As you probably expected, not all Christmas lights are manufactured the same. Certain lights are made for indoor-use only, while others can withstand the elements to some degree.
You want to be very careful when buying Christmas lights to be sure you are buying the right lights for your yard. You obviously never want to hang indoor-only lights on the outside of your house.
There are different levels of water protection for Christmas light. How do you tell how well your lights are protected? You have to check their Ingress Protection (IP) rating .
The IP rating, if provided, is typically located in the product manual, on the product’s website, or in the product description that you can reference before buying. Not all lights are tested so a product may be void of an IP rating.
An IP rating consist of a two digit number. The first digit indicates the protection against solids, while the second digit indicates the protection against water.
The below table is a guide to help you interpret an IP rating. As an example, if an IP rating was 48, the first digit or “4” would indicated the solid protection while the second digit or “8” would reflect the water protection. Christmas light with a a higher second digit will provide the best waterproof protection.
|First Digit||Solids||2nd Digit||Water|
|0||No protection||0||No preotection|
|1||Protected against solid object greater than 50mm. (i.e a hand)||1||Protected against vertical falling drops of water. Limited ingress permitted.|
|2||Protected against a solid object greater than 12.5mm (i.e. a finger)||2||Protected against vertical falling drops of water for 10 minutes at rate of 3/mm/min|
|3||Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm (i.e.small tool)||3||Protected against sprays of water up to 60 degrees from the vertical. Limited ingress permitted.|
|4||Protected against a solid object greater than 1mm (i.e a wire)||4||Protected against water splashes from all directions. Limited ingress permitted.|
|5||Dust protected. Limited ingress of dust permitted. Will not interfere with operation of equipment.||5||Protected against against low pressure jets. Limited ingress permitted.|
|6||Dust tight. No ingress of dust.||6||Protected against powerful jets of water. Limited ingress permitted.|
|7||Watertight against the effects of temporary immersion in water between 15cm and 1m for 30 minutes.|
|8||Watertight. Long periods.|
Note that the popular Christmas laser lights (a.k.a Christmas laser projectors) that have been the trend to replace traditional lights are typically waterproof or water resistant. It is important to buy one of the best Christmas laser lights to ensure it can withstand the elements.
Whether you purchase traditional Christmas lights or a projector, it is important to fully read the product description and reviews to determine the lights ability to withstand water. You not only want a product that can withstand water, but also one that will last.