Chris Hudson, MD of Hudson Lighting, explains more about the importance of IP68 ratings for recessed outdoor lights and gives a general overview of IP ratings and what they mean.
Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are crucial for understanding the environmental resilience of electrical fixtures, especially outdoor lighting. An IP rating consists of two digits, indicating the device’s resistance to solids and liquids, respectively. However, the specific requirements for outdoor recessed lights demand a higher level of protection, with IP68 being the ideal choice. Before we delve into why IP68 is vital for recessed lights, let’s overview the IP rating system:
● IP00: Offers no protection against contact with any object or ingress of water.
● IP10 – IP40: Offers protection against objects larger than 50 mm (IP10) down to 1 mm (IP40), but no water resistance.
● IP50 – IP60: Fully dust-protected, but offers no protection against water ingress.
● IPX1 – IPX4: No protection against dust ingress but offers water protection against vertically falling drops (IPX1) up to splashing water from any direction (IPX4).
● IPX5 – IPX6: Still no dust protection, but can withstand water jets (IPX5) or powerful water jets (IPX6).
● IP5X – IP6X: Fully dust-protected (IP5X) to dust-tight (IP6X) but offers no water protection.
● IP65 – IP66: Dust-tight and can resist water jets (IP65) or powerful water jets (IP66).
● IP67: Dust-tight and can withstand temporary immersion in water up to 1 metre.
● IP68: Dust-tight and can endure continuous immersion in water beyond 1 metre. Recessed outdoor lights often face more strenuous conditions, potentially sitting in/under water for extended periods – conditions that would severely challenge IP66 or IP67 rated lights.
While IP66 and IP67 lights offer protection against powerful water jets and temporary immersion in water, neither is suitable for prolonged water exposure, typical for recessed lights. That’s where IP68 comes into play.
IP68 rated lights are dust-tight and can withstand continuous immersion in water beyond 1 metre. This makes them an ideal choice for recessed outdoor lights. It ensures your lighting investment withstands the elements and continues to perform optimally, even under challenging conditions. While the difference between IP67 and IP68 may seem minor, it’s this small distinction that significantly impacts the lifespan and performance of your garden lights.
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