When buying electronic products, you might have come across the term “IP Rating.” But what exactly does it mean? IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating, is a standardized system that defines the degree of protection provided by an enclosure against foreign objects such as dust, dirt, and water. In this article, we will dive deep into the IP rating system and discuss everything you need to know.
What Is IP Rating?
IP rating, or Ingress Protection rating, is a measure of how well an enclosure can protect against foreign objects and liquids. The IP rating system is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is recognized worldwide.
What Is IPX Rating?
The “X” in the IPX rating indicates that the enclosure’s protection against dust and foreign objects is not tested. For example, an IPX4 rating means that the enclosure is protected against splashing water but not against dust.
What Does The Numbers And Letters In the IP Rating Indicate?
The first digit in an IP rating indicates the level of protection against foreign objects such as dust and dirt. The second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids such as water. The higher the number, the better the protection.
The first digit of the IP rating specifies the level of protection from solid bodies like- dust, fingers, or any tools, etc. The degree of protection for solids is graded with X, 0, 1,2,3,4,5, and 6.
|Meaning of Protection
|No special protection against solid particles
|No protection against solid particles
|Protection from Objects >50mm
|Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
|Protection from Objects >12.5mm
|Fingers or similar objects
|Protection from Objects >2.5mm
|Tools, thick wires, or similar objects
|Protection from Objects >1mm
|Most wires, screws, or similar objects
|Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment
|No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight)
The first digit of the IP rating indicates the level of the enclosure’s protection against the ingress from blocking solid foreign bodies such as dust, tools or fingers that could be hazardous if were to come into contact with electrical components, parts or circuitry within the enclosure.
The second digit of the IP rating indicates the level of the enclosure’s protection from blocking internal components against various forms of moisture (sprays, drips or submersion etc). It is graded as X, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 6K, 7, 8, 9, and 9K.
|No special protection against moisture
|Vertically falling drops
|Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
|Vertically falling drops when enclosure tilted up to 15 degrees
|Dripping water when tilted at an angle of up to 15 degrees from its normal position shall have no harmful effect.
|Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60 degrees from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
|Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
|Water projected by a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
|Powerful water jets
|Water projected in powerful jets against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
|Immersion up to 1m
|Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
|Immersion beyond 1m
|The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions that shall be specified by the manufacturer.
|High-pressure water jets
|Protected against close-range high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs.
|High-pressure and high-temperature-resistant. Survives high-pressure, multi-directional jet sprays. Survives temperature shock. Survives low-pressure, high-temperature washdowns. Survives longer periods of
IP Rating Extra Letters
|Protected against access with the back of the hand
|Protected against access with a finger
|Protected against access with a tool
|Protected against access with a wire
|Protected against ingress of oil and fuel
|High voltage protection
|Protected against harmful moving parts with the enclosure
|Protected against harmful contact with electrical components
|Protected against high-pressure water jets from any direction (higher protection than IPX6 or IPX7)
|Protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction (higher protection than IPX1 or IPX2)
|Additional mechanical impact resistance (e.g. IK rating)
|Additional radiation resistance
|Additional resistance to corrosion
|Additional resistance to penetration by solid objects larger than 50mm in diameter (e.g. IK rating with code “U”)
|Additional resistance to penetration by solid objects larger than 1mm in diameter (e.g. IK rating with code “V”)
|No special protection
|Protected against ingress of water during continuous immersion
|Protected against ingress of water during immersion at a specified pressure or depth
IP Rating Comparison Chart
Here is a quick reference chart that shows the different levels of protection provided by different IP ratings:
|First Digit (Solids)
|Second Digit (Liquids)
|Sprays of water
|Dust and splashes
|Powerful water jets
|Powerful water jets and waves
|High-pressure water jets and steam cleaning
Note: The first digit refers to protection against solid objects, while the second digit refers to protection against liquids. The higher the number, the greater the protection.
What Does IP Rating Measure?
The IP rating system measures the degree of protection provided by an enclosure against the following:
Solid foreign objects such as dust and dirt
Liquid ingresses such as water and oil
Why Have An IP Rating System?
An IP (Ingress Protection) rating system provides a standardized and objective way to measure and communicate the level of protection provided by an enclosure or housing against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids. This system helps manufacturers, designers, and consumers to make informed decisions about the suitability of products for specific environments or applications.
Without an IP rating system, there would be no consistent and reliable way to assess a product’s resistance to environmental factors such as water, dust, and other potentially damaging substances. This could result in product failure or damage, safety hazards, and unnecessary expenses for consumers and manufacturers alike.
