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IP Ratings are used to classify different degrees of protection against intrusion or immersion

IP Ratings are used to classify different degrees of protection against intrusion or immersion

The world is ever-changing and evolving around us and with the influence of technology as one of the largest factors, we are constantly made to keep up with the changes.

Technology in lighting has highly evolved and with the growing popularity of items such as LED lighting and smart phones, the public should be becoming more aware of IP ratings and their importance – let’s face it how many of us are frequently worried about dust or water damage to our precious phones? The same concern should also be directly applied to lighting.

Dust and water-proofing used to be features associated with the kind of tough phones you’d expect mountain-climbers to pack into their rucksacks. Or the phones people on construction sites take to work. Times have now changed and the ability to brave the elements in phones continues to develop. These days waterproof and water-resistant smart phones on the market are not huge ‘rugged’ phones, but sleek, pocket-friendly handsets with some of today’s best features.

Protected devices are judged by the Ingress Protection Rating, also known as the International Protection Rating (IP rating). This rating system is also directly applicable to lighting and is essential to products where it is important to monitor or stop the ingress of dirt and/or water (such as outdoor accent lighting, garden lighting and swimming pools/ponds as well as indoor areas where water is present such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries).

IP stands for Ingress Protection and is fundamentally a rating system developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission or the IEC. The system is now being used to classify different degrees of protection against intrusion or immersion. The IP rating is an informative way to communicate how well a product is guarded against dust or water from damaging a product 1

In an IP rating the first number always refers to dust protection, while the second refers to water resistance. For example, a rating of IP54 would mean a dust protection rating of 5 and a water resistance rating of 4. Dust-resistance levels go from 0 up to 6 while water-resistance goes from 0 to 9 (see table for further explanation)

When it comes to light fittings, many people are concerned if the fitting is suitable for their bathroom or outdoors. Rui Pi (Compliance Officer) from ANL Lighting states,

Some questions we often get from our customers are ‘is this fitting suitable for my bathroom’ or ‘are these fittings suitable for use outdoors or in wet areas near a pool’, so understanding IP ratings is fundamental knowledge for our representatives to pass onto our customers.”

As a recommendation, ANL Lighting suggest a minimum of IP65 for outdoor applications in temperate climates. Rui Pi suggests,

Generally we recommend IP65 for exposed outdoor lighting with the option to drop down to IP44 for covered areas i.e. Patios, where there is roof cover and low exposure to water and rain.”

Due to the growing popularity of beautifully landscaped gardens and outdoor accent features, alongside the concerns of product performance to natural elements such as dust and rain, Vibe Lighting are set to launch their new Elite series of LED Recessed Ground Lights and LED Outdoor Projector Lights.

With an IP rating of 68, the soon to be released Elite series of products offer supreme waterproof and dust protection. With the LED Recessed Ground Lights and LED Outdoor Projector Lights’ IP68 rating, coupled with energy efficient CREE LED chips, advanced construction and a 3 year warranty, makes these products the first choice for anyone looking for the perfect lighting solution to wet indoor or outdoor environments.

The Vibe brand of light fittings is synonymous with style and quality. Vibe supplies an ever growing network of lighting retailers and hardware stores, electricians, landscape designers, architects and builders with a wide range of lamps, light fittings and other electrical merchandise.

Please visit www.vibelighting.com.au for further information on IP68 Exterior LED Fittings and to download specification sheets or call 1300 300 301.
1. IP Rating Chart. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.dsmt.com/resources/ip-rating-chart

This table represents the various levels of protection as well as what each number means:

(Protection against ingress of water)
0No Protection0No Protection
1Protected against solid objects over 50mm in size. Eg large tools
1Protected against vertically falling drops of water
2Protected against solid objects over 12mm in size. Eg fingers and hands2Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 15 degrees from vertical. Eg light rain
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm in size. Eg wires and small tools3Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 60 degrees from vertical. Eg strong rain
4Protected against solid objects over 1mm in size. Eg wires and bugs4Protected against sprays of water from all directions. Eg gentle spray with a hose pipe
5Limited protection against dust ingress, dust does enter but not sufficient enough to ruin item5Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions. Eg strong spray with hose pipe
6Totally protected against dust ingress - dust-proof!6Protected against strong jets of water from all directions. Eg cleaning light with high pressure hose
77Protected against temporary immersion in water
88Protected against continuous immersion in water (under conditions specified by the manufacturer)


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