In rugged work sites, LED spotlights must be protected from a myriad of dangerous elements, such as water and dust. When addressing the presence of small, solid particles (dust), operators may refer to various dust protection ratings for lighting equipment.
Although Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are often associated with waterproof protection, part of the rating refers to dust. This is particularly useful for locations that are exposed to combustible particles, such as metal processing facilities, grain storage buildings and more.
Read on to learn more about how LED spotlights stay operational in dusty environments.
IP Rating (Dust)
In an IP rating, the first number is applied to advise individuals about protection from solid objects. It is crucial to highlight that the second number refers to protection from liquids and water sprays. In some cases, an optional third number is applied to reference protection from hard impacts.
A scale of 0 to 6 is applicable to protective ratings for dust. On the scale, the lowest rating (0) suggests that the LED spotlight does not offer any form of protection from dust. Within that scale, a range of 1-4 is applicable to resistance against rough contact, via tools, fingers or hands. With this in mind, IP3X or IP4X is recommended for protection from small objects.
Protection from Hazardous Dust
As we move up the scale, the level of protection increases. At the range of IP5X, finer particles are addressed. An LED spotlight with an IP5X rating (or higher) is protected from dust, as well as sand. Testing method to ensure such protective mechanisms includes exposing the unit to circulating dust.
Complete protection from dust is offered in LED spotlights with IP6X ratings. At this level, the luminary’s housing is dust tight. Most consumer-grade products may come equipped with IP5X ratings, while industrial variants that require higher levels of protection (industrial-grade) are IP6X.