Electronics and weather don’t mix. Imagine buying a brand new computer, taking it out of the box, and leaving it in the backyard. Come rain, sprinklers, pets, dirt – just leave it alone. Then, try to take it back to the store. (Spoiler alert: they won’t take it back and you’ll be out lots of money, so please don’t try this at home.)
LED lights are high tech and have electronic components. Very few retrofit LED bulbs have sensitive components sealed. We offer a full product line of waterproof LED lights IP rated against dust and water spray. They still should not get dunked in water, but work great outside and exposed.
The above photo shows a waterproof LED PAR20 (top) compared to our standard LED PAR20 (bottom). Look closely between the heat sync on the non-waterproof style and you’ll see some exposed wires. Those wires connect to the LED driver and, if exposed to the elements, can permanently damage the bulb. On the top, everything gets sealed tight and the LED diodes are completely protected from the elements.
There is give and take to the technology, which is why most LEDs aren’t outdoor rated. Customers lose rated life by going to a outdoor rated bulb (20,000 hours vs 50,000 hours). The bulbs still last over 10 times the life of halogens, but half the rated life. The waterproof bulbs have a less thermodynamic heat sync, shortening the effective life.
Many of our standard lower powered bulbs (G4s, MR16s) work great inside protected landscaping fixtures, but those fixtures must protect the bulb come rain or shine. Above all else, make sure any exposed LED has an IP rating in the 60s. Protect your investment and only use LED lights as directed from your supplier.