What do we mean by IP rating?

“IP” stands for “International Protection Rating” but it is often referred to simply as “Ingress Protection”.  An IP code classifies and rates the degree of protection provided by the casing of an electric device against intrusion. In most cases this level of protection is indicated in IPXX format, whereby the first X digit indicates the level of protection against solid foreign objects, while the second X indicates the level of protection against harmful ingress of water. Rarely, we may also encounter codes in an IPXXX format in which the last X is an additional digit referring to a specific attribute or test environment. The higher the numbers after “IP”, the higher the level of protection provided. 0 always indicates the lack of the given form of protection, while full protection against solid objects is marked by 6 and full protection against water by 9.
The most widespread IP codes are IP20, IP44, IP54, IP67, IP69K


Protection against solid objects:

0 - no protection
1 - protected against solid objects larger than 50 mm
2 - protected against solid objects larger than 12 mm
3 - protected against solid objects larger than 2.5 mm
4 - protected against solid objects larger than 1 mm
5 - protected against the ingress of dust in a non-damaging quantity
6 - completely protected against the ingress of dust


Protection against liquid ingress:

0 - no protection
1- protection against dripping water
2 - protection against dripping water when tilted at maximum 15°
3 - protection against spraying water at any angle up to 60°
4 - protection against splashing of water from any direction
5 - protection against low-pressure water jets
6 - protection against powerful waterjets and immersion
7 - protection against immersion in water for a limited time (max. 1m, max. 30 min.)
8 - suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions (depth and time) specified by the manufacturer
9 - protection against high-pressure water jets


Additional codes:

  • A: Protection against access with the hands.
  • B: Protection against access with the fingers.
  • C: Protection against access with a tool.
  • D: Protection against access with a wire.
  • F: Protection against oil.
  • H: High voltage (> 1kV) device.
  • M: Device moving during water test.
  • S: Device standing still during water test.
  • W: Can be used under given weather conditions.
  • K: Protection against pressure, thus it may even be cleaned with a steam cleaner (only for IP69).


Where to use IP rated light sources?


The use of light sources with IP rating is usually recommended outdoors where they are subject to partial or continuous environmental stress. In the case of open terraces and gazebos with a closed ceiling an IP23 protection might be enough, in the case of pergolas and outdoor standing luminaires the use of light sources with a protection level of at least IP44 is recommended. In the case of lighting fixtures mounted on facades, IP65 is recommended.



IP rated lamps are practical not only outdoors but also indoors, for example, in bathrooms, basements, and other wet, humid rooms. We recommend the use of these lamps in bathrooms in line with the following illustration.

Zone 0: The bathtub and shower tray itself. At these places only low-voltage LED lighting can be used, at least IPx7.

Zone 1: The floor area of the bathtub/shower tray up to a height of 2 m. In these areas it is enough to use low- and high voltage light sources with at least an IPx5 protection.

Zone 2: These are the areas next to “Zone 1” for up to a 0.5-1 m distance in all directions. Here the use of light sources with at least an IPx4 protection is recommended, irrespective of voltage.

In the areas outside these zones there is no need to use light sources with IP protection.


Click on the following link to see our products protected against ingress of water:

Avide lamps with protection against ingress of water