Waterproofing and impact luminaire protection
When you open a catalogue of luminaires, we are accustomed to seeing nomenclatures and symbols that perhaps sometimes we don’t know how to interpret. Two of those parameters that more defines a luminaire are the IK e IP of the fixtures. But, what do they really mean? Do we know how to interpret it? In the following lines we will define these parameters that will help us choose which luminaire fits better our installation and its environment.
IP code indicates the degree of protection against penetration of solids inside the enclosure and against the penetration of water. This code shows its impermeability and their insulation from the environment, as well as ease of access by persons inside the luminaire. This code is composed of the letters IP and two digits.
The first figure can vary between 0 and 6, and ensures protection against the penetration of solid objects to the interior of the fixture. In this case, 0 indicates that the luminaire is not protected, while 6 means is an enclosure completely watertight.
The second digit can be a number between 0 and 8 and indicates the protection against water penetration and its prejudicial effects. 0 shows the enclosure it totally waterproof against prolonged immersion, with variable immersion times depending on tests.
In addition, two more letters can be added after the digits. The first one, defines the degree of protection against access to dangerous parts, only for those cases where effective protection is more effective than the one indicated by the first digit. The second letter is the W and ensures that the luminaire is protected against exposure to weather conditions. In any case, these two classifications are optional. Luminaires with a high degree of IP are often called waterproof lighting, given its waterproofing and insulation.
Airfal´s luminaires count with a defined IP protection specified in its technical data sheets and descriptions. Between Airfal´s catalogue pages we find great variety of light fixtures that goes from the lowest IP to the highest possible, for example like the OVEN, with an IP68 in one of the most waterproof enclosures.
In the other side of the scale , we find decorative luminaires, which by being found indoor premises, don’t need a high protection against dust or water, which protects it against solid foreign bodies of diameter greater than 12.5 mm, but does not protect it against the water.
This code defines the degree of protection against harmful mechanical impacts and protecting the interior equipment. The letters IK are always accompanied by two digits ranging from 00 to 10 and indicate the maximum force of a blow in joules that can receive a fixture without being damaged. This nomenclature defines the whole the luminaire, if not so, the IK that corresponding to each differentiated part must be specified. The luminaires with a high grade of IK are often called luminaires anti vandalism, in allusion to the resistance to possible acts of vandalism. In Airfal we have a wide range of luminaires with IK 10, as it is the case of the TR2 luminaire or the Flame.
IK and IP in LED modules luminaires
The LED luminaries are very sensitive to the heat and although this source of light emits less heat that others, It must dispersed in the best way possible so the excess of temperature not shorten its use life. In addition to the own light source, the driver that feeds these leds also generates extra heat that must be expelled out of the body. The more protection that has a luminaire the better insulated it is and therefore is more difficult to dissipate the heat. A high IP complicates the exchange of air between the inside and outside and a higher IK implies a greater thickness in the body of the luminaire.
Before these peculiarities of the LED, the technical department has managed to keep the levels of protection and resistance without decreasing the quality of the light fixture, thanks on the one hand, for the constant search of a LED that emits as much as possible light by consumed W, so that it can issue the lowest possible heat per unit of power, and thanks also to the search for LED modules that support higher working temperature. Airfal works with Philips, ELT or Tridonic, since they comply with these requirements and stand out for its quality, durability and light power. The Airfal bet on the best brands of the market is a clear sign of the importance that is given in this company to the quality.
Airfal´s catalogue has with a wide range of luminaires with different degrees of protection, adjusting this way to all the demands of our customers. Thusly the luminaires with a low IP and IK are perfect for your installation in areas of offices or shops that are placed in high areas and do not face adverse environmental conditions.
Moreover, the luminaires with a high IP are usually installed in damp places or hostile environments, exposed to dirt or weather. A luminaire with a high IK is also perfect for workplaces or areas exposed to many crowds for its resistance to impacts. In Airfal´s catalogue we find the Rinox, a luminaire with IP68 and IK10, whose body is perfectly suited for adverse conditions and can be submerged to 2 meters deep. The TR1 is also another good example of high protection. It combines high efficiency and high visual comfort and can be installed in many architectural applications such as offices, public spaces, showrooms, local branches or commercial bank areas.
Contrary to what one may believe, a luminaire with a maximum IP does not necessarily imply that your IK is also 10, and vice versa. We find an example of this in the model Range, with IP68 and IK07. This model is indicated in places with environmental conditions that would require the use of materials resistant to chemical attack or requirements of very deep cleaning as laboratories, animal feed or processing of food or pharmaceutical plants. The Pyros, with IP66 IK10 luminaire is also an example that the maximum IK does not imply the maximum IP. This fixture, as well as explosion-proof model, presents a high resistance to impacts. The family of the lighting LED highlights for example luminaire Silver with IP68, presenting the perfect solution to illuminate spaces that require a luminaire with a high quality and able to withstand the worst conditions and hydrocarbons, what makes it ideal for use in: industrial kitchen hoods, nurseries, fountains, swimming pools, direct lighting of machinery (shock resistant), outdoor lighting.