Unilite ensures the quality of their products by putting them through rigorous international ANSI FL1 flashlight tests. This tests them against 6 criteria including water & dust resistance known as IP ratings.
With the way the weather is turning in the UK, working out which flashlights are waterproof has never been more important. The IP table below can help us work out the different grades of Dust & Waterproofing.
Understanding IP ratings
The higher the number, the more protection it has, up to the limit of IP68. The TL-5 flashlight has an IP68 rating, granting it the maximum protection against both dust and water. This ensures two things. Water submersion to 2M and beinjg surrounded by fine dust without it impeding its performance.
Compare this with the CT-2 compact torch which has an IP20 rating, offering a small amount of protection against solids, but no real water protection. Each light of course has its own use. If you are after something to use in rain then paying attention to the IP rating is important.
What does the X mean in IP Ratings?
Sometimes a lights IP rating has an X in place of a number. This means it has not been tested against dusts or solids but may offer some protection.
Lets take a look at the table in more detail to fully understand the ratings.
When choosing a light for outdoor use, we recommend at least an IP rating of IPX5. This will protect it against ‘Water projection by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction.’ This emulates the effects of torrential rain and means a light of IPX5 rating should be suited to surviving in these conditions.
Your mobile phone and other portable devices will have IP ratings of some type, with some even allowing total submersion for a short period!
Dust protection as well!
In some cases, people need their lights to be fully dust proof, especially when used on a building site, around wood saws or where other fine dust/sand exists. A high dust IP rating can therefore come in handy.
One product that offers this maximum protection is the SP-4500 speaker worklight. This has an IP65 rating which is incredibly useful when used as a main site light.
Dust protection is not always needed but you should consider where your lights are being used. If there is a possibility that you will be using it in highly dusty, or gritty environments, then picking this extra protection takes away any anxiety you may have.
*Bonus* IK Rating
You sometimes see our IP ratings written as IP65/IK07, throwing in some extra digits that can be confusing. The IK07 refers to the level of shock resistance the light will have against impacts. This is a number between 0 and 10 with the highest number offering the most protection. IK07 provides protection against 2 joules of impact. An equivalent of 0.5kg dropping from 400mm onto the light.
Whilst its good to have this rating, only a selection of lights have it. This is not disputing the build quality of the non rated lights, as our motto goes, all our ‘Lights Are Built Tough’. The proof for this was in our ‘Tank Tough video, when a couple of lights got driven over by a tank!
Hopefully, this has helped to clear up what IP ratings are. When you are browsing for your next light on our website, or maybe your next mobile phone, then look at its IP rating. When it comes to protecting your tools, it is always better to be safe than sorry.