12 Ways to Protect Outdoor Lights From Rain and Weather Damage

We often use a lot of outdoor lights both for attractive decorations and for our protection. However, have you ever thought about the protection of your outdoor lights from natural havoc like rain?

If the answer is yes, you may have also asked yourself How to protect outdoor lights from rain. To quench your thirst, we are here with the most effective ways of waterproofing your outdoor lights. Scroll till the end.

13 Amazing Tips on Waterproofing Outdoor Lights

1. Consider the Environment & Placement

When it rains, having lights installed in a protected area will ease your concerns. You might think about building a shade if you installed your lights in an area that is susceptible to rain.

It may only need a little structure to prevent the light from being directly hit by the rain. You might also want to relocate the light to a protected location.

There is minimal concern about weather interfering with lights hanging from the patio or porch. Utilize the roofing to its full potential. Although neither the roof nor the overhangs will completely shield your lights from the rain, they do offer some protection.

The light will be shielded from strong winds and rain in the protected area. Under the roof overhang is the typical placement. You can set up your lights beneath awnings or other window or roof overhangs.

Verify the rating of your lights for outdoor use. Put a cover over your outside lights to keep them out of the rain. Your outdoor lights can be protected from snow and rain using even a sheet.

2. Setting up Safety Vents

Specially created protective vents let sealed enclosures breathe. A membrane in the specific vents prevents pressure differentials, preventing condensation in outdoor security lights.

Protective vents not only stop condensation, but they also stop pollutants like liquids, dust, water, and dirt. Due to their high level of protection against board-level electrical and electronic failures, they are exceptionally dependable.

3. Employ Light Shields

The purpose of light shields is to screen the bulb from dust and moisture. To block out rain, sleet, snow, and debris while still illuminating the road fully, some lights incorporate housings with built-in lens hoods.

This is crucial if the outdoor lighting fixtures are pointed in the direction of a walkway. If the light you have doesn’t have a hooded housing, you can add one with an add-on lens that you can attach to the existing fixture.

To prevent water from seeping inside once the bulb is under pressure, light shields that fit over them should have a tight seal against the socket. You can read can you use outdoor lights inside?

4. Types of Lights for Outdoor Fixtures

You should not make the common mistake of purchasing the wrong lights since you know exactly where you plan to install them. Keep an eye on the lights’ IP rating at all times. Choosing the correct outdoor lighting can only be done in this manner.

Some outdoor lights are made to withstand high levels of humidity, while others are made for low levels. Keep in mind that there are specific lights rated for outdoor use.

Typically, the package for these lights will say something like “ideal for wet environments,” “weather resistant,” or “weatherproof.” Be smart when buying outside lights and make sure they are made to withstand more severe weather.

Before deciding on a destination, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast. You could try consulting a professional in the field.

5. Use only Extension Cords

You should only use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use, just as you should only use lightbulbs that are rated for outdoor use.

Make sure the extension cords you use can withstand wetness if you intend to utilize any form of temporary lighting. A separate circuit box should be installed for each outside light and extension cord.

This reduces the risk of multiple circuits tripping simultaneously in the event of an electrical problem, which could lead to flames or burns.

Utilizing a socket box is an efficient method for connecting multiple cords. These are little plastic boxes, generally clear, that protect the wires from moisture.

6. Seal the Light’s Openings

Most outdoor lighting is waterproof. However, not every light can resist the assault of torrential downpours or severely muddy circumstances. Some outdoor security light lights contain gaps and apertures where water could enter. As soon as such spaces are discovered, they must be sealed.

Using silicone caulk is one of the tried-and-true methods for closing such an opening. Put a bead of caulk around the light fixture. Make sure not to use too much of it. The caulk is made of a synthetic polymer that is durable, breathable, and resistant to heat and water.

Additionally, it is flexible and stretchy, making it feasible to seal any form. Due to the applicator gun that is included, the silicone caulk is simple to use.

You may gently direct the caulk to the desired locations by carefully controlling how slowly it emerges. When sealing your lights, it’s crucial to make sure that no gaps, holes, or voids remain. It will take silicon sealant about 24 hours to dry.

It is advised that you wax the lights once it has dried. This will provide them with the additional layer of defense they require when exposed to heavy rain. Outdoor lights are frequently covered in dielectric grease to prevent rain damage.

Both connections and sockets can be coated with it. Since the grease is electrically safe, any connection can utilize it. Its main objective is to shed moisture, which it achieves flawlessly.

7. Outdoor Light Condensation

Globally, there are frequent fluctuations in temperature. The adjustments result in significant pressure fluctuations, especially in enclosed areas like light fixtures.

While it is true that condensation in light fixtures cannot entirely be avoided, there are strategies to do so. Placing little packets of silica gel in the fixture is one of the surefire ways to stop moisture in outdoor security lights.

The lights are also sealed with lithium grease. The connectors and the bulb holder are covered in grease. While it might not completely block condensation, it does keep the moisture from it coming into touch with the holder or connectors, preventing tripping.

