IP20 vs IP44 | Which One Suits Your Needs?
IP20 or IP44: What Suits Your Needs?
Common misconceptions about IP ratings
There are several misconceptions surrounding IP ratings that can lead to confusion when selecting lighting or electrical equipment. Here are some common misunderstandings about IP ratings that you should be aware of:
- Higher IP rating means better overall quality: While a higher IP rating does indicate a higher level of protection against dust and water, it does not necessarily mean better overall quality. Other factors, such as build quality, materials used, and compliance with safety standards, also contribute to the overall quality of the equipment.
- IP rating determines the lifespan of the equipment: The IP rating primarily indicates the level of protection against dust and water, not the lifespan of the equipment. The lifespan of an electrical appliance depends on various factors, including its build quality, maintenance, and usage conditions.
By understanding these misconceptions, you can make a more informed decision when selecting electrical equipment based on their IP ratings.
Differences between IP20 and IP44 ratings
Understanding the differences between IP20 and IP44 ratings is crucial when selecting the right lighting. These ratings provide important information about the level of protection against solid objects and water ingress.
Here are the key differences between IP20 and IP44:
- Protection against solid objects: IP20 provides protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm in diameter, while IP44 offers protection against solid objects larger than 1mm in diameter. This means that IP44-rated equipment offers better protection against dust and debris compared to IP20-rated equipment.
- Protection against water: IP20 does not provide any protection against water, whereas IP44 offers protection against water splashes from any direction. This makes IP44-rated lights suitable for use in areas where there is a higher risk of water exposure, like bathrooms or outside.
- Suitability for indoor and outdoor use: IP20 is primarily designed for indoor use in environments with minimal water exposure. On the other hand, IP44 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, making it ideal for areas where water splashes may occur, such as bathrooms and outdoor spaces.
As no CE rated ( British standard) light allows you to to poke fingers into the electrical part of the light, then there is no difference between having an IP20 light or a non rated light, providing the space where you intend to use it is not wet or far enough away from a wet source. Like a bathroom ceiling if the bathroom zone is outside of zone 2. A non IP rated light could be used quite safely.
Click For details of Bathroom Zones - with measurements to guide you.
IP20 vs IP44: Which rating is suitable for outdoor use?
So when it comes to outdoor use, IP44 or better is the more suitable rating compared to IP20. Here's why:
- Protection against solid objects: IP20 provides protection against solid objects larger than 12.5mm in diameter, while IP44 offers protection against solid objects larger than 1mm in diameter. Outdoors, there is a higher likelihood of encountering small particles and debris, making IP44 more appropriate for protection against dust and debris.
- Protection against water: IP20 does not offer any protection against water, making it unsuitable for outdoor use where water exposure is common. IP44, on the other hand, offers protection against water splashes from any direction, making it more suitable for outdoor environments that may be exposed to rain or other forms of water ingress.
- Durability and longevity: Outdoor environments are often harsher and more demanding than indoor environments, with exposure to various elements such as sunlight, temperature changes, and moisture. IP44-rated lighting is designed to withstand these outdoor conditions better, providing increased durability and longevity compared to IP20-rated lights.
Considering these factors, IP44 is generally the recommended IP rating for outdoor use, providing adequate protection against both solid objects and water splashes.
For indoor use, the decision between IP20 and IP44 depends on the presence of dust and the risk of water splashes. IP44 is generally more suitable for areas with higher exposure to dust and water.
For outdoor use, IP44 or better is the recommended rating due to its better protection against both solid objects and water. By considering these factors and following the manufacturer's guidelines, you can select the right equipment with the appropriate IP rating for your specific requirements.