Exterior installations

Regarding outdoor installations, there is a distinction between protected and unprotected installations.

Protected outdoor installations refers to areas mostly shielded from weather conditions by means of a canopy. Equipment must feature a minimum protection rating of IPx1 (drip-water protection) according to DIN VDE 0100-737 (see also section protection against moisture).

Unprotected outdoor installations are directly exposed to rain. Equipment must feature a minimum protection rating of IPx3 (rain protection) according to DIN VDE 0100-737.

Outdoor lighting installations are subject to DIN VDE 0100-714 (January 2002) based on harmonisation document HD 384.7.714 and IEC 60364-7-714. This standard covers stationary outdoor lighting installations, e.g. for lighting roads, gardens, squares, sports facilities and monuments as well as flood lighting. The lighting inside phone booths, waiting shelters, billboards, city maps and traffic signs also belongs to this area of application.

The standard does not cover public lighting installations which are part of the public supply network. It also does not apply to signal systems, temporarily used chain lighting and lighting installations attached to outdoor surfaces but supplied from indoors, e.g. luminaires for house number signs and entrance luminaires.

In contrast to indoor rooms, outdoor areas are characterised by greater temperature deviations and an atmosphere different from indoor rooms. The following requirements apply to electrical equipment regarding external influences:

  • ambient temperature between - 40°C and +40°C

  • relative humidity between 5% and 100%

  • presence of spray water

  • presence of small foreign objects

  • possibly corrosive substances

  • mechanical shock

  • sun irradiation

Further requirements:

  • Housings containing exposed active (live) components as well as equipment access doors (e.g. on cable connection boxes) located less than 2.5 m above the base must be protected against opening without tools.

  • Luminaires located at a height of less than 2.8 m above the base must be protected against opening without tools for the purpose of lamp replacement.

  • A fault-current protection device (RCD) with I < 30 mA is recommended.

  • Minimum protection rating IP33. An IP23 protection rating is sufficient if the soiling risk is low (in residential or rural areas) and luminaires are located higher than 2.5 m above the base.

Regarding agricultural and horticultural work locations outdoors, refer to the subsequent section.