IP Rated Lighting Explained

What are IP ratings?

Welcome to the world of IP-rated lighting! While it can get very technical and complicated, the basic idea is that a product’s IP rating denotes how effective an electrical item is at keeping stuff out.

IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection’ and this rating gives a numerical value to signify what degree of protection the electrical parts of an item have from being touched by foreign objects or moisture. An IP rating consists of two numbers that can occasionally be followed by a letter.

The first number will be between 0 and 6 and shows the protection level against solid objects. These solid objects can range from fingers through to dust particles.

The second number will be between 0 and 9 and shows the protection level against moisture. These moisture levels can range from condensation through to full immersion in water.

The optional letter at the end of the rating indicates what (if any) additional certification has been done. This could include testing for high voltages, specific materials, or in specific scenarios.

What lights should I choose for my project?

Indoors – Most indoor light fixtures will never see moisture, so anything over IP20 can be used inside.

Bathroom – There are 4 different zones in bathrooms, and each zone has different requirements.

                Zone 0 – Directly inside the shower or bath. Requires a fitting of IP67 or higher, that is also low voltage.

                Zone 1 – Above the bath or shower. Requires a fitting of IP65 or higher.

                Zone 2 – 0.6m away from the shower, bath, or wash basin. Requires a fitting of IP44 or higher.

                Zone 3 – Outside of Zone 2, with no chance of water contact. Requires a fitting of IP22 or higher.

Outdoors – IP44 and upwards is recommended for outdoor use, but the exact number depends on the position of the light fitting. For example, for a porch light that is mostly protected from the elements, IP44 would be acceptable. However, for a light that could be exposed to heavy rain or dirt, an IP rating of IP65 would be required. 

Commercial – Some commercial areas such as hospitals or kitchens require lighting that has a specific IP Rating. For more information about the requirements for these types of projects, please contact us directly.


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All of our lighting has an IP rating, but we tend to refer to IP-rated lights as those at IP44 and over which are suitable for bathrooms outside of Zones 0 and 1, and for general outdoor use. We have relationships with suppliers from across the UK, Europe, and beyond, so we can source a variety of IP-rated lights for any project. We can also source IP-rated components to design and create bespoke lighting.

Check out our range of bathroom lighting here, and our outdoor lighting here!


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