Before we discuss the importance of  Outdoor LCD displays IP Ratings (Ingress Protection), let’s first examine what an IP rating is and how it works.

To make it easier for users to judge the ingress protection of a product rather than rely on vague marketing terms like “waterproof”, a standard was developed to define different levels in ingress protection. This standard is known as IEC 60529 and it promotes uniformity in methods of describing the protection provided by enclosures.

An IP rating is a two digit number used to describe the level of protection for electronic equipment.

The two digits represent different types of environmental influence. The first digit represents protection against ingress of solid objects, while the second digit represents protection against the ingress of liquids.

The table below outlines the protection requirements for both the first and second digit in an IP rating.

    
IP RatingFirst Digit: Ingress of solid objectsSecond digit: Ingress of liquids
Object size protectionEffective against
0N/ANo protection against contact or ingress of objects.No protection
1>50mmAny large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand.Protected against vertically falling drops of water or condensation
2>12.5mmFingers or similar objectsProtected against vertically dropping water when the enclosure is tilted by up to 15o from the normal position.
3>2.5mmTools, thick wires, etcProtected against water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60o from the vertical position.
4>1mmMost wires, screws, etcProtected from water splashed from any direction.
5Dust protectedLimited protection against dust ingress (no harmful deposits)Protected against low pressure water jets sprayed from any direction. Limited ingress is permitted provided it has no harmful effects.
6Dust tightTotally protected against dust ingress.Protected against high pressure water jets sprayed from any direction. Limited ingress is permitted provided it has no harmful effects.
7N/AProtected against submersion (up to 1 meter) for short periods of time. Limited ingress is permitted, provided it has no harmful effects.
8N/AProtected against submersion (up to 3 meters) for long periods of time.
9N/AProtected against close-range (0.1 to 0.15 meters) high pressure, high temperature spray downs.

A rating of “X” is sometimes used for one or more of the protection criteria and represents no test data. This however does not mean “no protection”. For example, if a piece of electronic equipment is rated IPX7 it will demonstrate a robust resistance to the ingress dust as it has strong liquid protection, even though a rating for the ingress of solids has not been formally assigned. Hence, an X designation shouldn’t be misconstrued as a lack of protection.

So, Why is the Outdoor LCD Displays IP Rating an important consideration?

Outdoor environments present a different set of challenges for Outdoor LCD Displays IP Ratings compared to the TV in your living room. These environmental challenges include.

  • Dust and dirt
  • High levels of moisture
  • Wider temperature ranges
  • Insects and other small animals.

In this article we will focus on physical elements interfering with the operation of an outdoor LCD display. Temperature will be discussed in a separate article.

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