IP and IK ratings are crucial specifications for security cameras. These ratings indicate the level of protection provided against different factors. Typically, these standards help describe how “weather resistant” or “vandal resistant” a camera is.
IK ratings are defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). IEC Standard #60529 describes “the degrees of protection provided by enclosures for electrical equipment against external mechanical impacts.”
The IK rating is a scale of 0 through 10 and each level of testing describes an increased level of physical impact testing. As the scale increases, the impact tests are performed at greater distances, with stronger materials, increased mass, and different types of striking instruments.
The highest protection rating is IK10, while the lowest protection rating is IK00:
IP ratings (Ingress Protection) are also defined by the IEC. IEC Standard #60529 describes “the degree of protection provided by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures against intrusion, dust, accidental contact, and water.”
The IP rating is listed as a pair of numbers - 0 through 6, and 0 through 8. The first number indicates the degree of protection against solid objects and the second number indicates the degree of protection against water. As the scale increases, the size of physical solid object decreases, and the tests for water tightness become more rigorous.
The highest possible degree of protection is IP68 and the lowest is IP00:
Indoor vs Outdoor Camera Considerations
For indoor setups, where there are no significant risks from the environment or criminal activities, a high IP/IK rating may not be necessary. However, if you require an outdoor solution where both natural elements and security risks are present, it is essential to consider products with higher IP/IK standards.
The IP/IK rating provides valuable information to ensure that the product you choose can withstand the specific challenges of your intended environment and offer the necessary protection for reliable performance. Read more here about strategies for protecting your camera hardware.