Are LED lights waterproof?

by | Dec 6, 2019

Good question. Let’s dig into it a little.

Short Answer: LED Christmas lights are, in fact, NOT waterproof.

Longer Answer:

When I hear this question, I usually ask questions about applications and the questions behind the question to get to the real and helpful answer.

Here are a few of the questions behind the question:

Can I submerge LED Christmas lights in water? No, LED Christmas lights are electrical devices/appliances and it is unsafe to submerge them in water. Even if a brand of 120-volt lights claims to be submergible, it is not electrically safe to do so.

Also. Be sure to keep your lights plugged into GFCI outlets and keep them out of water.

Can I put string lights in my aquarium? No. Do not put light strings in your aquarium, even if they are LED. This is hazardous to both you and any fish or plant life in your aquarium.

Don’t install or dunk your lights into vases, swimming pools, hot tubs, or martinis.

Can I install LED lights outside? If this is your real question, then YES, outdoor-rated LED Christmas lights can be installed out of doors are specially designed for it.

The most durable LED sets have lenses and LED’s that are manufactured in a single piece (the bulbs can’t be removed). This means there are fewer gaps at the bases of the LED which could let in moisture.

LED light strings are Water Resistant

“Water-resistant” is a much better phrase to use when speaking about Christmas light specifications.

All electrical devices will degrade when exposed to sunshine, water, snow, wind, rain, and hail. Water-resistance means that lights will work outside but common sense should be used when installing them.

For instance, don’t do things like the following:

  • Don’t install lights directly in the mud
  • Don’t install lights under a downspout so that water strongly pours over them
  • Don’t install lights inside water features or pools

Electrical common sense is important.

If you have an electrical question about your Christmas light installation, the best thing to do is not to ask Google about it but call your local Master Electrician for expert advice.

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2 Comments

  1. Alice Carroll

    Thanks for pointing out that there is a difference between being waterproof and being water resistant. I will keep that in mind when getting a Christmas light installation service for my garden soon. There have been light drizzles in my area these past few days so I’ve been waiting for better weather in order to light up my garden with mesmerizing lights.

    Reply
    • Shellie Gardner

      Glad to help!!

      I love that your garden will be mesmerizing!! We don’t get enough rain here and I am totally jealous.

      Have a Merry Christmas.

      Reply

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