Every snowflake is unique, but not all LED lights are created equal. LED snowflakes will add some magic to your winter wonderland; however, they must be water-resistant if you wish to decorate the outside of your home during the festive season, no matter the weather.
LED snowflakes are waterproof if they are specifically designed for outdoor use and possess and IP rating of X4 and above. While the snowflakes themselves and the wiring are waterproof, the plug or battery are not, and should be protected from the elements.
Let’s find out how to install your outdoor LED snowflakes correctly, protect them from the rain, and insulate their connectors or batteries properly.
How Do I Protect Outdoor LED Snowflakes from Rain?
High-quality outdoor LED snowflakes have an ingress protection (IP) rating. That is, how effective they are at preventing moisture from entering the light fixture and causing irreparable damage.
Confirm the IP rating of your outdoor LED snowflakes
Inspect your light fixture and look for a marking that reads “IPX4”, for example, or higher numbers.
After the letters I and P, there are two numbers that indicate the level of ingress protection from water and dust particles. The lower the number, the less protection from the elements your LED light possesses.
The ideal IP rating for an outdoor LED snowflake is at least a 4, but it still requires you to install your LED snowflakes appropriately and protect them from exposure.
Seal and install your LED snowflakes
You can protect outdoor LED snowflakes from rain by taking the following steps:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when first installing the lights.
- Keep the wiring off the ground with the help of light stakes between the light fixtures and the power source.
- If your snowflakes come with a battery, place it in a resealable plastic bag and secure it in place with some double-sided tape.
- Cover the sealed battery with some greenery for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- If you’ve connected multiple LED snowflakes to each other and then to a power source, you must insulate these connection points.
- Inspect your finished work regularly during the festive season for frayed wiring, burned-out bulbs, and signs of water ingress.
How To Insulate Outdoor Christmas Lights and Connectors
If you connect your LED snowflakes to an indoor power source, your only worry should be to protect the wiring and keep it off the ground with some light stakes. Watch this Christmas Designer pro demonstrate how to install light stakes simply, safely, and effectively.
If you are using an outdoor power source such as a socket, try installing an outlet cover prevent water damage. You can insulate outdoor Christmas light and connectors by using waterproof heat shrink tubing:
- Slip the wiring through the tubing until the connection point is surrounded by tubing.
- Apply some heat as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Let it cool down.
- Test your handiwork for strength.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 for every connector.
- Install your protected LED snowflakes.
- Inspect the installation regularly for frayed wiring, burned-out bulbs, and water damage.
Remember to choose LED snowflakes with a high IP rating of X4 and above to avoid burned-out bulbs, short-circuits, and water damage to your home and holiday decorations.
If necessary, install light or yard stakes to keep the snowflakes’ wiring off the ground and away from water, and protect wiring connectors with some heat shrink tubing.
Large LED snowflakes like those available from Certified Lights use energy-saving LED bulbs, are shatterproof, and water-resistant. They are encased in UV-resistant PVC tubing so you can use them safely indoor and outdoor without worry.