What is IP Rating?
'IP' stands for 'ingress protection'. The ingress protection (IP) rating seeks to offer clarity about how effectively sealed electrical enclosures are from foreign bodies, tools, dirt and moisture. In layman's terms, it tells us how dirt-proof and waterproof something is, respectively. The higher the numbers in the rating awarded, the better the level of protection.
IP Rating for Outdoor Lights
When it comes to outdoor Christmas lights or any form of outdoor lighting, one of the main considerations people have when purchasing is if - and to what extent - the lights are waterproof, especially in the UK given the inclement weather. IP rating addresses that specific concern, with the second digit in any given IP rating representing the level of protection against water the lights have. The higher the number, the more protected the lights are. But what do the numbers actually mean? Let's take a look.
First Digit - Solid Particle Protection
The first digit shows how protected your lights are from solid particles - dirt, dust and muck, basically.
O No Special Protection
1 Protected against from solid objects greater than 50mm (D)
2 Protection against objects no greater than 80mm (L) and 12mm (D)
3 Protected from objects no greater than 2.5mm (D)
4 Protected against solid bodies larger than 1mm
5 Protected against dust that may harm equipment
6 Totally dust tight
Second Digit - Liquid Ingress Protection
The second digit shows how protected your lights are from liquid.
O No Special Protection
1 Protected against condensation
2 Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3 Protection against spray up to 60° from vertical
4 Protected against water spray from all directions
5 Protected against low pressure water jets from all directions
6 Protected against strong water jets and waves
7 Protected against temporary immersion
8 Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure
IP44 is the minimum requirement for all outdoor lights, regardless of whether they are used for domestic or commercial purposes. While IP44 can be suitable for temporary commercial outdoor displays, we would always advise using IP65 rated outdoor lighting, such as our ConnectPro® range for permanent installations. These are a higher quality, commercial grade product designed to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions.
IP44: Protected against solid bodies larger than 1mm and protected against water spray from all directions.
IP65: Totally dust tight and protected against low pressure water jets from all directions.