IP codes explained and why they matter to you.

Posted by 18th May, 2017 in

All things LED

IP codes are important in lighting as they help you understand a light’s level of protection against the elements, including solid objects such as dust and fingers, and liquid such as water. When selecting lights for your business, it’s crucial to know exactly their level of ingress protection in order to determine the environmental applications for which they can be installed. This blog should help clear up some of the confusion.

IP code breakdown

An IP code consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter, for example IP65F.

First number

The first number (0-6), which in our example above is a 6, indicates the level of protection that the light enclosure provides against the intrusion of solid objects. It ranges from a 0, which offers no protection; to a 3, which includes tools and thick wires; to finally a 6, which is dust tight.

Second number

The second number (0-9), which in our example above is a 5, indicates the levels of protection the light enclosure provides against the intrusion of liquid. It ranges from a 0, which is no protection; to a 5, which is low pressure water jets from any direction; to a 9, which is powerful high temperature water jets.


The additional letters provided – an F in our example – provides extra information related to protection for the light:

  • F – Oil resistant.
  • H – High voltage device.
  • M – Device moving during water test.
  • S – Device standing still during water test.
  • W – Weather conditions.

So if you look back at our IP65F rated example, the light is dust tight, is protected against water jets and is also oil resistant. This would indicate that it would work well in a range of indoor and outdoor applications, including in oil-heavy manufacturing zones.

When you need to think about IP codes

If your business is in the industrial space, and/or has a number of outdoor lights and carparks, then it is most likely that you will need to think about IP codes. For all outdoor applications, we recommend an IP65 rating. We have a range of IP65 rated flood lights, canopy lights, battens and highbays which are suitable for a wide range of applications, such as; outdoor lighting; dusty, dirty and wet manufacturing environments; food manufacturing facilities; warehouse perimeter lighting and carparks etc.

If your lights require more protection, for example, they are submersed in swimming pools and water features, then obviously the second digit would need to be higher. An 8 for example indicates protection against long, durable periods of immersion in water.

Contact us today to arrange an obligation-free lighting audit and we will make sure you get the right light for your space.