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What is the difference between weatherproof and waterproof?

Author 2024-02-28 11:17:22

Outdoor lights must withstand harsh weather conditions such as dust, rain, wind, etc. In this case, it is crucial to consider whether you need a weatherproof or waterproof light. But in most cases, you might get confused between these two terms as they are often used as synonyms. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the difference!


The main difference between weatherproof and waterproof is how well they resist moisture or water. Weatherproof unit resists dust, rain, water splash, UV rays and other weather conditions. But they are not completely sealed for use underwater. In comparison, waterproof lights have a sturdier structure. Even when submerged in water, they prevent water from getting inside. Therefore these lights are used inside swimming pools, boats, marine lighting etc.

LED waterproof light

What is weatherproofing?

Weatherproof lights are light fixtures that can withstand typical weather conditions. These lights can withstand rain, wind, sunlight, and temperature fluctuations. For these reasons, these lamps are used for outdoor lighting. You can use them in gardens, terraces, building facades or outdoors in restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals, etc. They can withstand water splashes but are not suitable for submersion or prolonged exposure to water. Therefore, they should not be used in areas where fountains, pools, or other fixtures are in constant direct contact with water.


What is waterproofing?

The waterproof light is completely sealed from water and moisture. These fixtures have a higher IP rating. Waterproof lights are often used in industrial areas with high moisture content. A noteworthy feature of these fixtures is that they can withstand submersion in water. Therefore, the lights you see in swimming pools, fountains, and underwater areas are all waterproof devices. To learn more about waterproof lighting.

underwater led lamp

IP Rating

Weatherproof light fixtures

The IP rating determines the degree of protection against the ingress of solids and liquids. This is a two-digit number that ensures the fixture will withstand adverse environmental conditions. Weatherproof light fixtures have IP ratings from IP44 to IP66. You need to choose the correct rating based on how exposed the light fixture is to the outside environment. The most common IP ratings for weatherproof lighting are:


IP44: Luminaires with these ratings are resistant to solid objects larger than 1 mm in diameter and protect against splashing water from any direction. You can use these lights in general outdoor areas exposed to rain, dust, or light splash.

IP65: You can use IP65 rated bulbs in places that are subject to frequent rain and moisture. These fixtures are completely dust proof and can withstand partial water jet protection at low pressures. Therefore, IP65 lights are more robust than IP44.

IP66: This rating protects the fixture against dust and high-pressure water jets coming from any direction. You can use IP66 fixtures in places that face harsh weather conditions and heavy rain.

Waterproof lamps

Waterproof lights are fully sealed and have a higher IP rating than weatherproof lights. These lights are rated IP67 or IP68. The application and protection levels of these classes are as follows:


IP67: Provides limited time protection against dust and immersion in water to a depth of 1 meter (typically 30 minutes). You can use fixtures with this IP rating for underwater lighting or wet and underwater areas.

IP68: Protection against dust and continuous immersion in water up to one meter deep. Fixtures used in deep water applications require this level of protection.

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