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IP - Ingress Protection Ratings
Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are developed by the European Committee for Electro Technical Standardization (CENELEC) (described IEC/EN 60529), specify the environmental protection an enclosure provides.

The IP rating normally has two (or three) numbers:

1. Protection from solid objects or materials
2. Protection from liquids
3. Protection against mechanical impacts (commonly omitted)

Example - IP Rating
With the IP rating IP 54, 5 describes the level of protection from solid objects and 4 describes the level of protection from liquids.

IP First number - Protection against solid objects
0
No protection.
1
Protected against solid objects up to 50mm, e.g. accidental touch by hands.
2
Protected against solid objects up to 12mm, e.g. fingers.
3
Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm (tools and wires).
4
Protected against solid objects over 1mm (tools, wire, and small wires).
5
Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit).
6
Totally protected against dust.

IP Second number - Protection against liquids
0
No protection.
1
Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation.
2
Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical.
3
Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical.
4
Protection against water sprayed from all directions o limited ingress permitted.
5
Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions o limited ingress.
6
Protected against low pressure jets of water, e.g. for use on ship decks - limited ingress permitted.
7
Protected against the effect of immersion between 15cm and 1m.
8
Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure.