Credit AccountsFor Easy Ordering
48 hour clock
48 hour DispatchFor Souriau UTO & UTS
24 hour clock
Next Day DeliveryFor stocked items

What is the IP20 Rating for Lighting?


IP ratings are a way to measure ingress protection for components in networks or systems. Parts like cable glands may need a high level of protection from ingress by dust, dirt, moisture and foreign bodies, depending on the environment in which they need to operate. When choosing the right component for a challenging application, IP ratings can guide your decision.

For this reason, it is important to understand how they work and what each IP rating denotes so that you can be sure your electrical equipment has the level of protection you need. While they may seem confusing at first, once you know what each ingress protection rating means, you should not have any trouble identifying the right product for your needs.

For lighting, there are a number of common IP ratings that you might see applied to products, one of which is IP20. If you are unfamiliar with what this rating indicates, you might choose inappropriate components for light fittings which can lead to high-risk, dangerous setups. You should always aim to thoroughly understand the technical specifications of any components you aim to install.

Here, the professionals at Northern Connectors will explain how IP ratings work and what each IP rating says about the components to which it applies. This means that you can be sure to choose the right part for your system.

What is the IP rating system?

The IP rating system was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a global industry standard for ingress protection in components. An IP rating will consist of the letters "IP" followed by two digits, which indicate the level of protection from ingress by solid objects and moisture that a component can provide.

Each IP rating is derived from a scale and refers to a particular minimum rating of ingress protection. The first digit following IP in the rating exists on a scale from 0 to 6, and refers to the component's security against the intrusion of solid objects. For example, a rating of 1 means that the component can protect against solid objects greater than 50mm in length, and most commonly refers to accidental interference by a hand or other body part. At the other end of the scale, a rating of 6 means that the component is dust tight and completely resistant to even very fine solid matter.

The second digit refers to the ingress protection provided against moisture by a component and ranges from 0 - indicating no water ingress protection at all - to 9 - which indicates a component that is resistant to high-pressure and temperature water jets.

What are IP20 components suitable for?

A rating of IP20 often applies to lighting components, and as you may have recognised from the scales listed above, illustrates a relatively low level of ingress protection. As a 2, the first digit shows that the object is resistant to ingress by physical objects greater than 12.5mm in length. Usually, this means that these components are protected from ingress by body parts.

However, the 0 rating for moisture protection indicates that these components provide no protection from airborne moisture, vertically falling droplets or water jets. While IP20 fixtures are therefore suitable for many indoor lights and fittings, you will usually need a stronger degree of protection for outdoor lighting or bathroom lighting applications. In such cases, IP65 components or those with higher ratings are more commonly used.

Find out more

If you want to know more about IP ratings or need guidance with selecting a suitable solution for your application, Northern Connectors is here to help.

We supply Electro-Mechanical Connector Technology from a number of leading brands, including binder, CONEC, Souriau and Radiall

You can explore the IP Ratings section of our website, call us on 01744 815001, or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at the nearest opportunity.

Technical expertise is just a click away. For rapid service & personalised support, complete the following form or call 01744 815 001

What Our Customers Say

Quotation marks

“I am writing to your company today to say a very big thank you, I mainly speak to Fran she is such a lovely lady, nothing is to much trouble and your assembly workers are brilliant they have very kindly fitted in many urgent orders for me over the years and always deliver on time.

I love working with your company it is excellent so please say a very big thank you to all your staff, they have done you proud.”

Woods, Essex
Quotation marks

“Once again many thanks for your very good service response, I wish I could say all companies we deal with are like this, but sadly that is not always the case!”

Combstock, Hereford

Long Term, Flexible Call-Offs

We can facilitate your Kanban, Just-in-Time requirements and schedule orders over a 12 month period, supporting contracts that require that extra level of support and taking advantage of secure pricing levels and stock availability.

Quote & Order
Stock Arrival & Start
Credit cards
Pay as You Go
Box with tick
Tracked Service