Whenever exploring the lighting options available for you in a home or business, you are sometimes restricted by certain factors. An example is safety.
Using lights within potentially wet conditions is generally considered a bad thing. After all, electricity and water do not mix. However , there are lighting options available to help you overcome this.
LED Strips are available with, or even without, a protective waterproof coating. A waterproof coating is usually essential when installing strip lights in your kitchen, bathroom, close to windows or outside, where there is a high opportunity they will come into contact with moisture around taps and faucets, or condensation caused by food preparation and your morning shower routine.
The level of protection offered by waterproof coatings varies and can be usually dependant on their IP rating. The standard with regard to waterproofing LED Strip is an IP65 layer, which is suitable for most interior applications. A clear silicone gel is put on the upper side of the strip light and offers protection against splashes, moisture build-up or condensation and water droplets. This type of remove is not suitable for use outside or complete immersion.
One of the chief advantages of using IP65 is that the strip can be cut without compromising protection.
When using LED Strips in harsher circumstances, you will need a greater degree of protection. A good IP67 coating will enable you to use your strip lights outside, but you may require an IP68 (hermetically sealed) housing to completely submerge them. Most IP67 strips use a hollow plastic sleave, which, when cut, instantly leads to the strip to become exposed. In cases like this a special capping process is needed to reseal the strip and it is best to have your retailer perform the necessary work.
Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Overproofing your remove lights is not a terrible thing and can usually only cost you an extra couple of quid. Definitely worth it considering even a small amount of water can short circuit the strip lights.
Don’t forget about your peripheral units either. All LED strip lights require a driver and in the case of RGB Strips, controllers plus amplifiers.
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IP rated versions of those units can be purchased, but it is always advisable to keep them clear of wet circumstances if possible. If you are cutting and soldering your own strip light, also ensure that any connections you make are usually sealed and proofed against dampness.