What is Wet vs. Damp Rating for Light Fixtures?

What is Wet vs. Damp Rating for Light Fixtures?

Kichler Ceiling Fan, outdoors

Did you know that there are different ratings for lights and fans based on what type of environment in which they will be installed? Dry, damp, and wet ratings are used for bulbs, lights, and fans. Dry, or UL Listed, fans and lights are used throughout homes because they are less expensive and not exposed to water. You would mostly use a damp or wet rated fixture outdoors. Although, you can install them in areas of the house that see the most moisture, e.g. bathrooms and utility rooms. You can install damp and wet rated fixtures in dry areas but you shouldn’t install dry rated in places with moisture.


Fixtures with a damp rating are rated for long exposure to moisture but not water. These types of fixtures offer no water-resistant sealing so you cannot install them if water will be in direct contact with the fixture. They are a little more expensive than dry-rated, they offer more choices than wet-rated fixtures.

Uses and Rooms:

  • Porches
  • Covered Patios
  • Bathrooms
  • Utility Rooms
  • Unfinished Basements


The wet rating is determined for lights and fans that can be exposed to water for a long time. In other words, they are designed to keep water out of the electrical components. Wet rated fixtures are often more expensive than damp so it’s best to know whether you need damp or wet.  A great benefit of wet fans, especially when used outdoors, is they can be washed off with a hose. You don’t have to get the ladder out to dust of the top of the blades.

Uses and Rooms:

  • Open Gazebos
  • Porches
  • Open Patios

Unsure of which type you need? Ask your electrician or one of our specialists. We are here to help you find exactly what you need in a style you love. Click the link below to make an appointment with a lighting specialist.

Read the Kichler Outdoor Lighting Guide