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Can You Use LED Lights Outside?

It’s no secret that LED lights are becoming more and more popular. They’re efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly. But did you know that they can also be used outdoors? In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about outdoor LED lighting!

We’ll answer some of the most common questions people have about using LED lights outside, and we’ll give you some tips on how to choose the right outdoor LED lights for your needs.

What Are the Safety Requirements for Outdoor LED Lights?

Exterior LED lights have safety requirements indicating that they’re safe for outdoor use. Knowing more about these rating requirements can help you choose the right lighting for your home exterior.

When you look at outdoor LED lights, you should see one of the following ratings:

  • UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Listed
  • ETL (Intertek ETL) Listed
  • CSA (Canadian Standards Organization) Listed

UL, ETL, and CSA ratings for LED lights are all considered Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories. Choosing lighting with the correct rating for outdoor use from any of these testing laboratories indicates that these exterior LED lights are in compliance with product safety standards in North America and other countries.

If you’re not sure whether or not your lights are rated for outdoor use, you should check with lighting experts before using them.

Close up a Gemstone Light showing the ETL Certification stamp

Can LED Lights Be Used in Cold Weather?

If you’re hoping to be able to light your home exterior up during cold snaps or on the coldest winter days, you’re in luck. LED lighting can be used in cold weather. In fact, some outdoor LED lights can be used in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees Fahrenheit or -40 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius.

LED lights are designed to be durable and withstand extreme temperatures. With this kind of durability, you can look forward to brightening up your home throughout some of the darkest, coldest winter months.

Are LED Lights Waterproof?

Some LED lights are considered fully waterproof, while others are considered water resistant. What’s the difference in these ratings? When you’re choosing outdoor LED lighting, look for ratings of IP67 or higher. Water resistant lights can handle being hit with water from any angle, but they shouldn’t be submerged in water.

For example, IP65 or IP67 lights can handle being sprayed with raindrops, but you shouldn’t install them in a pool. LED lights that are considered waterproof are designed to handle being submerged in water. A few of the water resistant or waterproof ratings you might see on outdoor lights include the following:

  • IP65: Water resistant
  • IP67: Water resistant plus
  • IP68: Waterproof

IP67 water resistant plus lights can handle water jets or rain, as well as being submerged in water for very short periods of time, such as 10 minutes. IP68 waterproof lights can handle being permanently submerged in water up to 3 meters.

An installer putting a track light together

How Long Do LED Lights Last?

One of the biggest advantages of LED lights is their longer lifespan compared to incandescent bulbs and other types of lighting. How long can you expect outdoor LED lights to last? The Department of Energy states that LED lights can last anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced.

However, different factors can affect just how long your exterior lights last. If you keep them on all or most of the time, they might not last as long as expected. Exposing them to extreme heat might also lead to a shorter lifespan. You’ll still get more hours of use out of your LED lights compared to other types of bulbs overall.

Can LED Lights Be Left on All the Time?

Since LED lights don’t heat up as other lights do, they can technically be left on all the time. However, keeping them lit up at all hours is not recommended. When you have your outdoor LED lights on all the time, they might not last as long as usual. This means you’ll need to replace your outdoor lighting sooner than expected.

LED lights can brighten up your home at night, draw attention to certain architectural features, or give your house a festive look during the holidays, but you don’t need to have them on all the time. For example, you might leave them on all day on Christmas Day in honor of this holiday.

However, you don’t normally need to keep them on during the day in the weeks or days leading up to Christmas Day. If you’re using outdoor LED lights for better lighting at night or to highlight certain features, you really only need to have them on when it’s dark out. Limiting the amount of time you keep your LED lights on helps your lighting last longer before it needs to be replaced.

The peak of a home with bright white Gemstone Lights turned on

If you have more questions about using LED lights outside or if you’re looking for exterior LED lights for your home, please contact Gemstone Lights today. Our lighting experts offer exceptional outdoor lighting solutions for homeowners in Canada and the U.S. We offer smart lighting options, all controllable from our leading-edge Gemstone HUB app, as long as you have internet access.

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