Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings Explained: What Are They and What Do They Mean?

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are a standard used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign objects (dust, dirt, sand) and moisture. Different uses of equipment will require different levels of protection, so it’s useful to get familiar with what the ratings mean.

What the Numbers Mean

The digits following “IP” each stand for a different level of protection against solids and moisture. The first digit represents protection against solid matter, while the second represents moisture protection.

 First Digit (Intrusion/Solid Protection)

0 No protection.
1 Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand, but no protection from deliberate access; guards against solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2 Protection against fingers or other objects no smaller than 12.5 mm.
3 Protection from entry by tools, thick wires, etc. with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4 Protection against solid bodies larger than 1 mm (e.g. fine tools).
5 Protection against dust that may harm equipment.
6 Totally dust tight.

Second Digit (Moisture Protection)

0 No protection.
1 Protection against condensation and water droplets.
2 Protection against dripping water deflected up to 15° from vertical.
3 Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4 Protected against water spray from all directions.
5 Protection against low pressure water jets from all directions.
6 Protection against strong water jets and waves.
7 Protected against temporary immersion.
8 Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.

So, Why Does it Matter?

The type of IP rating you require will depend largely on the conditions you are using the technology in. If you’re working outdoors where there is a higher risk of dirt or moisture coming in contact with your equipment, you may want to consider using a product with a higher IP rating. For example, those in fields such as public safety (police, fire, military), outdoor events, and construction typically need technology with a higher IP rating than those working in hospitality.

Impact’s Approved IP-Rated Products

If you’re looking for IP-rated products, we have a few different options for you to choose from:

Still not sure what kind of IP rating is best for your needs? We would be happy to chat about your individual requirements and help you select the best equipment for your needs and budget.


IMPACT™ is a world leader in the design and manufacture of unique communication products including surveillance earpieces for a range of industries and applications including public safety, security, hospitality, and others. Contact us today to learn more about our product offering!

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