What Is the Best IP Rating for Outdoor Lighting?

What is the Best IP Rating for Outdoor Lighting? Protect Your Lights from Rain & Snow

When it comes to outdoor lighting, not all lights are created equal. From pathway lights to floodlights, the options are virtually limitless. However, one crucial factor that often gets overlooked is the IP (Ingress Protection) rating. Understanding the ideal IP rating for your outdoor lighting can make a significant difference in durability, functionality, and overall performance. So, what is the best IP rating for outdoor lighting? Let's delve into the topic to provide you with a comprehensive understanding.

outdoor IP rating lighting

The Importance of IP Ratings in Outdoor Lighting

Before diving into specific IP ratings, it's essential to understand why they matter in the first place. IP ratings serve as an industry standard for defining the level of sealing effectiveness against foreign bodies such as dirt, dust, and moisture. The last thing you want is for your outdoor lighting to fail prematurely because it isn't equipped to handle environmental conditions. Therefore, choosing the correct IP rating can save you money and hassle in the long run.

What Is the IP Rating Code?

An IP rating typically consists of the letters "IP" followed by two digits. The first digit represents protection against solid objects and ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (complete protection against dust). The second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids, ranging from 0 (no protection) to 9K (protection against close-range, high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs). So when you see an IP rating like IP65, you'll know that the fixture is dust-tight and can withstand water jets.

More info about IP rating code here.

The Most Common IP Ratings for Outdoor Lighting

Now that you have a grasp of what IP ratings signify, let's discuss the most common ones you'll encounter in outdoor lighting. IP44, IP54, IP65, and IP67 are often considered suitable choices for various outdoor settings.

IP44 Rating

When it comes to outdoor lighting, IP44-rated fixtures are generally viewed as the entry-level standard. These fixtures are shielded against the ingress of solid objects larger than 1 mm and safeguarded against water splashes coming from any direction. While IP44 provides baseline protection, it may not be the ideal choice for environments susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

IP54 Rating

An upgrade from IP44, IP54-rated fixtures deliver dual protection against both dust accumulation and water splashes from all angles. This level of ingress protection serves well for locations experiencing moderate weather; however, it may fall short for areas subjected to heavy rain or snowfall.

IP65 Rating

For those seeking advanced outdoor lighting solutions, IP65-rated fixtures offer comprehensive dust-tight protection and resistance against low-pressure water jets from any direction. This makes IP65 an optimal selection for regions that encounter a broad range of weather conditions, including both rain and snow. This rating stands out as one of the most versatile options for weatherproof outdoor lighting.

IP67 Rating

IP67 provides the highest level of protection commonly found in outdoor lighting. It ensures complete protection against dust and the effects of immersion in water between 15 cm and 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. This rating is ideal for locations that experience extreme environmental conditions.

IP Rating

Protection Against Solid Objects

Protection Against Liquids

Suitable For


Objects larger than 1 mm

Water splashing from any angle

Minimum for outdoor lighting; not for severe weather


Dust deposits

Water splashing from any direction

Moderate weather conditions; not for heavy rainfall or snow


Complete protection against dust

Low-pressure water jets from any angle

Versatile; good for rain and snow


Complete protection against dust

Immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter for 30 minutes

Extreme conditions; best for heavy rainfall and snow

What is the Best IP Rating for Outdoor Lighting?

Factors to Consider When Choosing an IP Rating

Choosing the right IP rating isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. It's essential to consider factors like geographical location, the specific application of the light fixture, and the local weather conditions. It will have some effect on the lighting: Research on the influence of weather conditions on urban night light environment

For example, if you live in an area with frequent rain and snowfall, opting for a higher IP rating like IP65 or IP67 would be wise.

More info about the effect of geographical environment on lighting: Why do these terrain lighting artifacts happen?


While IP44 and IP54 are suitable for moderate conditions, IP65 and IP67 offer robust protection against harsher elements. In a word, IP65 or higher is the best waterproof option for outdoor lighting. The right IP rating is integral to the longevity and effectiveness of your outdoor lighting fixtures. Being knowledgeable about these ratings ensures that you make a smart investment, allowing your outdoor spaces to remain well-lit and inviting, come rain or shine.

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