What is an IK rating?
IK rating is a measure of the mechanical impact resistance of an electrical device or equipment. It is used to determine the level of protection that an enclosure or housing provides against external mechanical impacts.
The IK rating system is defined in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62262 standard. It ranges from IK00 to IK10, with IK10 being the highest level of impact resistance. The rating is determined by subjecting the device or equipment to a series of impact tests using a pendulum hammer. The impact energy and number of impacts are increased until the device or equipment fails or reaches its maximum IK rating.
The IK rating is important for devices and equipment that are installed in areas with a high risk of mechanical impact, such as outdoor areas, factories, or construction sites. It is also important for devices and equipment that are likely to be subjected to deliberate or accidental impacts, such as vandal-prone areas.
Why have an IK rating system?
The rating system is important for several reasons:
- Safety: Electrical devices and equipment are often installed in areas where they are at risk of being struck by people or objects. A high IK rating ensures that the device or equipment can withstand the impact and operate safely.
- Durability: Mechanical impacts can damage or break electrical devices and equipment. A high IK rating ensures that the device or equipment is durable and can withstand repeated impacts without breaking.
- Compliance: Many electrical devices and equipment must comply with safety standards, regulations, or codes. The IK rating is often a requirement for compliance with these standards.
- Reliability: Electrical devices and equipment that are designed to withstand mechanical impacts are generally more reliable and less likely to fail due to external factors.
How does IK rating work?
The IK rating system measures the mechanical impact resistance of an electrical device or equipment by subjecting it to a series of impact tests. The tests are performed using a pendulum hammer, which is a device that swings like a pendulum and strikes the device or equipment with a known amount of force.
The tests are performed at various energy levels, starting with a low energy level and gradually increasing until the device or equipment fails or reaches its maximum IK rating. The energy level is increased by adjusting the mass and height of the pendulum hammer.
The impact test is performed in several different positions, such as the front, top, side, and corners of the device or equipment. The test positions are designed to simulate common types of impacts that the device or equipment might encounter in its intended use.
The IK rating is determined by the amount of energy that the device or equipment can withstand without breaking or becoming damaged. The rating ranges from IK00 to IK10, with IK10 being the highest level of impact resistance. A device or equipment with a higher IK rating can withstand more energy and is more resistant to mechanical impacts.
IK Rating Table
|IK Rating||Impact Energy (Joules)||Hammer Weight||Height from Which Hammer is Dropped|
|IK00||0||Not applicable||No protection|
|IK01||0.15||0.25 kg||56 mm|
|IK02||0.20||0.25 kg||80 mm|
|IK03||0.35||0.35 kg||140 mm|
|IK04||0.50||0.5 kg||200 mm|
|IK05||0.70||0.7 kg||300 mm|
|IK06||1.0||1.0 kg||400 mm|
|IK07||2.0||1.25 kg||500 mm|
|IK08||5.0||2.0 kg||500 mm|
|IK09||10.0||5.0 kg||500 mm|
|IK10||20.0||10.0 kg||500 mm|
Note that the values listed in the table for the hammer weight and the height from which the hammer is dropped are typical values and may vary depending on the testing procedure and equipment used. These values are provided as a general guide to give an idea of the force and impact energy required to achieve the specified IK rating.
There are no officially recognized IK ratings higher than IK10 by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). However, some manufacturers may produce products with an IK rating greater than 10, and these may be marketed as having a higher IK rating. It's worth noting that the difference in impact resistance between IK10 and higher ratings is generally not significant, and an IK10 rating is usually sufficient for most lighting applications.
Why is IK rating important for lights?
IK rating is important for lights because it indicates how resistant the light fixture is to impact and mechanical stress. Lights are often used in harsh and rugged environments such as construction sites, factories, and outdoor areas where they may be subjected to accidental impacts from falling objects or intentional abuse from vandals.
Having an IK rating for a light fixture ensures that it has been tested and certified to withstand a certain level of mechanical stress and impact energy, and thus can provide reliable lighting even in tough conditions. Furthermore, specifying an appropriate IK rating for a light fixture can help to reduce maintenance costs and downtime associated with replacing damaged or broken lights.
For example, in outdoor areas such as parking lots or streets, lights may be subjected to accidental impacts from vehicles or vandalism. By specifying a light fixture with a high IK rating, the risk of damage or failure is reduced, resulting in lower maintenance costs and increased safety. Therefore, knowing the IK rating of a light is important for choosing the right light fixture for a particular application and ensuring it can withstand the environmental conditions it will be subjected to.
What is the best IK rating for outdoor lights?
The best IK rating for outdoor lights depends on the specific application and the level of mechanical stress and impact that the light fixture is likely to be exposed to. Generally, the higher the IK rating, the more resistant the light fixture is to impact and mechanical stress.
For outdoor lights in public areas such as streets, parking lots, and parks, a minimum IK rating of IK08 is recommended. This rating indicates that the light fixture can withstand an impact from a 5.0 kg weight dropped from a height of 500 mm without sustaining damage.