The IP rating system helps ensure that products are fit for purpose and meet the necessary requirements for specific industries or applications. For example, an IP rating is essential for products used in outdoor environments where they may be exposed to rain, dust, or other elements that could damage the product or pose a safety risk to users.
Overall, the IP rating system provides a valuable tool for product selection, quality assurance, and safety in a variety of industries, including lighting, electronics, construction, and more.
Uses Of IP Rating
IP ratings are used to specify the degree of protection provided by electronic enclosures such as LED lights, electrical sockets, and power tools.
IP ratings are also applicable to LED linear lights, LED strips, and other types of LED lighting fixtures. Different types of LED lighting products require different levels of protection based on their intended application and environment. Here are ip rating chart.
|Appropriate Environment and Type of Light
|Solid objects larger than 12.5mm
|Suitable for use indoors in dry environments, such as offices or homes.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
|Solid objects larger than 1mm
|Suitable for use indoors in areas where there may be some dust or debris, such as warehouses or factories.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
|Dust and water splashes from any direction
|Suitable for use in areas where occasional exposure to moisture is expected, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
|Complete protection against dust and protection against water jets from any direction
|Suitable for use outdoors or in areas where they may be exposed to moisture, such as swimming pools, gardens, or ip rating for outdoor use walkways.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
|Complete protection against dust and protection against immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes
|Suitable for use in areas where they may be exposed to water or moisture for extended periods of time, such as fountains, ponds, or outdoor lighting fixtures.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
|Complete protection against dust and protection against continuous immersion in water beyond 1 meter deep
|Suitable for use in areas where they may be submerged in water, such as aquariums, pools, or outdoor marine lighting fixtures.
|LED linear lights or LED strips
For more information about IP rating waterproof led strip light, you can read A Guide to Waterproof LED Strip Lights.
Enclosures are used to house and protect electronic equipment from damage and environmental factors. Here are some common types of enclosures and their uses:
Floor Standing Enclosure: These enclosures are typically used for housing large or complex electronic equipment, such as servers or industrial control systems. They are designed to provide ample space and protection against environmental factors such as dust, water, and extreme temperatures.
General Purpose Enclosure: These enclosures are used for a wide range of applications and are designed to provide protection against dust, dirt, and moisture. They are commonly used to house electrical components, control systems, and other sensitive equipment.
Handheld Enclosure: These enclosures are designed to be held in the hand and are commonly used for portable electronic devices such as handheld computers, remote controls, and portable measurement instruments. They are usually made from plastic or lightweight metal and are designed to provide protection against shocks and vibration.
Enclosure Accessories: Enclosure accessories include items such as mounting brackets, cable glands, and ventilation fans. These accessories can be used to enhance the functionality and protection of enclosures and can be used to customize enclosures to meet specific needs.
Choosing the appropriate enclosure type and accessories is important to ensure that electronic equipment is protected from environmental factors and damage.
IP ratings can also be applied to other products such as watches, smartphones, and outdoor furniture.
LED lighting fixtures require an appropriate IP (Ingress Protection) rating to protect them from various environmental factors, such as dust, water, and humidity. Here are some recommended IP ratings for different LED lighting applications:
For indoor LED lighting, an IP20 or higher rating is usually sufficient. This rating provides protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm but offers no protection against liquids.
For LED lighting fixtures used outdoors, a minimum IP65 rating is recommended. This rating provides complete protection against dust and protection against water jets from any direction.
Bathroom IP Rating Lighting
LED lighting used in bathrooms should have a minimum IP rating of 44 to protect against splashes of water from any direction. For areas within the shower enclosure or bathtub, a higher rating such as IP65 may be necessary.
|Recommended IP Rating
|Suitable LED Lighting Options
|IP65 or higher
|LED downlights, LED strips, LED wall lights
|IP44 or higher
|LED mirror lights, LED wall lights, LED downlights
|IP44 or higher
|LED bath lights, LED wall lights, LED downlights
|IP44 or higher
|LED ceiling lights, LED panels, LED track lights
It is important to choose the appropriate IP rating for bathroom lighting fixtures to ensure that they are protected against moisture and water. LED lighting options with a higher IP rating offer better protection against moisture and water exposure.
