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IP Rating Selection Guide for LED Track Lighting

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What is the IP rating of lighting fixtures?

The IP rating is an international standard defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60529. It is used to describe the level of protection against solid objects and liquid ingress. It can be applied to indicate the protection level of lighting fixtures, such as LED track lightsLED downlightsLED strip lightsLED panel lights, and also used to indicate the protection level of other electrical devices like sockets, power supplies, distribution boxes, outdoor displays, etc.

What do the numbers and letters in the IP rating mean?

IP stands for Ingress Protection, and the following numbers represent the classification of the device’s protection level. Each digit has a specific meaning and represents a particular protection level. Generally, a higher number indicates a higher level of protection.

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The first digit usually represents protection against solid objects, indicating the protection level against dust, fingers, tools, or other solid objects. The protection levels for solid objects range from 0 to 7, as shown in the table below:

Digit Code Protection against solid objects

0 No protection
1 Protection against objects larger than 50 mm, e.g., hands, large tools
2 Protection against objects larger than 12.5 mm, e.g., hands, large tools
3 Protection against objects larger than 2.5 mm, e.g., wires, small tools
4 Protection against objects larger than 1.0 mm, e.g., wires
5 Limited protection against dust (no harmful deposits)
6 Complete protection against dust

The second digit usually represents protection against liquids, indicating the degree to which the enclosure protects the internal components from various types of moisture (splashing, dripping, immersion, etc.). It is classified into 0 to 9 and 9K, with each number defining a different degree of protection.

Digit Code Protection against liquids

0   No protection
1 Protection against vertically falling water drops or condensation
2 Protection against water drops when the enclosure is tilted up to 15 degrees from vertical
3 Protection against spraying water from any direction, even at a 60-degree angle from vertical
4 Protection against splashing water from any direction
5 Protection against low-pressure water jets from any direction
6 Protection against high-pressure water jets from any direction
7 Protection against temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter depth
8 Protection against prolonged and continuous immersion in water
9K* Protection against close-range high-pressure, high-temperature spray

Please note that the 9K rating is not officially recognized within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60529 Ingress Protection (IP) rating standard. Some manufacturers may use the IP 9K rating as a marketing term to indicate a higher level of protection. If you need to evaluate the IP rating of electrical equipment, be sure to refer to the official IP rating codes defined in the IEC 60529 standard for accurate and consistent comparison.

How are IP ratings evaluated?

When determining the IP rating for luminaires or electrical devices, we subject the devices to a series of tests in a controlled environment. These tests assess the device’s ability to prevent the ingress of solid objects, dust, and moisture under specific conditions. The test results are then used to determine the device’s IP rating.

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First, different tools are used to subject the device to mechanical impacts to test its protection against solid objects.

When testing the device’s dustproof performance, the device is placed in a sealed room filled with fine particles, according to different dustproof levels.

When testing the device’s waterproof performance, various waterproof tests are conducted step by step, such as spray or immersion tests, exposing the device to water from different angles and pressures.

The final test results reveal the device’s IP rating, and the device is labeled accordingly. The first digit represents the level of protection against solid objects, while the second digit represents the level of protection against moisture. A higher IP rating indicates a greater ability of the device to prevent the ingress of solid objects, dust, and moisture.

The impact of environmental factors on the IP rating of LED track lighting

The IP rating of LED track lighting is a crucial consideration as it directly affects the protective capabilities of the fixtures. Below, we will list some environmental factors and how they influence the selection of the IP rating for LED track lighting.

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Humidity conditions

If the LED track lighting is to be installed in moist environments such as kitchens, bathrooms, greenhouses, or outdoor areas, it is necessary to choose fixtures with higher IP ratings to prevent water ingress and avoid short circuits or corrosion. For example, fixtures with IP65, IP66, or higher ratings can provide excellent water protection.

Dust conditions

In environments with high levels of dust, such as warehouses, workshops, or construction sites, it is important to select fixtures with higher dustproof ratings. The first digit of the IP rating represents the dustproof level, and fixtures with IP6X ratings can prevent dust ingress.

