When you’re looking at electrical gear and gadgets for camping and outdoor use, you’ll often come across IP ratings. What are they, what do they tell you and how do they work?
IP stands for Ingress Protection and these ratings are a standardized system to indicate how protected the item is against ingress from solid objects and water. The numbers have a standard format of IPXX where the first digit after the IP is the solid object ingress protection rating, and the second digit is the water ingress protection rating.
So what does a rating of X mean? This means that there is no data on the protection for this parameter. An IPX4 rating, for example, means that the item is protected from splashing water, but no assessment has been made on protection from object ingress.
Let’s look at an example: a torch has an IP67 rating, what does this tell us? This tells us that the torch has a solid object ingress rating of 6, so will be fully protected from dust and a water ingress rating of 7, so will be protected from immersion in water up to 1m deep for up to 30 minutes.