NEMA Rating


Definition of Nema Rating

NEMA rating is a standardized classification system that defines the degree of protection of an electrical enclosure or housing against environmental factors such as dust, water, and other external conditions.

NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the organization that develops the technical standards for electrical equipment.

The rating is the North American equivalent of IP Ratings, barring differences in testing methods and parameters. For example, NEMA rating is strictly for electrical enclosures while IP rating can be used for all sorts of devices, even cell phones.

In a nutshell, the ratings can be grouped as follows:

  • NEMA types 1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 12K enclosures are intended for indoor use
  • NEMA types 7–10 are meant for hazardous locations
  • NEMA type 4X protects against water splashes, windblown dust, and corrosion
  • NEMa types 3X, 3RX, and 3SX enclosures protect against corrosion
  • NEMA type 6 can be submerged 6 feet for 30 minutes
  • NEMA type 6P can be submerged 6 feet for 24 hours

Here’s a video detailing each type of NEMA rating.

If you’re looking to kit out your boat with the appropriate electrical equipment, you need to look out for NEMA type 6 and 6P rating; at the very least a type 4X. These are the equivalent of IP66, IP67, and IP68.

A good example is the Hella 360 Compact Anchor Lamp LED, with IP67 rating equivalent to NEMA type 6.

Example of NEMA Rating in a Sentence

"The NEMA rating of a lighting fixture provides valuable information on its ability to withstand certain environmental conditions."

Related Terms for NEMA Rating