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IP Ratings Explained

IP Ratings Explained

Understanding the correct IP ratings you will need is an essential step when choosing any kind of electrical device.

For example, if you needed something to be completely waterproof, your product will need an IP rating of at least IP67. 

The first number after 'IP' corresponds to the products protection against foreign objects such as dust. This could be important if installing in an area that is exposed to high levels of dust such as timber factories etc.

The second number relates to its level of electrical protection from water. This could be of significant importance when installing lighting systems, as settings such as Kitchens and Bathrooms will need a much better protection from water than an area that has no chance of being exposed to it.

First Digit (intrusion protection)

  1. No special protection<
  2. Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
  3. Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
  4. Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
  5. Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc).
  6. Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
  7. Totally dust tight.


Second Digit (moisture protection)

  1. No protection.
  2. Protection against condensation
  3. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
  4. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
  5. Protected against water spray from all directions.
  6. Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
  7. Protection against string water jets and waves.
  8. Protected against temporary immersion.
  9. Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.


The most common IP ratings are 65, 66, 67 and 68. So for quick reference, these are defined below:
  • IP65  - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against water projected from a nozzle.
  • IP66  - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water.
  • IP 67  - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against immersion.
  • IP 68 - IP rated as "dust tight" and protected against complete, continuous submersion in water.
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