When we buy an electronic item we look for the IP rating to check the degree of protection against water resistant, waterproof and dust proof. The IP rating or Ingress Protection marking is a common standard published by IEC (International Electro technical Commission). The ingress protection ratings define an international standard EN 60529.
The IP rating shows whether the device is durable and secure as an electronic device when it comes in contact with human, dirt, dust and water. Terms like waterproof are best defined by the IP rating. When we are introduced to any electric device as waterproof, the first thing that comes to our mind is – How waterproof it really is? Can we use it only in light rain or can it be left outdoors throughout the year? Or can we even use it underwater? Hence, to answer all our queries Ingress Protection rating was developed.
To explain the term IP Rating, it actually consists of abbreviation IP followed by two digits. The first digit rates Protection from ingress of solid foreign objects and the second digit rates Protection from ingress of liquid or liquid protection. Solid protection is also known as dust resistance and liquid protection is known as water resistance.
Solid protection levels starts from 0 to 6 and liquid protection levels starts from 0 to 9. This is an example of IP rating to describe a flood light – IP44. If the objects rated has only one level of protection, for example water resistance, an, “X” symbol can be used instead of a number, example - IPX1.
IP ratings and Flood light
IP rating is used to specify flood lighting. Flood lights are mainly used in outdoors and IP rating is an important factor to indicate on each flood light. Often manufacturers test the device to provide correct IP ratings in their products, so customers can find the best flood light as per their need.
In simple IP rating shows how protective housing of the flood light is. As flood light casing plays an important role in providing overall durability and quality it protects the electric parts like wires, ballasts, bulbs or diodes, solar panels and other parts, from outdoor impacts like dust and rain. Good casing of flood light will be 100% dust proof and it will protect flood light fixture from all possible damages that an outdoor flood light might experience.
So, when purchasing an outdoor flood light, we need to the right levels of IP rating. For this we need to consider two things – weather conditions in an area and the type of flood light we intended to purchase.
Some of the popular IP ratings for flood lights and their meanings are:-
- IP44 (usually motion activated solar flood lights) : This means that lighting fixture is protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm and water splashing from any direction.
- IP54 (usually motion activated solar flood lights) : It differs from IP44 flood light with better sealed housing that is protected against dust ingress.
- IP55(usually solar flood and spot lights) : IP55 rated lighting fixtures are protects against dust ingress and water jets projected by a nozzle.
- IP64 (usually all in one fixture solar flood lights) : IP64 flood lights are rated dust tight, so they are fully protected against dust ingress. These lights also protects against water splashing from any direction..
- IP65 (most LED and solar flood lights) : This is the most popular IP rating for flood lights. In this category we will find regular LED flood lights and portable flood and work lights. This rating means that lighting fixture is fully dust tight and is protected against water jets projected by a nozzle.
- IP66 (LED flood lights) : IP66 rating can mostly be found on regular LED flood lights. Only few solar flood lights are rated IP66. It protects electronics of the lighting fixture against strong jets of water.
- IP67 and IP68 (high quality LED flood lights) : Powerful, high quality flood and work lights are rated IP67 and IP68. These lights are made for special, difficult working conditions. They are dust tight and are protected against effects of immersion into the water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Lights with IP68 rating are dust tight and are protected against long periods of immersion in water under pressure.