When you need a fixture that can withstand the elements, look at it's "Ingress Progression"

If you’re considering installing LED light fixtures in a car wash, it’s important to choose fixtures that meet the minimum IP rating – the higher the better. Gone are the days where consumers can speculate what the vague term “waterproof” means, and the IP standard exists to help buyers – and manufacturers – accurately report the level of protection a product has against the elements.

High IP ratings like IP65 or IP68 are a good indicator that your new LED light fixtures can withstand the wet and humid environment where they’ll be installed for the next several years to come.

But how do you know which IP rating is best for your next LED light fixture?

In this blog post, we’ll explain what IP ratings are and why they matter. We’ll recommend the best IP rating for LED light fixtures in a car wash to help you with your next purchase.

MagniBar and MagniFlood-Car Wash

What is an IP rating?

First, let’s define IP ratings aka IP code. The abbreviation IP stands for “Ingress Protection,” which is an international standard used to measure the level of protection against solid objects (like dust) and liquids (like water) that an electrical device has. 

Here’s a handy chart to use as a reference.

Chart-IP Rating Code

The first digit in an IP rating represents the level of protection against solid objects, while the second digit represents the level of protection against liquids.


IP+[solid protection]+[water protection]


For example

An IP65 rating means that the device has: 

  • a high level of protection against solid objects (6 out of a possible 6) and
  • a moderate level of protection against liquids (5 out of a possible 9).

What IP rating do you need for car wash lighting?

Now, let’s consider the environment in which LED light fixtures will be installed in a car wash.

In our experience installing LEDs in car washes, these fixtures will be exposed to water, as well as high humidity and possibly even soap and other cleaning chemicals. To be sure that the fixtures can withstand these conditions, it’s important to choose fixtures with a high solid protection and a mid-high water protection.

Depending on which fixture you need and where it will be installed, we recommend LED light fixtures with a minimum IP65 rating for use in a car wash. This rating indicates that the fixtures are completely dust-tight and can withstand continuous exposure to high-pressure water from any direction.

Here are some recent examples of IP65-rated LED fixtures we installed in car washes and vacuum canisters, both of which have high-exposure to water and dust:

MagniBar and MagniFlood-Car Wash
MagniTube-Bendable Lights

Where to begin finding the right LED solution for a car wash?

A good place to start researching durable, rugged solutions is our Magnitude product line. All of the full-color LED lights we at J Squared Systems designed for our Magnitude product line have been installed in car washes and meet the standards you need for a durable, reliable solution.

If you’ve got some ideas about your lighting that you’d like to discuss – let’s talk. We love talking about lighting tech and would be happy to help you find the right fit for your car wash.