IP Ratings


Definition of IP Ratings

Ingress protection (IP) rating is a ranking system for the degree of protection provided by an enclosure for electrical equipment with a rated voltage of 72.5 kV and below.

IP ratings are defined by the International Standard EN 60529, which classifies the degree of ingress of an enclosure i.e. the protection against the intrusion of solid and liquid objects such as dust and water.

The ratings provide a baseline for comparing products. So, instead of referring to a product ambiguously as waterproof, an IP rating defines the exact protection provided. Is it just against water splashes or even submersion?

Ip ratings consist of the letters IP followed by two digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solid foreign objects such as dust or insects. The second letter, on the other hand, represents the degree of protection against liquids such as water.

The higher the number, the better the protection. For instance, a rating of 0 on the first digit means the enclosure provides no protection against solid objects. In contrast, a rating of 6 means the product (in this case a marine light) is completely dustproof.

The table below outlines the levels of protection provided as indicated with digits for both solid and liquid objects.

IP Number Protection Against Solid Objects Protection Against Liquid Objects
0 No special protection No protection
1 Protected against solid objects up to 50 mm, e.g., accidental touch by a person's hands Protected against vertically falling drops of water, e.g., condensation
2 Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm, e.g., a person's fingers Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires) Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60° from the vertical
4 Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires) Protected against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted
5 Protected against dust-limited ingress (no harmful deposit) Protected against low-pressure jets of water from all directions - limited ingress
6 Totally protected against dust Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g., for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted

While the highest rating for solid objects is 6, the protection for liquid objects extends to 8, as follows:

  • 7: Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 100 cm
  • 8: Protected against long periods of immersion under pressure

So for instance, our LED Dimmer switch has an IP rating of 67. This means the switch is completely dustproof and protected against immersion in water for up to one meter.

Related Terms for IP Ratings