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Importance of IP Ratings for LED Lighting

What is an IP rating?

The IP rating stands for Ingress Protection Marking - it rates the inherent degree of 'sealing protection' provided by the mechanical casing/electrical enclosure of a device against intrusion from foreign bodies (e.g. - fingers, tools, wires, insects, dust etc.) and forms of water exposure (e.g. - condensation, droplets, direct spray, full submersion etc.)

Each IP rating, has TWO digits to define its level of protection - an "x" is used as one of the digits if there is only one class of protection. The European Standard EN 60529 outlines the IP ratings as an international classification system for "enclosures for electrical equipment" as follows:

The first digit of the IP code indicates the degree that persons are protected against contact with moving parts (other than smooth rotating shafts, etc.) and the degree that equipment is protected against solid foreign bodies intruding into an enclosure.

The second digit indicates the degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against the harmful entry of various forms of moisture (e.g. dripping, spraying, submersion, etc.)

 

Why are IP rating required for lighting?

When choosing light fixtures for an industrial building, the IP rating specification should reflect the environmental conditions that the light fitting is likely to experience.

The first digit of the IP code (protection against touching of live parts & access of solid items/bodies) will primarily be used to refer to the level of dust/debris protection of the light source in the housing (some industrial environments will have very high level of particulates)

The second digit of the IP code (protection against the harmful ingress of liquids) will be used to prevent the possibility of internal short circuiting of the light wiring & ballast by liquid - this is a possibility due to on-site industrial processes emitting liquid sprays, cleaning routines using water jets etc.

 

IP Ratings for LED Luminaires

First digit definitions: 

1 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has no special protection

2 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection from solid objects greater than 50mm

3 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against objects greater than 12mm in diameter

4 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against objects with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more

5 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against objects 1mm in diameter

6 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against harmful dust 

 

Second digit definitions: 

1 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against dripping water

2 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical

3 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against spray up to 60° from vertical

4 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against water spray from all directions

5 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)

6 - The LED industrial lighting fixture has protection against strong water jets

7 - The LED industrial lighting fixture is protected against temporary immersion in water

8 - The LED industrial lighting fixture is protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure

 

Would you like to know more on the frequently asked questions on LED technology? Click here.

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Importance of IP Ratings for LED Lighting by R. STAHL