Temperature conditions

Extreme temperatures, whether high or low, can affect the performance of LED track lighting. Although the IP rating does not directly involve temperature protection, fixtures designed for use in extreme temperature environments should have high quality and durability, often aligning with higher IP-rated products.

Outdoor installation

If the lighting fixtures are to be installed outdoors, they may be exposed to wind and rain. In such cases, it is necessary to choose fixtures with higher IP ratings, such as IP65 or above, to ensure their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The impact of installation locations on the IP rating of LED track lighting

LED track lighting comes in various types, and their installation locations have a certain influence on the selection of IP ratings. Below, we will explain this impact from three aspects: ceiling installation, wall installation, and floor installation.

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Ceiling Installation

LED track lighting installed on the ceiling is generally less affected by dust and physical damage. However, when choosing the IP rating, factors such as potential moisture or high temperatures on the ceiling still need to be considered.

If the ceiling is in a humid or high-temperature environment, such as a bathroom or kitchen, fixtures with higher IP ratings like IP44 or higher should be chosen to ensure sufficient protection.

For general indoor ceiling installation, IP20 or higher is typically an appropriate choice to provide adequate dust protection.

Wall Installation

LED track lighting installed on walls may be exposed to dust, moisture, and other contaminants on the wall. The height of the fixtures from the ground should also be considered to prevent external objects from colliding with the lighting.

For indoor wall installation, it is common to choose an IP40 or higher rating to provide good dust protection and a certain level of moisture and physical impact resistance.

If wall-mounted fixtures are exposed to outdoor environments like open corridors or courtyards, higher IP-rated fixtures such as IP65 or above should be selected to ensure sufficient waterproofing, dust protection, and durability.

Floor Installation

LED track lighting installed on the floor is prone to physical damage, dust, and moisture, especially in high-traffic areas or places with special usage requirements such as commercial spaces, parking garages, or industrial areas.

For these special installation scenarios, fixtures with higher protection ratings are required. IP66 or higher can provide good dust and waterproof performance, as well as strong durability to meet the specific needs of floor installation.

Common IP ratings for lighting fixtures

Protection Rating Suitable Environments Types of Lighting

IP20 and IP40 Indoor (relatively neutral environments, malls, supermarkets, offices) LED track lights, LED spotlights, LED linear lights, etc.
IP54  Indoor (partially dustproof and waterproof, bathrooms, indoor pools) Lamp posts, indoor LED lights, LED fog lights, etc.
IP65 Outdoor (dustproof and rain-resistant) Landscape lights, garden lights, lawn lights, LED light strips, wall washers, floodlights, etc.
IP67and IP68 Outdoor (immersion in water; suitable for pool or fountain lighting) Pool lights, floodlights, LED light strips, etc.

IP20 and IP40

If your lights are indoors and the space is dry and free of water vapor, using IP20 and IP40 is sufficient. These IP ratings are suitable for indoor environments, and most of our indoor lighting fixtures are designed with these ratings. If the indoor environment has high humidity or other adverse conditions, these IP-rated fixtures should not be used.

IP54

IP54 ratings are also common for indoor use, such as in indoor pools or areas with water presence. Unless they have additional protective measures, these lights should not be used outdoors, as they would be exposed to rain and easily damaged. The IP54-rated fixtures do not provide such protection.

IP65

If you need to install lighting fixtures outdoors, such as illuminating your garden or installing outdoor wall lights and streetlights, these fixtures should have a minimum IP65 protection rating to prevent damage from outdoor dust and rain. This is the most common IP rating for general outdoor lighting, whether used in parks or open parking lots.

IP67 and IP68

While IP65 lights are suitable for most outdoor scenarios and provide good resistance against rain, if you need to install lights in water or areas prone to flooding, such as underwater installations, IP67 or IP68-rated fixtures are required. If you expect the lights to be frequently submerged in water, an IP68-rated product may be needed. If the devices will only occasionally come into contact with water, an IP67 rating may be sufficient.

Why is the IP rating important for lighting fixtures?

