Individuals gauge the sturdiness of LED Marine lights and equipment, based on their ratings. For protection against the ingress of water, operators typically check International Protection ratings associated with the unit during purchase.
Another common type of protective rating is weatherproof. This type of rating, which determines the product’s ability to withstand rugged, outdoor environments, can easily be confused with weather resistant.
Contrary to popular belief, weather resistant and weatherproof do not offer the same levels of protection against rough conditions.
Defining Weather Resistant
Weather-resistant ratings provide light to moderate levels of protection from water, sunlight, strong winds and mildly corrosive elements. It is important to highlight that such features cannot provide a complete seal against such variables. Furthermore, if the housing of the luminary resists foreign contaminants, via a robust coating or finish, the type of protection becomes weather repellent.
Weatherproof protection is designed to keep LED lights operating like new units. Furthermore, there are various degrees of performance, as the term ‘weatherproof’ encompasses several outdoor conditions.
For instance, CFM ratings may be used to determine the level of wind resistance certain weatherproof materials provide. Rating inspectors may implement water pressure tests to check for water leaks. Weatherproof also includes ultraviolet protection (UV) against persistent sunlight.
Which One is Right for Me?
A thorough approach to protecting LED lights for marine locations is to use the highest level of protection available, which is weatherproof. This approach can be costly to implement, as materials used for weatherproof protection are more expensive. But because of this, the units could last longer, reducing money spent on replacement and maintenance.
In some cases, weatherproof ratings are needed, in order to streamline compliance with marine regulations. For such applications, it is crucial to adhere to such requirements. To improve operation, weather resistant housings in marine environments can be supplemented with covers.