IP Ratings Explained

IP Ratings Explained

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An Ingress Protection (IP) rating is a rating given to a piece of electronic equipment or the enclosure of electronic equipment. This rating indicates how well it is protected from both intrusion and moisture. The larger the digit, the better the protection. 

Founded in 1995, VL Lighting Solutions is a leading Canadian lighting manufacturer providing innovative, energy-efficient solutions for our clients’ indoor and outdoor lighting requirements. You can rely on VL lighting Solutions for superior quality and innovative designs involving optically precise commercial and industrial lighting products.

What is an IP Rating?

The IP rating is a two-digit number, in the form of IP##. Each digit has its own scale and corresponding meaning.

For example, a rating of IP66 would mean that the fixture is totally protected against dust ingress and protected against high-pressure water jets from any direction.

What do the Numbers Mean?

The First Digit

The first digit corresponds to the intrusion protection. Intrusion protection is measured on a scale from 0-6 and measures the ingress of solid objects.

The First Digit Ingress of solid objects
0 or XNo Protection
1Protected against solid objects over 50mm e.g. hands, large tools.
2Protected against solid objects over 12.5mm e.g. hands, large tools.
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm e.g. wire, small tools.
4Protected against solid objects over 1.0mm e.g. wires.
5Limited protection against dust ingress. (no harmful deposit)
6Totally protected against dust ingress.

The Second Digit

The first digit corresponds to the moisture protection. Moisture protection is measured on a scale from 0-9 and measures the ingress of moisture.

The First Digit Ingress of solid objects
0 or XNo Protection
1Protected against vertically falling drops of water or condensation.
2Protected against falling drops of water, if the case is disposed up to 15 from vertical.
3Protected against sprays of water from any direction, even if the case is disposed of up to 60from vertical.
4Protected against splash water from any direction.
5Protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
6Protected against high-pressure water jets from any direction. Limited ingress permitted.
7Protected against short periods of immersion in water.
8Protected against long, durable periods of immersion in water.
9Protected against close-range high pressure, high-temperature spray downs.

IPX Ratings

When an IP rating has an X in it, like IPX5, it means that the first digit is missing. You can replace the X with a 0 and assume it has no protection, although it may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In this scenario, you would assume it has no protection from solid objects but is protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction. 

Why They Matter

IP ratings matter because when dust enters a light source, the source will not appear as bright because the dust blocks the light from shining through.

The same goes for moisture protection. If you install lights in an environment that may be susceptible to moisture entrance and didn’t purchase a fixture with a high enough IP rating, you risk moisture entering your lighting fixture and causing issues. These can be safety and visibility hazards.

VL Lighting Solutions

At VL we can help you choose a series of fixtures that work for your unique project. VL’s products and solutions have been highly acclaimed by a large number of well-known contractors, designers, end-users, and planners which is a testimony to our product quality and customer service along the way.

We’ll answer all of your questions and make sure that you have the right lighting solutions for any job.

Contact VL Lighting Solutions today for any of your lighting needs.


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