Your truck works hard, and so do your auxiliary lights. Over time, they’re bound to take a beating from the elements. Whether it’s a pounding rain, a foot of snow, or even wind-blown sand, you want to be sure that nothing’s going to cause them to flicker and go out just when you need them.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to know for sure how well your truck light will stand up to the elements: look for the IP rating on the package.
The rating will tell you how protected the item is against both water/moisture and dust/solids. Here’s how it works.
Which Rating Do I Need?
If your truck is exposed to all weather conditions, even the most extreme, you know you want a light that will remain dry on the inside and not take on damaging amounts of water. For frequent outdoor use, IP67-rated lights are solid performers. They’ll withstand everything from heavy snows to torrential rains to general residential water pressure. An IP67 light can even be submerged for 30 minutes in about three feet of water without giving an inch, though hopefully that’s not a likely scenario for your truck. Finally, IP67 also means that gritty sand, dirt and dust won’t get in, either.
That’s why many of the truck lights from Buyers Products, from floods to spots to strobes, feature an IP67 rating. But we don’t stop there – we verify. Josh Tucker leads the IP testing team at Buyers Products, which works to ensure that when we add a light to our catalog, its rating is accurate for customers nationwide. “Essentially, we put the light and its enclosure through the ringer,” says Josh.
First, his team makes sure the light is capable of the voltage that’s written on the package and does not exceed the maximum current rating. Next, they stress test the light. That means cycling the light through temperature extremes, ultimately taking it down to -40°F.
“The stress test is a great way to find many kinds of flaws, from leaks to material durability issues. That way we know our customers can use it with confidence in their desired applications,” adds Josh.
My Truck Takes a Real Beating. Do I Need a Higher Rating?
The next IP rating up – IP68 – means an object is watertight when submerged for longer periods, but you’re not likely to need that kind of protection for your truck lights. However, other products, such as electric winches and dump body-up indicators, can benefit from an IP68 rating of water resistance.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has developed a standard for lights that need to withstand frequent power washing and/or steam cleaning — such as the lights on dump trucks. The IP69K rating assures that the equipment is resistant not just to water and dust, but especially water under high pressure. If it’s rated at IP69K, it’s as close to a fortress as you’re going to get.
Buyers Products 6 Inch Rectangular LED Flood Light is a good example. It has both an IP67 AND an IP69K rating. This double rating differentiates it from others on the market, because it can be used for a wide variety of applications without harm to the light.
In general, though, the IP67 rating is totally sufficient for the daily trials of the working truck, according to Josh. “Unless the truck will be regularly subjected to high pressure jets, the consumer will do well with a light rated to IP67.”
About Josh Tucker: Josh Tucker, Buyers Products Test Engineer, has spent the last 5 years ensuring IP ratings are accurate at Buyers Products. In other words, he makes sure Buyers Products lights are appropriately rated for your application needs. When not acting as a mad scientist, he enjoys playing with his young son, building and maintaining PCs, gaming, and off-roading.