Many of our fittings, and indeed many electrical goods you can buy elsewhere, come with what’s known as IP Ratings – which are commonly interpreted as how waterproof an object is.
While this is true, it only tells half the story. You see IP Ratings also tell you how well something protects against foreign bodies or objects.
The secret is hidden inside of the two numbered digits that you’ll find in every IP code. Let’s break it down.
At the beginning of every IP code are the letters IP – this simply stands for International Protection Marking, or also Ingress Protection Marking.
There are then two numbered digits that follow this. The first digit indicates how well the object guards against foreign objects like wires, conductors and moving parts. Here’s 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.
And that’s all there is to it! So for example, let’s say you have an LED Strip Light that’s rated at 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 we’ve made sense of IP ratings, you should be able to order a waterproofed items based on where you need to use it!