In harsher environments such as industrial or construction sites, where lights may be exposed to heavy machinery or falling objects, a higher IK rating may be required. For example, an IK09 or IK10 rating may be appropriate for such environments, indicating that the light fixture can withstand impacts from heavier weights dropped from the same height.
It is important to note that higher IK ratings typically result in more durable and heavier light fixtures, which may impact installation and maintenance requirements. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider the specific application and requirements before selecting a light fixture with a particular IK rating.
Is IK rating related to vandal resistance?
Yes, IK rating is related to vandal resistance as it measures a light fixture's ability to withstand mechanical stress and impact. Light fixtures with higher IK ratings are more resistant to intentional or accidental damage caused by vandalism, as they are designed and tested to withstand greater impact energy.
For example, in public areas such as streets, parks, and parking lots, light fixtures may be subjected to intentional damage from vandals, such as kicks or hits with heavy objects. In these situations, a light fixture with a higher IK rating can help to reduce the likelihood of damage and the associated maintenance costs.
Therefore, specifying an appropriate IK rating for a light fixture can help to ensure that it is resistant to both accidental and intentional damage, making it more suitable for outdoor and public area lighting applications.
Does IK10 mean a light is vandal proof?
No, an IK10 rating does not necessarily mean that a light is vandal-proof, but it does indicate a high level of resistance to mechanical stress and impact. An IK10 rating means that the light fixture can withstand an impact from a 5 kg weight dropped from a height of 400 mm without sustaining damage.
While an IK10 rating indicates a high level of durability and resistance to impact, it is still possible for a light fixture with an IK10 rating to sustain damage from intentional or accidental impacts that exceed its rated impact energy. Therefore, additional measures may be necessary to make a light fixture more vandal-proof, such as using materials that are difficult to damage or tamper with, or installing the fixture in a location that is less accessible to vandals.
It is important to note that vandal-proofing a light fixture can involve trade-offs, such as increased cost, weight, or installation complexity. Therefore, the level of vandal-proofing required for a particular application should be carefully considered in light of the specific requirements and constraints.
How does IK rating relate to a light's material and its durability?
The IK rating of a light is related to its durability and the materials used in its construction. The IK rating measures the level of protection that a light offers against mechanical impact, and it is determined by subjecting the light to a series of tests designed to simulate different levels of impact.
A light's IK rating is influenced by several factors, including the material used in the construction of its housing, the thickness and strength of the housing, the quality of the components used, and the design of the light. Generally, lights with higher IK ratings are made from more durable and robust materials, such as metal or high-strength plastics, and are built to withstand more significant impacts.
For example, a light with an IK06 rating is built to withstand impacts of up to 1 joule, while a light with an IK10 rating can withstand impacts of up to 20 joules. Therefore, a light with a higher IK rating is generally more durable and better able to withstand impacts and other forms of physical stress, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas or locations prone to vandalism.
What IK ratings are needed for different lighting areas in Australia?
In Australia, the appropriate IK rating for different lighting areas can vary depending on a range of factors, including the location of the fixture, the risk of impact, and the specific requirements of the project. However, here are some general guidelines that can be used as a starting point:
- Indoor residential lighting: For areas such as living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, an IK rating of 05 or 06 should be sufficient.
- Commercial and industrial lighting: For areas such as factories, workshops, and storage facilities, an IK rating of 08 or 10 may be necessary to withstand heavy machinery and equipment.
- Outdoor lighting: For areas such as parking lots, pathways, and building exteriors, an IK rating of 08 or 10 is recommended to withstand weather conditions and potential vandalism.
- High-risk areas: For areas such as correctional facilities or hospitals, an IK rating of 10 or higher may be required to withstand intentional abuse or accidental impacts.
It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and the appropriate IK rating for a specific lighting area will depend on various factors specific to the project. Consulting with a qualified electrician or lighting professional can help ensure that the appropriate IK rating is selected for your specific lighting needs.
What is the actual wording of the international IK rating?
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) sets the standard for the IK rating system, which is used to classify the degree of protection provided by enclosures against external mechanical impacts. The actual wording of the IK rating system is as follows:
- IK00 - No protection against mechanical impacts
- IK01 - Protection against 0.225 joule impact
- IK02 - Protection against 0.375 joule impact
- IK03 - Protection against 0.5 joule impact
- IK04 - Protection against 0.75 joule impact
- IK05 - Protection against 1 joule impact
- IK06 - Protection against 2 joule impact
- IK07 - Protection against 2.5 joule impact
- IK08 - Protection against 5 joule impact
- IK09 - Protection against 10 joule impact
- IK10 - Protection against 20 joule impact
The rating is determined by subjecting the product to a series of impacts with a defined amount of energy at different points on the enclosure surface. The level of protection provided by the enclosure is then classified based on the amount of energy required to cause damage.
It's important to note that the IK rating system only applies to mechanical impacts and does not indicate protection against other hazards such as water, dust, or electromagnetic interference.