Watertight Light Fixtures: An Overview

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Watertight light fixtures are suitable for industrial or commercial lighting purposes in harsh weather conditions.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at watertight light fixtures so you can make a more informed decision regarding your own lighting needs.

Watertight Light Fixtures

Moisture, dust, or contaminants do not accumulate in these fixtures over time, and as such, they can operate for a long time.

It’s even better that these fixtures have Ingress Protection (IP) Rating, which denotes their degree of protection, and depicts whether they are best suited for use indoors or outdoors.

The higher the IP rating, the higher the water resistivity characteristic of the light fixture.

That being the case, it is essential to know a waterproof luminaire’s IP Rating to ensure that it meets your needs.

Most importantly, it will ensure that the fixture does not break down when you least expect due to water or dust tampering with its internal components.

Related: Vapor Tight LED vs Watertight LED Fixtures

What are Watertight Light Fixtures?

watertight light fixture

T1-WTLED Series of watertight LEDs

Watertight light fixtures are lighting systems used in locations that are always exposed to water, snow, dirt, or rain.

Likewise, these fixtures can be installed into a pavement since they can withstand deformations that could be caused by water and ice.

On the other hand, these fixtures have a low or high IP rating.

A low IP rating denotes that they can be used in indoor or certain outdoor areas that are not extremely wet.

On the contrary, regions that will be exposed to lots of water, dust, and potentially come in contact with high amounts of solid, high IP ratings light fixtures are needed.

These light fixtures with high ratings make then less susceptible to water, especially when they have waterproof coatings on the LED strip lights.

Requirements for an Outdoor Watertight Light Fixture

A watertight light fixture that will be used in the outdoor needs to be revamped to have full impermeability to water and withstand all weather conditions.

Whether it is cold, heat, or rainy days, such a fixture must provide sufficient light during the day and at night without being impacted by the weather.

Similarly, the fixture’s lifespan or length of operation must be long in order to reduce the need for frequent maintenance.

That being the case, a watertight light fixture that meets these requirements will be able to work correctly even in harsh weather conditions.

What is IP Rating

IP rating signifies the level of protection a fixture has against solid objects and liquids.

This rating represents the fixture’s depth of immersion, as well as exposure to water jets and temperature.

Similarly, the degree of protection is denoted using two numbers (the first number for solid particle protection, and the second number for liquid ingress protection).

That being the case, there are several IP ratings for lighting fixtures depicting the degree of exposure they can withstand.

These IP ratings include the IP20, IP30, IP40, IP43, IP44, IP54, IP65, IP66, IP67, IP68, and IP69-K.

The IP69-K is currently the highest degree of protection for lighting fixtures; however, watertight LED light fixtures either rated IP67, IP68, or IP69-K are most suited for harsh climatic conditions.

Watertight Light Fixtures Rated IP67

Watertight light fixtures that are rated IP67 means that they are completely protected from dust.

Similarly, these fixtures have full contact protection denoting that they have been protected from water jets in all directions.

To that effect, water will have no impact on these light fixtures on coming in contact with them in any direction.

The only limitation is these fixtures have a short-term (10 minutes) immersion in a depth of water up to 1m.

Above that, water could penetrate these fixtures into the internal components.

What’s more, an immersion around 1m of water will not lead to large amounts of water entering the device to affect its operation.

To that effect, watertight fixtures rated IP 67 are not fully waterproof, and as such, they should not be submerged in water for extended periods.

It makes them suitable for outdoor areas that are moderately exposed to water.

That is why they might fail to function in locations where there are severe frosts, heavy snowfalls and rains, and high daily temperature fluctuations.

Watertight Light Fixtures Rated IP69K

Watertight light LED fixtures that are rated IP69K, on the other hand, can withstand high-temperature as well as high-pressure washing.

These light fixtures are completely protected from dust, and they have the highest dust protection level compared to other IP ratings.

On the same note, they have full contact protection which ensures that water cannot enter the fixture in any direction.

Unlike watertight light fixtures that are rated IP67, these ones have a long-term immersion in water whose depth is over 1m.

It has protection from steam-jet cleaning, i.e. water whose temperature is up to 80 degrees Celsius.

As a consequence, they can be used in outdoor regions that are always exposed to large amounts of water.

Uses of Watertight Light Fixtures Rated IP67 and IP69K

Watertight fixtures can be LED lights – Outdoor waterproof LED light fixtures are known to be energy-efficient, and durable.

On the other hand, watertight fixtures that have IP67 and IP69K ratings are suitable for use in:

  • Schools
  • Car washes
  • Public areas
  • Parking garages
  • Industrial facilities
  • Government facilities
  • Food processing facilities

1. Food Processing Facilities:

In food processing facilities, hygiene and cleanliness are prioritized; hence, the equipment in these facilities, including the light fixtures are sanitized occasionally.

Therefore, fixtures with an IP69K rating are used in these facilities since they can withstand high-temperature wash-down procedures, harsh chemicals, and high pressures.

Similarly, in industries where dirt and dust may tend to affect the light, LED fixtures with IP67 and IP69K rating can be used since they are completely protected from dust.

Their electronic circuits and instrumentation will tend not to fail quickly.

2. Wet locations:

Wet locations such as car wash are always exposed to water.

These places need sufficient light during the day and at night, and as such, it could prove a bit challenging without the use of fixtures that are rated IP67 or IP69K

3. Areas with heavy foot traffic:

Lighting fixtures can also be embedded in the ground, which increases their potential of being stepped on by people.

It means they will be exposed to sand, dirt, water, and other unwanted materials.

However, watertight fixtures, especially LED luminaries, will ensure that lights are not damaged easily.

Moreover, in paths where they have been covered in snow, the lights can still work even while encased in ice.

4. Areas with heavy car traffic:

Cars may tend to splash water on these lights as they pull out of the gas station, driveway or parking lot, and as such, it makes it needful to have these high IP rating fixtures.

They will be unaffected by exposure to large amounts of water for a long time, which extends their durability.

The same applies to other areas that are susceptible to high splash, which could cause these fixtures to be destroyed.

Conclusion

Watertight light fixtures with IP67 and IP69K ratings have become very useful in outdoor locations.

It’s even better when watertight LED light systems are employed since these take it one step further to offer energy-efficiency, cost savings, and a long lifespan.

They are also environmentally friendly due to the fact that they emit 90% less carbon and are mercury-free.

Therefore, LED watertight light fixtures should be your first choice if you are considering upgrading the fixtures in the outdoor regions in your place.

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