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is used to evaluate the protection capability of LED track lighting against solid objects (such as dust) and moisture. This is crucial for any lighting fixture as it determines its suitability in different environments, including indoor, outdoor, and damp or wet areas. A higher IP rating indicates better protection and longer lifespan of the lighting fixture.

What are the highest and lowest IP ratings for LED track lighting?

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Lowest rating: IP20

When LED track lighting is applied in indoor commercial spaces such as malls, retail stores, exhibition halls, offices, and homes, the IP rating for these LED track lighting fixtures is typically chosen as IP20 and IP40. In these locations, IP20 (dustproof, protects against solid objects ≥12.5mm, not waterproof) or IP40 (dustproof, protects against solid objects ≥1.0mm, not waterproof) is usually sufficient.

Highest rating: IP65

When LED track lighting is used outdoors, such as installed under eaves or in outdoor walkways, fixtures with IP65 or higher ratings are commonly selected. This rating ensures protection against dust and continuous low-pressure water jets.

What IP rating is needed for LED track lighting in supermarkets?

In supermarket spaces, LED track lighting fixtures are typically used in product display areas and shelving areas. These areas are usually dry, with minimal dust or moisture. Choosing LED track lights with an IP20 or IP40 rating is sufficient for such usage.

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However, if the supermarket has outdoor areas or open entrance areas where LED track lighting needs to be installed, considering an IP65 or higher protection rating is necessary.

If you need to know about the application of LED track lighting in supermarkets, you can check out our other blog post “how to choose led track lighting for supermarket”.

What IP rating is needed for LED track lighting in restaurants?

In restaurant spaces, LED track lighting fixtures are commonly used in general dining areas and walkway areas. These areas are typically dry, and restaurants are kept clean with minimal dust and moisture. Opting for a track rating of IP20 or higher is sufficient for use in these areas.

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Restroom areas in restaurants may have higher moisture levels, requiring an IP44 or higher protection rating. However, LED track lighting fixtures are not typically used for illumination inside restrooms.

If the restaurant has outdoor patios or entrance areas where LED track lighting is used, a higher protection-rated fixture, such as IP65, is needed.

What IP rating is needed for LED track lighting in offices?

In office environments, LED track lighting fixtures may be used in office areas, conference rooms, and corridors. These areas are usually dry and dust-free, requiring only an IP20 protection rating for usage.

If you need to know about the application of LED track lighting in the office, you can check out our other blog post “Top 10 Track Lighting Options for Office Spaces”.

What IP rating is needed for LED track lighting in museums?

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For LED track lighting in museums, as they are primarily used indoors and are not in contact with water or dust, the IP rating requirements are usually not very high. For example, an IP20 or IP40 rating is typically sufficient.

Common IP rating requirements for indoor humid areas

What IP rating is needed for bathroom lighting fixtures?

Bathrooms are common humid areas, prone to moist air and the possibility of water splashes. The required IP rating for bathroom lighting fixtures may vary depending on the specific areas within the bathroom.

Generally, bathroom lighting fixtures should have a minimum IP44 rating. IP44 means the fixtures have the ability to prevent the ingress of solid objects larger than 1mm and protect against water splashes from any direction.

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Using IP44 in bathrooms is the minimum standard and suitable for general areas. For more humid areas, such as shower areas or above bathtubs, higher protection ratings like IP65 or higher may be needed. These ratings can provide protection against dust ingress and withstand direct low-pressure water jets without harmful effects.

According to international standards, bathrooms are divided into zones 0-2, and these zones have specific electrical requirements and IP ratings.

