For most people, it is often confusing to know the kind of rating they need when looking for weather-resistant or waterproof electrical enclosures. There is a huge difference between waterproof, water-resistant, and other explanatory but not precise labels such as IP55, IP66, and IP57.
What Does IP Stand For?
IP stands for ‘Ingress Protection,’ which is the numerical value for ratings that indicate the level of protection provided from a variety of factors. Although the first number after ‘IP’ states the level from moving parts that reside within the enclosure, it is majorly used to indicate the exclusions regarding foreign objects that may enter the enclosure. Similarly, the second number in the series suggests the degree of protection against various forms of moisture.
For instance, if the enclosure is dust-tight, and it prevents foreign objects to enter it, then the first value of the IP rating will be six, which is the also highest degree of protection. Now in terms of moisture, if the enclosure offers protection against strong water jets but allows a little water to enter inside, then the second value will be five, which signifies adequate protection, but not the best in class.
Various different rating systems have been developed for the specification of such standards, which is verified by distinct agency bodies. Amongst the many, two of the most reputable agencies that control such standards are NEMA and IP.
Although you will find many companies selling their products, you need to explore options from reputable electrical providers such as Schneider Electric. They offer IP55, and IP66 rated line of socket outlets that are durable and can be used for outdoor and demanding environments. IP55, IP66 warranted light switches are built to provide solidity and strength.
Schneider Electric’s socket outlets are IP55, or IP66 rated for better weather resistance. These applications have a curved, smooth design that is aesthetically appealing while providing high performance. The range includes 1 to 2-gang sockets, 20AX switches, 1 to 3-gang switches, and an RCD shielded 2-gang socket outlet for improved personal protection.
- IP55 for weatherproof protection in general outdoor conditions
- IP66 for full weatherproof protection while in use
- Made from durable and tough thermoplastic
IP55, IP66 Light Switches And Electrical Sockets
IP55 switches and electrical sockets work on the functions of transparent membranes, and thus maintains the IP55/66 rating. Here, the switch status (on/off) can easily be seen through the clear, transparent membrane, which makes it easy to identify the ratings.
- Larger switch rocker facilitates easy operation.
- Mounting screws locations are separated from the backbox.
- Improved IP installations.
What Are Some Dedicated Applications Of IP55, IP66 Light Switches and Electrical Sockets?
- Balcony, Garage, Swimming pool
- Outdoor security units
- Control boxes for farms, industrial and construction equipment
- Outdoor scientific devices
- Electrical connection boxes
- A/V gear for outdoor applications
IP ratings were initially developed by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). It is mainly used in Europe, Asia, and also in North America.
Due to the accreditation of such ratings have to meet international standards, the TUV instead of UL usually certifies the testing. You need to note that while these products are developed to deal with severe environments, they don’t meet the UV protection standards. You must consult with an electrical professional to find out your requirements and then find appropriate products with the help of the technician.