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IP protection classes: Which one is necessary when?

Protection classes according to DIN EN 60529

Our products are often used at different places of use with different ambient conditions. This may, for example, be the case indoors, in the house, office or in the workshop, or outdoors, but also in the company, in trade or on the construction site. There are also specific brennenstuhl® products for camping or the garden area. Depending on the application, certain properties are necessary in order to ensure safe use. The technical data and product details provide information on these properties. One important feature you have to watch out for is the IP protection class.

The International Protection classes have been introduced to be able to specify against which influence a product is protected. They describe to which extent foreign bodies and humidity can reach the inside of the device. The protection class of products is expressed in IP codes. Abbreviated with the code letters IP (for International Protection or also Ingress Protection), the “protection against ingress” is defined by means of numbers as code numbers. In this connection, the first number specifies the protection against solid foreign bodies and/or touching. The second one describes the protection against water. The most famous IP codes include e.g. IP20 and IP44. The higher the number, the higher is the protection.

brennenstuhl® IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529

brennenstuhl® IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529

Protection methods per DIN EN 60529

The methods of protection: Contact, foreign object, and water protection for electric utilities were established in conjunction with IEC Publication 144 and 34-5 in DIN EN 60529 Sheet 1. Please note that the scope of protection and the tests between IEC (IP) and VDE (P) do not always completely agree.

  • IP 20  covered

  • IP 21  protected against dripping water

  • IP 23  protected against sprayed water

  • IP 40  protected against foreign objects

  • IP 43  protected against foreign objects and sprayed water

  • IP 44  protected against foreign objects and splashing water

  • IP 50  protected against dust
  • IP 54  protected against dust and sprayed water

  • IP 55  protected against dust and hosed water

  • IP 56  dust-proof and watertight

  • IP 65  dust proof and hose proof

  • IP 67  dust-tight and protected against temporary immersion in water

  • IP 68  dust-tight and protected against continuous immersion in water

Which IP protection and when is it necessary?

Indoors, protection according to IP20 is often sufficient as here, the water protection normally only plays a subordinate role. It goes without saying that this statement is once again not true for special applications, e.g. in the bathroom. In case of outdoor use, the ingress of foreign bodies and water is very probable. Not only dust or soil, but also small insects may ingress the device as foreign bodies. Rainfall, snow, sprinkler systems and many similar situations occurring outdoors require corresponding water protection. Here, at least protection according to IP44 is recommended.

And by the way: brennenstuhl® will support you in finding the suitable product for your use. Our product finder offers the possibility to filter for protection class (IP), area of use (e.g. outdoors or indoors) and application (e.g. camping, garden, trade, DIY, industry, construction site). This simplifies the appropriate search for the suitable brennenstuhl® product.

brennenstuhl® IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529 brennenstuhl® IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529 brennenstuhl® IP protection classes according to DIN EN 60529

Products for which a high IP protection class is generally required

With the brennenstuhl® product finder you will find the right product for outdoor use in every product category quickly and easily. You only have to make sure that the filter "suitable for outdoor use" is checked. For cable reels, filter according to the area of use or application.

Finally, we list here some product categories from the brennenstuhl® range where a high IP protection class is required:


*For electrical equipment these are specifically protection against contact, foreign bodies and water. These were defined in DIN EN 60529 sheet 1 in connection with the publications 144 and 34-5 issued by the IEC. It should be noted that the scope of protection and tests between IEC (IP) and VDE (P) do not always correspond completely.