What is an IP Rating?

If you don't know what an IP rating is, it is time to educate yourself as to how this affects items you may already have or are looking to add to your home.






LED light strips are IP rated according to the amount of protection offered against dust, moisture or water. In this instance, IP 65 indicates protection against dust and similar particulates as well as protection against water under pressure from any angle.



Until a couple of years ago, I was blissfully unaware of what an IP rating was or that it even existed. It was only when looking to install outdoor lighting and all the accompaniments that went with this that I got an understanding of an IP rating and why this was important. So, let's look at what an IP rating is and how it affects you and your home.


According to rs-online.com, a leading supplier of industrial and electronic components, an IP rating is an abbreviated term for Ingress Protection. And for those still in the dark as to what this means, ingress is the action of entering or gaining access. Considering this, ingress protection or IP indicates a level of protection that is graded on a scale from lowest to the highest number, denoting how much protection an item has against dust, moisture, or any other particulate or item that will affect the performance of the item. For more information and details on the IP rating system, copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://za.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=ideas-and-advice/ip-ratings



Keep in mind when shopping at your local Builders store that a rating of IP 65 or higher is essential for outdoor lighting or electrical components, as well as in a kitchen, laundry or bathroom.





Check the IP rating of your cell phone to make sure it is shock, dust and waterproof.





The easiest way to explain this is to look at a few items you would normally use in the home, both indoors and outdoors, so that you can better understand how the IP protection rating plays an important role and why you need to consider this when purchasing items where the IP rating is a priority.







Outdoor fittings need to be rated at IP 65 or higher at IP 69 to work successfully in an outdoor environment, any rating less than this and the item will fail and could cause damage or harm.





There are plenty of items used in the home that need to be selected according to the IP rating and this includes any item that is to be installed outdoors or an item that might be installed in a situation where there is high humidity, condensation or moisture. This can include items such as outdoor plug sockets, connector boxes, LED lighting an, let's not forget about downlights that are installed in a bathroom, laundry or kitchen. The latter three might not be outdoors but we know that a bathroom can have high humidity and moisture when the shower is in use, laundry can be damp when laundry is being done, and with cooking taking place in a kitchen there is plenty of condensation and moisture in the form of steam in the room.









When installing downlights or light fittings in a bathroom, laundry, kitchen or outdoors, fittings or fixtures need to be IP rated.





If you are looking at installing home security and particularly on the exterior of a property, don't overlook the IP rating of the equipment.





The IP rating is an important factor to keep in mind when purchasing any type of equipment, particularly as concerns application and environment. Remember that you can visit the za.rs-online.com website for more information on IP ratings.





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