In recent years, smart home technology has become increasingly popular, among them, the smart plug is one of the favorite devices for homeowners looking to automate their homes. This small, WiFi-enabled plug is a device that plugs into a standard electrical outlet and allows you to control the power to whatever is plugged into it through a mobile app or voice assistant. The smart plug promises to…

LED driver is an electrical device that regulates the power to an LED or a string of LEDs. It provides a constant current or voltage to the LED(s) to ensure that they operate within their specified operating range and prevent them from burning out. LED drivers are essential components in LED lighting systems and are available in various types, such as constant-current, constant-voltage, and dimmable drivers.

One of the biggest technical challenges of LED lighting fixtures currently is the issue of heat dissipation. Poor heat dissipation can cause the weakness of LED drivers and electrolytic capacitors which prevents lighting fixtures from further developing and resulting in early light decay. Only by quickly transmitting the heat out can reduce the luminaire temperature effectively, as well as protect the power supply from working in a prolonged high-temperature environment.

Many of us may notice that the so-called IP67 outdoor underground lights are with rainwater infiltrating into the fixture, even though they’re with IP test reports that prove they are waterproof and some of the lights are a good brand, there are still leaks. So why does water leakage occurs In IP67 underground lights? Before we give an answer, you have to understand what IP67 stands for.

In our basic understanding, the lights in the home are there to help us see things clearly. It’s something that we use daily without giving it much thought. But they’re just more than that! Good lighting can make a home more attractive and welcoming. It changes the mood, sets the ambiance, and adds character to the places like living and dining rooms or bathrooms and kitchens, particularly in open-concept spaces. Lighting choices can make or break a room’s design and mood. And if…

If your kitchen is only with the overhead lighting, the problem is there will be a shadow zone generated by the ceiling light. When you’re washing dishes in the sink or chopping vegetables on the tabletop, with your back to the light, you are operating in your own shadow zone. It’s no wonder that many people in the kitchen will accidentally cut their hands, as the workbench where you are chopping vegetables is completely covered by shadows. So, how to avoid this unpleasant experience and don’t let it happen again?

When it comes to LED tri-proof lights, we are all familiar with these luminaires. It’s waterproof, robust, and versatile. Thanks to their outstanding performance, the tri-proof lights have been widely used in many applications. To serve different purposes, there are lots of new designs of tri-proof lights in the market now, giving us more options to choose the best tri-proof lights for our projects. But when it comes to buying tri-proof lighting…

IP Rating - Complete Guide

What Is IP Rating? – Complete Guide

When installing lights in your garden, warehouse, and even kitchen, you want to know how waterproof your lighting is. Because this ensures that you can install and use your lighting fixtures safely in a specific area. The IP Rating (or “Ingress Protection”) tells you just that. It is the measure of how much the electrical is sealed and protected from the intrusion of liquid, but also solids like dust and dirt.

The Ingress Protection or IP Rating is an important consideration during the selection of LED lighting products for any projects. It reflects the suitability of the light fitting to specific environmental conditions in indoor and outdoor installations. The specifications for light fixtures often include a value for IP, but what IP grade you should choose? Or what IP level is the most suitable for your applications? This article will give you a complete guide of it.

What is IP Rating (or Ingress Protection)?

The IP Code (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating*) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.

*Explanation of the letters IP is given in IEC 60529 (Ed. 2.1), clause 4.1

The first digit refers to the level of protection a scale or indicator enclosure against access to hazardous parts (e.g., dust particles, electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects, while the second digit defines the level of protection against liquids. The larger each digit is, the greater the protection.


First Digit: Protection against solids

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protectedNo protection against contact and ingress of objects
1>50mmAny large surface of the body, such as the back of the hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2>12.5mmFingers or similar objects.
3>2.5mmTools, thick wires, etc.
4>1mmMost wires, screws, etc.
5Dust ProtectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact.
6Dust TightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.

Second Digit: Protection against liquids

LevelObject size protected againstEffective against
0Not protected
1Dripping waterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
2Dripping water when tilted up to 15°Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3Spraying waterWater falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4Splashing waterWater splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6Powerful water jetsWater projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7Immersion up to 1mIngress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8Immersion beyond 1mThe equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.

