Are LED Lights Waterproof? Get The Facts You Need to Know

In the lighting industry, Light Emitting Diodes (or LED lights) are known for their efficiency, durability, and adaptability. 

However, many consumers of these energy-saving lights are often left wondering whether LED lights are in fact waterproof! 

The difference between waterproof and water-resistant LED lights is quite significant; it can have a large impact on their durability and usage if the wrong type of light is used for the wrong task.

In this article, I will cover:

  • What LED lights are
  • What an IP rating is, and how this affects LED lights
  • The difference between waterproof and water-resistance
  • The benefits of waterproof LED lights
  • Factors to consider when choosing waterproof LED lights. 

Let’s get started!

Are LED Lights Waterproof? 

To put it simply: some are, and some aren’t! Whether an LED light is waterproof or not is based on its IP rating; a high rating such as IP68 indicates watertightness, whereas a rating like IP34 isn’t waterproof. 

LED Lights and Waterproof Ratings

Explanation of LED Lights

LED lights are used for illumination and indication, and in recent years have risen in popularity in the modern construction industry. 

When an electric current passes through an LED it lights up; this simple yet efficient technology has allowed for LED lights to be used in many different applications. 

These applications include lighting, not only for homes and infrastructure but also automotive. 

Explanation of Waterproof Ratings and Their Meaning

Most electronic devices, including LED lights, have a waterproof rating that establishes how well a device can withstand damage from solids and liquids. 

This is measured through an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. This is a combination of two numbers, with the first implying the level of protection against solids and the second indicating the level of protection against liquids. 

Considering an IP rating when using LED lights is important as this ensures that the LED lights will survive in the environment in which they are being used.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant LED Lights

Differences Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant

While waterproof and water-resistant are terms that can occasionally be used interchangeably, there is a significant difference between these two levels of water protection. 

Waterproof LEDs are able to be completely submerged in water and will incur no damage. On the other hand, water-resistant LEDs can withstand light water damage, such as slight moisture or splashes, but no submersion. 

This is why it’s important to note the difference between waterproof and water-resistant LEDs, as water-resistant LEDs may not work in every environment!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Waterproof Rating

Selecting an appropriate waterproof rating for your LED lights is crucial for ensuring that the LEDs will be able to function in a suitable environment for their IP rating. 

It is important to consider the environment in which the LEDs will be used. For instance, you’d have to make sure that the LEDs are waterproof if you intend to use them underwater!

Suitable Applications for Each Type

The most common IPs for water-resistant LEDs are IP65 and IP67. Both of these indicate water resistance, but IP67 can also withstand temporary submersion. 

LEDs with these IP ratings are suitable for usage indoors, inside sealed products, or where there won’t be extended exposure to water or dust. 

The most common IP for waterproof LEDs is IP6. LEDs with this rating are able to be submerged in water permanently for up to 3 meters and are typically used for unsealed, outdoor locations, as well as areas with high contact with water or people. 

Benefits of Waterproof LED Lights

Versatility in Outdoor and Wet Environments

Waterproof LEDs are the perfect choice for lighting outdoor areas, such as garden decorations and pool lights, as they are able to withstand heavy weather including wind, rain, and snow. 

They can also be subject to water submersion without damaging the light.

Durability and Longevity

Waterproof LEDs are also designed to last a long time, including in situations where there may be a lot of exposure to debris and harsh weather conditions. 

Regardless of the environment that they are used in, waterproof LEDs will last you a long time!

Energy Efficiency

One of the best benefits of using waterproof LEDs is that they are extremely energy-efficient, meaning that they don’t use up a lot of electricity while also not compromising the quality of the light. 

This makes waterproof LEDs a great option for those on a budget as they consume only a small amount of electricity while still providing a high-quality illumination.

Safety Considerations

Waterproof LEDs are very safe to use. As they are able to withstand water damage, there is little risk of electrical hazards that may occur with non-waterproof lights. 

This makes waterproof LEDs perfect for areas where there may be a lot of people walking around, including children. 

Key Considerations for Choosing Waterproof LED Lights

Intended Use and Environment

It is important to consider the environment in which the LED lights will be used. 

Exposure to water or other natural elements may impact the quality of the lights, so it’s important to ensure that the LED lights have an adequate IP rating!

Importance of IP Ratings

IP ratings are crucial when choosing the right LED lights, which makes understanding IP ratings much more significant. 

It is important to note that in an IP rating, e.g. IP67, the first number represents the protection level against solid particles, while the second number represents the protection level against liquid particles. 

Quality of Materials and Construction

When choosing LED lights, be sure to look out for lights that are constructed with strong materials (such as polycarbonate) that can survive water exposure and high temperatures.

Additional Features to Consider

When choosing the right LED for you, try to consider other features that would make them better suited for your purpose. 

Features such as color variations and smart controls can make a big difference in finding the perfect LEDs for your project!


Waterproof LEDs are more than suitable for projects involving outdoor environments, water exposure, and unpredictable climates. 

They provide an efficient and durable option for lighting, and it’s important to understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof so that you can make the most of LEDs as tools and decorations! 

John Bayly

John Bayly

John has dedicated his career to the lighting industry. Starting out as an interior designer with a specialism in lighting, he went on to found his own commercial lighting business. He now shares his expertise and passion for all things lighting with readers of