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What is IP Rating? Ultimate Guide (2023)

what is ip rating

Have you ever wondered how certain devices withstand dust, water, or other environmental factors? The Ingress Protection (IP) rating system is the answer. This globally recognized scale defines the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusions from foreign bodies and moisture. In this article, you’ll delve into the origins, significance, and specifics of IP ratings, understanding how they play a pivotal role in various industries. By the end, you’ll have a clear grasp of what those IP codes on your gadgets mean and how they ensure durability and reliability.

Origin and Significance of IP Ratings

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating system is a globally recognized scale that defines the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture. It is a crucial standard in various industries, ensuring that equipment and devices can withstand specific environmental conditions.

Origin of IP Ratings: The IP rating system was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is detailed in the IEC standard 60529. This standard was first published in 1976 and has since been adopted by various countries around the world. The system provides a standardized way to describe the level of protection an enclosure provides against solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water. The IP code typically consists of the letters “IP” followed by two digits. For instance, devices like led strip lights for stairs might have a specific IP code that typically consists of the letters “IP” followed by two digits. The first digit represents protection against solid objects, while the second digit indicates protection against liquids.

Significance of IP Ratings:

  1. Consumer Electronics: IP ratings are crucial in the consumer electronics industry, especially for devices like smartphones, tablets, and wearables. An IP68 rating, for instance, assures consumers that their device is dust-tight and can be submerged in water up to a certain depth without damage.
  2. Industrial Equipment: In industrial settings, machinery and equipment are often exposed to dust, water, and other environmental factors. IP ratings ensure that these machines can operate reliably in such conditions.
  3. Outdoor Lighting: For outdoor lighting solutions, especially with led lights, IP ratings are essential to ensure longevity and performance, even in adverse weather conditions.
  4. Healthcare: Medical devices, especially those used in surgeries or other critical procedures, often require high IP ratings to ensure they remain sterile and functional.

IP67 and IP68 are among the most sought-after ratings for consumer electronics and led strip lights, indicating water and dust resistance.

IP ratings, crucial for devices like led panel light, are not only about water and dust but also about protection against tools, wires, and even fingers.

In conclusion, IP ratings play a pivotal role in ensuring the durability and reliability of products across various industries. By understanding and adhering to these standards, manufacturers of products like led tube light can deliver items that meet consumers’ expectations and withstand challenging environmental conditions.

Understanding the IP Rating System

The IP rating system, crucial for products like led light strips for bedroom, is a universally recognized scale that provides consumers and manufacturers with a clear understanding of protection levels. This includes both solid objects and liquids. The system is crucial for ensuring the safety, functionality, and longevity of products, especially those exposed to potentially harmful environments.

First Digit: Protection Against Solid Objects

For instance, devices designed for spot lighting bar might have a first digit in the IP rating that signifies the level of protection against solid objects. This ranges from 0, which means no protection, to 6, indicating full protection against dust and other foreign bodies. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 0 – No protection against contact and ingress of objects.
  • 1 – Protection from a large part of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
  • 2 – Protection against fingers or similar objects.
  • 3 – Protection from entry by tools, thick wires, etc.
  • 4 – Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (e.g., most wires, screws, etc.).
  • 5 – Protection against dust that may harm equipment.
  • 6 – Totally dust-tight.

Second Digit: Protection Against Liquids

The second digit in the IP rating denotes the protection level against liquids and varies from 0 (no protection) to 8 (protection against continuous immersion). Here’s a detailed look:

  • 0 – Not protected.
  • 1 – Protection against vertically dripping water.
  • 2 – Protection against water when tilted up to 15°.
  • 3 – Protection against water spray up to 60° from vertical.
  • 4 – Protection against water splashing from any direction.
  • 5 – Protection against low-pressure water jets from any direction.
  • 6 – Protection against high-pressure water jets from any direction.
  • 7 – Protection against immersion up to 1 meter in depth.
  • 8 – Protection against long periods of immersion under pressure.
what is ip rating 
what is ip rating 

Common IP Ratings and Their Applications

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are a standard classification system that indicates the degree of protection provided by enclosures against external factors such as dust, water, and mechanical impacts. These ratings are crucial in determining the suitability of equipment for specific environments and applications. This section delves into some of the most common IP ratings and their typical applications.