What IP Rating Will You Need?

If you don’t anticipate a harsh environment that is extremely dusty or wet then a lower IP rating would suffice.

In places that will have a lot of dust, debris, or potential to be in contact with any solids or liquids, you’ll want to make sure that the IP ratings are high and that you have adequate water resistant or waterproof coatings on your LED lights.

Following are the most popular IP ratings for some of the fixtures, such as flood lights, tri-proof lights, street lights, and their meanings:

IP20 or IP40 for indoor applications:

This is for lights that are designed to go in an enclosed fixture.  An IP20 or IP40 light should never be outdoors unless the fixture is sealed. It is usually fine indoors unless it’s an area of high humidity or other harsh conditions. A lot of LED LightsLED track lights, LED Linear and other fixtures fall in this category. They are a great option for indoor use in basic environments.

IP54 Dustproof Rating:

LED lights with IP54 give complete dust protection. Whereas, for liquids, it gives protection against splashing water only. This will be common in basic led light bulbs and indoor fixtures.

IP65 Waterproof Rating:

Considered to be perfect for domestic and commercial use, IP65 rating gives complete protection against foreign bodies and water jets. Water disposed of by a nozzle of 6.3mm will have no damaging effect on LED lights. Anytime you are purchasing an outdoor fixture it should be IP65 rated. This includes fixtures like LED Flood Lights or LED Parking Lot Lights.

IP67 and IP68 Waterproof Rating:

LED lights with IP67 or IP68 ratings give complete protection against foreign objects (similar to IP64 and IP65). However, the difference lies in protection against liquids. LED lights with this rating are much more resistant to water as compared IP65. Water will have no effect on LED light even if it is immersed in water of the depth of 1m.

For outdoor applications, the most commonly used IP level of LED lights is IP65, as it provides maximum protection against solid particles and a good amount of resistance against liquid particles as well. They can be fit to use for both in domestic and commercial purposes. The popular light fixtures such as LED street lights, outdoor LED strip lights.

IP Rating Reference Chart

Below is an easy to follow reference chart to help you decide which IP rating you need or have:

IP Rating Chart Penglight

 

In addition to the above-mentioned IP ratings, there is also with another different kind of IP grade – IP69K.

What is IP69K?

The IP69K rating provides protection against ingress of dust and high temperature, high-pressure water – making products with this certification ideal for use in conditions where equipment must be carefully sanitized.

In industries such as food processing, where hygiene and cleanliness are paramount, equipment must be able to withstand rigorous high pressure, high temperature wash-down procedures.

In many industries, where dust and dirt can be an issue, it is important to ensure that dust cannot penetrate the casing of a product and cause it to fail.

The IP69K rating is the highest protection available.

What is IP69K?

What are the advantages of IP69K?

In environments that require heavy washdown, such as in the food processing industry, the combination of water, chemicals, high pressures, and temperatures can prove fatal for electronic circuits and instrumentation. The IP69K rating offers complete assurance that the piece of equipment that has undergone that tests is both durable and resistant and conforms to the highest protection rating on the scale.

How does a product achieve the IP69K rating?

Products bearing the IP69K rating undergo a challenging set of tests to ensure that they offer protection against penetration of high pressure, high-temperature water and dust. The popular fixtures with this character such as IP69K tri-proof light.

How is the water intrusion test performed?

The water intrusion tests themselves are done by placing the product on a turntable with a rotational speed of 5 ±1 revolutions per minute. The product is then sprayed at close range at a rate of approximately 4 gallons/16 liters per minute with the water pressure of between 1160-1450 psi, at a temperature of 176°F/80°C.

The nozzle from which the water is sprayed is held between 4 and 6 inches from the product, at a variety of angles. Following this rigorous testing procedure, the product is deemed as having successfully achieved the rating if it completely resists water ingress.

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You may have heard of some people refer to LED Tubes as Type A, Type B or Type C tubes. What does that mean? And, if you’re considering upgrading your fluorescent tubes to LED tubes, or are simply thinking of replacing other LED tubes, you’ll first need to understand installation and operation of the three different types of LED tubes options: Type A LED tubes, Type B LED tubes, and Type C LED tubes.

