IP65 – European Rating for Outdoor Digital Signage Enclosures

As outdoor digital signage expands across Europe, more and more cities are employing screens in outdoor locations for advertising, information or entertainment, so the need to understand the challenges of using devices like LCD TVs in outdoor locations is becoming more ubiquitous.

One common term often referred to when it comes to implementing outdoor digital signage is IP65 – but what is it, and what does it mean?

What is IP65?

IP65 is a European guideline for the manufacture of enclosures used to house electrical equipment. The protective LCD enclosures used to house digital signage therefore falls under this bracket so understanding IP65 is vital if you are to employ LCD screens in an outdoor location.

IP65 is a code. The IP stands for Ingress protection and the rating system is devised to give guidance as to what types of material can and can’t penetrate the enclosure and therefore cause possible damage to the device.

The two numbers denote solid and liquids. The first number indicates the level of solid object protection, whilst the second indicates the type of waterproof protection is offered. The numbers are ascending so the higher the number the better protection.

IP65 offers dust protection as well as being waterproof enough to stop powerful water jets, therefore it should operate without problems under rainfall and other weather elements.

What IP ratings don’t cover?

Whilst ensuring rain, snow, sleet and windblown dust doesn’t get inside the enclosure is vital for outdoor digital signage; there are aspects to using screens outdoor that are not covered by the IP rating.

Temperature is one such constituent and ensuring the screen can cope with whatever the ambient temperature is also important for digital signage applications. In cold climates, heaters are often employed inside LCD enclosures to ensure any condensation, or the components themselves, do not freeze.

While in warmer climates, cooling components have to be employed to ensure the screen doesn’t overheat and can function under direct sunlight.

Another aspect of digital signage that is not covered by IP ratings is physical protection against impact and vandalism. This is also important to counter in outdoor digital signage applications which are why most LCD enclosures are manufactured from solid steel.

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