Buyers Guides

IP Ratings Explained

When shopping for outdoor or bathroom lighting, you will most probably have been confronted by a mysterious IP code that is followed by two numbers.  This code was designed to provide us non-experts with an easy to understand description of how well-protected a light fitting is.

For those of you who don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of International, European, and British Standard codes here is a helpful guide to what they mean and examples of how a product and a situation match up with an IP code.

IP Broken Down

What does the code actually mean?  Well, each part of the code is designed to give you information and help you decide if the fitting you are looking at is suitable for where you want to put it.

Firstly – IP

The IP in the code is short for Ingress Protection – as in how well protected a fitting is.

Digit 1 – Solids

The first digit tells you how well protected a fitting is against solids – such as dust, and other objects. The higher the number the more protected it is. On occasion you may find the digit represented by an X. This means the value has not been determined, usually because the product hasn’t been tested for protection against solid objects. For full details check out Table 1 below.

Digit 2  – Liquid

The second digit is used to tell you about the level of liquid protection: 0 being not protected and, the highest value of 8 being safe to submerge in more than 1 meter of water. For a full rundown check out Table 2 below.

IP Rating First Digit

Digit 1

Number Size of object Protects against

0

No protection against contact or entrance by any object

1

>50 mm Protection against any large surface area of the body but not deliberate tampering or force

2

>12.5 mm Fingers or similar sized tools and objects

3

>2.5 mm Thick wires, tools and similar-sized foreign bodies

4

>1 mm Most wires, screws, etc.

5

Dust protected Protected against dust – it has to enter in large amounts to interfere with operation. Complete protection against contact

6

Dust tight Impossible for dust to enter; complete protection against any foreign body

X

Undetermined Indicates that protection against solid objects is not defined

 

IP Rating Second Digit

Digit 2

Number Protects against Tested for

0

Not protected

1

Dripping water Dripping water – no damaging effect when tested against vertical falling water drops

2

Dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water has no damaging effect when the light enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its usual position.

3

Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° has no damaging effect

4

Splashing water Water splashing against light enclosure from any direction has no damaging effect

5

Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against light enclosure from any direction shall have no damaging effect

6

Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the light enclosure from any direction has no damaging effect

7

Immersion up to 1 m Water won’t infiltrate even when light enclosure is immersed in water up to 1m in depth

8

Immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed but in some cases, certain types of light enclosures can let some water in, but in a way that won’t be detrimental to the function of the light.

 

Security, Whatever The Weather…

Anybody looking for a security light wants them to be durable and protected against the extremities, whether they are to be situated indoors or outdoors. Mostly designed for outdoor use, some have a higher IP rating than others, which can range from an IP of 44 to 68. The Dan Outdoor Wall Light with PIR Sensor, for instance, is suitable for use in outdoor buildings such as your garage, shed or porch, with an IP Rating of 44. This means it’s safeguarded against foreign bodies 1mm+ thick and against splashing water. If you want your security light placed in a completely unsheltered area, then the 50W Cool White LED Floodlight with PIR Sensor, which is IP65, is just one of the models you could choose. The 6 rating means it is completely dust tight, while the 5 means it’s protected against pressurized water jets from any direction.

Decking Den…

If you are re-designing your garden and building a sheltered decking or patio area for you and your family to relax in, then you need lights that are protected but not at the highest end of the scale. The Paber Palazzo Coach Lantern has an IP Rating of 43, so is protected against small foreign bodies such as stray screws and wires from entering, as well as spraying water. It is hardy and durable and will light up your decking den like a dream.

Follow The Yellow Lit Path…

Our range of outdoor lighting at Lighting Direct varies in IP Rating, so it all depends on what you want it for as to what model you should pick. If you simply want something that makes a statement in terms of style and is rainproof, the Searchlight Stoma Outdoor Lantern Wall Light will definitely do that.

Ultimate Pressure

If you want lights that can withstand ultimate pressure then it’s best to go for models such as the Arigo LED Garden Spotlight or the Robus Garland Walkover Lights. Both have an IP Rating of 68, the highest on the scale, meaning they are completely dust tight and can withstand continuous immersion in water in excess of 1 metre. This makes them ideal for lighting up your garden path or pond or water feature. It is always best however, to check manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your chosen lights are suitable, i.e. placing in a swimming pool.

If you’re still unsure of what IP Rating to go for, you can always get in contact with our experienced sales team who will be able to assist with any queries you have.

Otherwise…

Looking for inspiration or more guidance? Check out our Lighting Ideas section.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.

Articles

Top 10 IP Rated Outdoor Lights

When thinking about lighting any outdoor space, one of your biggest considerations is of course the weather. Hard to ignore at the best of times, the British weather throws up specific challenges that any outside lights you buy need certified protection against.

Lighting Direct’s versatile range of IP rated outdoor lights is not only guaranteed to cover your outside lighting needs in complete safety, but doesn’t require you to compromise one bit on design and aesthetics in the process. In this article we take a look at 10 top IP rated outside lights to give you some inspiration.

IP ratings explained

Before we get started, it’s fair to say water and electricity aren’t a good mix, and so outside lighting products need to be built to make sure the two never come into contact. That’s where the IP rating system comes in. Using a series of numbers, each with specific meanings, it tells you exactly which environmental elements the IP rated product is protected against – for example dust, water and the like – and to exactly what degree.

For more information on IP Ratings, including a full breakdown on what the numbers themselves actually stand for, check out our IP Ratings Explained guide. Suffice to say the IP system gives you guaranteed peace of mind. The IP code tells you exactly the weather conditions an outside light is certified to withstand, and exactly those it isn’t.

Highly rated outside lights

IP rated outdoor lights image 1

LED PIR Twin Floodlight

This floodlight offers the perfect mix of security features and energy saving efficiency. Its two IP44 rated floodlights consume just 8W of power each and its sensor can be switched between PIR movement and dusk-to-dawn photocell settings as desired. Each floodlight can also be independently panned and tilted to face in exactly the direction you want.

IP rated outdoor lights image 2

Maronello Standard Wall Light

Its modern aluminium and stainless steel design makes the Maranello wall light a real head turner, and with a three-year guarantee and IP54 rating ensuring protection against dust and water sprays, this is one outside light that’s as durable as it is attractive.

IP rated outdoor lights image 3

Mono Low Energy Brick Light

This stainless steel brick light certainly boasts some impressive numbers: IP65 protection against dust and rain, 18W low energy bulbs designed to last 10,000 hours, and energy savings of up to 80% over standard incandescent lighting. Plus it’s designed to fit perfectly into a brick-sized hole, so can be incorporated seamlessly into the outside of your home.

IP rated outdoor lights image 4

Mullan Sign Light

You can’t beat solid antique brass for old-school charm, and with a pre-drilled wall plate and pre-wired leads the Mullan Novo Sign Light offers convenience too. The perfect outside light for illuminating outdoor signs, and with IP23.

IP rated outdoor lights image 5

Catalpa Spotlights – Set of 3

With their striking appearance, convenient ‘plug and play’ compatibility and full IP68 rating (protecting against even long periods of high-pressure immersion), the Catalpa Spotlights set has to be one of the safest and versatile ground-based outdoor lighting systems money can buy. The set even includes a fourth connection plus extra leads and transformer so you can add another single spotlight anytime you like.

IP rated outdoor lights image 6

Messina LED Ground Light

Boasting an incredible life expectancy of 40,000 hours, the nine-LED Messina ground light produces 20 lumens of light output and comes with full IP68 rating for maximum protection against the elements. The polycarbonate casing and textured diffuser combination makes for a physically versatile outside light equally at home in both paths and driveways.

IP rated outdoor lights image 7

Barton Spotlight

Designed to visually accentuate the exterior of your home, the Barton Spotlight is great looking in its own right thanks to its polycarbonate casing and contemporary design. Its IP44 rating protects it against objects bigger than 1mm and means the Barton can withstand splashing water.

IP rated outdoor lights image 8

Vejers Standard Post – Galvanised

Don’t let its name mislead you – the great-looking Vejers Standard Post is far from standard when it comes to features. Its IP54 rating gives all the protection you need for a garden post light and the galvanised steel construction is so well regarded for its anti-corrosive properties that it comes with an incredible 15-year guarantee against corrosion. Nothing standard about that!

IP rated outdoor lights image 9

Fairy Lights – Warm White

These IP44-rated fairy lights incorporate 320 LEDs, but don’t worry – thanks to the standalone solar panel you can charge by day and illuminate by night without troubling the mains supply at all. Multiple fittings let you mount your LED fairy lights on the wall, in the ground or in the decking, and eight lighting modes mean you can create whatever mood you want.

IP rated outdoor lights image 10

Assisi Large LED Planter

You’ll go a long way to find another outdoor lighting concept either as clever or visually striking as the Assisi LED Planter. Describing it as a plant pot that’s also a source of light doesn’t really do it justice, and the bold illumination of the crisp white light creates an inviting visual effect that demands to be looked at. Plus, with an IP44 rating guaranteed, you can rest assured the Assisi Planter isn’t just attractive, but protected against the elements too.

Take a look at our full range of outdoor lighting.

Alternatively if you are looking for more inspiration and advice, try our Lighting Ideas section.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.