We selected the best waterproof LED strip lights by looking at the following features — length, color options, waterproof ratings, brightness, installation kits, and controls. The models we reviewed ranged from slightly more than 12” in total length to as much as 48” in a kit. We also focused on brands that offered complete installation kits as these models are going to be easier for beginner installers. Likewise, we prioritized brands that featured complete installation kits and controls. And finally, all of the options in our guide feature at least an IP65 rating.
Because of the above, we selected the HitLights Pre-cut 12-inch/48-inch RGB LED Strips Kit as our Top Pick. One of the biggest draws was that this kit comes with everything you need to properly install these lights. The IP65 rating makes them safe for outdoor use. And you’ll like the wireless remote that works up to 66 feet away from the lights to control the nine preset colors and can cycle through 20 animation modes.
- 1 Top 4 Best Waterproof LED Strip Lights Reviews
- 1.1 #1 HitLights Pre-cut 12Inch/48Inch RGB LED Strips Kit – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 Nexillumi Waterproof IP65 USB LED Strip Lights – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 Henlight Car LED Strip Lights Interior Lights Kit – Best Budget
- 1.4 #4 Senyergiant IP65 Waterproof 32.8 ft RGB Led Light Strip – Best Value
- 1.5 How We Decided
- 2 Waterproof LED Strip Lights Buying Guide
Top 4 Best Waterproof LED Strip Lights
#1 HitLights Pre-cut 12Inch/48Inch RGB LED Strips Kit – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: Turn your patio into party central with these four one-foot RGB LED light strips and accompanying accent kit that features all the necessary components to mount these lights and includes an IP65 rating for peace of mind regarding water exposure.
For most people, unless you’re an A/V installation pro, you want a product that’s easy to install and doesn’t require an extensive amount of troubleshooting to work. This is why we selected the Highlights Pre-cut 12-inch/48-inch RGB LED Strips Kit. This complete kit makes it easy for anyone to add ambiance to their interior or exterior with minimal work.
You’ll like that this kit comes with a DC power adapter plug, four LED light strips with 3M adhesive backing for easy installation, an IP65 waterproof rating, additional four-pin connectors, as well as a wireless remote that works up to 66 feet away from the light source and gives you the ability to manually cycle through the nine colors or opt for one of the 20 dynamic modes to create a beautiful light show, even when compared to the best garage lighting.
#2 Nexillumi Waterproof IP65 USB LED Strip Lights – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: A simplified television backlight LED strip light kit that features vivid RGB color that’s USB powered (from your TVs USB port) for easy installation and features an IP65 waterproof rating for outdoor installation projects.
One of the biggest complaints about LED light strip kits is that determining the right power source can be difficult. We think you’ll like the Nexillumi Waterproof IP65 USB LED Strip Lights because they feature a truly plug and play design that simply relies on UBS power. However, this is the shortest lighting kit option with only 13.2 feet of LED light strips.
But we think that you’ll also like that these can be controlled via Bluetooth. This comes in handy since these are RGB-based lights — meaning that with the right controller, you can display up to 16 million colors. But you’ll also like that you can remotely control the brightness as well as cycle through 20 preset lighting controls. To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to download the HappyLighting app which is both Apple and Android compatible. Just keep in mind the temperature of these lights aren’t as appealing as the best warm white led light strips.
#3 Henlight Car LED Strip Lights Interior Lights Kit – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: A complete waterproof LED car installation kit designed with motorheads in mind that can turn your dash or rear bumper into a custom light show that’s easy to install.
If you’re looking for an easier way to make your car stand out that doesn’t require spending all day at a garage, aftermarket RGB LED lighting is a great start. We picked the Henlight Car LED Strip Lights Interior Kit as our Best Budget choice because of the modest amount, you can turn your car into something worthy of a gear head’s dream.
You’ll like that these IP65 rated lights easily install through your car’s lighter and give you the freedom to choose between 16 preset colors and 20 animations with the built-in remote control that’s included in the kit. But best of all, the waterproof rating means that you can also install these lights on your bumper or anywhere else on the exterior of your car with no issues.
#4 Senyergiant IP65 Waterproof 32.8 ft RGB Led Light Strip – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: A customizable LED light strip with an IP65 rating and full RGB color support and complete installation kit makes this an easy to install option that supports parallel and series connection.
If you think you might want to create a large scale LED layout, then you need to think about how easily you can connect your LED light strips to a power source. We’ve selected the Senyergiant IP65 Waterproof 32.8-Foot RGB LED Light Strip as our Best Value because the included controller in this installation kit can support parallel and series connections, giving you more choices with how you connect your LED light strips to your power source. WIth these options, you can either daisy chain your light strips (series) or connect up to two LED strips to one controller (parallel). And this is possible because this product ships as two LED light strip reels of 16.4 feet each.
We like that this selection comes with a complete installation kit with labeled indicators where the strips can safely be cut. You’ll also like that it includes a power adapter, IR remote and the IR controller. And the IP65 rating makes it ideal for use outside where light water exposure is possible from precipitation. Which means they can also be used as the best landscaping lighting.
