IK Code: Impact Protection according to the IEC 62262 Standard

SONARAY has many fixtures that are IK09 rated which means they are near the very top of the scale for impact resistance. A lot of attention is given to Ingress Protection (IP) or how well a fixture responds to dust, dirt, and other debris, but sometimes we forget just how important it is that a fixture also carry a high rating when it comes to impact resistance. Today’s blog will talk about what that means and the standards for mechanical protection.


Mechanical damage to a lighting fixture may disrupt proper functioning of the luminaire or in extreme cases make the luminaire completely inoperable. When blunt force affects a luminaire it can lead to many problems including critical failure to the diffuser, a bent heat sink, misalignment of the fixture’s beam angle, destruction of the outer casing, damage to the origin of light (chip set) or other structural damage to core components.

For these reasons it is important that customers select a fixture that is designed and manufactured to exacting standards and also tested to make certain that key stress points are built to withstand significant trauma. This testing is a vital part of producing a completed, long-standing luminaire. This standard and measure of the ability to withstand trauma or impact is measured by a widely accepted metric know as the IK rating.

Standards for Mechanical Protection

The international standard for measurement of protection against external mechanical damage is the IK Code classification as defined by IEC 62262. This standard specifies the classification of an enclosure’s impact resistance or the level of stress/effect of energy on the enclosure from the outside.

The IK Code is a two-digit number ranging from 00 to 10 with the higher numeric indicative of the greater measure of protection.

The units used to provide this measure are know as joules and are usually designated as (J). Joules is a derived unit of energy in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy transferred to (or work done on) an object when a force of one newton acts on that object in the direction of its motion through a distance of one meter (1 newton meter or N-m). It is also the energy dissipated as heat when an electric current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second. It is named after the English physicist James Prescott Joule (1818-1889).

While the application of an IK rating to a luminaire is considered a performance issue and is not directly related to the safety provisions of IEC 60598 standards covering luminaire safety, IK ratings are immensely important when considering the factors for durability in a luminaire.

For these reasons, most particularly in areas where a fixture will be subject to potential external impact, it is always important to consider the IK rating for the fixture. Again, the higher the number on a scale of 00 to 10, the more resilient to external impact, the fixture will be and this should be reflected in its physical durability.

Ken Bryant