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What does the IP rating mean?

We often see these two letters combined - IP - as far as electric devices are concerned (smartphones, fixtures...etc). However, what do these letters which are also followed by figures mean? Explanations.

normes IP

The IP protection standards stands for Ingress protection. It comes from an International standard set up by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) related to waterproof conditions. They appear for the first time in 1989. This code rates the degree of protection an equipment is provided against. Actually, for a luminaire used outside it must be protected for external aggressions due to dust and water. Thus, these standards are present to easily inform the buyer the kind of protection the product he wishes to acquire is equipped with. It is in the format IP 67. Each element should be pronounced as:“I-P six-seven”. In certain case, you can have letters use. For example IP2x. This means that the device is protected against solid body intrusions greater than 12mm, but protection against liquid intrusion is not required for use.

Table of IP standards

Note that the equivalent European standard is EN60529. The following is a table that shows the whole codification with the meaning of the numbers:


First digit


Second digit


0 Not protected Not protected
1 Protected against object size > 50mm Protected against vertically falling drops and dripping water
2 Protected against object size > 12mm Protected against vertically dripping water when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15°
3 Protected against object size > 2,5mm Protected against water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60°
4 Protected against object size > 1mm Protected against water splashing against the enclosure from any direction
5 Protected against dust Protected against water projected by a nozzle (6,3mm) against the enclosure from any direction.
6 Totally dustproof Protected against water projected in powerful jets (12,5 mm nozzle)
7 / Protected against ingress of water in harmful quantity up to 1m under defined conditions of pressure and time.
8 / Equipment is suitable for continuous immersion under specified conditions beyond 1m and for 30 minutes.
9 / Equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water beyond 1m and protected against high-pressure cleaning
9x / Equipment is suitable for continuous immersion beyond 1m and protection against high-pressure cleaning (standard for food and kitchens)

Some specifications

In general, outdoor lighting products will have the maximum protection in terms of solid intrusion or liquid. Like the LED battens. So that, they will have protection rating like IP 65, IP66, or even IP68. Whenever you see these indications, refer to the table to know exactly what are the certifications your device is equipped to enjoy it in the best conditions..