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What Does IP66 Mean?

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