Can LED Lights Be Used Outdoors?

outdoor led lights makes your home patio more cozy

We have all seen the outdoor LED patio setups on Pinterest — the enviably cozy outdoor spaces that are made even more inviting by the twinkle of string lighting. However, as tempting as it can be to optimize your outdoor living spaces, it’s important to question whether or not your dream designs pose a hazard to you, your friends, or your family. This is a concern that rings especially true when it comes to electronics or lighting.

The good news is that, given their nature, it is completely safe to use an LED light outdoors, especially if they are properly rated. In this article, we will dive into why this is as well as the benefits of relying on LED bulbs.


What is an LED Light?

The term “LED Light” gets thrown around often, but do you know what this acronym actually stands for? LED is short for “Light Emitting Diode”, which is a fancy way of describing a lightbulb that illuminates when a current runs through it. This is different from incandescent light bulbs, which work by heating a type of wire known as a “filament” until it lights up.


By this description, it is probably already easy to see why LED bulbs are better suited for the open-air than their incandescent counterparts. However, when choosing an LED, it is important to consider a variety of things such as the quality of their sealing and their outdoor rating.


What are the Benefits of Using Outdoor Lights?

Outdoor lighting has become more popular in recent years, and aside from it being a trend there are also practical reasons to enjoy LED lights, such as:

  • LED lights are often free-standing and easier to install than traditional bulb lighting
  • LED lights emit a softer hue than other lighting options (and come in a variety of colours to suit your tastes)
  • LED lights use less power than other lighting configurations
  • Using LED lights can create a unique ambience and enrich your living space
  • LED lights can last up to 25 years!


How do I Know Which LED Light to Use?

There are many different LED lights on the market. While it can be tempting to choose the most cost-effective option, are you missing out on quality?

The good news is that LED lights, in general, are quite durable. As long as your LED lights are housed properly and have the right sealing, it is safe to use them in an outdoor context.

One important thing to know, though, is that LEDs come with different ratings, which is known as Ingress Protection, or IP rating. If you plan on placing your LEDs in an open-air, and if you live in a climate that is prone to a variety of weather activities, it is best if you opt for an LED that is highly rated on the IP scale. However, if you are planning on using your LEDs in an area that is mostly covered, it may be appropriate to use an LED that is only intended for interior use.


Will an Outdoor LED Bulb Be Damaged in the Rain or Snow?

In short, no. As mentioned earlier, as long as your LED lights are properly encased and properly rated for the outdoors, they should be safe from any kind of element, which means that you can have a steady peace-of-mind while you use them, no matter what mother nature has up her sleeve.


Will an Outdoor LED Bulb Be Damaged in the Cold or Heat?

Again, most likely not. In fact, most LED bulbs do exceptionally well in cold temperatures. This can be less true for the heat, though, so it may be worthwhile to check out an LED’s recommended temperature range. Most manufacturers will provide this.

Types of LED Lights Use As Outdoor LED Lights

If you’re sold on the idea of using LEDs in your outdoor areas, the next step is to choose the style of lighting that works for you. Here are some of the most common types of LEDs:


  • String lights (note: if you have to cut a string of LEDs yourself, it may not be protected against the elements when cut)
  • LED-wall lights (mostly used for personal safety, and can be attached to a sensor)
  • Solar-powered LEDs (a great choice for the environmentally conscious)
  • Underwater LED lights (made specifically for ponds or waterfalls)


Whether you are looking for a way to accentuate your space or to reimagine it all together, LEDs are the solution to all of your lighting questions. Once you dabble, you will find it hard to go back to your old incandescent ways. If you need electricians to help with your outdoor LED install and design, please cont BPM Electric today!