IP65 for LED lighting: how much protection is enough? 

IP65 Protection Certificate

When buying LED lights, you may have come across the term IP65, or a similar designation with a different number after it, such as IP44, IP54, IP55, IP66, or IP68. This value indicates how well an LED lamp is protected from the elements. 

When LED lights feature an IP65 rating, the lamp is both dust-proof and spray-proof against water. LED lights equipped with an IP65 rating are not fully waterproof, but will withstand a directed jet of water. This is sufficient for bathroom use. 

Comparing the protective capacity of an IP65 LED lamp with higher ratings, IP66 LED lights do have full dustproof and waterproof capabilities. One degree higher we find IP67 LED lights, which are fully waterproof, dustproof and moisture-proof. 

In AdvantageLED's online shop, LED lights with IP65 rating and above are widely stocked at a fair price. For example, consider our IP65-rated LED fluorescent lights and LED highbay lighting.

IP protection degree meaning

In LED lighting, the IP classification stands for 'Ingress Protection', a classification designed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under the standard IEC 60529. It is an internationally accepted standard to indicate how much protection a specific type of LED lamp can provide against the elements. 

IP ratings emphasise the ingress of solid objects (dust, objects) as well as liquids (moisture and water) in LED lighting. The classification always consists of two numbers, both of which have an individual meaning: 

  • First digitDegree of protection against ingress of solid objects 
  • Second digitDegree of protection against liquid ingress 
IP value 1e number Protects against dust and contact with objects IP value 2e number Protects against moisture and water 
No protection No protection 
Large objects Drip seal (type 1) 
Medium-sized objects Drip seal (type 2) 
Small objects Splashproof 
Pointed objects Puddle-proof 
Dustproof Sprayproof 
Dust-free Waterproof 
/// /// Immersion-proof 
/// /// Waterproof 
/// /// Damp-proof 

To determine the significance of LED lights with an IP65 rating, we first look at our first number (6). We can conclude that the LED bulb is completely dust-free, the maximum protection. Next, we look at the second number (5). The IP65 LED lamp is spray-proof, which means it can withstand (light) directed water jets.  

Is IP65 waterproof?

While an IP65 rating does guarantee a spray-proof product, it is not fully waterproof. For that, at least an IP66 classification is required. If a product has an IP65 rating, it is both dust-proof and protected against light water pressure. 

In normal use, IP65 LED lamps can be used in relatively damp environments without any problems. Think, for example, of using IP65 classified LEDs in a bathroom, kitchen or garage. 

The widely used IP65 rating is also basically sufficient for outdoor use. For example, you can think of applications such as garden lighting or a lamp on the outside of the front door. 

Is IP65 suitable for outdoors?

Those who want to use IP65 LED lights outdoors will have no problems. LED lights with an IP65 rating can generally be used perfectly as outdoor lighting. 

As the lamps are spray-proof, they can withstand rain and stormy conditions just fine. Even any dust in the outdoors will not cause any problems. Just remember that lights in this form might experience problems from a heavy hailstorm. 

It is advisable to equip IP65 LED lights outdoors with a protective luminaire, so that the LEDs can continue to work even in extreme weather conditions. In a backyard or front yard, by a porch or as an outdoor light by the door, the light source is perfectly suitable. 

Is IP65 better than IP44?

The quality of IP65-rated products will be the same as IP44-rated products, but the protection against dust and water is better with an IP65 product. Always choose IP65 in a humid environment like a bathroom, or a dusty environment like a workshop. 

If you are looking for LED lighting for excessively humid environments (e.g. above a shower cubicle), it is better to choose LED lamps with a higher IP65 rating. 

IP44 may fall short in this particular high-humidity environment, but is often sufficient in slightly humid situations. After all, IP44 is paint-free, which means that this type of product will withstand light exposure to water and similar liquids. 

Also, in a workshop or similar environment with a lot of dust, IP44 may potentially be less suitable than IP65. This is because an IP44-rated product is not dustproof or dust-resistant, while an IP65-rated product is. 

Is IP65 explosion-proof?

If you are specifically looking for an explosion-proof LED lamp, it is better to focus on explosion-proof luminaires fitted with an ATEX classification. This is an enclosure in which a spray-proof and dust-free IP65 LED lamp could be placed. 

The combination IP65 LED lamp and ATEX luminaire is sufficient to provide explosion-proof protection. Without the presence of, for example, an ATEX classification for the luminaire, an IP65 LED lamp cannot guarantee an explosion-free environment. 

Buying good-quality LED lighting

Choosing the right LED lighting can be quite complicated, especially when trying to figure out the meaning behind classifications like 'IP65'. Obviously, one LED bulb will not be the same as another. 

Remember that the rating around dust or moisture protection is only one aspect that helps determine the quality of an LED light source. It is always better to go for a higher IP rating than necessary, if only to be sure. 

We will be happy to help you choose the right protective LED lighting. In normal use, it is more than enough to buy a spray-free and dust-free IP65 LED lamp. Outside a dust- or moisture-rich environment, a lower IP value does not have to pose any problems either. 

The wide range of LED lights indeelLED's online shop will have the right solution for every situation. For example, we have a wide selection of LED fluorescent lights and LED highbay lights that are IP65 rated. Check it out immediately: