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Ask an Expert: What do IP ratings mean for outdoor CCTV?

Q: I am looking for an outdoor CCTV system for my property in a very picturesque location on the coast of Scotland. Whilst the views are fantastic, it goes without saying that the local weather can take it’s toll on any equipment left outside. How can I tell which of your products would be suitable for such a location? How would it relate to the quoted “IP Ratings” I can see in the listings?

Your CCTV needs to withstand the worst the weather throws at it
Your CCTV needs to withstand the worst the weather can throw at it

A: The IP rating codes quoted in our listings stands for “Ingress Protection”, and represents an international standard that electrical devices can conform to, guaranteeing a certain level of protection against the elements.

Please note- Somewhat confusingly, this is separate from the phrase “IP Camera“, which refer to a type of CCTV camera that can be directly connected to the internet. Unfortunately, the industry uses both terms!

SONY CCTV Camera with 60M Infrared Night Vision and 540TVL
Pictured- An IP rated camera, but not an IP camera. Simple!

IP ratings always consist of two numbers, with each one referring to a certain type of protection. At the bottom of this post you can see a key to what these numbers refer to, and what levels of build quality they guarantee. All of the wired CCTV cameras in our Gamut range are at least IP55, meaning they can resist damage by dust and splashes of water. These cameras can be used outdoors, but are recommend to be located somewhere sheltered, like under the eaves of your building.

If you are looking for a camera for use in an exposed outdoor location however, then we recommend cameras with a rating of IP65 or IP66, allowing them to sit exposed to the wind and rain year round! A great example would be our Gamut Black Varifocal camera with 50m night vision.

When planning an exposed outdoor installation, it’s worth keeping in mind what to look for to get the best performance. Generally speaking, wireless cameras will have less resistant housings than wired, as they have to fit in a transmitter’s aerial. Similarly, cameras with built in audio will usually not be quite as weatherproof, as the microphone needs a hole in the casing to work. There are some exceptions to both of these rules though, so it’s worth checking your camera’s specifications before you buy!


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