0 - No protection
1 - Dripping water - Example: Vertically falling water like condensation.
2 - Dripping water at an angle - Example: Angle of 15 degrees.
3 - Spraying water - Example: Up to 60 degrees from vertical.
4 - Water splashes - Example: From any direction.
5 - Water jets - Example: Protection from low-pressure jets of directed water from any angle.
6 - Powerful jet sprays - Example: Directed water from any direction.
7 - Submersion - Example: Up to 1m depths for 30 minutes.
8 - Submersion Extended - Example: immersion in depths of 1m and deeper.

When appointing an IP rating to a product, you simply put together the two protection levels.
For example, if a product has the digit 4 for each category, it will be 44. IP44 is a product that is protected against objects greater than 1mm that is also protected against splashing water.

Searchlight Electric Ltd

At Searchlight, we are fully committed to supplying high-quality, technologically sophisticated decorative lighting products as well as unparalleled service to our customers. Browse our whole outdoor lighting collection here.

All of the outdoor decorative lighting products at Searchlight Electric have either IP44 or IP45 ratings because they’re designed to be weatherproof to protect them against the elements. There are some catalogues available to you for downloading if you want to look over our extensive product range.

This also includes the 2022-23 international catalogue! To see our products in person, however, just come by our showroom! Get in touch directly with a member of our team by phoning us on 0161 203 3300. They’ll answer any questions and enquiries you might have.
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