You see IP ratings all the time on LED products but have you ever wondered what they actually mean?

Many electrical goods, including LED lighting, come with whats known as an IP Rating yet it’s surprising how many people still don’t know how to use them.

Well, put simply, the IP number tells you how water an electrical object is to foreign objects or bodies.

IP stands for International Protection Marking, or also Ingress Protection Marking and this is then followed by two numbered digits.

The first digit indicates how well the object guards against foreign objects like wires, dust, conductors and moving parts, while the second number lets you know how water-resistant it is.

Heres a breakdown of what that first digit means.

0 No protection.

1 Protection against objects larger than 50mm, but no protection against deliberate access.

2 Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm.

3 Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm.

4 Protection against objects larger than 1mm.

5 Dust Protected guards against most dust entry, ensuring satisfactory operation of the equipment.

6 Dust Tight Guards against all entry of dust.

… the second digit tells you how well the object guards against water the ratings are as follows.

0 No Protection.

1 Protects against vertical dripping water.

2 Protects against vertical dripping water when the equipment is tilted at a 15o angle.

3 Protects against vertical sprays of water when the equipment is tilted at a 60o angle.

4 Protects against splashes of water from any direction.

5 Protects against light jets of water from any direction.

6 Protects against strong jets of water from any direction.

7 Protects against complete immersion up to 1 metre.

8 Protects against complete immersion at depths beyond 1 metre.

So, for example, if you have an LED Strip Light that has an IP rating of 67 (IP67), this means that it is completely dust tight, and that it can be submerged in water at depths of up to 1 metre.

Now that you know just what an IP rating is and what it means, feel free to take a look at our vast range of LED tapes and LED Bulbs, all of which have their own IP rating which is especially useful when it comes to outdoor projects and installations.