Q:

What does IP44 mean?

A:

IP44 refers to a type of lighting approved for use in some areas of the bathroom. The IP code stands for International Protection Rating, which is also called the Ingress Protection Rating.

The IP coding system is defined in international standard IEC 60529. IP codes refer to the degree of protection against intrusion of solids or water in electrical enclosures. The codes always consist of the letters IP plus two numbers and optionally another letter. The first number refers to the degree of protection against solids while the second number refers to the degree of protection against water.

The scale goes from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust tight) in the first digit. The second digit goes from 0 (not protected) to 8 (immersible beyond 1 meter.) IP44 means:

  • 4 as the first digit: protected against most wires, screws, tools and fingers
  • 4 as the second digit: protected against water splashing the enclosure from any direction

When it comes to bathroom lighting, a rating of IP44 means that the lighting can be used anywhere in the bathroom, with the exception of right inside the bath or shower stall. Lighting in this area, also called Zone 0, must be IP67 or completely immersible. IP44-rated lighting may be used above the bath or shower starting at about 2 1/2 yards from floor level.

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