Most customizable linear lighting products (such as rope lights, neon flex, strip lights, etc.) utilize a pin-style connection mechanism to join pieces together and to attach accessories to the light runs. To safeguard your investment when exposed to outdoor conditions, all linear lighting connections must be sealed and secured to prevent any moisture from entering or damaging the connections. A proper outdoor connection would be prepared as follows:
- All metal connector pins must be coated with dielectric grease to create a moisture barrier and to prevent condensation from corroding the connection.
- After the pins are properly inserted into the light and connector accessory (power cord, extension, splice, etc.), all plastic to plastic surfaces should be sealed with either a silicone sealant or aquamarine sealant (used to seal leaks in fish tanks). This will create a weatherproof moisture barrier around your linear light connection and help resist any water, moisture or condensation from entering or damaging your connections.
- Additionally, a heat-shrink tube covering the entire connection will help create another layer of protection. Here too, the plastic to plastic surfaces, between the shrink tube and the light connection, should be sealed with sealant.
Here is a diagram of how this works using our LED neon. Dielectric grease is applied to the pins prior to pushing on the power cord and a bead of sealant is applied around the neon where it meets the power cord sheath:
Once the power cord is attached, more sealant is applied around the neon and around the power cord prior to sliding the heat-shrink tubing over the connection point and activating it:
IP Ratings & NEMA Classifications
When installing electrical products outdoors, customers should be familiar with the IP Rating System (Ingress Protection)
established for all outdoor installations. Using a proper NEMA classification rated outlet box or enclosure for the protection of your power supply is essential for all proper outdoor installations.