Whether you're growing inside or outside, or even if you're just putting a light bulb in your bathroom so you can watch yourself combing those luxurious locks of hair, IP ratings quantify the difference between light and 'BOOM!'
At one point or another, everyone has seen these two numbers (IP54, IP20 or something along those lines) - whether shopping at Home Depot, screwing in a replacement, or checking out the bulbs at LEDHead Grow Lights. Here's what those two IP numbers indicate and what they mean for you as an LED light owner.
For starters, IP stands for 'Ingress Protection.' Ingress is not a word most of us encounter daily, and it means: “a place or means of entrance.” So essentially, what we're talking about is how easily foreign materials (solids and liquids) can enter your light and damage it. These two protection ratings are represented by two numbers; the higher the numbers, the higher the protection; let's take a look at them.
The first digit references protection from ingression of solid materials like dust, sticks, fingers, etc. and ranges from 0 to 6. Again, higher numbers mean greater protection while zero indicates no protection. Sometimes, you'll see an 'X' in place of the number, and this just means that the light has not been formally tested or rated for protection against solid objects. Check out the IP chart below to see in detail how each protection rating is defined.
Our second number indicates the level of protection against liquids such as drips, mists, sprays, and dunking in water. Unlike the first solids-rating number, the liquid ingress protection number ranges from 0 up to 8. Again, zero representsno protection while 8 means you could take it swimming. See the chart for more details of what each rating means.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US GROWERS?
In terms of LED grow lights (or any grow light for that matter,) each environment will have different requirements - the hydroponic folks need to pay a little more attention to the second (liquid IP) number to make sure any splashes or streams of water don't interfere with operation or create an unsafe environment. LED Head Grow Lights recommends an Ingress Protection rating of IP24 for home growers, which protects from most small objects and those inevitable accident-splashes of water and other liquids. Certainly, large scale growers may want to aim a little higher to IP66 as the sheer number of lights and the volatility of environment increase. LED Head Grow Lights always includes the IP rating when it is available, and we pressure manufacturers in the Grow Lights industry to provide this not only to us, but to other vendors and patrons as well. If you're concerned about the rating of any light or have questions regarding light safety, please let us know and we'll cover all the bases for you.
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