Can Outdoor Lights Get Wet?

When it comes to your garden or patio area, the last thing you want is to see your fancy outdoor lights getting broken. Protecting your outdoor string lights from weather conditions, especially the rain and snow, should always be a high priority.

During winter time, when weather conditions start to worsen, many people wonder whether it’s safe for outdoor lights to get wet.

So, can outdoor lights get wet?

Outdoor lights can get wet as long as their IP rating is waterproof. To ensure your specific model of string lights can get wet, you need to look at the IP rating of your outdoor lights to check how well protected they are against moisture.

The ratings for outdoor lights that are accepted as 'waterproof' for most general purposes are IP65, IP66, and IP67You also need to ensure that the extension cables are appropriate for exterior use.

If you want to learn how to check the IP rating of your outdoor lights and what types of light bulbs are better protected against rain, read on.

Outdoor light getting wet with rain

What types of garden lights can get wet?

In general, most types of garden lights can get wet. The main thing to consider is whether the light fitting is rainproof and waterproof. When it comes to light bulbs, the bulb itself doesn’t impact the protection of the outdoor light against rain and moisture.

Therefore, when you shop lights for exterior use, these are the main aspects you need to consider:

  • The durability of the light
  • The protection of the light fitting against moisture, dirt and rain
  • The quality of the electric system of the light

If the outdoor light is durable and the fitting is protected against extreme weather conditions, then you will rarely have any problems with the lights getting wet. The easiest way to find out whether all these requirements are met is by checking the IP rating of the lights.

What is an IP rating for outdoor lights?

An IP rating tells you how well protected the outdoor light fitting is against moisture, rain and dirt. When shopping lights for exterior use, the minimum rating you should look for is IP43. Lights with this IP rating are effectively protected against rain and spraying water.

However, if you’re looking for a light that will be protected against more severe weather conditions, such as snow and strong wind, you should aim for outdoor lights with an IP65 rating. Outdoor fixtures with this rating give complete protection against water jets and foreign objects.

The IP rating scale for light sources is a great method to find out whether your outdoor light can actually get wet. If your current outdoor lights rating is below IP43, you should immediately replace them with safer lights to avoid electrical issues in your home.  

Outdoor lights in adverse weather conditions

How to Protect your Outdoor Lights

Even when you buy outdoor lights with a high IP rating, you still need to take some safety and maintenance measures to protect your outdoor lights.

There are several steps you can take to protect outdoor lights to avoid costly repairs and replacements.

Some easy things you can do to protect your lights include using warm coloured LED light bulbs to keep bugs away, installing light shields, and using surge protectors to  protect your lights from lightning strikes and other sudden surges.

If this blog post has answered your question or if you would like to learn more about all things related to outdoor lights, feel free to visit our outdoor lighting blog.

Read more: Can Christmas Lights Get Wet?

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