8. Take Care Around Combustibles

Make sure your lights aren’t built of anything that could catch fire if you put them anywhere near a heat source like a grill or fireplace. Lighting fixtures made of metal are recommended since they will not burn or melt.

The light won’t go out if someone inadvertently knocks it over or if there’s a storm, therefore it’s a good idea to invest in outdoor lighting fixtures constructed of waterproof and shockproof materials.

Lighting installed outside must also be protected from the damaging effects of precipitation, which can cause rust and corrosion.

9. Use Outdoor-Rated Power Cords and Plugs

The entire system needs to be protected if the lights are to be shielded from the rain. It follows that, in addition to safeguarding the light itself, you should give some thought to securing the existing sockets and connections.

To keep your outside lighting safe from the elements, invest in a waterproof extension cord. Even if your outside lights are watertight, using a non-waterproof extension cord could cause them to fail. You can find them in almost any hardware shop for between $12 and $25.

To keep water out, most waterproof extension cords are encased in plastic, rubber, or vinyl. The water can’t corrode the cord and cause electrical harm.  This will safeguard your outdoor lighting as well as your electrical outlet from potential danger.

10. Protect Electrical Plugs from Moisture with a Cord Cover

To prevent moisture from seeping into outlets, install a drip loop in the wire connection of your outdoor lighting anywhere it enters an outlet box or emerges from the ground. Drip loops provide excellent strain relief for the power lines.

Drip loops should aim down toward the ground at least 10 inches.  This prevents leaves and other debris from clogging the drains, which is especially important in colder areas.

However, take the time to put in a new light fixture if you don’t already have one. To keep your light from being damaged, you can clean the light fixture regularly.

11. Use Solar Lights

Using solar-powered lights, which are immune to moisture, is a great way to ensure the safety of outdoor lighting. Since they aren’t powered by electricity and don’t require wiring, there is no risk of a fire being started by a faulty connection.

In addition, solar lights are completely watertight because they are sealed devices. However, while they are water-resistant and won’t stop working if they get wet, most of them won’t last through the night.

Since solar lights don’t require an electricity supply, this choice can also result in long-term cost savings. The one drawback is that they won’t function well at night, especially if it was a day with little sunlight. Even after the sun goes sets, most solar string lights may shine for several hours.

12. Plug in GFCIs

GFCI outlets stop electricity from flowing in the wrong direction. A GFCI outlet will automatically turn off and prevent any further damage from occurring in the event of a power surge or water getting into the outlet.

In addition to safeguarding the lights, this feature also shields the user. Having GFCI protection means you won’t get a shock if you touch the lights when you’re grounded. The standard water-resistant receptacle can be put in your outdoor box.

This is crucial if a GFCI-protected exterior outlet is not already wired into the building. If you don’t already have one, you should install a GFCI outlet in the garage or basement to safeguard your outside lights. They safeguard your home’s exterior lighting as well as you and your family.

If you reside in a wet or humid area, there is a need for any outside outlets you may have. Installing a GFCI outlet properly might cost up to $250, but it’s money well spent to safeguard your outdoor lights and prevent injury.

13. Set up LED Lighting

How well-prepared you are for rain depends in part on the type of outdoor lighting you install. As a result of their resistance being bolstered by bulb seals, they are unfazed by the weight of rain and the risks it brings.

Most modern LED outdoor lighting fixtures already include the necessary wiring. This ensures that the connectors and other delicate components are protected from the elements.

When It Starts to Rain, Should You Turn off the Outside Lights?

The IP rating of your outdoor lights will determine whether or not you need to unplug them when it rains. Most freestanding outdoor lights have an IP certification high enough to survive light precipitation.

Nonetheless, you can disconnect them when severe weather is expected. Furthermore, avoid placing your ornamental lighting in areas that are subject to direct rainfall.

Instead, put them in shady regions where rain won’t get in. Your outdoor lighting should also be shielded from direct sunshine.

When Does Water Damage Outdoor Lighting?

If water gets into your outdoor lights, you risk electrocution if you touch them. This can occur if the light fixture or the cord has a flaw that allows water to enter.

If your outdoor lights are on and the water gets in them, you risk a fire. The least dangerous possible scenario is a simple light shorting out. Even though this is a huge setback because the light needs to be fixed or replaced, at least a fire shouldn’t break out.


Now you know how to protect outdoor lights from rain. It’s best practice to shield your outdoor lighting from the elements, such as precipitation, by covering any exposed plugs or sockets.

One solution is to install a socket box for your extension cords, while another is to utilize extension cords and lights designed for usage in outdoor settings.

Outdoor lighting can be shielded from the elements by being stored in a dry, covered area. You should only put up lights outside that are designed to withstand the elements, such as rain and snow.

About The Author

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Written by Shimul
Hi, I'm Shimul, the founder of Trendy Outdoor. I'm excited about sharing the latest outdoor living trends with you. My goal is to provide you with up-to-date information that will help make your outdoor space stylish and enjoyable. Read About Me More । Follow on Facebook

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