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What are the IEC voltage classifications?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed voltage classifications to standardize and categorize different levels of electrical voltage. These classifications help ensure safety, compatibility, and efficiency in electrical equipment and systems.

Low Voltage (LV)

The Low Voltage (LV) category refers to voltages between 50V and 1000V alternating current (AC) or 120V and 1500V direct current (DC). This classification is commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Electrical appliances, power distribution systems, and lighting fixtures typically fall under this category. Safety regulations and standards like IEC 60364-1 outline specific requirements for LV installations to prevent electric shock hazards and short circuits.

Medium Voltage (MV)

Medium Voltage (MV) classifies voltages ranging from 1kV to 35kV AC. This classification is prevalent in infrastructure, utilities, and industrial settings where higher power demands are present. Medium Voltage installations cater to large-scale machinery, substations, power transmission lines, and other heavy-duty applications. Compliance with IEC 62271 ensures the safety and reliability of MV systems, including protection against insulation failures and arc flashes.

High Voltage (HV)

High Voltage (HV) encompasses voltages above 35kV AC. HV installations are commonly found in power generation plants, electrical grids, and transmission networks. Transformers, circuit breakers, and power substations are key components in HV systems. Stringent regulations such as IEC 61936-1 address safety concerns, including insulation coordination, grounding, and lightning protection, to mitigate potential risks in high voltage environments.


The IEC voltage classifications provide a standardized framework for categorizing electrical voltages and ensuring safety, compatibility, and efficiency across various applications. Whether it's low voltage installations in homes or high voltage systems in power plants, adhering to IEC standards helps prevent accidents, equipment failures, and electrical hazards.


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