What is an IP (Ingress Protection) rating?

An Ingress Protection (IP) rating is a two-digit number that classifies the level of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures. International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is responsible for defining the standards. The rating defines the level of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures. The rating states the degree of protection from solids and liquids in certain conditions.

What do IP rating numbers mean?

The first digit indicates the degree of protection of the enclosed equipment from foreign objects.  The second number defines the protection level of the enclosure from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion, etc.)

Why have an IP rating system?

The IP rating system informs buyers and users with the level of safety to use certain electrical or mechanical goods in specific environments and applications.  For example, marketing terms such as “waterproof” don’t give a clear definition of precisely what extent an item can resist moisture ingress.  Therefore, the rating to provides a specific degree of protection.

What are examples of IP ratings?

The digits that follow IP indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. For example, an electrical socket rated IP22 provides protection against insertion of fingers.  In addition, damage will not occur and it will become unsafe with exposure to dripping water. (IP22 or IP2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.)

I P rating


LightWave Flexible LED Sheet Series

  • Cuttable & bendable
  • Consistent illumination
  • Customizable LED color options
  • Ideal for architectural, retail, and commercial applications
Learn More ▸

How can we help?

Contact Us ▸

DPC - Designer Power Communication

  • Powered USB & circuit breaker
  • Variety of outlet/USB combinations
  • Optional finishes available: Ivory, Light Almond, Nickel, White
  • Hospital-grade outlets and power cord option available
Learn More ▸

Sign Up to Receive Bright Ideas

Enter your email address below to receive periodic news and updates from Specialty Lighting.