What is the difference between IP44 and IP65? How to read the protection rating data

What is the difference between IP44 and IP65? How to read the protection rating data

It is common to find an IP protection rating on lighting fixtures, but what does this actually mean? When should you buy a product with an IP rating?

IP is the abbreviation for "Ingress Protection" or "International Protecting rating", which refers to the degree of resistance and protection of electrical equipment enclosures against the possible ingress of solids or liquids. It is classified by the standard IEC EN 60529/1997 (formerly IEC 70-1) of the International Electrotechnical Commission, a global organization that ensures this classification is consistent and regulated worldwide, with no differences between countries.

How to read the IP protection rating for lighting?

The first digit after IP indicates the degree of protection against contact with hazardous parts and the penetration of solid objects (in non-technical terms, it refers to "dust tightness"), and the second digit indicates protection against moisture and water (for objects simply called "waterproof").

1st number - Protection rating against the penetration of solid objects

0 - no protection

1 - protected against solid objects greater than 50 mm

2 - protected against solid objects greater than 12 mm

3 - protected against solid objects greater than 2.5 mm

4 - protected against solid objects greater than 1 mm

5 - protected against dust

6 - totally protected against dust

2nd digit - Protection rating against liquid penetration

0 - no protection

1 - protected against vertical water drops

2 - protected against water drops or rain falling up to 15° from the vertical

3 - protected against water drops or rain falling up to 60° from the vertical

4 - protected against water splashes from all directions

5 - protected against water jets

6 - protected against powerful water jets

7 - protected against temporary immersion effects

8 - protected against continuous immersion effects

How to choose the IP protection rating?

For a chandelier hanging in the living room, a wall sconce in the bedroom, or a spotlight in the hallway, no specific protection is necessary. However, lighting fixtures installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor spaces require an IP rating to prevent debris or water from entering, damaging them, and causing harm to people and property. Therefore, there is a significant difference between IP21, IP44, and IP65, for example: the higher the IP rating, the more resistant the fixture will be to moisture, water, and debris, and can be placed in various spaces.

IP protection rating, some examples of the most common ones

Is it better to choose an IP23 or do you need a higher rating? And what is the difference between IP44 and IP65? Here are some examples of the most commonly used protection ratings.

IP23 rating

The degree of protection that is considered theoretically sufficient for outdoor applications, for example, for luminaires placed under a canopy at the entrance or on a covered balcony. IP23 lights should not come into direct contact with various weather influences but may occasionally be exposed to moisture.

IP44 rating

The splash protection rating, suitable for bathrooms in areas around the shower cubicle, sink, or bathtub. The IP44 rating is also intended for equipment located in outdoor areas that remain covered but are in contact with moisture, splashes, and occasional sprays coming from all directions.

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IP65 rating

It ensures total protection against the penetration of solid bodies and liquids by drops, vapor, splashes, and water jets from any direction. Electrical appliances that are placed outdoors and remain there even when it rains, or in the bathroom, in the areas closest to the shower, sink, and bathroom fixtures in general, where there is usually a lot of humidity and water splashes are possible, must have an IP65 protection.

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