The IP protection rating charter or International Protection Standard consists of the letters IP and 2 numbers. As prescribed by the CEI 6529 standard, the charter classifies the degree of protection of a product against the intrusion of two types of elements in electrical components: solid and liquid particles.
The primary purpose of this code is to supply more accurate information than often imprecise marketing terms such as “waterproof”.
First Number: Solids
It indicates the degree of protection that the product’s enclosure provides against the intrusion of solid objects, including certain human body parts such as hands and fingers, as well as dust and accidental contact, etc.
The first digit of the index starts at 0, indicating that there is no particular protection; and ends at 6, indicating that the product is completely protected against the intrusion of any dust.
Second Number: Liquids
It indicates the equipment’s degree of protection against water penetration and humidity.
The second digit of the protection index starts at 0, meaning that there is no protection against water or humidity; and ends at 8, specifying that the product can withstand being completely submerged for a long period of time.
In the case of a fixture that is IP66-certified, such as the vapor-tight LED fixture, this means the fixture is protected against dust, that there will be no intrusion of foreign matter for 2 to 8 hours and that the fixture is protected against rough seas or strong water sprays.
Thus, when analyzing lighting in an application such as a car wash, it will be essential to install a lighting product that is resistant to dust and to strong jets of water.
You can evaluate and select the IP classification that indicates the level of protection required for your application.