LED lighting used in kitchens should have a minimum IP rating of 44 to protect against splashes of water from any direction. For areas above sinks or near stovetops, a higher rating such as IP65 may be necessary.
|Type of Lighting Fixture
|Suitable IP Rating
|Recessed Ceiling Lights
|IP20 or IP44
|If the lights are located outside of the wet zones in the kitchen (e.g. above the countertops and not above the sink), an IP20 rating is suitable. However, if the lights are located within 60cm of the edge of the sink, an IP44 rating outdoor is recommended.
|Under Cabinet Lights
|IP20 or IP44
|If the lights are located outside of the wet zones in the kitchen, an IP20 rating is suitable. However, if the lights are located within 60cm of the edge of the sink, an IP44 rating outdoor is recommended.
|IP20 or higher
|Pendant lights located above the countertops or dining areas can have an IP20 rating. However, pendant lights located above the sink or stove should have a higher IP rating to protect against moisture and grease.
|IP20 or higher
|Track lighting located above the countertops or dining areas can have an IP20 rating. However, track lighting located above the sink or stove should have a higher IP rating to protect against moisture and grease.
Swimming Pool and Fountain Lighting
LED lighting fixtures used in swimming pools and fountains should have a minimum IP68 rating. This rating provides complete protection against dust and protection against continuous immersion in water beyond 1 meter deep.
For LED lighting fixtures used in marine environments, a minimum IP68 rating is recommended. This rating provides complete protection against dust and protection against continuous immersion in water beyond 1 meter deep.
It’s important to choose the appropriate IP rating for LED lighting fixtures to ensure their longevity and safe operation.
|Water splashes from any direction and solid objects larger than 1mm
|Water jets from any direction and complete protection against dust
|Immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes and complete protection against dust
|Continuous immersion in water beyond 1 meter deep and complete protection against dust
Water-resistant lighting fixtures are designed to withstand exposure to moisture and water without being damaged. These fixtures are commonly used in outdoor and indoor spaces where moisture is present, such as bathrooms, kitchens, swimming pools, and outdoor walkways. The appropriate IP rating for water-resistant lighting fixtures will depend on the specific application and environment. It is important to choose the correct IP rating to ensure the longevity and safety of the lighting fixture.
Suitable IP Rating For LED Lighting
For LED lighting, the suitable IP rating depends on where the lights will be installed. For indoor installations, an IP20 or IP44 rating may be sufficient, but for outdoor installations, a higher IP rating is required.
Maximum and Minimum IP Rating For LED Strips
The maximum IP rating for LED strips is IP68, which means that the strips are dust-tight and can be continuously immersed in water. The minimum IP rating for LED strips depends on the application and installation location.
Maximum IP Rating For LED Strip
|Dust Tight, Waterproof
|LED strips with an IP68 rating provide complete protection against dust and can be fully submerged in water for extended periods of time. These strips are ideal for outdoor use in harsh environments, such as underwater lighting in pools, fountains, or aquariums. They can also be used in industrial or marine applications where exposure to water or moisture is expected.
Minimum IP Rating For LED Strip
IP20 and its appropriate environment and type of light:
|Suitable Environment and Type of Light
|Protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm, but no protection against liquids.
|Suitable for use indoors in dry environments, such as homes, offices, or retail spaces. LED strips with this rating are often used for accent lighting or decorative purposes.
High IP rating and low IP rating refer to the level of protection provided by a product against solid objects and liquids. Here are some differences between high IP rating and low IP rating:
High IP rating VS Low IP rating
Here are some points to consider when comparing high IP rating versus low IP rating for electronic equipment or lighting fixtures:
|High IP Rating
|Low IP Rating
|Used for IP rating outdoor use or harsh environments, where water, dust, and other particles are present
|Used for indoor or controlled environments, where exposure to water, dust, and other particles is minimal
|Provides greater protection against water, dust, and other particles, preventing damage and failure of the equipment
|Provides basic protection against water, dust, and other particles, but may not be suitable for harsh environments
|Examples of applications
|Marine equipment, outdoor lighting, industrial machinery, medical equipment, outdoor cameras
|Home lighting, indoor cameras, indoor electrical equipment, consumer electronics
|Requires professional installation due to complex wiring and sealing requirements
|Can be easily installed by the end-user or an electrician
|Requires periodic maintenance and cleaning to ensure continued protection
|Minimal maintenance required
|Highly durable and can withstand harsh conditions
|Less durable and may not withstand harsh conditions
|IP rating range
|IP66 to IP69
|IP20 to IP65
Why Should You Consider IP Rating When Buying LED Strip?
Considering the IP rating is important when buying LED strips because it ensures that the strips are suitable for the intended installation location and that they can withstand environmental conditions.
When buying an LED strip, it is important to consider the IP (Ingress Protection) rating to ensure that the strip is suitable for the intended application. Here are some points and examples that highlight the importance of considering the IP rating:
Protection from environmental factors: The IP rating indicates the level of protection the LED strip has against dust and water. If the LED strip is going to be used in an outdoor or wet environment, a higher IP rating (such as IP65 or IP68) is necessary to protect against water damage.
