The Importance of IP Ratings in Security Cameras

15/09/2015 0 Comment(s) Surveillance Equipment,

While searching for the best security cameras for your home and office, you will probably encounter the term “IP66”. What does this code mean?



IP66 is a rating that is provided to outdoor cameras. It defines the camera’s ability to keep out foreign objects. The “IP” stands for Ingress Protection, with Ingress meaning “to enter”.


What is an IP Rating for Security Cameras?



IP ratings are mentioned in the International Standard EN 60529 and the British BS EN 60529:1992, as well as the European IEC 60509:1989. IP ratings are used to define different levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures from being invaded by foreign elements, like dirt, tools, moisture and small insects.


Companies that make security cameras can have their products tested against these standards. Since it’s a voluntary system, some of these cameras can actually stand harsh weather even when they don’t have an IP rating. This is because certain digital security cameras are IP networked cameras, which don’t have anything to do with IP ratings.



Whenever IP ratings are applied to security surveillance cameras, people need to be aware that the threshold for indoor applications and outdoor applications need to have a minimum IP of 64. This rating can easily protect the camera against dirt and various weather conditions.


Not all security camera makers give their products an IP rating, since they’re not really necessary. But IP ratings give a potential user more specific means of figuring out the type of protection that they need to get, to shield their cameras from foreign objects. For example, a lot of security camera manufacturers have rated their products as “weatherproof”, but a camera with an IP 66 rating would mean that it is resistant to dirt and water, and won’t be harmed easily.


What Do the Numbers in an IP Rating Mean?


Sometimes, IP ratings can be hard to decipher. They are usually represented by two digits – Sometimes, they contain an extra letter. The digits that come with the IP all have a certain meaning. The first number shows the degree of protection from moving parts, as well as its protection from outside elements. The second number stands for the protection level that the enclosure can withstand from different forms of moisture – Submersion, drips, sprays, etc.


The most consistent utility of this IP rating system is to assist users in knowing if the camera can handle snow, condensation, rain and wind. It can also tell them if the camera is safe to use outdoors. The three most common ratings are IP67, IP66 and IP68.


Usually, the bigger the numbers, the more safe it will be against both liquids and solids. Plenty of electrical components in the average household or office like plugs connected to the wall are IP22. This means that they can prevent small objects, such as insects or a child’s fingers, from entering them. The camera also still works if water manages to go inside. For a better understanding, here is a list of IP codes and their corresponding meaning:


  1. First Digit – Intrusion protection.
  1. No protection
  2.  >50 mm – Any large surface of the human body, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
  3. >12.5 mm – Fingers and similar objects
  4. >2.5 mm – Tools, thick wires
  5. >1 mm – Smaller wires, screws
  6. Protection from dirt – Dust intrusion is not completely protected, but it shouldn’t enter in huge amounts to interrupt the camera’s operation
  7. Dust tight – Absolute protection from dirt
  1. Second Digit – Moisture protection.
  1. No protection
  2. Dripping water – Vertically falling water drops won’t have any effect on the camera.
  3. Dripping water when the camera is tilted up to 15 degrees – Whenever the security camera is tilted at a 15-degree angle from its normal position, dripping water won’t have any effect.
  4. Spraying water – Water that falls in form of a spray at an angle of 60 degrees won’t affect the camera.
  5. Splashing water – Water that splashes against the camera from all directions won’t have any effect.
  6. Water jets – Water sprayed through a nozzle towards the camera in all directions will not affect the camera.
  7. Powerful water jets – Water that is projected through a strong jet won’t have any effects.
  8. Immersion of up to 1 meter of water – Harmful submerging won’t be possible if the camera is kept in water of up to 1 meter in depth
  9. Immersion beyond 1 meter of water – Harmful submerging of water will be impossible if the camera is kept in water with a depth of 2 meters or more.


Pressure and time are usually stated by the camera’s manufacturer, aside from its IP rating. A camera that has an IP rating of 67 is considered as dust-free, and can withstand being placed under one meter of water for thirty minutes or less.


Finally, the last digit of an IP rating is only optional and shows the user just how this camera can withstand damage. Not all cameras that have a solid and liquid rating are also qualified for a protect rating, which is represented by the third number in its IP rating. If there isn’t any added protection, then the extra letter is discarded from the rating. So as compared to the rating’s first two numbers, which sometimes include a zero, no extra protection is given by the camera if they don’t meet the solid and liquid standards.


When the last digit contains one of these letters, this means that the camera has some protection from outside elements:


A – The back of a hand

B – Fingers

C – Tools

D – Wires


The following letters are also used to signify the additional protection given to the camera:


H – High voltage devices

M – If the device moves during a water test

S – The camera stands still during the water test

W – Weather conditions




Since the IP ratings standard is commonly used, it will most likely develop in the future. It’s a great way to test a camera and very dependable in showing users how tough a device is against harsh natural elements. The IP rating guide mentioned above will help you decide what surveillance cameras to purchase – Cameras that will pass the test of time.

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