Security Camera Weather Rating: What You Need to Know
Security Camera Weather Rating: What You Need to Know
Do Security Camera Weather Ratings Really Matter?
Absolutely! If you are purchasing surveillance equipment for outdoor use, such as driveway monitoring or perimeter surveillance systems, it pays off big time in terms of reliability and longevity if you get cameras with proper weather ratings. Not only will this enhance the performance and stability of your surveillance system during bad weather, but also ensure that your surveillance footage stays sharp even on rainy days or snowstorms.
What Does The IP Rating For A Camera Mean?
Security camera weather ratings can help you determine the quality of a security camera, as well as its ability to withstand different weather conditions. Before making a purchase decision on a security camera system, it’s important to know how reliable and durable your system is in extreme conditions. Here’s an overview of security camera weather ratings and why it matters for your home or business:
What Is an IP Rating?
An IP (Ingress Protection) rating is an indication of how resistant a security camera is to particles, dust, and moisture. The IP rating system was created by IEC 60529 – an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) international standard. Additionally, this standard has been published in the European Union by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) as EN 60529. In short, it is a universal standard that many industries use to indicate their product's ability to resist the ingress of dust particles and moisture into the device.
What do the two numbers in an IP rating signify?
IP ratings are indicated by two digits, with a higher number representing better protection. In some cases, an X is used instead of a number to signal that the item is not rated for that criteria.
For example, IP67=First digit (6), indicates the ability to resist the ingress of solids. The second digit (6), represents the ability to resist the ingress of liquids or moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). A higher IP rating generally means that the camera is better protected and more reliable in difficult environments.
Which Cameras Can Withstand Different Weather Conditions?
Most CCTV cameras are outdoor rate to some level. The case or housing materials can be plastic, composite plastics, or metal. The rating is not based on the materials used but on the item's design and how the individual parts are fitted together to resist different forms of ingress.
Which IP ratings are used for Security Cameras?
Three ratings are commonly used for CCTV equipment and cameras.
IP65 - Indoor Use (I) Ingress, (P) Protection, (6) Resistant to dust, (5) Resistance to moisture such as humidity. Not rain resistant or waterproof.
IP66 - Outdoor Use (I) Ingress, (P) Protection, (6) Resistant to dust, (6) Resistance to moisture such as humidity & rain. Not 100% waterproof. This rating is commonly referred to as rain-tight and is a common rating for PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras.
IP67 - Outdoor Use (Recommended) (I) Ingress, (P) Protection, (6) Resistant to dust, (7) Resistance to complete submersion in water to a 3-foot depth. IP67 cameras should be used whenever possible. They exceed the ingress protection requirements for the humidity of the everglades and the extreme cold and weather of northern Canada.
Will extreme cold damage a security camera?
A camera can have a PI67 rating and still not perform well in extremely low temperatures. The performance of the camera in cold temperatures is a function of the quality of the electronics used, not so much the housing.
Most cameras are factory rated to temperatures down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below this, the camera may experience performance or video quality issues but will not damage the camera. The camera by its operation generates a certain amount of heat protecting it from permanent damage. When the temperatures rise the camera will return to normal operation.
Will long-term exposure to heat damage a security camera?
Yes it will. Heat is the enemy of all electronics. Any electronic device will have a shorter life expectancy when exposed to higher levels of heat than a device that is not. Most security cameras operate reliably up to +140 degrees Fahrenheit. Short-term exposure to temperatures above this range (4-6 hours a day) will likely not damage the camera to the point it fails, but you should expect a shorter life expectancy.
Best practice is to protect the camera whenever possible. If you live in Arizona and need a camera in a location where it will be exposed to the sun all day, look for a location that helps protect it from as much direct sunlight as possible. Under a gable, eve or soffit is a good example. Look for any location that provides the field of view you desire and protects the camera from direct sunlight all day is the most desirable.
What are the most common reasons security cameras fail?
The most common reason for failure is user error. Either they did not use a camera rated for the environment, or they did not follow standard quality practices during installation.
Below is an example of a guaranteed failure. The consumer did use an IP67-rated camera, but they left the cable connections exposed to the elements. This connection should have been protected from the weather with an outdoor mounting box. This would provide a secure location for the connection and protect it from moisture. It's only a matter of time before humidity enters the connections and corrodes the fittings. The camera example below will prematurely fail, guaranteed.
A Warranty is a direct indication of quality!
If your cameras are going to be located in extreme weather conditions, consider cameras with longer warranty periods. Each manufacturer knows their quality, they know the components used, and most importantly they know the life expectancy of their products. If they warranty an item longer than competitors they are confident they have a higher quality product and can afford to extend the warranty.
Below are examples of tried and tested high-performance cameras. They all have been extensively tested in the most extreme conditions. From the frigid cold of Nome Alaska to the baking heat and sweating humidity of the Florida Keys, the cameras have been put to the test producing exceptional results. Hence our warranty, the industry's longest, 5 years.