IP65 Rating

The IP65 rating signifies that the equipment is dust-tight and can withstand water jets from any direction. This makes devices with an IP65 rating ideal for environments where they might be exposed to dust and occasional water splashes. Common applications include:

  • Outdoor Lighting: IP65-rated lights, including track lighting, are designed to withstand the elements, making them perfect for outdoor settings such as gardens, patios, and walkways.
  • Industrial Equipment: In industrial settings, machinery and equipment might be exposed to dust and water splashes. IP65-rated devices ensure that these external factors do not compromise the equipment’s functionality.

IP67 Rating

Devices with an IP67 rating are dust-tight and can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. This level of protection is often found in:

  • Smartphones: Many modern smartphones come with an IP67 rating, ensuring they can withstand accidental drops in water.
  • Outdoor Equipment and linear lighting solutions: Equipment used in outdoor adventures, such as camping or hiking, might benefit from an IP67 rating, especially if there’s a possibility of encountering water bodies.

IP68 Rating

The IP68 rating offers a higher level of water protection than IP67. While it’s also dust-tight, devices with this rating can be submerged in water beyond 1 meter, often up to 3 meters, for extended periods. Typical applications include:

  • High-end Smartphones and led profile devices: Premium smartphones often come with an IP68 rating, offering users peace of mind in case of accidental submersion.
  • Underwater Equipment: Devices designed for underwater use, such as diving cameras or certain types of sensors, often boast an IP68 rating to ensure optimal performance below the surface.
what is ip rating 
what is ip rating 

Importance of Proper Sealing

Proper sealing is paramount when it comes to achieving the desired IP ratings for devices and equipment. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating system is designed to specify the degree of protection an enclosure provides against external elements, such as dust, water, and foreign objects. The effectiveness of this protection is heavily reliant on the quality and appropriateness of the sealing used.

1. Role in Achieving Desired IP Ratings:
The first digit in an IP rating denotes protection against solid particles, while the second digit indicates protection against liquids. For instance, an IP68-rated device is dust-tight and can be submerged in water under specified conditions. Achieving such ratings requires meticulous sealing to ensure no ingress of dust or water. Any compromise in the sealing process can lead to a device failing to meet its intended IP rating.

2. Ensuring Longevity and Functionality:
Beyond just meeting IP ratings, proper sealing ensures the longevity and functionality of devices. Water ingress, for instance, can lead to short circuits, corrosion, and other forms of damage that can render a device inoperable. Similarly, dust and foreign particles can interfere with moving parts or block essential vents, leading to overheating or mechanical failures.

3. Comprehensive Data on Sealing:
A study titled “On the nature of surface roughness with application to contact mechanics, sealing, rubber friction and adhesion” emphasizes the significance of surface roughness in sealing. While the exact details from the study couldn’t be retrieved due to access restrictions, it’s evident from the title and abstract that the nature of surfaces plays a crucial role in effective sealing, especially in contact mechanics.

what is ip rating 
what is ip rating 

IP Ratings vs. Other Standards

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating system is a globally recognized method for indicating the degree of protection provided by enclosures of electrical equipment against the intrusion of foreign bodies (including body parts like hands and fingers) and moisture. But how does it compare to other protection standards, and why might it be preferred in certain scenarios?

  1. Universality: The IP rating system is universally recognized and understood. This means that a product with an IP rating can be sold in various markets without the need for multiple tests or certifications. This is not always the case with other standards, which might be specific to certain regions or industries.
  2. Specificity: IP ratings provide a clear and concise way to convey the level of protection an enclosure offers. The two-digit system is easy to interpret, with the first digit relating to protection against solids and the second digit to protection against liquids.
  3. Comparison with NEMA Ratings: In the United States, the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) rating is often used alongside or instead of IP ratings. While NEMA ratings also consider other factors like corrosion resistance, the IP rating system is more granular when it comes to levels of moisture protection. For instance, while a NEMA 4 enclosure is roughly equivalent to IP66, the IP system has additional ratings like IP67 and IP68, which denote protection against temporary and continuous immersion, respectively.
  4. Global Recognition: While other standards like NEMA are widely recognized in specific regions (e.g., North America), the IP rating system is recognized and used globally. This makes it easier for manufacturers to market their products worldwide.
  5. Adoption in Various Industries: The IP rating system is used across various industries, from consumer electronics to industrial machinery. This widespread adoption means that there’s a wealth of data and experience available for manufacturers and consumers alike.

