Know your LED IP rating
With the ever-growing popularity and use of LED lighting, it’s important to understand the type of LED light fixture you are purchasing and where you are going to use it. Are you installing on the front porch? Outside in the backyard? In the shower? In a dusty workshop? There are important differences to know ahead of time when it comes to buying the right LED lighting product. And much like buying a watch, it’s good to know if your LED fixture is waterproof or water resistant.
What is an IP rating? IP ratings are international and stand for ‘International Protection Rating’. Consisting of 4 digits, the first two are ‘IP’ and the second two indicate the fixtures ability to withstand water. IP65 and IP66 are similar in that both are rated to protect against projected water. While IP66 is tested to a higher standard, both will do the trick under most exposure in wet locations.
When researching LED lighting, take note that many products listed as waterproof are in fact, only water resistant. A true waterproof LED fixture will have a rating of IP67 or 68. These misleading claims are rampant on sites like Amazon.
Common IP Ratings:
IP55 – Dust Proof, Jet Proof
IP64 – Dust tight, Splash proof
IP65 – Dust Tight, Jet Proof
IP67 – Dust Tight, Watertight
IP68 – Dust Tight, Pressure Watertight
Other descriptions to look out for:
Damp Location: An interior/exterior location that is often subjected to moisture in, on, or adjacent to, the fixture.
Wet Locations: A location that water will splash or flow against electrical fixtures. A wet location fixture needs to be constructed to prevent accumulation of water on electrical components or conductors not identified for use in water.
So, without delving too far into the watery details, there you have a general description of a feature that is often over looked.