What is an IP Rating?
By Jordan Tomkins
What is an IP Rating?

*Why can some equipment be used outside when some can't? It's all about the Ingress Protection or IP rating. Let's have a look at what this means...*It's a common problem in live events; you really want to light up a beautiful area or have a video screen outdoors, but it's not possible as the equipment you have isn't protected from the rain.

But did you know it's not just a case of 'waterproof' or 'not waterproof'? There is actually a whole spectrum of standards for how well-protected equipment is, which is defined by the European Standards Organisation. This is called its ingress protection or 'IP rating'. But what is an IP rating?

Bristol Light Festival Beam display with lasers and lighting

An IP rating consists of the letters 'IP' followed by a two-digit numerical code. Sometimes a number is replaced with the letter 'X' which means that a piece of equipment has no rating for that part of the standard.

First Digit - Solid Matter

The first digit in the code relates to the equipment's protection against solids like dust and debris. This is important for sandy or dusty environments, but is less useful in a country like the UK unless you are on a beach or in a very dusty environment.

Second Digit - Liquids

The second digit rates the ability of the equipment to protect itself from liquids. This is very important in the UK, as we are famous for our changeable weather!

The Scale

Ratings range from 0 - the lowest level of protection, to 7 - the highest. Below is a full IP rating table to reference for what each rating means.

A table of IP ratings

PYTCH have a full range of IP rated lighting equipment and AV suitable for use outdoors.

For further advice or to hire equipment, get in touch


0333 022 0171