LED strip lights are popular because they are energy-efficient, ecologically friendly, and versatile. However, I like their versatility. LED strip lights can survive in different weather conditions, based on their IP ratings. Therefore, I use them for various DIY projects.
If you want to buy a waterproof LED strip light, check its IP rating first. Depending on the locations you want to mount strip lights, choose IP rating. LED strip lights with IP ratings, IP 20, IP 33, IP44, IP 65, IP 67, and IP 68 are readily available.
Choosing a waterproof IP rating is straightforward. The rougher and dustier the environment is, the more IP protection you need. Generally, low-IP rating strips are suitable for indoor use. If you want waterproof LED strip lights, choose strip lights with IP65, IP67, or IP68-rating protection levels. Select protection level depending on the conditions where you want to install LED strips.
In this post, you will learn about different waterproof IP ratings. It will help you find out which waterproof LED strip light is suitable for you. However, before that, let us find what IP ratings are.
What are IP Ratings?
IP or Ingress Protection Code measures the resistance of a device against solid and liquid material. There are two numbers in an IP rating.
The first number, 0 to 6, pertains to defense against solid objects such as dirt, dust, and sand. The second digit, 0 to 8, indicates moisture or liquid protection.
For example, in IP 65 rating, digit 6 indicates protection against dust while number 5 refers to shielding against water jets. So when you choose an LED strip light manufacturer, check with these ratings.
Different Types of Waterproof IP Ratings for LED Strip Lights
Nowadays, LED strip lights are available with diverse waterproof IP ratings. You can choose it according to where you want to install your strip. The information about IP rating is generally available with other details about the product.
Below are different IP ratings for LED strip lights with their capabilities against liquid and dust. It will give you an idea of which IP rating LED strip light is suitable for your needs.
The IP20 rating indicates the basic protection level for LED strip lights. Strip lights with IP20 ratings are touch-proof and resistant to objects that are over 12mm in size.
Despite that, these LED strip lights are not waterproof. You cannot use these lights in open air or in a location exposed to water sprays. You can use these lights in indoor places for backlighting.
For some LED light manufacturers, it is a standard rating. LED strip lights with IP 33 rating are protected against water spray at 60- degree angle and solid objects greater than 2.5 mm. Such LED strip lights are generally appropriate for indoor use.
Your LED strip light can withstand directional water splashes if it has an IP44 rating. Furthermore, solid objects greater than 1mm cannot harm such lights. As a result, these lights are appropriate for various indoor and outdoor settings.
An LED strip light that has an IP65 rating is water-resistant. If you buy such LED strip lights, you do not need to worry about water jets from any angle.
Moreover, the strip is dust-tight, which means dust particles will not enter inside diodes or affect its performance in any manner.
However, remember, this rating does not make your strip fully waterproof.
You can affix such lights on humid places such as bathrooms, decks, staircase, patios, and similar outdoor locations.
You can call LED strip lights with IP67 rating water-resistant plus. Such LEDs work fine even if submerged in water for ten minutes. If I talk about their capability to sustain solid objects, they do not let dust come inside.
Both IP65-rated LED strips and IP67-rated LED strips to use similar coating material. However, they have additional glue seals at each end, making them better weather resistant. These LED lights can easily bear rain showers. You may use them outdoors for both commercial and domestic purposes.
LED strip lights with IP68 ratings are also dust-tight. What makes them unique is, you can use them permanently in water up to three meters.
Since these LED lights can immerse underwater up to three-meter, you can use them to decorate your aquarium and swimming pool.
What Waterproof IP Rating Should I Go for?
Now you know what LED strip lights with different IP ratings can do. So now you can choose them as per your requirement and budget. LEDs with higher IP ratings will cost a little more.
So my advice would be, if you want LED strips for indoor and protected areas, go for low IP ratings.
If the location where you want to install LED strip lights is full of debris and may come into contact with liquid, choose a higher IP rating.
When Should I Use IP65-rated LED Strips?
You do not need to consider the waterproofing feature in LED strip lights until you use them outdoors. LEDs that are not waterproof are ideal for the living room, bedroom, or behind cabinets. These LED strips are cost-effective as well.
If you want to enhance the ambiance of your kitchen, bathroom, or similar places where water splashes may come, choose IP65-rated strips. In most outdoor scenarios, IP 65-rating LED strips will fulfill your purpose.
When Should I Use IP67 and IP 68-rated LED Strips?
As I discussed in the above sections, these LED strip lights can survive water. You can use them in rain and dust. IP 68-rated LEDs can perform underwater up to 3 meters. However, my suggestion is, do not go for these strip lights until you want to soak your strips in water.
You can use IP68 protection level strip lights to beautify your swimming pool, fish tank, or places immersed in water.
Quick Tips to Affix Waterproof LED Strip Lights
Make Sure Surface is Dry and Clean
Clean the wall or surface where you want to affix your LED strip lights. Although the glue of LED strip light is powerful enough to adhere to any surface, a clean surface will help in sticking out.
Make sure the area is clean and dry before installing your waterproof strips. You can use them on the bathroom ceiling, behind the mirror, or beneath the water tub.
Tearing of 3M Super Glue
3M super glue is a waterproof adhesive that can easily stick to a wide range of porous and non-porous surfaces. It is a long-lasting sticky tape made out of acrylic substance. It is the same material used in various manufacturing processes.
These tapes have properties of viscous liquid and elastic solid known as viscoelasticity.
Tear it off carefully from the back of your LED lights and stick the strip to the location you want.
If you want to shorten the length, use a sharp scissor and cut on the marked location on the strip. I advise you to take measurements in advance. It will help make an appropriate strip length.
Connecting of the Strip light and Controller
Connecting the strip with the controller is straightforward. You get a user manual from your LED strip light manufacturer to help you attach the strip light to the controller. Once you have connected the strip light and controller, connect another end of the controller to the power.
Turn on the Strip light
Now you have to connect the controller to the power source. Next, turn on the strip light and set the RGB with the remote control.
What Other Features Do You Need to Consider When Buying LED Strip Lights?
If you wish to install LEDs strip lights outside, they must be weatherproof. However, there are a few other features that you cannot ignore when considering LED strip lights. These include:
Make sure the LED strip light you choose has an excellent life expectancy. Choose LED strips that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Thus you can return it if it is not functional.
Ensure LED strip lights you buy pass necessary quality certifications depending on your country. Some crucial certifications for LED strip lights are ENERGY STAR, CE, FCC, UL, CSA, and more.
It will help you switch your lights on and off. Some LED strip lights work via a mobile application as well.
RGB LED strip lights enable you to change the color. There are various RGB models for LED strips available in the market.
LED strip lights are available in various waterproof IP ratings. Determine the place and condition you want to affix LED strips in, and choose IP ratings accordingly.
I hope this post gives you adequate knowledge on how to choose a waterproof IP rating for LED strips. If you want to buy a high-quality, waterproof LED strip light, you can visit darklessled.com.