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What Does the IP Rating for a Camera Mean?

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    You know you want a security camera because it can not only help you identify a burglar or potential threat, but may also deter that criminal from targeting your property in the first place. Anything that boosts security has to be a good thing, right?

    Deciding between an IP65 and an IP67 rating can get confusing, however, and might even lead to more questions than answers. What does an IP rating mean, and why does it matter for your camera?

    Let’s take a closer look at the difference between IP65 and IP67 to help you determine which is right for you.

    What Are IP Ratings?

    IP is short for ingress protection (or international protection), and the numbers tell you what exactly the camera is protected against. That includes how much dirt, water, and debris it can withstand. Here are a few facts to keep in mind about IP chart ratings:

    • The first number in an IP rating refers to protection against dry elements tested in laboratory conditions, like solid objects, dirt, and dust ingress.
    • It will range from 0 (no protection at all) to 6 (total protection against solids).
    • The second number is about protection from water and other fluids.
    • It answers questions such as can the tools, camera, or similar objects handle water projected in powerful jets, like a hose or sprayer, dripping water, or complete submersion?
    • This number will range from 0 (again, no protection) to 8 (can withstand total immersion in water more than 1 meter deep).

    As an example, a rating of IP05 would mean the item has no protection against the harmful effects of dust and dirt, but it is protected from low-pressure water jets, water dripping like rain, and other light spray. A rating of IP22 would offer protection against the touch of fingers or hand, but no protection against dust and only water spray tilted at an angle 15 degrees from vertical.

    Having these ratings is more effective than simply saying a camera is “water resistant,” for example, because it explains exactly how resistant the device is. The numbers help you determine if the camera you’re choosing is appropriate for the environment where it will be fixed, regardless of whether you’re mounting the camera inside or outside, under shelter or out in the open, beside a pool or on a construction site.

    What is Ingress Protection?

    An ingress protection code is used on a variety of electronics, as it refers to the protection level the tools’ enclosure can offer the electronic components during immersion in various environments. When it comes to security cameras, IP65, IP66, and IP67 are common choices. The first digit, 6, indicates each of those devices have an enclosure that is dust tight.

    Which protection rating you choose depends upon what you need to protect against. Consider the following environments and situations:

    • A windy area, where dust and debris is regularly blown around
    • Vertically dripping water (like rain, or snow melt off a roof)
    • A storage yard, full of old parts where ingress of dust is a likely possibility
    • A space where people regularly work, where the camera may have contact with a body part or tools, thick wires, screws, and other solid objects
    • A backyard where children play with water and water spray, via water guns or the hose, may hit the camera
    • A place where you may require protection against deliberate contact with the camera (where someone may intentionally spray the camera with water or throw objects at it)
    • An area where people use pressure water jets for cleaning, and those water jets may accidentally hit the camera
    • An area prone to flooding
    • Pools and water parks

    You’ll want to choose a level of protection based on the potential water volume of any water spray or vertically falling drops, water pressure, and dust ingress that may impact your chosen electronic tools.

    4 FAQs about the IP Rating for a Camera

    There are some other terms that gets used with or without an ingress protection rating that may be confusing or misleading. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about the IP code:

    1. Do I need an IP65 or 67?

    The first digit is 6, so both are dust tight. The second digit, 5, means that camera is protected from low pressure water jets, no matter which direction they come from. The 7 meanwhile means the enclosure allows the camera to be submerged in water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. That may make it an appropriate choice if you’re mounting the camera in an area where flooding is a concern. If you can’t guarantee your camera won’t be subjected to immersion in water or high pressure water jets, you’re better off going with the 67.

    2. Can a camera type rated as IP67 be used for swimming?

    It’s not intended for swimming. An IP code of 68 indicates the item can be totally submerged or immersed in water deeper than 1 meter. The greatest depth of immersion it can handle may be mentioned separately, as water pressure has to be considered.

    3. Is IP67 rated for outdoor use?

    Cameras with IP66 or IP67 offer enough moisture protection for outdoor use. Meanwhile, a camera with an IP rating of 65 can be used outdoors as it’s equally resistant to dust ingress, but it’s better placed under shelter where it will not be exposed to as much moisture.

    4. What’s the difference between water resistant, waterproof, and weatherproof?

    These are generally marketing terms. You’ll want to look for the IP codes to ensure the camera offers the degree of protection you need.

    • Water resistant

    Water resistance needs to be considered in degrees of protection depending upon the water pressure and water volume. A camera subjected to water projected at high pressure needs to be IP rated higher than one subjected to low pressure water jets.

    • Waterproof

    Waterproof should indicate an enclosure that offers complete protection against the harmful effects of moisture, but again, the IP code offers a more precise explanation.

    • Weatherproof

    The term weatherproof gets even more misleading, because there are many types and extremes when it comes to weather. Can the device really withstand the most extreme environments? Check for a highly IP-rated camera instead of relying on the term “weatherproof.”

    When you break it down, these ratings aren’t as mysterious as they may seem at first, and they’re enormously helpful when it comes to choosing the security camera that’s right for you.

    Trust the Knowledge of Your Local Security Experts

    If you’re looking for the right camera for your situation, contact Mobile Video Guard today! Our team of experts is standing by to discuss any questions you might have about IP ratings, enclosures, protection IP facts, test duration, international electrotechnical standards, and more.


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