So, what are the differences between UL Type A, B, and C tubes? why the operations and maintenance considerations should be taken in? and what kind of effect will it give to the installation cost and benefits of your projects? To get straight of it, first, let’s take an overview of the explanation issued by GE:

UL Types of LED Tubes: Type A, Type B, Type C And Type A+B

UL Types of LED Tubes: Type A, Type B, Type C, And Type A+B

As a rapidly growing lighting technology, LED linear tube options are raising questions throughout the industry — it’s important to know the options and which one will work best for you.

When considering LED Tube refits, it is important to understand the financial aspects as well as the installation, operations, and maintenance implications with three different options, which are UL Type A, UL Type B, and UL Type C.

Type A – Easiest Installation

LED Tube with Integrated Driver – Compatible and Operated on Existing LFL Ballast

Description: This UL Type A tube, is designed with an internal driver that allows the tube to operate directly from the existing linear fluorescent ballast. Most of these products are designed to work with T12, T8 and T5 ballasts.
Advantages: UL Type A offers the simplest installation process— retrofitting involves a simple swap of the existing LFL with a UL Type A LED tube. Unlike the other options, no electrical or structural modification of the existing LFL fixture is required.
Disadvantages: However, with these benefits come some limitations. The lifetime of a UL Type A solution is dependent not only on the design life of the LED tube but on the linear fluorescent ballast life, which could result in additional maintenance and costs within the lifetime of the product. Ballast compatibility will vary by manufacturer and must be checked before installation.

Additionally, a UL Type A tube sacrifices efficiency due to the additional power loss from the existing ballast and is limited in dimming and controllability.

Type B – Simplest Total System

Ballast Bypass LED Tube – Wired to Mains

Description: Like the UL Type A, this UL Type B tube operates with an internal driver. However, UL Type B’s internal driver is powered directly from the main voltage supplied to the existing LFL fixture, requiring several important and unique considerations. GE’s Type B system requires an in-line fuse. GE offers in-line fuse & socket kit, for ease of installation.

Advantages: UL Type B offers the simplest total system— retrofitting involves wiring directly to main voltage, bypassing the ballast which removes any compatibility issues, as well as eliminating maintenance costs associated with ballast replacements.

Disadvantages: Installation of a UL Type B involves electrical modification to the existing fixture in order to connect the tube to the power supply. The existing LFL and its corresponding ballast must be removed from the fixture. Sockets should be replaced. (GE requires replacing with unshunted sockets.)

UL Type B is more efficient than UL Type A, with no power loss as a result of removing the existing LFL ballast, but similarly lacks control capabilities.

It is important to note that the fixture’s incoming power wires are connected directly to the sockets, meaning installers are potentially exposed to the main’s voltage during installation. For replacement safety reasons, strict adherence to installation instructions is critical when rewiring existing fixtures and utilizing UL Type B tubes. Safe installation can be completed, but total installation time and cost will increase because of additional precautions required.

Type C – Best Performance

LED Tube with Remote Driver

Description: A UL Type C tube, offered among GE’s Refit Solutions as the LED Tube with remote driver, operates with a remote driver that powers the LED linear tube, rather than an integrated driver. Like UL Type B, UL Type C involves electrical modification to the existing fixture, but the low-voltage outputs of the driver are connected to the sockets instead of line voltage.

Advantages: Installation for UL Type C tubes involves removing existing tubes and ballasts, and it may involve replacement of existing sockets if damaged. The fixture input wires must be connected to the LED driver, and the driver’s low-voltage output wires must then be connected to the sockets before installing the new LED linear tubes. Once installed, this driver can power several LED tubes throughout the fixture.

The UL Type C offers excellent system efficacy, best system compatibility, and greatest overall performance. It can be integrated with robust dimming and control functionality, helping to offset moderate labor and installation costs with heightened efficiency well into the future.

UL Considerations

If retrofitting an existing fixture that is UL approved with a UL-approved LED tube, the fixture will remain UL approved. If retrofitting an existing fixture that is not UL approved with a UL-approved LED tube, the fixture with the LED tubes would need to be submitted to UL for approval if UL certification is necessary.