Zone IP Rating
0 IP67 Zone 0 generally refers to the area inside the shower or bathtub. If lighting fixtures are installed in these areas, they need to be IP67 or higher rated. Additionally, the voltage of the fixtures should be converted to a low-voltage power supply of 12V, and the driver should be placed outside of Zone 2.
1 IP65 Zone 1 refers to the area directly above the shower or bathtub and within 2.25 meters in height from the floor. Since this area is exposed to continuous water spray during showering, it is recommended to meet at least IP65 requirements. This is the recommendation of most electrical experts, including electricians and lighting specialists.In this zone, if fixtures with voltages higher than the safe touch voltage are used, a residual current device (RCD) with a maximum of 30mA should be installed to minimize the risk of electric shock.
2 IP44 Zone 2 includes two areas. The first is any space within 0.6 meters from the outside of the shower or bathtub, and the second is the area above the shower or bathtub with a height exceeding 2.25 meters. Although these areas are considered safe zones, they may still be affected by some water vapor. It is recommended to use at least IP44 rated fixtures in this zone.
Other IP20 For any other areas in the bathroom that are not mentioned above, there is no minimum IP rating requirement. However, it is advisable to choose fixtures with a rating higher than IP20 and consider waterproofing. If your bathroom is small or these areas have water pipes, it is recommended to use fixtures with IP65 or higher ratings.

What IP rating is needed for kitchen lighting fixtures?

Kitchens don’t experience as much water splashing as bathrooms, but they have steam and cooking fumes. Therefore, kitchen lighting fixtures also require a certain level of protection.

In general, the IP rating for regular area lighting fixtures in kitchens should be at least IP20. IP20 devices can prevent the ingress of solid objects larger than 12.5mm, which is sufficient for most kitchen uses. However, it’s important to consider whether the kitchen’s steam could affect the fixtures. If the fixtures are in areas where steam can reach, it’s advisable to choose IP65-rated fixtures. Additionally, in areas prone to water splashes, such as above sinks, a higher waterproof rating like IP44 may be needed. If using LED light strips installed in embedded profiles to illuminate sinks, the waterproof rating of the LED light strips can be reduced.

What IP rating is needed for indoor pool lighting fixtures?

Indoor swimming pools are another humid environment. Considering the splashing water and moisture, lighting fixtures installed at the top usually require a minimum IP65 rating to ensure sufficient dust and waterproof performance.

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If you want to install lighting fixtures within the pool itself, they should have at least an IP68 waterproof rating. Pay attention to the installation depth and ensure that the fixtures can withstand the water pressure and operate continuously if submerged below 1.5 meters. Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for suitability.

What IP rating is needed for basement lighting fixtures?

In most cases, the basement environment tends to be more humid than other indoor spaces. Additionally, there may be drainage pipes located above the lighting fixtures. When the fixtures are installed below these pipes, it is necessary to choose waterproof fixtures that are effective against water ingress. Typically, IP65-rated waterproof fixtures are needed. For general areas in the basement, a minimum of IP44-rated fixtures is recommended. This means they provide protection against solid objects larger than 1mm and offer protection against water splashes onto the devices.

Which is better, IP65 or IP68?

IP65 and IP68 are two different standards for product protection ratings, indicating different levels of protection. This also determines the suitability of IP65 and IP68-rated fixtures for different environments.

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IP65 rating explanation: The first digit 6 indicates the product is completely dustproof, preventing dust from entering. The second digit 5 indicates the product can withstand low-pressure water jets from any direction for at least 3 minutes without allowing water ingress.

IP68 rating explanation: The first digit 6 indicates the product is completely dustproof, with no dust ingress into the device. The second digit 8 indicates the product can be immersed in water for a prolonged period, indicating its ability to withstand water ingress in depths exceeding 1 meter.

In terms of protection against solid object ingress, they have the same rating. However, when it comes to liquid ingress, IP68 provides better protection. It not only prevents water jets but also allows fixtures to operate submerged in water for extended periods.

Whether you need an IP68 protection rating when purchasing fixtures depends on the intended usage environment and requirements. If the environment doesn’t involve excessive moisture or the need for prolonged submersion, IP65 may already be sufficient, and it can also lower the cost of purchasing fixtures.

Which is better, IP65 or IP67?

IP65 and IP67 are two different protection ratings with distinct features and applications. Here’s a brief comparison:

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IP65: The 6 in IP65 indicates the device has the best dust protection, and the 5 means it can withstand low-pressure water jets for at least 3 minutes without water ingress.

IP65-rated devices are suitable for both indoor and outdoor general environments. They can prevent dust ingress and maintain protection when subjected to low-pressure water jets. Common applications include bathrooms, garbage rooms, lighting fixtures above indoor pools, and general outdoor areas.

