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Ultimate Guide to IP Ratings

On the lookout for new lights? You'll probably stumble upon terms like IP44 or IP65. These IP ratings are key for knowing how resistant a product is to things like water and dust – super important to think about when picking lights for your bathroom or outdoor lighting. That's why we've put together this guide, covering what IP ratings mean and what to look for when shopping for your home.


What is an IP rating?

An IP rating (which stands for Ingress Protection) measures how well electrical enclosures are sealed against solid objects and moisture. This two-digit code is crucial in determining if an appliance is fit for different environmental conditions, like if it can endure the outdoors or handle a splash from your bathroom sink.

How do IP ratings work?

The first digit in the IP rating (running from 0 to 6) shows you how protected the device is against solids like dust and sand. The second digit (from 0 to 8) tells you about moisture resistance, ranging from no protection to surviving a dunk underwater. The higher the number, the better the protection.


Why is IP rating important for lights?

In places that see a lot of water and dust, like bathrooms or outside, picking lights with a suitable IP rating is crucial. It ensures they will work safely and last longer, even when conditions get tough.

What is the best IP rating for bathroom lights?

For bathroom lights, you generally want at least IP44. This rating means the light can withstand splashes from any direction - great for general use. But in Australia, bathroom zones define what IP ratings you need for different areas.

What IP rating is required for different bathroom zones in Australia?

The Aussie system breaks it down like this:
Zone 0: Inside the bath or shower – You need IP67 for complete immersion.
Zone 1: Close to the bath or shower or right by the sink – IP44 works well to fend off splashes.
Zone 2: Away from direct hits of water – IP44 usually does the trick.


What is the best IP rating for outdoor lights?

For outdoor spots where the environment is rougher, it's best to go for IP65 or higher. These fixtures will fully protect from dust and other solid objects and can handle water jets from any direction. Light fittings with IP44 are also suitable for general outdoor use; they are better suited to under patios and awnings or where only mild splashing may occur - preferably not exposed directly to heavy rain.

IP ratings for kitchens

In kitchens, the IP rating required for your lights will depend on where you plan to install your light fitting. A light above a sink or stove would need at least an IP44 rating to protect from moisture and oily particles. A light hung over your counter or dining table would likely only require an IP20 rating.

Natalie Mell 17 May, 2024

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