IP20? IP40? IP65? We’ve all heard of IP ratings but what warrants a product to be IP65 or IP40 rated?


Here at Northgate Lighting, we thought we’d put together a handy guide to IP ratings and what types of product relate to them.

An Ingress Protection rating (also known as IP rating) relates to the protection of the luminaire against solids and liquids.

The first digit of an IP rating i.e IP(6)5 relates to the protection from solid objects, this ranges from 0-6 with 0 meaning no protection from solids to 6, meaning totally dust tight.

The second digit IP6(5) relates to protection from water ranges from 0-9 with 0 meaning no protection and 9 meaning protection from powerful high temperature water jets.


Did you know?

An iPhone 7 is IP67 rated! As seen below this means that it’s totally dust tight and is protected against the effects of temporary water immersion.


The most common IP rating for light fittings that are intended for interior use is IP20 whereas other fixtures that are more likely to come into contact with water are normally rated IP44 or higher.

As IP ratings are tested to withstand certain environments specific to the product’s purpose, the different ratings aren’t inferior or superior to each other i.e. an IP65 rated product such as the SOLO downlight may be designed to be used in an environment where the product will come into contact with water. However a cornlamp, which is IP20 rated, is intended for use in warehouses etc therefore not coming into contact with water.

Examples of IP rated products available at Northgate Lighting include:

Lowbay, Cornlamps -IP20

LED Tubes– IP40

SOLO DownlightFloodlights + Street Lights -IP65


It is vital for the luminaire’s IP rating to be suitable for its environment i.e an IP65 rated downlight would be suitable for a bathroom area, but what do the numbers mean for the level of protection?

See the table below for the most popular IP ratings, highlighting the different degrees of protection and how this relates to the digits.

First DigitSolid Ingress Second DigitWater Ingress 
0No Protection0No Protection
Protected against solid objects over 50mm i.e. accidental contact with hands 1
Protected against vertically falling dripping water i.e. condensation
2Protected against solid objects over 12mm i.e. fingers2
Protected against dripping water when tilted at 15°
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm i.e. tools & wires3
Protected against water sprays at any angle up to 60°
4Protected against solid objects over 1mm, i.e. wires, screws & nails. 4

Protected against water splashing from any direction
5Protected against dust limited ingress- will not interfere with operation of the equipment 5
Protected against water projected from a nozzle from any direction
6Totally dust tight- no ingress of dust and complete protection against any contact with the internal parts.6

Protected against water projected from a 12.5mm nozzle from any direction
Protected against the effects of temporary immersion
8Protected against long periods of immersion beyond 1m