Know the basics of IP Ratings
There are different lights for different areas outside, just like there are different lights in your home. The most important step in getting your lighting right is selecting the right light and ensuring that it is safe and properly installed.
The IP rating, or ingress protection, is an important consideration when selecting LED lighting products for any project. The IP rating reflects the light fitting's suitability for specific environmental conditions in indoor and outdoor installations.
The first digit of an IP rating indicates the level of protection against solids, which can include dust particles, mosquitoes, moths, or flies. The second digit indicates the level of liquid protection, and the number also provides guidance for on-site cleaning routines using sprays or water jets.
Because the risk of water damage is low in comparison to outdoor lighting, most indoor lighting products are not designed for water exposure. While dust and insects are unlikely to cause damage to the lights, a dust cover will reduce the quality of light emitted.
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LOWER IP RATINGS
Lower IP ratings, such as those below IP44, are mostly suited for indoor use in areas with little to no dust or water exposure, such as your living room or bedroom. Most light fixtures in your home will be rated IP20, which is adequate for most indoor uses.
Ratings ranging from IP44 to IP65 are appropriate for both indoor and general outdoor use, as long as they are installed in a sheltered location and are protected from the harshest weather conditions.
HIGHER IP RATING
Higher IP rated light fixtures are better suited to areas that will be subjected to inclement weather. If there is a possibility of contact with dust or liquids, a fitting with a high IP rating will provide the most protection.
Waterproof light fixtures with an IP65 rating or higher are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
IP65 and IP66 are common IP ratings that provide additional protection. IP65 lights are resistant to water projected directly onto the fixture, but they are not completely waterproof and should not be submerged in water. IP66 lights can withstand being sprayed with water from any direction, but they should not be submerged in water.