What is IP66?

April 20, 2011 by
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

Comments

7 Comments on What is IP66?

  1. fred on Fri, 22nd Apr 2011 8:51 am
  2. Great read, I own a boat and with this information, feel safe buying a camera understanding the IP rating system

  3. Kedric Walls on Fri, 22nd Apr 2011 12:29 pm
  4. This is awesome information! It was a great read and informative.

  5. kanwajeet on Mon, 2nd Jan 2012 6:43 am
  6. this is very useful informaion. thanks for it.

  7. Mohiuddin Mahi on Mon, 6th Feb 2012 11:04 pm
  8. Thank a lot for the information

  9. EN on Wed, 14th Mar 2012 8:08 am
  10. Thank you! Exactly the answer I was looking for!

  11. Umesh on Wed, 4th Apr 2012 8:13 am
  12. Thanks for perfect answer !!!!!

  13. Jeff on Tue, 1st May 2012 9:17 am
  14. Very informative, but older folks will remember this, the Paul Harvey, Rest of the Story…

    Recently when reviewing the technical specs of an off the shelf “box” system it had a couple of sentences to describe the system as follows…

    “The housing is specifically designed to be used indoors or outdoors and can withstand temperatures between 0°F and 114°F. Utilizing IP-66 the camera is water and weather resistant.”

    This is where the English 101 class comes in handy. Notice the first sentence, ” The housing is specifically designed to be used indoors or outdoors and can withstand temperatures between 0°F and 114°F.” Did you see the period after “114°F.” That’s right the traffic cop of sentence structure, “.” the period, tells us a lot about the operating range of the camera and nothing of how this camera, housing or provided installation material such as cables, connection and Indoors or Outdoors locations, as it comes “out of the box” will meet IP66, good creative writing by their market department.

    Then the next sentence, “Utilizing IP-66 the camera is water and weather resistant.” The key word is “Utilizing” they are careful not to say the device you are purchasing as it comes out of the box “will” meet IP66. Well to be honest with the right enclosure and significant amount of money you could put a chocolate candy bar in a refrigerated enclosure in the middle of the Mojave Desert that will meet “IP66″.

    Nothing in these short specs tell you the device you are purchasing off the shelf will actually meet IP66 and the they avoid the use of the words “can” and “will”.

    From experience and not being a certified installer or designer, just years of practical experience, we know when you place a device in an enclosure it changes dramatically the performance of the components, you may well exceed the 114F in the middle of winter due to the heat generated by the normal operation of the device with all the the heat being captured inside a IP66 rated enclosure.

    So not really the perfect answer as commented above, just a good explanation of the definition for the criteria to meet IP66, now how the implementation is another story. I will summarize it like this you may have Rosie O’Donald enter the the Miss Universe but you got a lot of work to do to get her in shape and favourable conditions for her to perform like the Miss Universes we all know, not saying it can’t be done, anyhting with enough money may can work but is it really worth the effort ?

    Spec and buy the right device for the right application, cheapest, is not allways the best value for the Total Cost of the System. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    Jeffrey L. Nolen, CSI

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