In reviews of lights you are bound to come across IP codes. This has nothing to do with the internet. The IP code is the Ingress Protection rating, this is a standard used globally for any electronic device with a casing like the LED light bar yo are planning to buy. The following guide tries to simplify it.

Origins

The International Electrotechnical Commission, published the definitions upon which the IP codes are based. The IEC has been setting the standard of electrical equipment all the way from 1986. These standards are used globally, which is essential when you are purchasing or using imported gear.

Why are They Important?

The standards are very broad, they include how adept a piece of equipment is at keeping things that should not be in it out. This is important when you are considering installing lights on the exterior of your vehicle. Light bars are very exposed to both weather, and any objects that might sweep over the vehicle, for example a good light bar should keep rain water out and away from your wiring. It is for this reason that you must be confident that your light bar can withstand whatever comes its way, and the IP Codes below should help you identify this.

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The codes are very simple. They are put down as IP followed by two numbers. Each of these numbers focuses on different kinds of proofing, thus you only have to know what they mean and you will get a good idea of how well sealed your light bar is.

The first digit of the number following the IP code tells you how well sealed your LED work light is against solid objects, as well as how protected you are from touching its dangerous insides. The levels are 7, numbering 0 to 6. Below is the summary:

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Level

Blocked Object Size

Effectiveness

0

None

There is no protection. This means you can put your hands into the object.

1

>50mm

Large parts of your body cannot go into the casing

2

>12.5mm

You cannot put your fingers into the objects casing

3

>2.5mm

Tools cannot be inserted into the casing. This is the absolute minimum if you have children in the home.

4

>1mm

Small implements like wires and screws will be blocked

5

Dust protection

A little dust may get in, but not enough to cause harm. Solid objects cannot be inserted.

6

Dust Tight

The unit cannot be accessed by dust or any particles.


The second digit of the IP code tells you how waterproof the device will be. It has nine levels instead of 6.

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Level

Protection

Effectiveness

0

None

There is no protection

1

Dripping water

Water that drips vertically onto the device will have no effect

2

Water Dripping at 15o

Water that drips onto the device vertically with the casing tilted at 15o will have no effect

3

Spraying water

Spraying water at up to 60o from a vertical level will have no effect

4

Splashing water

Water splashing from any angle has no effect

5

Water Jet

Jet of water from a nozzle will have no effect

6

Powerful Water Jet

A high pressure water jet has little effect

7

Immersion in water up to 1 meter

Immersion in water for up to 30 minutes, with the device’s base at least 1 meter under the surface, has no harmful effects.

8

Immersion beyond 1 meter

The device can be continuously submerged to a depth that the manufacturer specifies. Usually this means that the device is fully sealed.


For light bars an advisable rating is at least IP66, if you can get IP77 all the better. So when you purchase that work light you know what to look for.