IP67: The 6 in IP67 also indicates excellent dust protection, while the digit 7 means the device can withstand immersion in water for a certain period without water ingress.

IP67-rated devices are suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments and can maintain protection under temporary immersion. Common applications include outdoor lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and some industrial environments.

In terms of dust protection, they have the same dustproof capability, which is the highest specification. Regarding waterproof performance, IP67 is slightly better than IP65. It’s essential to carefully evaluate the water splashing conditions in your space. If there is significant water splashing, it is advisable to choose an IP67 protection rating.

For regular indoor environments like bathrooms or other humid areas, an IP65 rating is sufficient.

Is IP68 the highest waterproof rating?

IP68 is the highest waterproof rating commonly seen in lighting fixtures for regular commercial spaces. However, it is not the highest waterproof rating for all fixtures. IP68 rating allows fixtures to operate submerged in water up to 1 meter for a prolonged period. However, the specific waterproof capability of IP68 may vary depending on the manufacturer and product. It’s important to carefully review the product specifications and fully understand the performance of the fixture before making a decision.

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IP69 has a higher waterproof performance than IP68. These fixtures are specifically designed for special environments, primarily for applications requiring high-pressure water jet cleaning. Fixtures with an IP69 rating have higher protection capabilities and can withstand more rigorous cleaning and high-pressure water spraying.

What is the highest IP rating?

The highest IP rating is IP69, which indicates both waterproof and dustproof capabilities at the highest level. It means that no dust or water can enter the device, and it can also protect against high-pressure, high-temperature water or steam.

For environments that require frequent disinfection, choosing an IP69K protection rating is preferable. It can handle high-pressure, high-temperature water used for disinfection in food processing and similar facilities.

Unless your industry regularly uses high-pressure sprays and chemical substances to clean surfaces, you may not necessarily need the IP69K rating.

Why do we have the IP rating system for lighting fixtures?

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating system provides a standardized method to measure the degree of protection that lighting fixtures and other electrical enclosures offer against the ingress of solids and liquids. It serves several important purposes:

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Safety Assurance: The IP rating system assesses the protective level against potential hazards such as electric shock, fire, and corrosion. It helps ensure the safety of electrical equipment and prevents fatal injuries to individuals.

Durability Maintenance: By evaluating moisture and dust protection levels, the IP rating system helps ensure that electrical equipment maintains long-term resistance against the ingress of solids and liquids, enabling them to operate reliably in various environments.

Convenience in Comparison and Selection: The IP rating system facilitates quick product comparison and selection for different usage environments, making it easier to choose suitable products.

Compliance Certification: The IP rating system is an internationally recognized standard, adopted by many countries as a requirement for electrical equipment certification and approval, ensuring product compliance.

At the end

The above is the knowledge about the IP ratings of lighting fixtures, and we have provided an analysis of the IP rating selection for LED track lighting in commonly used commercial spaces such as supermarkets, restaurants, museums, and offices. We have also listed the IP rating selection considerations for other common indoor areas in supermarkets. Whether you choose LED track lighting or other types of fixtures, this information will help you quickly determine the appropriate IP rating for your lighting needs.

FAQ

What is an IP rating?

The IP rating is a classification defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60529, used to describe the level of protection of equipment or objects against solid and liquid ingress.

Does LED track lighting have an IP65 rating?

Based on our research on over 20 common lighting brands, LED track lighting does have an IP65 rating.

What IP rating should be used for Zone 0 in bathrooms?

Zone 0 in a bathroom is located in the shower or bathtub area and within 2.25 meters from the bathtub. The LED fixtures in this area should have an IP67 protection rating.

What IP rating should be used for LED track lighting in supermarkets?

The commonly used product display areas in supermarkets are dry and dust-free, so an IP rating higher than IP20 is sufficient.

What is the minimum IP rating for LED track lighting?

The minimum IP rating for LED track lighting is IP20, which provides protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm in diameter.

What is the highest IP rating for LED fixtures?

According to the IEC 60529 standard, IP69 is the highest IP rating for fixtures. However, in common commercial lighting applications, IP68 is the highest rating.

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