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What does the IP rating mean?

IP refers to ''Ingress Protection'', which literally tells you how well a fixture is protected against intrusion. In this case, its resistance to dust and moisture. Below, we explain in more detail how to read an IP rating and what the various ratings are.

IP rating: what do the numbers stand for?

The IP rating consists of two digits. The first digit represents protection against solid particles such as dust or sand. The second digit represents protection against liquid substances. The lower the value, the worse the protection. So a fixture with a value of IP20 is barely protected against water and dust, where a IP44 fixture is protected against dust and splashing water. An IP rating of 65 or higher is completely dust- and waterproof.


A high IP rating does not mean you can use the fixture outdoors!

Have you bought lighting with a (splash)waterproof IP value? Perfect for indoors! To be labelled as an outdoor fixture, you need to meet more requirements, which actually refers to the fact that the material of the housing and connection should be suitable for the type of environment. For instance, corrosion-resistant fixtures in coastal areas. Or fixtures with waterproof transformers, LED drivers or other accessories. You can view all LED outdoor lighting here >>

What do the different IP ratings mean?

The tables below explain what the different IP ratings are, divided into the degree of dust-tightness (first number) and the degree of waterproofness (second number). With this, we hope to get you started in making the right product decision.

IP rating chart (1st digit)

Level Protected against / is: Effective against, for example:
0 Not protected -
1 Objects larger than 50mm Accidental touching with hands.
2 Objects larger than 12,5mm Touching the fixture with fingers.
3 Objects larger than 2,5mm Contact with wires, cables and tools.
4 Objects larger than 1mm Tapping with wires, cables and tools.
5 Protected against dust Contact with live parts, such as wiring, and at the same time harmful accumulation of dust. Dust may enter, but does not affect operation.
6 Completely dustproof Ingress of dust and contact with live parts, such as wiring.

IP rating chart (2nd digit)

Level Protected against hydropower The fixture is:
0 Not protected -
1 Dripping water Protected against water droplets falling vertically.
2 Dripping water Resistant to water drops falling at a maximum angle of 15°.
3 Sprinkling water Protected against water falling at a maximum angle of 60°.
4 Splashing water Resistant to water splashes from any direction.
5 Water jets Protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction.
6 Powerful water jets Resistant to strong water jets from any direction.
7 Immersion up to 1m deep Protected against temporary immersion in water; maximum 30 minutes.
8 Immersion deeper than 1m Resistant to prolonged water immersion under pressure.

The most popular waterproof fixtures!

LED High Bays

LED Floodlights

LED Battens

LED Wall Lights

Which dust- and water resistance do you need?

This depends on the environment in which you want to place the fixture. For example, are you dealing with an indoor or outdoor environment? And does the fixture have direct contact with water or does it have to cope with moisture via evaporation? Here are two examples.

IP rating for bathroom lights

In bathrooms, IP44 is a perfect degree of protection. Lighting is not in direct contact with water, but it may encounter splashes or vapour that spreads when taking a shower or bath. You can always choose to purchase an LED fixture with a higher IP rating. A popular waterproof fixture for bathrooms is the recessed LED spotlight.

IP rating for outdoor lighting

Which IP value is best suited outdoors has to do with placement. Fixtures installed under a canopy or in sheltered open areas can function perfectly well with an IP44 housing. If the lighting is placed in an exposed outdoor area, it is better to choose an IP65, IP66 or IP67 fixture.

Anouk  - Last update June 2023