What are IK ratings?

IK ratings, or impact protection ratings, measure the resistance of a fitting to mechanical impacts. The rating system was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in standard BS EN IEC 62262 and classifies fittings into different levels based on their ability to withstand impacts from various sources, such as human contact, tools, or falling objects. For light fittings, IK ratings indicate the capacity to endure impacts without compromising functionality or safety.

IK ratings for light fittings.

Light fittings typically range from IK06 to IK10 with each rating having a different degree of impact protection.

Choosing the right IK rating for your application can ensure:

  • Enhanced durability – Light fittings with higher IK ratings are built to withstand harsher conditions.
  • Safety assurance – Choosing the correct IK rating can minimise the risk of injury or damage from accidental collisions.
  • Application compatibility – IK ratings help define the best choice of light fitting for the application.

Light fittings with IK06 to IK08 would be suitable for most applications, offering mid to high level protection against medium to heavy impacts. In applications such as private properties where there is only a moderate risk of physical damage, this would be a suitable choice to install.

However, if you are looking for the highest level of impact protection then IK09 or IK10 would be the best choice. Light fittings with these ratings are built for the toughest environments such as, heavy traffic areas like transportation hubs. Areas prone to vandalism like urban spaces and public parks are applications that would also benefit from using lighting that is rated to IK10.

Definitions of IK Ratings.

IK Number
Impact Protection
Similar to …
00 No impact protection
01 Protected against 0.14 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 56mm high
02 Protected against 0.2 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 80mm high
03 Protected against 0.35 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 140mm high
04 Protected against 0.5 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 200mm high
05 Protected against 0.7 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 280mm high
06 Protected against 1 joules impact 0.25kg mass dropped from 400mm high
07 Protected against 2 joules impact 0.5kg mass dropped from 400mm high
08 Protected against 5 joules impact 1.7kg mass dropped from 300mm high
09 Protected against 10 joules impact 5kg mass dropped from 200mm high
10 Protected against 20 joules impact 5kg mass dropped from 400mm high

Is IK10 the highest IK rating?

According to the official standard, IK10 is the highest impact rating on the scale. However, you may see details for fittings including a higher IK rating or IK10++; while these are not recognised as part of the impact protection standard, it simply means that the manufacturer has tested and exceed the requirements for an IK10 rating.

A great example of this is our Portland bollard that has an IK10++ rating, an excellent choice for lighting public spaces, especially areas where there is high risk of vandalism.

In conclusion.

For many external lighting applications, the IK rating of a light fitting may not have much significance in the choice of the fitting that you may use. However, for other applications the IK rating can be a serious factor to consider and may be the difference between the light fitting being a suitable choice, or not, for the area that it is installed. The important element to remember is that the higher the IK rating the better the light fitting protected against impacts.

 

If you are interested in more details about how IK ratings are tested, then check out this article by Interelectronix – UNE EN IEC 62262 IK Impact protection