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

The standard known as IEC 60529 defines different levels of ingress protection.  This standard makes it easy for users to judge the ingress protection of a product so they don’t have to rely on vague marketing terms like “waterproof”.  IEC 60529 promotes uniformity in describing the protection provided by enclosures.

An IP rating is a two digit number and describes protection levels 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 describes one or more of the protection criteria.  This “X” rating represents no test data. However, this does not mean “no protection”. For example, a piece of electronic equipment rated IPX7 demonstrates a robust resistance to the ingress dust because it has strong liquid protection, even though a rating for the ingress of solids has not been formally assigned. Therefore, an X designation shouldn’t be misconstrued as a lack of protection.


Outdoor environments present a different set of challenges for an outdoor LCD monitor.  IP Ratings for the TV in your living room will be very different to an IP rating for an outdoor LCD monitor.  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 monitor.  A separate article will discuss temperature.

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