What Do those IP Ratings Mean?

IP ratings (Ingress Protection ratings) are a system of codes designed to rate the degree of protection a security camera has against dust and water. These ratings provide more detailed information than simply saying the casing is waterproof or dust tight. The first digit in the rating indicates how protected the casing is against dust. The second digit indicates how protected the item is against water. Each number indicates a different level of protection as illustrated in the chart below.

Protection against Dust

First Digit Object Size Protected Against Description
0 No Protection The item has no protection against dust or other objects.
1 >50mm The item is protected against large items but not against deliberate contact with a body part.
2 >12.5mm Protected against intrusion of fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5mm Protected against intrusion of tools and thick wires with a diameter greater than 2.5mm.
4 >1mm Protected from most wires and screws.
5 Dust Protected The item is not entirely dust tight but it is protected against ingress of dust enough that operation will not be interfered.
6 Dust Tight No ingress of dust, no dust will get inside the unit.


Protection against Liquids

Second Digit Protected Against Description
0 Not Protected Not protected against liquids
1 Dripping Water Protected against vertically falling drops of water
2 Dripping water then tilted up to 15˚ Protected against water dripping vertically and dripping at up to a 15 degree angle
3 Spraying water Protected against spraying water at up to a 60 degree angle
4 Splashing water Water splashing against the unit from any directions will not cause any harm
5 Water jets Water projected from a nozzle at any angle will not do any harm to the unit
6 Powerful water jets Powerful water jets from a 12.5mm nozzle from any direction will not harm the unit
7 Immersion up to 1m The item can be immersed in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes with no harmful effects.
8 Immersion beyond 1m The item can be submerged in waters  up to 3m deep for a continuous period of time with no harmful effects


For example, a rating of IP67 would mean the item is dust tight and can be immersed in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes with no harmful effects. These ratings are especially important when determining if a surveillance camera is suitable for outdoor use.

When determining if an item is vandal resistant, manufacturers will often use IK ratings. These ratings indicate the amount of resistance an item has to impact. The highest rating is IK10 which means the item can withstand an impact of 20 joules which is the equivalent of an 11 pound item being dropped 16 inches.

Now that you know what these ratings mean you can make an educated purchase for your outdoor surveillance system. If you have any questions contact our technical support team. We’re here to help!

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