GE’s Refit Solutions will keep intact the existing fixture’s UL certification because Refit Solutions are certified by UL. GE customers must read the instructions provided with Refit Solutions prior to installation to understand the inherent risks involved in altering existing systems.

As a more controllable technology than LFL, LED lighting can be successfully integrated into facilities energy-efficiency planning. And with new LED tube options, the installation work can be done without as much hassle. GE’s Refit Solutions can provide efficient LED lighting anywhere fluorescent tubes currently exist.

So, which LED Tube option is the most cost effective and the best solution for your application? Review the table below to compare each solution.

Dollarizing Type A, B and C LED Tubes
UL TypeType A without Ballast Replacement*Type A with Ballast Replacement*Type CType B
Cost Per LED Tube$12.00$12.00$11.00$12.00
# of Tubes4444
Cost Per Driver/Ballast$11$18
Socket Kit w/Fuse
Total Fixture Retrofit Cost (4 Tubes)4 minutes10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes
Labor Cost ^ ($/hr$15.00$93.20$93.20$93.20
Total Fixtures Retrofits Cost (4 Tubes)$49.00$74.53$77.53$79.30
Key BenefitsPlug and Play: Fast and Easy refit with not wiringMinimizes compatibility issuesIncreased Efficiency Best Option for use with controlsFewer compatibility issues. Reduction of external components (driver/ballast)
Best ApplicationQuick re-lamps requiring no professional electricians and minimal investment. Ballast is less than 5 years old.Retrofits where time and simplicity are imperative. The existing ballast is older than 5 yearsRetrofits where future proofing and life-time cost and efficiencies are paramount. Applications with immediate and/or future need for controls.Retrofits using professional electricians with the ability to execute proper re-lamps in the future, ensuring only specified Type B lamps are used.
Calculations are for example only and are meant to be directionally accurate in comparing options, but are not absolute.
* Ballast replacement is recommended if the installed ballast is more than 5 years old.
^ Labor rates will vary, but less skill is required to simply replace lamps. Costs based on certified electrician estimated hourly chargesand minimum wage for Type A without ballast replacement (sources: Promatcher.com and bls.gov.)

As you can see, Type A without Ballast replacement offers an easy plug & play solution with the lowest initial cost. Type C has a higher upfront cost, but is the best future-proofing solution as it offers the ability to work with controls that are currently in place, or that are installed at a later time.

Type B is the simplest total system, eliminating compatibility issues, but also has the highest installation cost. To determine the best solution one must consider the initial installation cost, long term maintenance implications, intended application, and overall which benefits are most desired.

– Above Type A, Type B and Type C definitions of LED tubes are from GE, source: products.currentbyge.com
TYPES OF TUBES

4 different types of LED tubes

Supplement:

Besides the 3 types of LED tubes, Type A, Type B, and Type C, there is also a type of hybrid LED tubes which are developed as Type A and Type B, also known as Type A+B. A Hybrid LED tube is a combination of Type “A” and Type “B” tubes.

This is a tube that can (may) work with the existing fluorescent ballast or can operate without the ballast. This is an excellent choice for those installations that want to use the fast installation method using the ballasts but have a backup plan if the ballast is not compatible. Some of the more clever designs allow the tube to be both SEP or DEP.

Following is the designation from DLC:

Type A and Type B

Dual Mode Internal Driver (UL Type A and Type B):

U-bend, Four-foot or two-foot LED “tubes” designed to replace U-bend four-foot or two-foot fluorescent lamps, respectively. Products in this category have the ability to operate off the existing fluorescent ballast and also have the ability to operate off of line voltage if the troffer is rewired to bypass the ballast. These products connect to the troffer using standard pin-base connections to the lamp holders. Note that due to testing considerations, at this time only products that can operate off specific ballasts types are eligible.

These four types of LED tubes are with advantage as well as disadvantage respectively, choosing the right products for your projects can bring you significant results.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or if we can help. You can also leave your comments below for further discussion!

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There are a lot of important factors to look at when choosing the right LED light fixture. Lumens per watt, fixture type, driver performance, color temperatures are all super important. But how about light distribution? Light distribution is basically the projected pattern of light a fixture will disperse onto a surface.