Durability and longevity: A higher IP rating generally indicates that the LED strip is more durable and able to withstand harsh conditions. This means that it will last longer and require less frequent replacements, saving time and money in the long run.
Safety: A higher IP rating can also indicate that the LED strip is safer to use in certain applications, such as in areas where there is a risk of water exposure. For example, an IP68 rated LED strip can be safely used in underwater applications.
Code compliance: Depending on the application and local building codes, a certain IP rating may be required for safety and regulatory compliance. It is important to check local codes and regulations to ensure that the LED strip meets the necessary requirements.
Quality assurance: An LED strip with a higher IP rating typically indicates that it has undergone more rigorous testing and meets higher quality standards. This can provide assurance that the LED strip will perform as expected and reduce the risk of failure or malfunction.
In summary, considering the IP rating when buying LED strip is important to ensure that it is suitable for the intended application, durable, safe, and compliant with local regulations.
Which Is Better: IP44 or IP65?
|Protects against splashing water from any direction
|Protects against water jets from any direction
|Partial protection against dust
|Total protection against dust
|Outdoor lighting fixtures, bathroom lighting
|Outdoor floodlights, industrial and commercial lighting
|Lower protection level
|Higher protection level
|Generally lower priced
|Generally higher priced
|Can be installed in a wider variety of locations
|May require more specialized installation due to higher protection level
|May require more frequent maintenance due to lower protection level
|May require less frequent maintenance due to higher protection level
Ultimately, the choice between IP44 and IP65 will depend on the specific application and the level of protection required. IP65 provides higher protection against water and dust but may come at a higher cost and require more specialized installation. IP44 may be more suitable for less demanding applications and may be more affordable and easier to install.
Which is Better: IP55 or IP66?
Both IP55 and IP65 are considered good levels of protection against the intrusion of solid objects and water. However, IP65 offers a higher level of protection than IP55.
IP55 rated products are protected against limited dust ingress and low-pressure water jets from any direction, but may not be completely dust-tight or waterproof. They are suitable for use in areas such as warehouses, garages, and outdoor spaces.
IP65 rated products, on the other hand, offer complete protection against dust and low-pressure water jets from any direction. They are more suitable for outdoor use in areas such as gardens, patios, and driveways.
In summary, while both IP55 and IP65 are good for protecting against solid objects and water, IP65 offers a higher level of protection and is more suitable for IP rating outdoor use.
Which is Better: IP55 or IPX4?
IP55 and IPX4 are both designed to offer protection against dust and water, but they have different levels of protection. IP55 is a higher level of protection than IPX4.
IP55 offers protection against dust, as well as protection against water jets from any direction. This means that it is suitable for use in areas where the LED strip may be exposed to water jets, such as in outdoor applications.
On the other hand, IPX4 only offers protection against water splashes from any direction. This means that it is suitable for use in areas where the LED strip may be exposed to water splashes, such as in bathrooms or kitchens.
In summary, if you need higher protection against water, then IP55 would be a better choice. If you only need protection against water splashes, then IPX4 may be sufficient.
Which Is Better: IP67 waterproof rating or IP68 waterproof rating?
Both IP67 and IP68 are high levels of protection against water and dust ingress. IP67 rated devices are protected against immersion in water up to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, while IP68 rated devices are protected against long-term immersion in water beyond 1 meter.
In general, IP68 is considered better than IP67 in terms of water resistance and durability. However, the choice between the two will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of the application and the level of protection needed.
Is IP69 Better Than IP68?
IP69 is generally considered better than IP68, as it offers a higher level of protection against dust, water, and other environmental factors. IP69 is designed for use in extremely harsh environments where equipment needs to be protected against high-pressure water jets and steam cleaning.
IP68, on the other hand, provides protection against submersion in water, but may not be suitable for high-pressure water jets or steam cleaning. It is commonly used in outdoor applications where the equipment may be exposed to rain or other environmental factors.
It’s important to note that IP ratings are not absolute and can vary based on the specific conditions and requirements of a particular application. It’s important to carefully consider the requirements of your application and select the appropriate IP rating accordingly.
Why is IP Water Resistance Important For LED Strips?
Water resistance is crucial for LED strips, especially for outdoor or underwater applications. Without adequate protection against water, moisture, or humidity, the LED strip’s electrical components can easily corrode or short circuit. This can lead to malfunction or even complete failure of the LED strip, rendering it useless.