In conclusion, while there are various protection standards available, the IP rating system stands out due to its clarity, specificity, and global recognition. Whether you’re a manufacturer looking to market your products globally or a consumer trying to understand the durability of a product, the IP rating system provides valuable insights.

Misconceptions and Misunderstandings

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are a standardized system that provides information about the protection level of devices against external factors like dust and water. However, there are several misconceptions surrounding IP ratings that can lead to misunderstandings. This section aims to address and clarify some of these misconceptions.

  1. IP68 is “Waterproof”: One of the most common misconceptions is that devices with an IP68 rating are “waterproof.” In reality, no device is entirely waterproof. IP68 means the device is dust-tight and can be submerged in water beyond 1 meter, often up to 3 meters, for extended periods. However, prolonged exposure or submersion at greater depths can still damage the device.
  2. Higher IP Rating Means Better Protection Against All External Factors: A higher IP rating does not necessarily mean better protection against all types of external factors. For instance, an IP68 device offers excellent water resistance but might not be as resistant to dust as an IP65 device.
  3. All IP Rated Devices are Suitable for Outdoor Use: While many IP-rated devices are designed for outdoor use, not all of them are suitable for all outdoor conditions. It’s essential to consider the specific IP rating and its meaning before using a device outdoors.
  4. IP Ratings Indicate Durability: IP ratings only indicate protection against dust and water. They do not provide information about a device’s overall durability or resistance to impacts, drops, or other forms of physical damage.
  5. IP Ratings are Permanent: Over time, wear and tear, damage, or manufacturing defects can compromise a device’s IP rating. Regular checks and maintenance are crucial to ensure that the device retains its IP rating.

Future of IP Ratings

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating system has been a cornerstone in defining the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against external intrusions. As technology continues to evolve, so does the need for more advanced and specific protection standards. The future of IP ratings is expected to witness significant advancements to cater to the ever-evolving technological landscape.

1. Advancements in Digital Mobile Radio (DMR):
A recent study from KDU highlighted the development of the Creeper, the first Hand-Held DMR designed for the Sri Lanka Military. This DMR aims to reduce capital cost investments in expensive DMRs and provide flexibility for future improvements. Such advancements indicate the need for more stringent IP ratings to ensure the durability and functionality of these devices in various conditions.

2. Evolving Technological Needs:
With the rise of wearable technology, IoT devices, and advancements in consumer electronics, there’s a growing demand for devices that can withstand diverse environmental conditions. This will necessitate the evolution of IP ratings to cater to specific needs, such as resistance to corrosive substances, extreme temperatures, or even high-pressure environments.

3. Comprehensive Data on Sealing:
The future of IP ratings will also be influenced by advancements in sealing technologies. As devices become more intricate, the need for precise and effective sealing becomes paramount. This will lead to the development of new materials and techniques that offer superior protection against external elements.

In conclusion, the future of IP ratings is poised for significant advancements. As technology continues to push boundaries, the IP rating system will evolve to ensure that devices remain protected, functional, and durable in diverse environments.

IP ratings are more than just numbers; they are a testament to a product’s resilience against environmental challenges. From consumer electronics to industrial machinery, these ratings ensure that devices meet the expectations of durability and reliability. As technology advances, the IP rating system will continue to evolve, adapting to the ever-changing needs of the modern world. Whether you’re a manufacturer or a consumer, understanding IP ratings is crucial in making informed decisions about product quality and longevity.


What IP rating for bathroom lights?

  • Bathroom lighting should have a minimum IP Rating of IP44 which means protection against particles larger than 1mm in size and protection against water splashes.

What IP rating for bathroom?

  • When it comes to bathroom lighting, the requisite IP rating is determined by its proximity to a water source. Spaces directly above a shower or bath are considered “Zone 1” while those within 60cm of a water source are “Zone 2”. Both zones require a rating of at least IPX4, so IP44 is acceptable.

What is IP rating for lights?

  • The IP (Ingress Protection) rating of a bulb or light fixture indicates its level of protection against dirt and water. Any fixture used in bathrooms, gardens, or wet environments should have an IP rating sufficient to prevent the ingress of dust and water.

What IP rating for outdoor lights?

  • For outdoor lights, it’s recommended to have an IP rating of IP45 or higher. IP65 provides the highest level of protection against external elements.

