IP Rating for Underwater Lights

When you are choosing an underwater light, you will always find that the IP rating will be indicated in the product information. What is an IP rating? Do we have to choose the underwater light with the highest IP rating? If you have no idea about the IP rating, this definitive guide will take you through everything you need to know about IP rating for underwater light products.

What is the IP rating?

The IP rating is a judgment on the ability of mechanical enclosures and electrical enclosures to provide dust, water, intrusion, and accidental contact. The IP rating is an internationally accepted rating standard issued in the European Union by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC).

The meaning of common numbers in IP rating

An IP Rating usually has two numbers: The first number represents the level of protection from solid materials and the second number represents the level of protection from liquids.

IP68 rating

The first numeral refers to the protection rating against solid objects

  • From low to high are X, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • X means no data available to develop relevant standards
  • The higher the number, the stronger the protection against solid objects
  • 6 means it is completely sealed and dust cannot enter

The second numeral refers to the protection rating against liquid

  • From low to high are X, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6K, 7, 8, 9K
  • X means no data available to develop relevant standards
  • 5 Indicates that it can withstand a certain degree of water column impact
  • 7 means that it will not leak when immersed in 1-meter deep water for a period of time
  • 8 means that it can work in an underwater environment for a long time
  • 9K means that it can protect against high temperatures and high-pressure liquids sprayed at close range

The following are the IP protection ratings for solid particle and liquid protection capabilities.

Solid Particle Protection Standard

This is the first number in the IP protection class.

LevelSolid size of protectionJudgment criteria
0Unprotected, direct contact
1>50 mmCan prevent large areas of the body from coming into contact with it, cannot prevent contact with hands, feet, etc
2>12.5mmUnable to prevent contact with finger-sized objects
3>2.5mmCan prevent the entry of screwdriver and other tools
4>1mmCan block most of the specifications of the wire and other small tools to reach, ants can not crawl into
5General dustproof abilityCompletely isolated from contact, with a certain degree of dustproof ability, more dust will still affect
6Completely dustproofCompletely isolated from dust

Liquid Protection Standard

This is the second number in the IP protection class.

LevelDetection methodJudgment criteria
0Unable to prevent liquid immersion
1Dripping waterWithstands vertical dripping for 10 minutes at a water volume of 1mm per minute without effect
2Dripping waterWithstands tilt 15° sdripping water for 10 minutes at a water volume of 3mm per minute without effect
3Spraying waterWithin 60° of the vertical line, water pressure 50-150kPa, water volume 10L per minute under pressurized spray test for 10 minutes without effect
4Splashing waterWater pressure 50-150kPa at any angle, water volume 10L per minute splash test 10 minutes without impact
5Low pressure water columnCan withstand 3 minutes of non-shock water spraying at any angle from 3 meters, with a water pressure of 30kPa and a water volume of 12.5L per minute
6High-pressure water jetWithstands a 3 minute shock test at a distance of 3 meters, at any angle, with 100 kPa water pressure and 100 liters of water per minute
7Within 1 meter of water immersionWater immersion for 30 minutes can still function normally
8Water immersion more than 1 meterWater immersion for more than 1 hour can function normally
9kHigh temperature and high pressure water columnWithstand 2 minutes of close high temperature and high pressure water column impact can still work normally

Underwater lights can pass the level 8 liquid protection certification if they are submerged for more than one hour in an environment below 1 meter deep. In the actual product testing process, WAKING conducts a 3-5 hour waterproof test on each batch of products to ensure product quality.

View our production testing process

What is the highest IP rating?

In daily life, the highest IP rating is IP68. It means that products with this level of protection have good isolation from solid particles and liquids and can be used continuously in underwater environments.

Products with a protection level of IP69K are not necessarily suitable for work environments that require long-term immersion in water, such as swimming pools. IP69K only means that it has strong protection against high temperature and high-pressure liquids sprayed at close range. In some special fields, the protection level is IP69K. For example, some application scenarios in breweries and car washes.

In everyday life, it is sufficient to select the appropriate degree of protection for the product.

Why do underwater lighting products need an IP rating system?

underwater pool light

Good water and dust resistance can improve the safety, performance, and service life of underwater lighting equipment.


If the waterproofing is not good, the fixture may have problems with water ingress.

Although most LED underwater lights today use a safe voltage of 12V/24V and do not pose a safety issue in the event of water ingress, we recommend choosing a product with the best level of protection.


The sealing of the light body is poor, and solid particles and liquids will enter the light body, which will affect the lighting effect and lighting brightness. Many lights are difficult to disassemble and the cleaning cost is high. Replace only when it becomes intolerable.

Service life

The lamps with strong sealing can avoid short circuits, burnout, and internal corrosion caused by water ingress. They will work longer and you will spend less time and money replacing them.

Underwater lights with an IP68 rating are the most popular. IP68-grade products can isolate from solid particles and are capable of long-term contact with water. For example swimming pools, ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and spas.

pool lights underwater

When choosing a product, be sure to confirm the IP rating of the product. Professional certification bodies will issue certificates to certified products, and you can contact the manufacturer to check them.

How underwater lights are waterproof?


The common materials of the shell are ABS+UV, and stainless steel 304/316. The commonly used materials for lenses are PC and tempered glass. These materials have good airtightness and durability.

Design and processing

Engineers will design the product according to the product’s requirements for the protection level. Then workers and equipment produce accessories with standard accuracy according to the design drawings. The assembled structure of the shell already has a certain degree of waterproofness.

Light body with resin filled

Some products will fill with resin in the interior of the light source. After these resins solidify, the entire light source is sealed, which is dust-proof and waterproof ability.

VDE waterproof cable

High-quality products will use VDE-certified waterproof cables, which are safer and more durable.

Sealing ring

To improve waterproof performance, we will install high-quality sealing rings at some joints of lights.

Are you looking for a professional underwater light supplier? Contact us now!

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