How to understand IP ratings for outdoor enclosures

Armagard outdoor enclosures with IP ratings

All Armagard outdoor enclosures have an IP rating to keep them weatherproof and dustproof.

What do IP ratings mean?

Many outdoor enclosures for televisions and digital screens have an IP rating. But what do IP ratings mean?

IP ratings are governed by the International Protection Rating System. IP ratings are commonly referred to as ingress protection codes. Essentially, an IP rating is a two-digit code which describes the protection from solids and liquids that an enclosure provides.

IP ratings are used throughout Europe and adhere to international standard IEC 60529. In the USA, the National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association provide equivalent standards called NEMA ratings.

The first digit of an IP rating refers to protection from solids such as dust and dirt.  0 means no protection and 6 indicates complete protection from tiny particles of dust.

First digit: protection from solids
0 No protection.
1 Protected against solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2 Protected against solid objects greater than 12.5mm in diameter.
3 Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5mm in diameter.

Protected against solid objects greater than 1mm in diameter.

5 Dust-protected: dust might penetrate the enclosure but not enough to damage equipment.
6 Dust-tight: no ingress of dust.

The second digit indicates protection against liquids. 0 means no protection, and 8 indicates that the enclosure is completely watertight and can be safely immersed.

Second digit: protection from liquids
0 No protection.
1 Protected against vertically falling water drops.
2 Protected against vertically falling water drops when the enclosure is tilted 15°.
3 Protected against spraying water.
4 Protected against splashing water.
5 Protected against water jets.
6 Protected against powerful water jets.
7 Protected against temporary immersion in 1 metre of water.
8 Protected against continuous immersion in water.
All Armagard outdoor enclosure with IP rating

LCD enclosures need to be rated from IP54-65.

What IP rating does my outdoor enclosure need?

You may think that an enclosure for outdoor digital signage requires the maximum protection.  However, it is not advised to completely seal an LCD screen because the screen requires constant airflow to prevent overheating.

Additionally, the highest protection is not necessary. The highest IP ratings protect against high pressure water flow and even immersion. This is not necessary for an outdoor LCD enclosure because rain, hail and snow fall at low pressure. Consequently, an outdoor enclosure should be rated from IP54-65. These IP ratings offer complete protection from bad weather and from dust and dirt.

Armagard manufactures a wide range of enclosures for PCs, printers, TVs and digital signage. All Armagard enclosures have IP ratings and are rigorously tested.

View the complete range of Armagard products to find the best outdoor enclosure for you.