IP Ratings and Garden Lights: Everything You Need to Know

10 April 2017

IP Ratings and Garden Lights: Everything You Need to Know
IP Ratings and Garden Lights: Everything You Need to Know
Outdoor garden lighting is more popular than ever due to the wide range of designs, uses and power sources - all made possible by LED technology being more versatile. Today we’re looking at IP ratings and how they are relevant to your garden lights. First the obvious question: “What is an IP rating?” IP stands for Ingress Protection and is used to identify the sealing efficiency around electrical items. They tell you how much protection is provided against elements such as water and dust. IP ratings on garden lights are important to know, as they will tell you just how weatherproof your lights are. We’ll try not to make this too complicated: The ‘IP’ is followed by two numbers; the first specifies the level of protection from intrusive objects/parts, and the second from moisture. The higher the number, the better the protection.

What IP ratings should outdoor garden lights have?

Any light for outdoor use should have a rating of at least IP43, which will guard it against light rain and sprayed water. Higher ratings will provide higher protection, which may be needed if the light is exposed to more severe weather or isn’t protected from the elements in anyway. This protection could be from a wall, roof or trees, which will be common in a typical garden. We have a variety of garden lights that have various IP ratings, and all are IP44 or higher. From the chart below you can see that IP43 protects the light from sprayed water, which in this case could be rain.

IP Ratings: First Digit - Solids

X or 0 No protection or untested.
1 Protection against a large part of the body but not from deliberate interfering; and protection against solid object with a diameter greater than 50mm.
2 Protection from fingers or other objects and tools greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
3 Protection from tools, wires and alike, with a diameter or thickness greater than 1mm.
4 Protection from solid objects with a diameter or thickness greater than 1mm
5 Protection from the amount of dust that would interfere with the operation of the equipment.
6 Dust tight.

IP Ratings: Second Digit - Liquids

X or 0 No protection or untested.
1 Protection from dripping water and condensation.
2 Protection from vertically dripping water.
3 Protection from sprayed water.
4 Protection from splashed water.
5 Protection from projected water, potentially from a nozzle.
6 Protection from strong jets of water and heavy seas.
7 Protection from immersion.
8 Protection from long term and entire submersion.
Rarely would you need a light with a rating as high as IP66 in a garden. Your walls, fences and trees will provide protection, and rain is rarely as strong as “heavy seas” anyway! IP44 is generally OK for common garden use and standard weather.
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We do offer lights with IP66 ratings such as our Fumagalli Garden Lights range. These are specifically made to be very hard wearing against weather and are also rust and corrosion free. This is even backed up with a lifetime guarantee against corrosion. Outdoor Garden Lighting Banner