Outdoor LED strip lights waterproof are an excellent solution for outdoor lighting. Over time, most people are shying away from traditional light sources for various reasons.
First, they are less energy efficient and have short lifespans.
Moreover, they have glass covers meaning that any contact with water, while they are hot, would result in cracks.
Such increases the overall cost of installing and maintaining these lights as you have to provide covers against rainwater.
Conversely, LED strip lights are durable, cheap to maintain, and last long. Additionally, you can buy some with sufficient waterproofing for outdoor use.
But does it mean all LED strip lights with sufficient water resistance are good for outdoor use? Read on to find out.
What Are Outdoor LED Lights Waterproof?
(Colorful LED lights on a railing)
Outdoor LED lights are a wide range of light-emitting diodes embedded into a circuit board for outdoor environments.
Generally, they are sturdier and more tolerant to harsh weather conditions than indoor LED lights.
On the contrary, they share many characteristics synonymous with indoor LED lights.
For instance, they are energy efficient, have long lifespans, directional lighting, and better durability.
Choosing the Right Waterproof LED Strip Lights for Your Outdoor Needs
(An outdoor LED strip light running around a kiosk)
Outdoor LEDs work differently to illuminate various spaces. Therefore, you must be careful when choosing one that suits your outdoor setting. Here’s what to consider:
- Waterproof rating – use LED strip lights with an IP65 rating or higher for outdoor use
- LED type – choose the one with the correct brightness, controls, and energy efficiency
- Color options – decide whether you need single-color or multiple-color option LED strips.
- Brightness – Choose an LED strip light with the correct brightness. Generally, you can tell how bright an LED strip is by looking at its product specification for the lumens per meter rating.
- Warranty and quality – Buy from reputable brands where you are sure of high-quality products with a warranty.
- Dimmability – Dimming enables you to save energy and pay fewer electricity bills. Moreover, confirm whether you like the dimming method, as it can be a wall dimmer or a remote controller.
Installation and Safety Tips for Outdoor LED Strip Lights
(Mounting LED strip lights using adhesives)
You must install your outdoor LED strip lights well and according to the manufacturer to ensure that they last longer while in good condition.
Moreover, you must adhere to industry standards and safety regulations to ensure you don’t endanger the people around you.
Here, we are looking at the best installation and safety practices when dealing with LED strip lights.
Choose Outdoor-Rated LED Strip Lights
It’s best to go with an LED strip with an outdoor rating in terms of water and dust resistance.
Generally, we recommend one with an IP65 to IP67 rating, as they have better tolerance to immense amounts of water.
Alternatively, go for IP68 lights if you are to submerge them in water such as a dam.
Plan the Installation
You need to plan how and where you will install the LED strip lights before commencing your project.
Additionally, you must know the length and amount of materials like power supply, LED strips, and lighting controls.
Install on a Clean Surface
When installing LED strip lights, you can opt to use adhesives, mounting clips, nails, or screws.
Regardless, the surface must be clean and non-porous to ensure the strips stick to the wall without falling.
Choose the Right Installation Method
If your installation surface is porous, we recommend installing using mounting screws and needles.
Moreover, the type of surface dictates the installation method you will adopt.
For instance, adhesives are best for metallic, ceramic, and glass surfaces. On the other hand, screws and nails suit most wooden and plastic surfaces.
Use Waterproof Connections
As much as we are sure the LED strip lights are waterproof we must ensure the connections have the same characteristics.
Therefore, use waterproof junction boxes that prevent moisture from accessing the metallic parts.
Maintenance and Longevity of Outdoor LED Strip Lights
(LED strip lights illuminating outdoor stairs)
LED strips are long-lasting with high-quality variants lasting more than 60,000 hours.
In other words, they can last for more than 20 years if you keep them on for 8 hours a day throughout the year.
However, a secret to such longevity is proper maintenance routines that include:
First, most outdoor LEDs are heat-sensitive meaning they deteriorate faster under high temperatures.
Generally, it’s the piling up of debris and dirt that reduces the strip lights’ area that’s in contact with cold air. Consequently, they get hotter with time and will eventually fail.
Second, install LEDs with the right ingress protection rating for outdoor use.
Generally, the lower IP ratings signify the lights have poor water resistance ratings.
Therefore, aim for those with a 1P65 rating and above.
Third, regularly inspect your LED lights for damage, like cracks or loose connections. It’s such minor faults that may cause massive damage to your home or business.
Fourth, if you cannot buy LED lights with proper IP ratings, you are better off protecting the ones you have from moisture.
Periodic contact with moisture will lead to corrosion, short circuits, or even appliance damage.
Therefore, mount such lights under eaves or use IP-rated enclosures.
Fifth, maintain a good quality power supply that delivers a constant voltage to your LED strip lights.
Typically, most LED lights operate under a constant voltage and fluctuations such as spikes and surges deteriorate them faster.
Are all outdoor LED strip lights waterproof?
Not all outdoor LED lights are waterproof, despite most having excellent dust and water resistance.
Generally, the quality of outdoor LED strip lights is that they must be tough to withstand the adverse outdoor environment.
For instance, if you install lights in an open space that comes into contact with water, it’s better to go with a waterproof one.
Additionally, go with those with mid-range Ingress Protection (IP) ratings if you are to mount them in damp areas.
However, remember some outdoor LED strip lights aren’t waterproof as you are to house them in a waterproof casing.
Therefore, when buying the lights, ensure you know their IP rating to make a better choice.
Can I use outdoor LED strip lights indoors?
You can use outdoor LED strip lights indoors, given they have characteristics similar to those of indoor LED lights.
For instance, indoor LEDs are dimmer than those for outdoor use.
The reason is indoor LEDs benefit from the reflection of light off the wall, whereas outdoor LED strip lights illuminate a vast and open space.
Additionally, some LED strip lights work on low-voltage DC power, such as the 12V and 24V systems.
On the other hand, most indoor lights operate on the higher main supply AC, which can be 110V or more.
Therefore, when using outdoor LED lights indoors, it’s essential to add a transformer between the power supply and the LEDs.
Can I remotely control or connect outdoor LED strip lights to smart home systems?
Outdoor LED lights are much similar to their internal counterparts in operation and functionality.
Therefore, like indoor LEDs, some outdoor lights allow you to connect them to remote controls or smart home systems.
You can pair your lights with the latter to respond to music beats or even hand claps.
However, you can only pair the LED strip lights to remote controls if they have the capability and compatible technology.
In other words, not all outdoor LED strip lights allow you to configure them to remote controls or smart home systems.
Consequently, be careful when buying one to ensure you get the product you need.
In conclusion, ensure following the right procedures and regulations during the installation of outdoor LED strip lights.
Moreover, you should install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) that automatically shuts off a power supply unit in the case a power surge or fault occurs.
Generally, electricians install them in power lines to safeguard humans and properties from electrocutions and fire outbreaks.