Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization with the directive EN60529, specifying the environmental protection the enclosure provides. The equivalent European standard is IEC 60529. It is very important for LED lighting fixtures. For LED street light, normally customers will request IP66 test report.
The IP rating normally has two digits:
- Protection from solid objects or materials.
- Protection from liquids (water).
First digit: Solid particle protection
The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides solid objects.
|Level sized||Effective against||Description|
|X||—||X means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to one of the criteria.|
|0||—||No protection against contact and ingress of objects|
|1||>50 mm||Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part|
|2||>12.5 mm||Fingers or similar objects|
|3||>2.5 mm||Tools, thick wires, etc.|
|4||>1 mm||Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.|
|5||Dust protected||Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment.|
|6||Dust tight||No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.|
Second digit: Liquid ingress protection
The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of water.
|Level||Protection against||Effective against||Details|
|1||Dripping water||Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.||Test duration: 10 minutes
Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute
|2||Dripping water when tilted at 15°||Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes.||Test duration: 2.5 minutes for every direction of tilt (10 minutes total)
Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute
|3||Spraying water||Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with a counterbalanced shield.
Test a) is conducted for 5 minutes, then repeated with the specimen rotated horizontally by 90° for the second 5-minute test. Test b) is conducted (with shield in place) for 5 minutes minimum.
|For a Spray Nozzle:
Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 5 minutes
For an oscillating tube:
Test duration: 10 minutes
Water Volume: 0.07 l/min per hole
|4||Splashing of water||Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect, utilizing either: a) an oscillating fixture, or b) A spray nozzle with no shield.
Test a) is conducted for 10 minutes. Test b) is conducted (without shield) for 5 minutes minimum.
|Oscillating tube: Test duration: 10 minutes, or spray nozzle (same as IPX3 spray nozzle with the shield removed)|
|5||Water jets||Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 15 minutes
Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
|6||Powerful water jets||Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.||Test duration: 1 minute per square meter for at least 3 minutes
Water volume: 100 litres per minute
|7||Immersion, up to 1 m depth||Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).||Test duration: 30 minutes – ref IEC 60529, table 8.
Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.
|8||Immersion, 1 m or more depth||The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion.||Test duration: Agreement with Manufacturer
Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m
In order to pass the test of IP66 for LED street light fixtures, we must be careful since we design the LED street light housing. The following picture can help you understand the directive EN60529.