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The LED Lighting IP Rating Guide

The LED Lighting IP Rating Guide





The LED Lighting IP Rating Guide shows the big difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Not certain what IP Rating you need when it comes to lighting projects? Interpreting charts and labeling can be confusing—especially between a liquid protection rating of 7 or 8. 

In this article, we’ve made it easy for you to determine the level of enclosure protection you need for any lighting project.

A concise breakdown of the IP Rating nomenclature.

In an environment where dust or water could damage electronic components—such as LED strip lighting—a sealed enclosure is used to prevent exposure and protect the electronics. The Ingress Protection or IP rating refers to the level of protection offered by the enclosure against both solids and liquids.

What do the two digits in an IP Rating mean?

The rating consists of the letters IP followed by two digits, which indicate the degree of protection offered for both solids and liquids—according to the ANSI/IEC 60529-2020. The higher the number the better the protection. 

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against the ingress of solid foreign objects that could damage circuitry including tools, fingers, materials, and dust.

The second digit defines the protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion, etc).

Sometimes a number is replaced by X, which indicates that the enclosure is not rated for that specification.

5050 IP20 Flexi-Tape

Example: IP67 Flexi-Tape

The first digit represents the protection against solid objects (6) and the second number (7) against water. An IP67 Flexi-Tape enclosure completely prevents ingress of dust (6) and protects from immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth. (7)—based on the reference chart below.

IP Rating Reference Chart

First Digit – Protection from SOLIDS

X – Not rated

0 – No protection/ No test required

1 – Protected against objects greater than 50mm diameter

2 – Protected against objects greater than 12.5mm diameter, such as a finger

3 – Protected against objects greater than 2.5mm

4 – Protected against objects greater than 1.0mm

5 – Protected from limited dust ingress, dust does not enter in harmful quantities to interfere with the correct operation or impair safety

6 – Total protection from dust ingress

Second Digit – Protection for LIQUIDS

X – Not rated

0 – No protection / No test required

1 – Protected against vertically falling drops of water

2 – Protected against vertically falling water drops when enclosure tilted up to 15°l

3 – Protected from low-pressure water spray less than 60 degrees from vertical

4 – Protected from low-pressure water splash from any direction

5 – Protected from low-pressure water jets—similar to a water hose—from any direction

6 – Protected from high-pressure water jets—similar to a fire hose—from any direction

7 – Protected from temporary immersion between 15 centimeters and 1 meter in depth for 30 minutes.

8 – Protected from continuous immersion for a specified depth and time. Conditions should be more severe than for numeral 7.

9K – Protected from steam-jet cleaning

Choosing the right IP Rated LED lighting solution doesn’t have to be difficult when you utilize the reference chart. If you have any questions regarding which product best fits your project needs or would like to discuss a custom lighting solution, please contact us. When you choose Vista as your lighting partner, you’re adding the expertise of our lighting professionals, engineers, and designers to your team!

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Since 1971, Vista has helped manufacturers gain a competitive advantage. We merge quality and innovative lighting products with cost-effective pricing and on-time delivery. To learn more, please contact us or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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