In everyday discussions, we may use the terms ‘damp’ and ‘wet’ as if they were the same.

However, in terms of lighting, these two terms mean different things. Understanding the difference between a wet location rated LED and a damp located rated LED is quite essential.

This helps you in choosing appropriate lighting for your industrial or commercial facility.

To simplify a bit, these ratings account for varying moisture exposure levels. Also, how well lighting products can hold up to these ratings.

However, to completely understand what wet location vs damp location means, we need to dive a little deeper.

So, if you are a facility manager, you may know how significant it is to select the lighting carefully.

Thus, this post explaining the difference between different ratings is for you.

Wet Rated Leds

Wet Rated LED Lights

The main reason people use wet-rated and damp-rated lighting fixtures is to add a level of safety.

Also, it can be problematic and even dangerous when lights are exposed to water or dampness.

It may cause the light to stop working and even worst, become a danger – as water and electricity do not mix well.

LEDs need electrical current to make light. Unfortunately, water serves as a conductor. When water makes a connection to electricity, it can cause electrocution or fires.

That’s the reason it is essential to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the lighting fixture and keep it away from all electrical connections.

When you use properly rated light fixtures in wet environments, it also ensures the light will last as long as it was designed to.

Damp-rated lights installed in wet environments may not function for very long. And, the same thing applies to a dry-rated lights in a damp environment.

Using the proper lighting rating system for the environment is an investment in ensuring the lights work safely and for as long as they are designed to work.

Being educated about dry and wet ratings allows you to get the most in your light purchase. These ratings show people where they can install particular fixtures.

As a result, picking the right fixture will ensure moisture will not affect the light or cause a safety issue.

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Dry Locations

Locations that are not normally subject to dampness are called dry locations. These locations may include areas subjected to brief dampness.

For example, a building that is under construction is subjected to dampness. It should be provided adequate ventilation for preventing a collection of moisture.

Damp Locations

Interior or exterior location that is periodically or normally subject to moisture’s condensation on, in, or next to, electrical equipment.

These locations even include partially protected regions.

Wet Locations

Locations in which liquids such as water can splash, flow on, or drip against electrical equipment.

Wet locations luminaires need to be built in a way to prevent water accumulation on electrical components, live parts, or conductors unidentified for use when coming in contact with water.

Damp Location Rated LED Lighting

Damp ratings refer to moist areas with no direct water exposure.

When lights are marked as appropriate for damp environments, they can be put up in locations like cold rooms, parking garages, or change rooms at gyms.

Employ outdoor damp rated LED lighting options for outdoor canopy lighting that is not exposed to wind or rain.

Also, you can put them in locations of buildings having overhangs, which does not permit water to trickle through. Otherwise, go for wet rated lighting solutions.

So, what’s a damp location exactly? So, it is a partially a protected location, where a product may sweat or periodically condensation might form, and regions that are musty and humid, are called damp locations.

Wet Location Rated Lighting

Wet ratings refer to areas where the wet rated outdoor light fixtures may encounter rain, dripping water, or another liquid that could splash or flow against or on your LED lighting fixture or LED lamp.

When lights come in contact with snow or rain outside, people need wet rated LED lighting options to be placed there.

They include the kind of direct water exposure.

Flood lights, shoeboxes, wall packs and stadium lights all need to be wet location rated. Typically a wet located light has an IP rating. So a fixture that is rated IP65 to IP68 is considered a wet location rated light.

When a lighting option is marked as appropriate for a wet location, it can be used both in both indoor or outdoor locations.

Wet & Damp Location LED Lighting

When your facility needs lighting that is designed especially for withstanding moisture exposure, then you already know why you need LEDs.

However, what you actually do not know is the kind of moisture-proof LED lighting you may need.

Hopefully, you now feel confident in making the right decision for your particular lighting requirements.

If your lights will be exposed to moisture or underwater for a longer time, you will require purchasing wet rated LED lighting solutions.

However, if you worry more about occasional splashes or high humidity levels, then you need damp location LED lighting.

If you are still not sure about the lighting solutions you have to buy, do not hesitate to contact our lighting engineers.

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About the Author

Cory Peterson is Director of Sales & Marketing at LED Lighting Supply where he focuses on improving customer experience and revenue operations. Cory writes about commercial & industrial lighting, along with topics important to contractors and facility managers. In his free time, Cory enjoys traveling, snorkeling, exercise and cooking.

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