IP Ratings Explained

IP rating 1Your electrical enclosure together with its contents needs to be protected. And the best way to protect it is by knowing what IP rating is so that you can make the right orders.

So, what’s IP rating?

An IP (which is an abbreviation for Ingress Protection) rating is commonly used to determine the extent of protection electrical enclosures have against different environmental conditions. Established by the IEC (an abbreviation for the International Electromechanical Commission), IP ratings would be later used to standardize electrical and electronic components. In a nutshell, IP ratings are used to indicate the sealing effectiveness of all electrical enclosures against the intrusion of foreign bodies (such as tools and dirt) as well as moisture. Put simply, an IP rating tells you whether an enclosure or electronic component is suitable for exposure to water or solid objects.

Interpreting the Numbers in the IP Rating

Each number in the IP rating has a specific meaning. Commonly, IP ratings contain two numbers. Liquids include any type of moisture content—including drips, sprays, and submersions.

Here is a snapshot:

  1. The first one is used to indicate the degree of protection( i.e. of people) from any moving part and protection of enclosed equipment against foreign bodies
  2. The second one is used to indicate the protection of enclosures from moisture (i.e. drips, sprays, and submersion).

IP Rating 101

IP rating 3If you are looking to install lights in your interiors or exteriors, it’s important to know the waterproofing properties of your lighting. With IP Rating, you are able to determine the extent to which various electrical equipment are sealed as well as protected from liquid, solid, and dirt intrusion.

IP Rating – SLB Range

At SLB, we offer an array of electrical components with a wide range of IP Ratings. So if you are looking to light up your interior, we’ve got the fixtures featuring IP Ratings from IP20 to IP66. Commonly, we sell fixtures with ratings of IP44 and IP54:

  • IP44 Rating—these fixtures are protected against objects that are bigger than 1 millimeter and water splashes from different directions.
  • IP54 Protection—these fixtures are protected from dust as well as water splashes from different directions.

IP Ratings for Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

According to the IEE Wiring Regulations, the bathroom is divided into zones—making it easier when it comes to choosing bathroom lights. Each zone is specific in terms of the lighting fixtures’ IP rating to be installed.

The following diagram represents the zones and the IP Rating requirements for each.

Bathroom Lighting IP Zones

Bathroom Lighting IP Zones


  • This is the area located above the bath and showers. This area is about 2.25m high from the bathroom floor.
  • An IP Rating of at least IP65 is required in this area
  • The ideal lights in this location include IP65 downlights as well as LED strip lights

In other cases, you can install fixtures with IP44 Ratings in zone 1. However, if your bathroom has a water jet such as a showerhead that the lighting fixture, it’s recommended to stick to an IP65 rating.


  • This is the area that stretches about 0.6 meters outside the bath’s perimeter.
  • The recommended IP Rating in this area is IP44 and above
  • The common types of lights you can install in this area include ceiling lights, lights, and over mirror lights.


  • Any space outside of zone 1 and 2 is considered to be outside the zone
  • No specific IP rating level is required in this zone

IP Ratings for Kitchen Lights

IP rating 2Unlike the bathroom, kitchen lights aren’t exposed to water. Therefore, this area doesn’t require a high level of IP Rating. However, you are recommended to install lighting fixtures with IP Ratings of at least IP20. This will protect the lighting fixtures from moisture generated from steam, water drips, as well as condensation residues.

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