What is IP66?

April 20, 2011 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology 

On the occasion, while looking for cameras you will come across the term: IP66 compliant, but what does that mean? IP66 is usually a rating that is giving to outdoor cameras and it defines the camera’s ability to keep out foreign objects. The IP stands for Ingress (the act of entering) Protection. The first numerical digit (in this case being 6) describes the rating that is given for solid objects. The rating of 1, the lowest rating, defines the entering object being greater than 50mm. The rating of 6, the highest rating, means the camera would be dust tight. The second numerical digit (again, in this instance a 6) defines how well the camera can keep liquids out. The rating of 1 means no special protection at all. The rating of 8, the highest rating, meaning the camera would be suitable for continuous submersion in water.

Below is a chart that describes the rating of the two numerical digits that follow IP:

Protection against solid objects
1st Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection
1 Protected against solid objects greater than 50 mm A large surface of the body such as the hand (no protection against deliberate access). Solid objects exceeding 50mm diameter
2 Protected against solid objects greater than 12 mm Fingers or other objects not exceeding 80 mm in length. Solid objects exceeding 12 mm diameter
3 Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5 mm Tools, wires, etc of diameter or thickness greater than 2.5 mm. Solid objects exceeding 2.5 mm diameter.
4 Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm Wires or strips of thickness greater than 1.0 mm. Solid objects exceeding 1.0 mm
5 Dust protected Ingress of dust is not totally prevented but dust does not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of the equipment
6 Dust-tight No ingress of dust
Protection against liquids
2nd Digit Description Definition
0 Non-protected No special protection
1 Protected against dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops)
2 Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15º Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15º from its normal position
3 Protected against spraying water Water falling as spray at an angle up to 60º  from the vertical shall have no harmful effect
4 Protected against splashing water Water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect
5 Protected against water jets Water projected from a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect
6 Protected against heavy seas Water from heavy seas or water projected in powerful jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities
7 Protected against the effects of immersion Ingress of water in a harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time
8 Protected against submersion The equipment is suitable for continuous submersion in water under conditions, which shall be specified by the manufacturer

Which Type of Camera Should I Use? Part 2: Bullet Camera

IP7361 bullet security camera with cable managementAs I mentioned in my previous post, selecting which type of camera to use is often the most confusing part of designing a surveillance system.  In part 1, we discussed how box cameras good for very specific needs because they are customizable.

Bullet cameras are highly versatile in an entirely different way.  The two main differences between a box camera and a bullet style camera are the lens and the housing.

A bullet camera does not have the ability to simply change the lens.  This means one should pay careful attention to size of the lens when selecting a bullet style camera.  Fortunately, many bullet style camera are outfitted with a varifocal lens which allows the camera to be adjusted within a set range.

The housing is also a major difference.  While virtually all box cameras require a housing for outdoor use, many bullet style cameras are designed to be weatherproof.  For this reason, many bullet cameras are more cosmetically appealing for outdoor use than box cameras mounted in housings.

In addition to being weatherproof, many housings will have IR illustrators built in.  This allows the camera to monitor in pitch black conditions without additional accessories.  The two primary advantages to this feature are more simple/straightforward wiring and more cosmetically appealing.

One final feature some bullet style cameras has is called cable management.  This is a mounting bracket that houses the cables, so they are not exposed.  This is particular useful to prevent vandals from cutting the cables.

While the lens choices available for a bullet camera may not be as flexible as a box camera, the ease of install and flexibility of the housings make bullet cameras a staple security camera for most surveillance systems.