Lighting Guide | IP (Ingress Protection)
What is IP rating in lighting?
"IP" stands for "Ingress Protection" and is a standardized way to specify the protection of enclosures around electronic equipment like lighting fixtures. It's like a protection score, with two numbers following the letters "IP." The first number indicates resistance to solid objects (like dust and hands), while the second signifies protection against liquids (like water).
When choosing lighting, especially for environments like bathrooms or outdoors, it's essential to consider the IP rating. This ensures your fixture is suitable for its intended location, providing safety and longevity.
Understanding an IP rating
When you see an IP rating, it's followed by two numbers. The first number indicates the level of protection against solid particles, ranging from 0 (no protection) to 6 (total protection against dust). The second number signifies protection against liquids, with 0 being no protection and 8 indicating protection against prolonged submersion in water.
Finding the right IP rating
When exploring lighting options, understanding IP ratings is key. These codes provide insights into how well a fixture safeguards against solid objects and moisture.
- Designed for indoor spaces like living rooms and bedrooms, IP20-rated fixtures shield against objects larger than 12.5mm (like fingers), while they're not ideal for moisture-prone areas.
- Suits spaces like bathrooms. It guards against objects over 1mm and handles water splashes from any direction.
- IP65 is built for outdoor environments and industrial settings. Dust-tight (6) and resistant to water jets (5), these luminaires excel in gardens and areas prone to occasional water exposure.
- For rain-prone outdoors and embedded floor fixtures (showers or floor lighting). Being immersion-resistant (7), it can handle brief submersion in water up to 1m for 30 minutes, making it a solid choice for wet conditions.
- At the top level, IP68 is for extreme conditions. It guarantees dust-tightness (6) and can endure extended water immersion beyond a meter. Ideal for underwater lighting (pools, fountains) or harsh environments.
IP versus IK
In the realm of lighting, IK ratings hold a significant role alongside IP ratings. While IP ratings focus on safeguarding against dust and moisture, IK ratings assess a fixture's ability to withstand physical impacts. The IK rating system ranges from IK00 to IK10, where IK00 provides no protection against impact and IK10 provides maximum impact resistance.
While IK ratings might not be as critical in everyday home settings with lower instances of impact, their consideration in spaces where accidental contact is likely can significantly contribute to the resilience and longevity of lighting fixtures. For instance, outdoor pathways in private settings, where foot traffic, gardening activities or even a hail storm could inadvertently lead to impacts, are prime examples of spaces where IK ratings come into play. Even in residential environments, areas like garages or storage sheds can benefit from lighting fixtures with suitable IK ratings.
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