When shopping for outdoor lighting, getting the right IP rating is key for maximising longevity and safety. Here’s our guide to what IP ratings you’ll need for different parts of your garden.

We’ve talked about IP ratings on this blog before, but here’s a quick refresher.

IP rating stands for Ingress Protection. This is a simple two-digit number, which will let you see at a glance how weatherproof a light is. The higher the number the better!

The first number is about how well your light is protected from foreign objects.

  • 0 – No protection.
  • 1 – Protection against objects larger than 50mm, but no protection against deliberate access.
  • 2 – Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm.
  • 3 – Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm.
  • 4 – Protection against objects larger than 1mm.
  • 5 – Dust Protected – guards against most dust entry.
  • 6 – Dust Tight – Guards against all entry of dust.

The second digit is about water resistance.

  • 0 – No Protection.
  • 1 – Protects against vertical dripping water.
  • 2 – Protects against vertical dripping water when the equipment is tilted at a 15o angle.
  • 3 – Protects against vertical sprays of water when the equipment is tilted at a 60o angle.
  • 4 – Protects against splashes of water from any direction.
  • 5 – Protects against light jets of water from any direction.
  • 6 – Protects against strong jets of water from any direction.
  • 7 – Protects against complete immersion up to 1 metre.
  • 8 – Protects against complete immersion at depths beyond 1 metre.

Why Do Outdoor Lights Need IP Ratings?

When you install a light indoors, you can be reasonably certain about what the environment around it will be like, and that this will be consistent from day-to-day. This isn’t the case with outdoor lights, they can be exposed to all kinds of different elements and forces.

This can include accidentally touched, stepped on, accidental force from tools, wildlife activity and dust being blown into the core components, in addition to wind, rain and snow. All these elements can cause damage to your light if it’s not adequately protected, risking them breaking or even shocks and other injuries.

Getting the right IP rating for where you’re installing your light will save you lots of trouble in the long run. Not sure where to start? Here’s our quick start guide.

General Outdoor Lighting

This one is pretty simple. If you’re installing a light outside, then you should make sure it has an IP44 rating at an absolute minimum. This will protect it from splashes of water from rain, as well as from physical contact from objects.

Every light in our outdoor lighting category has an IP44 rating or higher, so you can shop with complete confidence.

IP44 is a good rule of thumb for most outdoor lights, but there are some lights that might require a more specialised IP rating. We’re here to illuminate them!

Deck Lights & Patio Lights

People like to power wash their patios and decks, which means that lights installed on them need to be more waterproof. They’re also more likely to be touched or walked over, so extra sturdiness is very handy.

For this reason, we’d generally recommend an IP65 rating for lights in these areas, as this will ensure that the light is protected from dust and human contact, as well as from jets of water.

If you live in an area prone to flooding or near a sea coast, then you might want to consider an IP67 rating or higher instead for extra peace of mind. That way, even if your garden should flood, you can still be confident your lights will keep working. Our NeoDeck decking lights such as the NeoDeck Warm White IP67 LED Decking Lights, 15mm Decking-Plinth-Stair 0.4W/LED are great examples of these

Underwater Lights

If you’re installing lights in a pond, pool or other water feature, you’ll need a minimum IP68 rating. This will ensure your lights are completely waterproof and able to withstand the increased pressure that comes from being underwater.

Many products in our strip light range can be ordered with an IP68 rating, making it ideal for use as underwater lighting!

Armed with this knowledge, you can shop for outdoor lighting that’s perfect for your space without stress.

If you’ve any more questions or are looking for guidance on specific lights and areas of your garden, then don’t hesitate to get in touch today. You can ring us on 0116 321 4120, or send an email over to cs@wled.co.uk!

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