You may have seen some LED light strips that are marketed as being “waterproof” or “drip-proof”. But what does this really mean? Is it possible for water to get on the lights without ruining them? What happens if they are submerged in water? This article will explore these questions and more, including how you can avoid damaging your LED light strip.
Can Led Strip Lights Get Wet? Whether or not led strip lights can get wet or not will depend on its Ingress Protection (IP) ratings. An IP-rated 20 led strip light or dry-rated led strip light will get wet by water getting into the conductors result in electrocution. Others with an IP rating of 68 or wet-rated will be submersible in water without any issues.
Wet-rated led strip lights are tightly sealed against water and will not get wet. These types of led strip lights can be used near a pool or in an area that constantly receives rain or snowfall.
Waterproof Ratings For Led Strip Lights
Non-waterproof, waterproof against drops and splashes, and fully waterproof are the three categories of led strip lights. And of course, these are what help to determine whether or not your led strip light will get wet.
Non-Waterproof Led Strip Light
These types of light usually have an IP rating of around 20, meaning they are not even splash-proof. They are also called dry-rated led strip lights. They will get wet if it is raining or when they are fixed on the bathroom wall.
The types of strip lights are suitable for the living room and any other place when there is no likelihood of them getting wet.
They are also great for short-term use but if they are submerged in water or exposed for longer periods of time to water their lifespan will be shorter.
So these are your typical led strip lights that will definitely get wet and are not suitable for use in places where they will get wet.
Led Strip Lights That Are Waterproof Against Drops and Splashes
The second category or type of led light strip is one that has an IP rating of somewhere around 50. These are often marketed as damp-rated led string lights.
This means it is splash-proof and can not tolerate a lot of water but it can withstand a few drips here and there.
They are best used outdoors where they can get exposed to rain or snow without any issues. They will be fine against water hitting them from the ground or when it is raining.
These are generally not recommended for bathrooms as they will be exposed to the steam coming from the shower. But they are fine for use in kitchens, hallways, or on porches where water is not directly hitting them.
So if they are not directly exposed to water and they do get wet, you probably won’t have any issues.
Semi Waterproof Led Strip Lights
The third category is led strip lights that are semi-waterproof. They usually have IP65 and IP66, meaning they can withstand splashes and get submerged in water for short periods of time but not constantly.
These types of light strips are perfect for bathrooms or kitchens where they will get exposed to water but not excessively. You can use them around the shower, sink, or outside in a covered area.
They can withstand a lot of splashes of water but not for extended periods of time, especially under the sink where they will be exposed to water running constantly.
I love these because they can be used in places where there is a risk of them getting wet but you don’t want to spend the extra money on waterproof lights.
Led Strip Lights That Are Fully Waterproof
IP67 and 68 indicate that the led light strip is completely waterproof and can be submerged in water.
They are best used for outdoor illuminated signage, under kitchen cabinets or wet rooms where they will be exposed to water constantly and will need to tolerate splashes.
They are also great for bathrooms as you can use them on the wall of the shower, under the sink or next to a bathtub.
They are generally perfect for any place where you want led strip lights that are completely waterproof and safe to get wet.
The Dangers Of Led Strip Lights Getting Wet
The real danger of an Led strip light getting wet will usually occur after being fully submerged.
If your led strip lights get wet and you don’t use them for a long period of time they can start to corrode.
This usually happens when you leave them in contact with water for a long period of time.
If the corrosion goes on for longer than several days or weeks then it can start to affect the quality of the light.
If you are using led strip lights that have corroded, it can cause them to flicker or fail completely.
This is the most common reason why led strip lights get wet and people decide to replace their light strips.
It is crucial to make sure you dry them out completely before using your light strip again, even if they are only slightly wet or have only been exposed to water for a short period of time.
If you are using your light strip in an area where it is safe to get wet, you can make sure to use a heater or fan to dry them out more quickly.
When led strip lights get wet, water will get into the conductors. Because water is a conductor, it’s possible for electrocution to occur when electricity passes through the bulb.
This is generally not an issue if the light strip is completely submerged for a short period of time.
Water can also get into connectors or joints. When the connector or joint gets wet, it can corrode over time which will cause issues when you decide to turn them on again after some time.
So as you can see, there are some real dangers if your led strip lights get wet and it is important to make sure they are not submerged for an extended period of time if the led strip light is not wet-rated.
How To Avoid Led Strip Lights From Getting Wet
- You can choose led strip lights that are IP20 or higher for areas where water might splash on them.
- Choose IP66 and above if you want led strip lights that can get wet and be submerged in water.
- If you want to avoid any risk of your led light strips getting wet then choose IP20 or higher.
- Make sure you choose led strip lights that are rated for your environment and the conditions they will be exposed to.
- Make sure you read the specifications carefully so that your lights can be used safely and for a long time.
- You should avoid using led strip lights in areas where they will be exposed to water constantly, especially under the sink.
- When led strip lights get wet their lifetime will reduce significantly so it is best to avoid them from getting wet.
What To Do If Your Led Strip Lights Gets Wet
- If your led strip light is only wet it should be fine.
- If your led strip lights are submerged in water then they will need to dry out before you can use them again.
- If your led strip lights are submerged in water for a long time, the connectors and glue may need to be replaced.
- If your led strip lights get wet, even if they are not submerged in water for a long time, and you feel you need to replace them, it should be fine.
- If you are not sure if your led strip lights can get wet or submerged in water then it is best to avoid them from getting wet.
- If your led strip lights get wet, you should avoid turning them on for at least 24 hours to give the glue time to dry out.
Q: Can LED strip lights get submerged in water?
A: Yes, led strip lights can get submerged in water if they are wet-rated or rated waterproof. You should avoid using them where there is a lot of splashing water.
Q: Can LED strip lights get wet and be used again?
A: Yes, if the connector or glue is not damaged you can turn the light strip on again after they have dried out.
Q: Can LED strip lights get electrocuted when they are wet?
A: No, if the connectors or joints gets wet, it will corrode over time which may cause issues when you try to turn them on again.
Q: What should I do if my led strip lights get wet?
A: You should switch them off and leave the area. You should avoid using them for at least 24 hours to give the glue time to dry out.
Q: What happens if you turn on your led strip lights after they have gotten wet?
A: The connectors or glue may corrode over time which can cause issues later when you turn them on again.
Q: How to avoid led strip lights from getting wet?
A: You should choose IP20 or higher for areas where water might splash on them. Choose IP66 and above if you want led strip lights that can get wet or submerged in water.