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What are IP44 bathroom lights?

 

27 Sep 2019

 

How to get an understanding of the lighting protection codes before you purchase.

 

There is an international code system, developed in order to prevent confusion about vague product descriptions that have ‘waterproof’ in them. The IP44 coding provides more detailed information. So, the higher the number, the stronger the protection. For example, IP44 rated lights are designed for use as bathroom lights, and wet environments.

You’d be surprised how many visitors to our online lighting store ask, ‘what does IP44 rating mean in lighting?’ That’s just one of a multitude of questions. So, we’ve written this blog post to help you understand and find what you’re looking for!

You can find a page on Wikipedia that explains what the IP code means if you want to research further. It stands for International Protection Marking (some websites refer to IP as Ingress Protection, it's the same thing). The equivalent European standard is EN 60529. You don’t really need to know this EU bit though. All you’re concerned with is, what does IP mean, and does the protection work?

There are other numbers to look out for, including IP67, IP66 and IP65. Don’t worry though, we’ll quickly explain these below.

 

IP ratings mean some lights can be used in the bathroom

 

Yes, IP rated lights are ideal for use in bathrooms and as outdoor lights too. For example, have a look at these examples of some of our bathroom and outdoor lights with IP ratings:

www.valuelights.co.uk/shop-by-room/bathroom-lights

www.valuelights.co.uk/outdoor-lighting

We mentioned above what the IP number stands for, and although some websites differ on what IP means, they all agree that the ‘P’ stands for PROTECTION.

The IP code is used to identify the type of sealing strength around electrical items. The higher the number, the stronger the product is against those environmental elements like water, dust, or pressure. The number tells you how much protection is provided against those elements, that includes moisture in a bathroom.

The first number tells you about protection from solid objects and dust. This could mean protection from accidental touching from an animal or insect, or even prevent children from tampering with a light (especially if the bulb is encased). Children can and sometimes will touch outdoor lights, especially ones embedded in a flower bed or shrubbery.

The second number tells you about protection from liquids, which is probably more important to you. The main liquid being water.

The IP tables below will help you to get an understanding of the various types of IP code. The first table shows you what the primary number signifies:

 

ip code ratings for first digit showing solid examples 

The second table shows you what the second number signifies:
 
ip code ratings for second digit showing liquid examples

 

If you check the table again, you require IP47 because the second number determines the light’s immersive effectiveness. 

For example, the first number determines protection from solid objects (whether that’s people, animals, or insects) which would be ‘4’ on the first table.

The second number determines the effectiveness of the immersive durability, which would be ‘7’ giving you a light product IP of IP47.

Look at the table above to choose which IP number you require. This diagram breakdown each IP number individually:

ip ratings code numbers detail explained

IP ratings code numbers in detail explained

 

Do I need to buy a light with a high IP rating?

No, you don’t need to buy one with a high IP rating. It’s basically down to personal choice though, but obviously the higher the code number means the product will be more durable and last longer. However, a streetlight would have an IP rating of IP66 or IP67 or a sailing boat that has external lights would most probably have an IP rating of IP67 and higher. Incidentally #9 isn’t even on our table as those light are super durable, not needed in your average bathroom or back garden!

In fact, one of the most common IP rated lights we sell is the IP44 range which people commonly use as bathroom or kitchen lights. The Trenley Up/Down Wall Light in Brushed Chrome and the Fina 3-Way Ceiling Light in Chrome are examples.

Trenley IP44 Up/Down Wall Light in Brushed Chrome

 Trenley IP44 Up/Down Wall Light in Brushed Chrome

 


Fina 3-Way IP44 Ceiling Light in Chrome

Fina 3-Way IP44 Ceiling Light in Chrome 

 

 

IP ratings are there to help you choose the right outdoor lights too

 

The other things to consider are the IP ratings on garden lights. The ratings will tell you how weatherproof the lights are. You should be looking to purchase a lighting product with a rating of around IP44 or higher.

It again depends on what type of outdoor light you need, how exposed it is or if it’s for decking or security?

Even the number of trees and fencing can impact how a light is exposed to the elements in terms of durability. You probably wouldn’t need an outdoor light rated as high as IP66 for example. If you have a garden fountain or a pond that you want to light up in the evenings, then obviously you’ll be looking to purchase a light with a rating of IP47 or higher.

Some examples of higher protective items we sell in our online store include outside lighting switches and power sockets, such as the Black Double 2-Gang Outdoor Switch and the Double Outdoor Socket, both of which have a protection rating of IP66.

All the codes are published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The IEC is a Swiss association that acts as an international standards organization, especially in the EU. These classifications of numbers are applicable to the UK and Ireland and across Europe, so Brexit wouldn’t have an influence over your decision to buy!

You’ll find lots of info about the classification system online if you want to research more. All our product pages are clearly marked with information on the IP standards, so if you’re looking for an outdoor light that needs IP44 then you’ll find one on our website.

 

Happy shopping!

By Stewart

Valuelights is rated 4.7 stars by Reviews.co.uk based on 4500 reviews