Vapor Tight LED vs Watertight LED Fixtures

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There are several key differences between a vapor tight LED light fixture and a watertight LED light fixture. We thought it might be helpful to compare the two options here so you can make a more informed decision regarding which LED light fixtures you need.

Here’s a comparison of vapor tight LED and watertight LED fixtures for your convenience.

Vapor Tight LED vs Watertight LED Fixtures

Watertight light fixtures and vapor tight lights offer the same functionality, but there is still a unique difference between these lighting fixtures.

The ability to interchange one term for the other can be pinpointed at their similar benefits and use in almost the same locations.

Hence, it should not come as a surprise if the terms tri-proof lights and vapor proof lights are also used to describe either of these.

Watertight light fixtures and vapor tight lights are both used in damp environments, and they are a goto option for high abuse areas.

But is there a unique difference between either?

Let’s take a look at the vapor-tight LED vs watertight LED comparison.

What is a Watertight Light Fixture?

Watertight LED light

The T1-WTLED series is an IP67 and IP69K protection grade lighting fixture with a sealed tubular design that withstands water penetration.

Watertight light fixtures have been specially designed to be resistant to water.

As such, they are suitable for indoor and outdoor usage, especially in regions that are always exposed to water and rain such as garages, barns, porches, etc.

These lights can be LEDs, fluorescent, halogen, HID, among others, however, LED watertight light fixtures have several benefits over traditional light sources.

On the other hand, watertight light fixtures are available in different shapes and sizes.

In terms of shape, these light fixtures can be round, linear, square, tubular, rectangular, etc.

It is also worth noting that these fixtures can be found in different materials including metal, plastic, glass, etc. and the choice of which is solely dependent on the area it will be used.

Watertight light fixtures also have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating denoting the protection class they fall under.

The majority of these fixtures have IP65, IP67, and IP68 rating.

Nonetheless, others are featuring the IP69K rating; hence, they can be exposed to large amounts of water for a long time without affecting their durability.

What do these ratings mean?

  • IP68 denotes full, permanent submersion in water that is up to 13 feet. These are light fixtures suitable for use on decks and patios.
  • IP67 denotes temporary submersion in water that is up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
  • IP65 denotes protection against water jets at any angle. Light fixtures suitable for area lights in parking lots.

Even though these fixtures are designed to be resistant to water, they can also help to prevent dust and dirt from entering the fixtures.

What is a Vapor Tight Light Fixture?

Vapor tight LED light

The T1-VTLED series is sealed against moisture, dust, and any ingress, making it ideal for rugged environments and wet location applications.

Vapor tight light fixtures, also known as Wet Location fixtures can withstand harsh weather conditions, and as such, the quality of light they provide is bright and efficient.

Similarly, these are full-LED light bulbs whose fixtures are resistant to high humidity, water, dust, and extreme cold.

That being so, they have been adopted for use in car washes, kitchens, high dirt areas, and high humidity areas.

Vapor tight light fixtures can be mounted on walls, ceilings, soffits, and generally, commercial and industrial buildings where dust and dirt may tend to be a concern.

It can be said that these lights are rugged and durable, given their ability to withstand impacts from harsh climatic conditions.

What’s more, the fact that they adopt LED technology makes them energy-efficient, durable, and environment-friendly.

Design of a Vapour Tight Light Fixture

Vapour tight lights come with a full metal fixture liner which is located within the PU or fiberglass shell.

They are available in different sizes and shapes and can be found in fixtures with 2ft to 8ft of length.

What’s more, they are often referred to as waterproof lights since they have an IP rating (Ingress Protection Rating) of either IP67, IP68, or IP69K.

Each of these ratings denotes the level of water resistivity the luminary can offer, and how long it can withstand impacts from dust, dirt, and water.

An IP67, for instance, means that the fixture is totally resistant to dust; however, it can only be immersed in water up to 10m before the fixture breaks down.

On the other hand, when LED vapor tight lights are used, they are a better replacement to fluorescent strip lights that are less-efficient indoors and outdoors.

Where to Use Watertight Light Fixtures and Vapor Tight Lights?

The following is a list of places where vapor tight lights can be used.


Vapour tight lighting fixtures with an IP65 rating can be used in parking garages or workshops.

They can also be employed in spa rooms and stairwells.

Car washes:

Car washes are always exposed to water and so are the lights used in these locations.

It, therefore, makes it needful to use a watertight lighting fixture that can withstand the high amounts of water.

Parking lots:

Parking lots need to be well illuminated during the day and at night.

However, their location outdoors means they are exposed to the rain and as such, cars moving in and out of these locations may tend to splash water on the lights.

Despite this, the lights can maintain their proper functioning if they are non-susceptible to water.


Refrigerators are always kept cold and exposed to cold air; thus, watertight lights need to be used within them.

This will ensure that they are unaffected by water or humidity while the fridge is in use.

The same applies to walk-in freezers, whose degree of coldness is always high.


There is a significant difference between a watertight light fixture and a vapor tight light fixture.

While the former is specially designed to handle water, the latter can prevent vapor and dirt from entering the fixtures.

As such, being aware of this disparity will help you make a good decision about which to choose over the other.

Nonetheless, these fixtures are suitable for wet and dirt locations, given their waterproof nature and durability.

Over and above that, you can resort to LED watertight light fixtures that are energy-efficient and can, therefore, reduce your utility bill significantly.

Coupled with the water and dust resistivity of these fixtures, you could be saving money in the long run in replacing light fixtures that have been damaged by water, dust, humidity, etc.

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