Understanding IP ratings
IP ratings are a bit difficult to understand straight off the bat, especially if it is the first time you're buying lighting.
IP means "international protection". It's also known as "ingress protection". These are identical in meaning and are the same worldwide.
What the IP rating numbers mean
First of all, the position of the numbers are what they represent. The first number represents physical dry protection, while the second number represents physical wet protection. Lights can be damaged if the IP rating of the chosen light does not match its environment.
Dust, water and even leaves can damage lighting over time. Also, warranties become voided for lights that have not been installed in the proper places.
Next is what the numbers themselves mean. They go from low to high; 0 being no protection and 6 (in the case of dry) or 8 (in the case of wet) being the highest protection available.
This handy chart shows the specifics of the numbers. As you can see, an IP rating of 00 would have no protection. An IP of 44 would be protected from leaves and rain, but not dust. An IP of 68 is both dust and waterproof.
What IP rating do you need for each room?
The IP rating you need depends on where you are placing your lights. A hallway, living room, bedroom, study, dining room, toilet or sun room would generally not need any protection from water. Unless you specifically need dust protection, the minimum IP of 00 is usable for these areas.
IP ratings for kitchens
For a kitchen, the IP rating depends on where your position your light. A light above the stove or sink needs an IP rating of at least IPx4, to protect against moisture buildup (the dry protection rating is completely up to you). Whereas a kitchen light above a bench or a table would only need an IP20, as no water would likely come into contact with it.
Bathroom IP ratings
Bathrooms have strict regulations on the IP rating needed. There are 3 zones in showers; zone 0, zone 1 and zone 2.
Zone 0 is inside baths and shower bases. An rating of at least IPx7 is needed for these areas as they will be submerged in water.
Zone 1 is above baths and on the walls of showers. The minimum for these areas is IPx4.
Zone 2 is above the sink, the shower and the bath. Again, a rating of IPx4 is needed for these places as water may still be splashed here.
IP ratings for outdoor areas
Outside is yet another place IP ratings come into place. Unless you live by the sea, an IP rating of 44 can be used for general outdoor lighting. Undercover outdoor areas can use IP12 rated lighting and above.
Seaside residents are suggested to choose lights with an rating of IP56 or IP66 due to heavy rainfall and stronger gusts of wind carrying particles.
Pools, fountains and ponds need an IP67-IP68 rating if the light is submerged. For lights surrounding fountains, pools or ponds, a rating of IP54 or higher is suggested.
Hopefully this has helped you understand IP ratings a little bit better and allow you to make an informed choice on your lighting.
Our exterior and coach lights and our landscape lighting currently have ratings of IP12-IP56 depending on the model.
For your interior, our higher IP rated stock includes our Brightgreen products and downlights. These range from IP12-IP65 depending on the product.
Our statement lights are generally IP12. If the light you're interested in doesn't have an IP rating yet, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will check for you.
While we strive to include all data on our products, sometimes our stockists do not provide all details.