IP Ratings – What are they? Why do they matter?
When selecting an LED video wall, the IP rating of outdoor LED display panels is a critical piece of information to consider. IP ratings can vary greatly between display panels, and some may not have any IP rating at all. Understanding what these IP ratings mean and why they matter is key to choosing an LED display solution that is suitable for your specific application.
What is an IP rating?
IP ratings, also known as International Protection Markings or Ingress Protection Markings, are detailed by the standardized IP Code published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The rating system was developed to classify the degree of protection that electrical systems have against different types of ingress, including dust, water, and accidental contact.
A two-digit rating system is utilized to classify how protected electronic elements are from different forms of ingress. The first number rates the protection against solid objects such as dust. The scale ranges from 0 to 6, with a zero meaning no protection against solid object ingress, and a 6 meaning fully protected.
The second digit of the IP rating explains the protective quality against multidirectional low pressure water jets or water submersion for certain durations of time. A zero indicates no protection, and the highest rating of 8 indicates maximum protection against long periods of water immersion. When reviewing products that are advertised as “waterproof”, check this against the IP rating to see how much water protection the product truly has.
Why does the IP rating matter for outdoor LED displays?
It is recommended that outdoor LED displays have an IP rating of at least IP54, and ideally IP65. This rating means maximum protection against dust and solid objects, as well as the capability of withstanding multidirectional low pressure water jets (aka rain). This rating is not difficult to achieve on the front of an LED panel; but with the necessary ports and connectors that could allow wind, rain, and dust to ingress, successfully receiving this rating is a greater challenge for the back of the screen.
Due to the harsh outdoor conditions of rain and dust, outdoor LED display panels that are not IP rated or do not achieve a rating of IP65 are prone to damage or failure with long-term exposure. The stringent IP testing process subjects panels to environments of varying temperature and pressure, as well as dust and water to accurately determine their protective qualities.
Without a rating of IP65 or higher, an LED panel will not last long in a fixed outdoor setting. Neoti carries a variety of outdoor LED solutions that have undergone this strict IP testing, and we only offer outdoor panels with a minimum IP rating of IP54 for temporary and rental applications. In our effort to provide the best solution for each individual customer and project, we know how important it is to consider all of the variables, including exposure and weather.