Protection from Moisture: LED strips are highly sensitive to moisture, which can damage their internal circuits and cause them to fail. An IP water resistance rating ensures that the LED strip is protected from moisture, which is essential for its long-term functionality.
Durability: LED strips that are exposed to moisture or water can quickly deteriorate and become unusable. An IP rating helps to ensure that the LED strip is durable and can withstand exposure to water or moisture, making it ideal for use in damp or wet areas.
Safety: Water and electricity don’t mix, and exposure to water can create a safety hazard. An LED strip with an appropriate IP water resistance rating is designed to minimize the risk of electrical shock, fire, or other safety hazards associated with exposure to water.
Environmental Protection: LED strips that are used in outdoor or industrial environments are often exposed to a range of environmental factors, including water, dust, and dirt. An IP water resistance rating helps to protect the LED strip from these factors and ensures that it remains functional in harsh conditions.
Longevity: Investing in an LED strip with an appropriate IP water resistance rating can help to ensure its longevity, reduce the need for maintenance, and save you money in the long run. A higher IP rating generally means better protection against water and moisture, which is essential for the longevity of your LED strip.
Overall, an IP water resistance rating is essential for protecting your LED strip from damage and ensuring its longevity and functionality in harsh environments.
What Are IP Rating Waterproof?
IP rating waterproof refers to a standardized classification system that is used to define the level of protection provided by an enclosure against various types of intrusions, such as dust, water, and other foreign objects. This rating system is also commonly used in the LED lighting industry to classify the level of protection provided by a fixture or a component against water and dust ingress.
The IP rating consists of two digits, where the first digit represents the level of protection against solid objects, and the second digit represents the level of protection against liquids. The higher the number, the greater the protection provided. For example, an IP65 rating means that the product is protected against dust ingress and water projected from a nozzle, while an IP68 rating means that the product is protected against dust ingress and can be immersed in water beyond 1 meter.
Is It Possible To Have Multiple IP Ratings For A Single Product?
Yes, it’s possible to have multiple IP ratings for a single product. This can occur when a product has different parts or components that require different levels of protection against water or dust intrusion.
For example, an LED strip may have an IP65 rating for the LED strip itself but an IP67 rating for the power supply unit, which requires a higher level of protection against water immersion.
In such cases, the product’s overall IP rating will depend on the lowest level of protection among its various components. Therefore, it’s important to carefully review the IP ratings for each component of a product to ensure that it meets the required level of protection for the intended use.
How IP Ratings Are Tested?
IP ratings are tested using a series of standardized tests that vary based on the level of protection is measured. Some common tests for IP ratings include:
Dust resistance test
This test involves exposing the product to different types of dust particles to assess its ability to keep them out. The product is placed in a chamber with a specific concentration of dust for a set period of time, after which it is inspected to see if any dust has penetrated the enclosure.
Water resistance test
This test involves exposing the product to water at different rates and pressures to see how well it resists ingress. The product is sprayed with water from different angles and with different volumes of water for a set period of time, after which it is inspected to see if any water has penetrated the enclosure.
Impact resistance test
This test involves dropping the product from a set height onto a hard surface to assess its ability to withstand physical impact. The product is dropped onto different sides and edges, and the enclosure is inspected to see if any damage has occurred that could compromise its protection level.
Temperature and humidity test
This test involves subjecting the product to extreme temperatures and humidity levels to see how well it maintains its protection level. The product is placed in a chamber with extreme temperatures and humidity levels for a set period of time, after which it is inspected to see if any water or dust has penetrated the enclosure or if there is any damage to the product.
These tests are conducted by third-party testing organizations and the results are used to assign the appropriate IP rating to the product.
In conclusion, understanding IP ratings is crucial when purchasing LED strip lights for your application. The IP rating determines the level of protection that the LED strip light offers against water, dust, and other external factors that may affect its performance and durability.
When choosing an LED strip light, it is important to consider the specific environmental conditions that it will be exposed to and select the appropriate IP rating to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Keep in mind that a higher IP rating does not necessarily mean better performance, as different IP ratings are suitable for different applications.
Therefore, it is essential to choose the right IP rating based on the specific needs and requirements of your project.
By taking the time to understand IP ratings and selecting the appropriate rating for your LED strip lights, you can ensure a reliable and long-lasting lighting solution that meets your needs and performs as expected.
Our standard LED strips are available in P20/IP52/IP65/IP67/IP68. Besides, the expert team of LEDYi also meets your customization needs for other IP ratings. So, contact us soon to get the ultimate LED strip lighting solution!