You might already be familiar with IP ratings, which is a measure of how weatherproof a light fitting is. However, you might not be familiar with another measure of how durable a light fitting is: the IK rating.

IK ratings represent Impact Protection, with the K standing for kinetic to distinguish it from the Ingress Protection of IP ratings. It represents the degree to which a fitting can resist external impacts.

IK Ratings are uncovered by a specific test known as a ‘Charpy Pendulum’ test, where various parts of the light are subjected to three identical impacts. Even weaker parts of the light are tested, to ensure maximum accuracy.

Where Is A High IK Rating Important?

IK Ratings aren’t extremely relevant for most light fittings, especially those used in domestic settings, but they’re very important for lights that might be used in high traffic commercial areas, particularly work sites, schools, car parks and other similar locations.

In short, if you’re looking for lights that will be used in a commercial area that will see a lot of people and has a higher risk of vandalism, or a busy site where there’s a risk of things bumping into the light on accident, then checking the IK rating is an important step.

A damaged light fitting may stop working optimally, or even stop working entirely. It could also cause a hazard in public spaces, due to debris and reduced illumination, leaving you potentially liable for any harm caused. It can also result in costly repairs! Thus, knowing a light has a good IK rating can give you extra peace of mind.

The 10 Official IK Ratings And What They Mean

  • IK00 - There is no Protection.
  • IK01- Protected against 0.14 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 56mm above)
  • IK02- Protected against 0.2 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 80mm above)
  • IK03- Protected against 0.35 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.2kg mass dropped from 140mm above)
  • IK04- Protected against 0.5 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 200mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK05- Protected against 0.7 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 280mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK06- Protected against 1 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK07- Protected against 2 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.5kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK08- Protected against 5 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 1.7kg mass dropped from 300mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK09- Protected against 10 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 5kg mass dropped from 200mm above the impacted surface)
  • IK10- Protected against 20 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 5kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)

If that seems like a lot of numbers, just remember that the bigger the number, the sturdier the light. As a general rule of thumb, IK08 is regarded as the minimum for high traffic urban areas.

We have a number of high IK Rated products in stock, including Integral’s Tough Shell+ Range, which combines an IP66 rating with an IK10 rating to ensure maximum protection, regardless of site conditions.

Take a look at the Integral Tough Shell+ IP66 1400LM 15W 4000K Non-Dimmable Emergency And Microwave Sensor Bulkhead or the Integral Tough Shell+ IP66 2400LM 24W 4000K Black Non-Dimmable Emergency Bulkhead if you want lights designed to handle just about anything the world can throw at them!

If you still have any questions, our team are on hand to help you with anything you need – simply give us a call on 0116 321 4120, or send an email over to cs@wled.co.uk!

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