IP Ratings – What They Are and Why They Are Important

IP Ratings – What They Are and Why They Are Important

IP rating refers to ingress protection rating or international protection ratings, which are used to qualify levels of dust- and water-sealing effectiveness. It is crucial to consider IP ratings if you are purchasing fixtures for dusty or wet environments.

An IP rating is defined by the letters IP, followed by two numbers. Its sole purpose is to provide accurate information about the protection level an electrical fixture offers. The first number offers a scale of 0–6 and relates to the protection levels against solids like dirt, sand, dust, and debris, while the second number (0–8) represents protection against liquids like moisture and water. The higher the number, the greater the protection against solids and liquids.

Shop IP65 FixturesShop IP66 FixturesShop IP67 Fixtures

Main Differences Between IP65, IP66, and IP67

Depending on your project, the differences between these three ratings can be very important. A fixture rated with any of the three of these ratings is equally protected against dust, dirt, sand, and debris (as indicated by the “6” digit). The liquid/water protection for each of these three ratings is unique.

  • IP65 – Water resistant
  • IP66 – Water resistant against powerful jets
  • IP67 – Protected against complete temporary water submersion


A fixture with an IP rating of 65 is protected against multi-directional, low-pressure water jets. In order to pass testing and achieve an IP65 rating, fixtures must be able to withstand water projected by a 0.25-inch nozzle. To achieve satisfactory results, this test must be run for a minimum of fifteen minutes, with the water source placed three yards from the fixture. Additionally, the water pressure must be 30 kPa with water volume of 3.3 gallons per minute.


An IP66 rated fixture is protected against multi-directional, high-pressure water jets. To pass IP66 testing, the fixture must be able to withstand water projected from 0.50-inch nozzle, multi-directional, high-pressure jets. This test must be run for a minimum of three minutes, at a distance of three yards, with a water volume of 26.4 gallons per minute and a pressure of 100 kPa.


A fixture rated at IP67 is protected from water immersion between 5.9 inches and 39.37 inches. To pass IP67 testing, the fixture must not permit ingress of harmful quantities of water when fully immersed. There must be at least 5.9 inches of water above the fixture for the test to be valid.

Which IP Rating Do I Need?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on the environment in which your fixtures will be installed. If your fixtures will be subjected to dust, sand, debris, or liquids, choosing a fixture with a higher IP rating is advised. To decide which IP rating is suitable for your project, examine the space where the fixture will be placed. Typically, low IP ratings are used for areas such as indoor settings and sealed fixtures. High-IP-rated fixtures are used for outdoor locations subjected to a greater amounts of liquids and dust, areas with a large footfall, wet locations, and unsealed locations.

Access Fixtures IP-Rated Fixtures

The OPPE 26w bollard light is a popular IP67-rated fixture. This fixture features four 5w chip-on-board LEDs that emit over 2,000 lumens. It is rated for 50,000 hours and comes with a terrific color rendering index of 80+. When properly installed, no water ingress will be allowed from rain, snow, sleet, or elsewhere.

Another popular fixture is the APTA, perfect for sports lighting, horse arena lighting, park and path lighting, playground lighting, and anywhere requiring large amounts of light. This fixture is rated IP67 making it totally dust-proof and fully submersible. This IP67 rating makes them waterproof and unaffected by weather and are perfect for high-wind and high-rain areas.

These are just two of the many IP-rated fixtures offered at Access Fixtures. If you see a kind of fixture you like but need an IP-rated equivalent, let us know and we will be glad to help. Do you have a requirement to meet? Unsure of what IP rating your project requires? Call us today.

Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Choosing the Right Fixture

Access Fixtures is your factory-direct source for all light fixtures needed to suitably illuminate your property. We want to make sure you get the exact fixture for your needs, your budget, and your goals. We are passionate about lighting and love what we do—we’ll get you an answer. To speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist, call (800) 468-9925.