What IP rating is waterproof?

  • The ratings widely accepted as ‘waterproof’ for most general purposes are IP65, IP66, and IP67. However, it’s essential to note that the term ‘waterproof’ is applicable under specific conditions.

What is the best IP rating for outdoor lighting?

  • For outdoor lighting, it’s recommended to look for products with an IP rating of IP45 or higher. IP65 provides the highest level of protection against external elements.

What IP rating for kitchen lights?

  • For kitchen lights located above the stove or sink, an IP rating of at least IPx4 is needed to protect against moisture buildup. However, lights above a bench or table in the kitchen would typically only require an IP20 rating, as they are less likely to come into contact with water.

Has been temporarily rate limited due to IP reputation?

  • Being “temporarily rate limited due to IP reputation” typically means that the IP address from which emails are being sent has been flagged for suspicious activity or is suspected of sending spam. This can result in emails being delayed or not delivered. The rate limit is imposed to prevent potential spam or malicious activity from that IP. It’s essential to ensure that emails sent from that IP adhere to best practices and are not flagged as spam. If this issue persists, it might be necessary to contact the email service provider or check the IP’s reputation on various platforms.

How do IP ratings work?

  • IP ratings, which stand for “Ingress Protection,” are typically represented by two digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection against intrusion of solid objects (like dust), and the second digit indicates the resistance against moisture intrusion. For example, an IP65 rating means the device is dust-tight and can withstand water jets from any direction. The higher the numbers after “IP,” the better the protection offered by the device or enclosure
  1. How to check IP rating?
  • To check the IP rating of a device or product, you can refer to its specifications or manual, where the IP rating is typically listed. The IP rating is represented as “IP” followed by two digits. The first digit indicates protection against solid objects, and the second digit indicates protection against liquids. Some online tools and charts, like the IP Rating Checker by SensorsONE, can also help you understand and verify the IP ratings.
  1. How to check IP rating of mobile?
  • To determine the IP rating of your mobile phone, you can refer to its instruction manual. If you no longer have the manual, you can visit websites like GSM Arena and search for your phone model. The IP rating should be listed under the ‘Body’ section. The IP rating will give you an idea of the phone’s resistance to dust and water.
  1. How to test IP rating?
  • IP (Ingress Protection) testing is conducted to determine a product’s level of protection against the intrusion of solid objects (like dust) and liquids. Standardized tests are applied to obtain an IP rating. The first number after ‘IP’ indicates the protection against solid objects, while the second number indicates protection against liquids. Testing involves assessing the product’s ability to withstand specific conditions, such as dust exposure or immersion in water, based on the desired IP rating. Various certified laboratories and organizations offer IP testing services to ensure that products meet the specified standards.
  1. How to get an IP rating?
  • To obtain an IP (Ingress Protection) rating for a product, it must undergo testing. This testing should be conducted by an independent, certified company. The company will then assign a numerical IP rating to the product based on the results of the tests they have conducted. The IP rating will indicate the level of protection the product offers against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids.

More Article about IP Rating 


About Gilbert

Our email: [email protected] Dear readers of Kosoom.uk! I am delighted to introduce myself as Gilbert, your dedicated source of enlightenment when it comes to LED lights. If you have questions about any LED lights, please feel free to contact us to our email: [email protected] We will give you a satisfactory answer as soon as possible. Hailing from the heart of England, I bring to you a wealth of professional expertise and a passion for all things LED. As an Englishman with a fervent interest in illumination technology, I have made it my mission to illuminate the path to understanding LED lights, tailored especially for the inquisitive minds of Britain. With a background steeped in the intricacies of LED technology, I stand ready to shed light on every facet of this brilliant innovation. Through my articles, I intend to guide you through the captivating world of LED lights, providing you with insights that not only unravel the science behind these luminous marvels but also highlight their practical applications and benefits in the UK context. In collaboration with Kosoom, I embark on this journey to demystify LED lights for you. Whether you're curious about the evolution of LED technology, eager to decipher the nuances of LED color temperatures, or seeking advice on optimizing lighting choices for your home, workplace, or public spaces, I am your trusted companion. My articles will offer you clear, concise, and expertly-crafted explanations that bridge the gap between complex technical jargon and approachable, relatable understanding. Stay tuned for a series of articles that will not only elevate your understanding but also brighten up your perspectives on the art and science of lighting.

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