What Is the Best IP Rating for Outdoor Lighting?

Outside lights UK is more than just an aesthetic enhancer. They also play a crucial role in ensuring safety and security. Be it for illuminating a backyard or lighting up a patio, there’s one vital aspect to consider — the IP rating.

In this guide, we’ll explore the question: What is the best IP rating for outdoor lighting? Understanding these ratings is the key to ensuring your lighting withstands the elements. Join us, and let’s embark on this enlightening journey together!

Understanding IP Ratings

Biard Alfta Outdoor Wall Lantern
Biard Alfta Outdoor Wall Lantern

IP ratings stand for Ingress Protection ratings. They are a standardised system that indicates the degree of protection offered by electrical enclosures. Outdoor lighting fixtures are no exemptions. These ratings are of utmost significance when choosing lights for exterior use. For one, they help determine the fixture’s ability to defy environmental factors.

IP ratings follow a specific structure, typically written as “IP” followed by two digits (e.g., IP65 or IP67). The first digit represents the level of protection against solid particles and dust. It ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (complete protection). The second digit signifies the level of protection against water ingress. It spans from 0 (no protection) to 9 (high-pressure water jets).

These ratings encompass both dust and water resistance. They assess the external patio light’s durability in outdoor conditions.

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The Importance of IP Ratings in Outdoor Lighting

Biard Foley Outdoor Stainless Steel Bollard Light
Biard Foley Outdoor Stainless Steel Bollard Light

Outdoor lighting fixtures face a barrage of harsh environmental conditions. This makes their durability a paramount concern. Moreover, they contend with the following factors:

  • extreme temperatures
  • UV radiation
  • heavy rain
  • snow
  • potential physical impacts

Without adequate protection, these fixtures can deteriorate rapidly. And if overlooked, they can lead to malfunctions or safety hazards. This is where IP ratings come into play. These standardised codes help consumers understand how well lighting can endure these challenges.

Higher IP ratings indicate greater resistance to dust, debris, and moisture ingress. This directly correlates with a fixture’s suitability for outdoor use.

Furthermore, IP ratings contribute significantly to safety by preventing electrical hazards. They mitigate the risk of short circuits or electric shocks. So, when selecting cheap garden lights, understanding these ratings is vital to ensure:

  • longevity
  • performance
  • safety

Common IP Ratings

These popular options offer varying levels of protection:

1. IP65

This rating is common for outdoor lighting. It indicates that the fixture is dust-tight, providing complete protection against dust. It also is protected against low-pressure water jets from any direction. IP65 fixtures are suitable for garden lighting and spaces exposed to light rain.

2. IP66

These fixtures are also dust-tight and can withstand high-pressure water jets. They are ideal for more demanding outdoor environments. These include coastal areas with saltwater exposure and industrial or commercial settings.

3. IP67

IP67-rated lighting fixtures are dust-tight and can be submerged in up to one meter of water for a short time. They are perfect for underwater, e.g., swimming pools or highly humid environments.

The right IP rating will depend on the conditions your outdoor lighting will face.

Choosing the Right IP Rating for Your Needs

Biard Le Mans IP44 Adjustable Wall Light
Biard Le Mans IP44 Adjustable Wall Light

Selecting the appropriate IP rating should be influenced by several factors, such as:


Consider the climate and environmental conditions where your lighting fixtures will be installed. Do you live in a region with heavy rainfall, coastal areas, or extreme temperatures? If so, opt for higher IP ratings like IP66 or IP67 for added durability.

Exposure to elements

Evaluate how much direct exposure the fixtures will face. Lighting near a pool, fountain, or pond should have a higher IP rating to withstand moisture. Conversely, a lower IP rating will do for fixtures placed under eaves or covered areas.

Practical tips:

  • Research the local climate and weather patterns.
  • Consult manufacturers’ recommendations for specific fixtures.
  • Prioritise higher IP ratings for critical areas like pathways and security lighting.

Finally, weigh your budget with the fixture’s environment to make an informed choice.

Maintenance and Longevity

Biard Sintra IP54 Round Up/Down Wall Light
Biard Sintra IP54 Round Up/Down Wall Light

Regular maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of outdoor lighting fixtures. Dust, debris, and moisture can accumulate over time. And this can lead to corrosion and reduced performance. Here’s how IP ratings play a role:

IP ratings indicate a fixture’s resistance to dust and moisture. Higher ratings like IP66 or IP67 prevent debris ingress and moisture damage. This, in return, reduces the need for frequent maintenance. Nevertheless, routine care remains vital. Here are some tips:

  • Inspect fixtures periodically for damage, loose connections, or wear.
  • Clean lenses and surfaces with a gentle, non-abrasive cloth to maintain brightness.
  • Ensure fixtures are properly sealed and replace gaskets if necessary.
  • Lubricate moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • For submerged fixtures, inspect seals and replace them if signs of wear are evident.

Proactive maintenance preserves the functionality and aesthetic appeal, regardless of IP rating.


The right IP rating is your outdoor lighting’s armour against the elements. Moreover, it ensures longevity and safety. By considering location, exposure, and demands, you can make an informed choice. Higher IP ratings offer superior protection, reducing the need for frequent maintenance. However, regular upkeep remains essential.

Overall, the right IP rating will ensure your outdoor lighting shines brightly. Most importantly, it enhances your space for years to come.

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Up next, we suggest reading: How to Design and Install An Outdoor Lighting Set-Up