How We Decided
LED light strips are a popular aftermarket upgrade for home and car owners because of the easy installation process. We narrowed down the selection process by looking at length, color options, waterproof ratings, brightness, installation kits, and controls.
For length, we noted that waterproof LED light strip options could vary widely from as little as slightly more than a foot in total length to as much as four feet. However, we did note that waterproof LED light strip kits that were designed for the home tended to offer a longer total length than models designed for car installation.
All of the models in our guide feature a range of colors and are sold as RGB LED lighting kits. This is ideal because if you have the right equipment, you’ll have more control over the hue output of your lights. Preset lighting colors ranged from 16 to 20 hues, but if you have the right lighting controls, you can achieve the 16 million color output often promoted with these LED light strip kits. But it’s important to note that you’ll need to purchase a separate controller to do so. All of the models in our list either came with remotes or recommended using their proprietary Bluetooth-based controller app — which isn’t fine-tuned enough to support a 16 million color variation output.
While there are higher waterproof ratings available on the market, all of the waterproof LED lighting kits on our list are IP65-rated. That means that these models are best for general outdoor installation where they might occasionally come into contact with water or moisture. If you need an LED light strip kit that’s designed for consistent water exposure or is safe for submersion, look for models that are IP68 or higher.
All of the models in our list are complete kits, meaning that they come with a power plug, connectors, and the light strips. This is especially ideal for first-time DIYers or those who don’t want to hassle with wiring — especially for the car installation kits. Except for our Best Value selection, the rest of the kits rank poorer on customization (as you can’t easily cut the strips to create customized strip lengths). However, we still think these are great options for beginners who aren’t experienced with installing LED light strips.
Waterproof LED Strip Lights Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Water Resistance Rating
If you’re specifically shopping for waterproof LED light strips, then the waterproof or water-resistance rating is going to be a core factor you need to confirm before purchasing anything. At a minimum, your intended LED light strips should feature an IP rating of at least 65. An IP65 or higher rating means that the LED light strip can withstand consistent exposure to water — such as in a fountain.
- Product Type
Not all LED light strips are made the same. Some models require that you provide your power source while others come with a DC power plug as part of the installation kit. Typically, you’ll find DC LED flex strips, AC LED flex strips, LED rope lights, and high output LED strips. The main difference between DC LED flex strips and AC LED flex trips is that DC LED flex strips require a separate power plug while AC LED flex strips can be directly plugged into an outlet or the best outdoor wifi outlet. Meanwhile LED rope lights are omnidirectional and high output LED strips are designed with more rigidity, featuring onboard drivers and circuitry.
Depending on the area where you plan to mount LED light strips, the length will be an important determiner. For imperial measurements, you’ll typically find your options between 12 to 48 inches in total length.
The best method for measuring LED brightness is with lumens. The right lumen level for your project is dependent upon your intended LED usage. For accent lighting, you won’t want to buy a waterproof LED strip brighter than 200 lumens per foot. But for higher illumination and brightness levels, opt for waterproof LED strip lights with a lumen level.
- Color and Temperature
The color will always refer to the specific shade that a light strip can produce. Your main options will usually feature solitary white where the strip can only produce white light or either a dedicated color or multi-color by way of RGB output. The temperature references your ability to change the coolness or warmth when LED lights are in white mode. Typically you’ll have the ability to shift between cool, neutral, and warm. While cool white emits a bluish hue, warm white features a more yellowish hue.
Controls reference your ability to control color, temperature and effects settings. At the most basic level, this can include turning the lights on and off or adjusting the brightness. But more robust controls give you the freedom to select animations (i.e. strobing, flashing, etc.) or activate motion-responsive lighting settings. Depending on your budget, you can find waterproof LED light strips with included remote controls that are Wi-Fi compatible, rely on apps, or can be paired with aftermarket wall dimmer switches.
- I want to submerge my waterproof LED light strips, what do I need to know?
If you’re thinking of installing your LED light strips in a space where they’ll consistently be immersed in water, then the IP rating is going to be important. While an IP65 rating is safe for general outdoor installation, this is not enough for total water immersion. For installation in fountains, pools and similar locations, look for waterproof LED light strips that are rated IP68 or higher.
- I don’t understand IP ratings, what does it all mean?
Specifically, IP ratings can be broken down into the first and second digits. The first digit in the two-digit rating references the protection level of the strip lights’ components against water such as electrical conductors or moving parts. The second digit references whether the interior components are completely enclosed against water penetration.
- What is the difference between an IP65 and the higher water-resistant ratings?
An IP65 rating is ideal for occasional moisture exposure. This means if you install an IP65-rated waterproof LED light strip outdoors, it should be safe from occasional exposure to rain or snow. Likewise, an IP66 rating is also rated for exposure but not immersion. In contrast, IP67 or higher means the equipment is designed for complete submersion with IP68 and higher designed for long-term immersion underwater installations.
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