LED Tape in the Bathroom – The Importance of IP Zonings
If you plan on using LED Tape in your bathroom you will first need to check their suitability. This can be done by refering to their IP Rating.
What is an IP (Ingress Protection) Rating?
In its simplest terms, an IP Rating refers to the amount of protection offered by an electronic enclosure against moisture and solid objects. All electronic enclosures are assigned an IP Rating which can be used by electrical installers to determine the suitability of a product for certain applications.
All IP Ratings follow the same format and consist of the letters “IP” followed by two numbers. These two numbers refer to the level of protection offered against solid objects and moisture respectively. In order to understand what an IP Rating means it needs to read off against the following lists:
|First Digit – Protection Against Solid Foreign Objects||Second Digit – Protection Against Moisture|
|0 – No Protection||0 – No Protection|
|1 – Protected against solid objects with a diameter greater than 50mm||1 – Protected against dripping water|
|2 – Protected against solid objects with a diameter greater than 12mm||2 – Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees|
|3 – Protected against solid objects with a diameter greater than 2.5mm||3 – Protected against spraying water|
|4 – Protected against solid objects with a diameter greater than 0.1mm||4 – Protected against splashing water|
|5 – Protected against dust particles||5 – Protected against water jets|
|6 – Dust tight. Impermeable to solid objects unless compromised.||6 – Protected against powerful jets of water|
|7 – Protected against the effects of temporary immersion, maximum depth 1 metre|
|8 – Protected against complete submersion, depths over 1 metre|
In addition to the IP Rating you will also need to understand IP Zonings. To help installers decide where and where not to use certain products, the bathroom is divided into three seperate zones. In order to be used in each of these zones, a product must meet a minimum IP requirement.
Zone 1 – Inside the bath or shower. Light fittings must be low voltage (12V) and be IP67 rated.
Zone 2 -The area just above the bath at a distance of 2.25m from the floor. Minimum rating of IP65.
Zone 3 -The area at a horizontal distance of 0.6m from the bath and height of 2.25m from the floor. IP44 required.
LED Tape typically come with an IP65 rated coating which consists of a layer of clear silicone resine that covers the LED chips along the upper face of the strip light. These can be used in most areas of the bathroom, with the exception of the bath and shower. If you need to completely submerge your lights or subject them to prolonged exposure to moisture then an IP68 rated coating is required.
For more information on IP ratings and IP zonings please contact us on 0116 321 4122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.