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The IP Rating

The International Protection Marking (IP Code/Ingress Protection) rates the effectiveness from intrusions such as dust or water. The IP rating is a standard of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It applies to a wide range of products.
 
It is of utmost importance that you verify the IP rating of your LED vapor tight lights before you get them. The IP rating ensures that specific lights can be used without becoming a safety hazard to the users. A light’s IP rating reflects its suitability for outdoor or indoor use.
The “I” in IP refers to the protection level the light’s enclosure. It protects its internal components against solid particles. The letter “P” refers to the ability to protect its internal components against water.
 
Waterproof lighting is essential for light fixtures exposed to moisture, water, dust or oil. Food processing plants wash with high-pressure hoses. This which expose the light to corrosive cleaning agents and water splashes.
 
Light fixtures in commercial refrigeration will face condensation, wet conditions, and extreme cold. A car wash light will have to withstand extreme wet conditions, harsh cleaning agents, and hot wax. Lights installed in warehouses have pollution and dusty environments that could cause damage.
 
This is why a LED fixture’s IP rating is so critical. It tells us exactly the electrical components protection. A higher IP rating signifies greater protection against the intrusion of smaller particulates. A lower rating points to a limited protection against such intrusions. The highest rating indicates that the fixtures are protected and can submerge in water without any damage.

IP Rating for First Digit (Protection against Intrusion of Solid Objects)

 

DigitObject sizeType of Protection
0No protection at all from intrusion by objects
1Objects greater than 50mmProtected against a large object’s surface area such as a palm of the hand. This level of protection does not keep it safe from force or deliberate tampering
2Objects greater than 12.5mmThis includes protection from objects such as fingers and other equal sized tools and objects
3Objects greater than 2.5mmThis encompasses protection from tools, thick-sized wires, and other similarly sized solid objects
4Objects greater than 1mmThis size of items includes screws, fine tools, and most wire sizes
5Protects against the entrance of dust that may adversely affect the light fixtureThis level of protection not only protects against dust and its effects in large quantities but against contact as well
6Completely dust tightThis IP protection level ensures that no dust or any other foreign body will access the light fixture’s internal components
xUnrated light fixturesSince the IP rating is not defined, such light fixtures could be hazardous in high abuse environments

 

 

IP Rating for the Second Digit (Protection against Intrusion of Liquids)

 

DigitCapacityType of Protection
0No protection from ingress of water or humidity
1Dripping water and condensationNo adverse effects on light fixture when exposed to water drops vertically falling at an equivalent of 1mm per minute
2Water droplets when tilted at an angle of 15°Water droplets landing on the light fixture when it’s inclined at an angle of 15° will not damage it.
3Sprayed water at a 60° angleWater sprayed and falling at an angle of up to 60° will not damage the light fixture
4Water splashes and sprays from any directionWater that is splashed or sprayed on the light fixture from any direction will not harm it
5Protection from water jets that utilize low pressure to spray waterLow-pressure water jets projected by nozzles (that are at least 6.3mm) from any direction will not damage the light fixture
6Protection against ocean waves and powerful water jets12.5mm water jets and waves hitting the light fixture from all directions will not destroy it
7Protection against temporary immersion up to 1mmThe light fixture is effectively sealed against water infiltration at depths of 1mm
8Protection against effects of immersion in pressurized applicationsThe light fixture is effectively sealed against water intrusion when immersed for a prolonged period. Acceptable conditions are specified by the manufacturer. It may be hermetically sealed or able to let in water, but the water does not adversely affect its functions.

What IP Rating Should You Choose For Your LED Fixture?

 

A popular LED water tight fixture is a  vapor proof light. They have a rugged, die-cast outer casing that protects its wiring and lamp socket from corrosive fumes, moisture, dust, and gases. It is usually installed where an ability to handle these hazards matters.

  • These lights are popular in:
  • food processing facilities, stairwells, subways
  • laundry facilities, swimming pools, car washes
  • riding arenas, automotive repair centers, barns
  • parking garages, commercial refrigeration facilities
  • kitchens, and bakeries.

These are environments where the fixtures have exposure to dirt, wetness, and dampness. Regular lighting fixtures will present a safety risk to the users.

E

IP65

Vapor tight light can withstand water sprayed at it by a 0.25 inch nozzle, regardless of the water’s direction. This light fixture is protected against such water jets and foreign bodies and works outdoors.

E

IP67

Provides total protection against dust. It can be submerged in 15 cm to 1 m of water for an extended period of time. IP67 rated fixtures also offer total protection against dust.

E

IP66

Waterproof light fixture can withstand water sprayed at it from a 0.5 inch nozzle from any direction.

E

IP68

LED lights with these ratings are completely protected against dust. They can be fully immersed in water deeper than 1 m for an extended period of time.

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