When choosing your outdoor lighting did you know you should always check the IP rating?

IP Rating stands for ingress protection, aka how much protection there is against water and other factors getting into a fitting. It plays a pivotal role in determining the suitability of external light fittings for different environmental conditions.

The IP rating is a standard classification system that determines the degree of protection a light fixture offers against foreign objects like dust, leaf litter, and moisture such as rain and condensation. This rating is especially crucial when choosing lighting solutions for outdoor spaces where exposure to the elements is inevitable.

What is an IP rating, you ask? An IP rating consists of two digits that convey specific information about a light fitting’s resistance to various environmental factors. The first digit indicates the degree of protection against solids, such as dust and debris, while the second digit signifies the level of protection against liquids, including water.


Understanding the digits:

The first digit in an IP rating relates to the protection against solid objects and particulate matter. It ranges from 0 to 6, with higher numbers indicating increased protection as per below.

  • IP0X: No special protection
  • IP1X: Protection against objects larger than 50mm (e.g., a hand).
  • IP2X: Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm (e.g., fingers).
  • IP3X: Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm (e.g., tools and wires).
  • IP4X: Protection against objects larger than 1mm (e.g., small tools and wires).
  • IP5X: Dust-protected; limited ingress permitted (no harmful deposit).
  • IP6X: Dust-tight—complete protection against dust.


The second digit in an IP rating pertains to protection against liquids, such as water. It ranges from 0 to 9, with higher numbers indicating increased resistance.

  • IPX0: No special protection.
  • IPX1: Protection against vertically falling water droplets (condensation).
  • IPX2: Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15 degrees from vertical (light rain).
  • IPX3: Protection against water sprayed at an angle up to 60 degrees from vertical (moderate rain).
  • IPX4: Protection against water splashed from all directions (heavy rain).
  • IPX5: Protection against water jets projected from a nozzle (low-pressure water jets).
  • IPX6: Protection against powerful water jets (high-pressure water jets).
  • IPX7: Protection against temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
  • IPX8: Protection against continuous immersion in water under conditions specified by the manufacturer.

When selecting outdoor light fittings, it is crucial to consider the specific environmental conditions they will face. For areas prone to heavy rain, strong water jets, or dust accumulation, a higher IP rating such as IP65 or IP66 is recommended to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the fixtures external to your home.


Still have questions and want to know more? Write us or give us a quick call and we can help guide you!