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What are IP Rated Downlight?

If you are choosing downlight for your bathroom, you really need to be very careful.There are strict regulations around the sort of lights you can use, and of course, you need to ensure that they are safe. In this article we look at what are IP rated downlights, why they are important, and where they can be used.

IP stands for Ingress Protection. This is a simple way of indicating how well protected the light is from external influence. The IP rating determines if an electrical product’s exterior case will protect the working parts from water or solid object intrusion.  

It is derived from the International Electrotechnical Commission standard IEC 60529, which was also adopted as the American national standard in 2004. 

The IP value indicates the degree of dust and moisture protection of electrical equipment. 

The value indicates the degree of dust and moisture protection of electrical equipment. The IP rate consists of two digits. The first number is the measure to prevent the entry of dust. The second number indicates the extent to which the device is waterproof.

The degree to which the device is protected from dust penetration is indicated by a number from zero to six. A device with a value of zero has no protection. A device with a value of 6 is 100% dustproof.

The second number is a measure of the device's water resistance. Zero means the device does not have any protection against moisture. Eight, the highest value, represents a fully waterproof device that can be used even underwater.


(Vertex Waterproof Test: Impact testing of the lighting product is executed by strong water flushing. The test time is about 15 minutes.)

different IP values:

In the table of IP values below you can see a complete overview of the different IP values:


· IP0X-No protection.

· IP1X-Prevent the intrusion of objects larger than 50mm and prevent the human body from accidentally touching the internal parts of electrical equipment.

· IP2X-Prevent the intrusion of objects larger than 12mm and prevent fingers from touching the internal parts of electrical equipment.

· IP3X- Prevent all intrusion of objects larger than 2.5mm Prevent intrusion of tools, wires or objects with a diameter larger than 2.5mm.

· IP4X-Prevent the intrusion of objects larger than 1.0mm Prevent the intrusion of mosquitoes, insects or objects with a diameter larger than 1.0mm.

· IP5X-Dustproof Cannot completely prevent dust intrusion, but the amount of dust intruded will not affect the normal operation of the electrical.

· IP6X-100% dust resistant.


· IPX0 - no protection.

· IPX1 - protection against vertical drops.

· IPX2 - protection against drops at an angle of up to 15°.

· IPX3 - protection against splash water * at an angle of up to 60°.

· IPX4 - protection against splash water from every angle.

· IPX5 - protection against spray water ** from every angle.

· IPX6 - protection against powerful spray water and waves.

· IPX7 - temporary protection against immersion (30 min).

· IPX8 - complete protection against immersion.

Why is IP rating so important?

Simply for safety. If you are using non-IP rated downlights, there could be a risk that water or solids could get through the casing and into the product wiring. This is especially important, and essential when using downlights in bathrooms.

Where can IP rated downlights be used?

The IP rate you need depends on the "zone" in the bathroom where the downlight will be placed. In the following picture, you can see a bathroom can be divided into three different zones. These relate to the likelihood of water being around the product.

· Zone 0 - Minimum IP value: IP67

· Zone 1 - Minimum IP value: IP44; IP65 recommended

· Zone 2 - Minimum IP value: IP44

These are anywhere outside zones 0,1 and 2 and where no water jet is likely to be used. There are no specific IP requirements for this zone, however it is recommended that you consider a light with an IP rating of at least 20. If you are likely to use water jets for cleaning, you should use a fitting with a minimum of IP65.


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