People can often get confused when it comes to determining IP ratings and which one is best suited for their installation. Regarding LED strips in particular, the key IP ratings can be broken down like so:
IP00/IP00 (Non-waterproof) - No protection against contact and ingress of solid objects. No protection against liquids.
IP54 (Splash-proof and limited dust proof) - Protected against dust ingress which sufficient to prevent the product from operating normally, but not dust tight. The product is fully protected against solid objects and splashing of water from any angle (no immersion).
IP65 (Splash-proof and totally dust-proof) - No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction (no immersion).
IP67 (Waterproof, limited time immersion up to 1m) - No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact. Protected from limited immersion between 15 centimetres and 1 meter in depth, under defined conditions of pressure and time. Not suitable for underwater installations as the product can only be immersed for a specified length of time.
IP68 (waterproof – immersion of more than 1m) - No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact. Protected from long term immersion up to a specified pressure.
For this article, we're going to focus on IP54-IP65, for the reason being that this is a more commonly purchased type of strip, next to IP00, with IP65 tending to be purchased for kitchen areas but also being commonly mistaken as suitable for bathrooms, saunas and steam rooms.
Hi-Line Lighting advertises its splash-proof LED strips as IP54/IP65. These strips are very close to IP65, however, because we isolate the bottom of our PCBs with red 3M tape, which is IP54, while the rest of the strip sticks to an IP65 specification.
It's perfectly understandable to confuse these terms, which is why we're always here to help out if you have any questions. If in doubt it's always best to seek advice before assuming that you've purchased the right gear for your job, as you may find yourself running into issues later on. LED strip lighting can provide many years of use, but it involves a little knowledge and a lot of respect for product in order to get the most out of it.
You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice but otherwise, take care when shopping and be sure to learn those IP ratings!