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IP Ratings Explained

The IP Code (Ingress Protection Rating) is made up of two parts. The First digit is the level of protection to solid objects, with the second digit being the level of protection against liquid

Commonly used levels of protection in the entertainment industry are IP44 for outdoors, but much better still is IP56 or even IP68.

Solid particle protection


The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

Level Object size protected against Effective against
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50 mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5 mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5 mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1 mm Most wires, screws, etc.
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact

Liquid ingress protection


The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of water

Level Protected against Testing for
0 Not protected
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
2 Dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 Splashing of water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7 Immersion up to 1 m Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8 Immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.