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What is an IP Rating?

IP stands for International Protection Rating, commonly called Ingress Protection Rating. It is defined in the international standard IEC 60529 as the degree of protection against the intrusion of solid objects, dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures.  IP ratings are used as a reference point for electronic enclosure designs to help users determine what’s required for a certain environment and application.

The IP Code consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and sometimes a letter. The first number, ranging from 0 to 6, dictates the level of protection against solid objects, such has fingers, tools, wires, or dust. The second digit, ranging from 0 to 9, indicates how much protection the enclosure has against liquids. A 0-rating indicating no protection, to an 9-rating indicating the device can be subjected to close range, high pressure water jets.

Why are IP ratings on LED displays important?

IP ratings on custom LED displays are important to ensure the right product is selected for the application and environment. Selecting an LED panel with the correct IP rating will ensure the display is protected from the environmental elements and will perform as expected. The danger of selecting a product with an inadequate rating is completing an install and then experiencing operation issues and permanent damage.

The biggest determining factor is whether the display is going to be inside or outside. Outdoor LED displays for short-term use, such as rental and staging applications, should have a minimum rating of IP65 at the front and IP54 at the back.  Permanently installed displays where both sides of the display are exposed to the elements, should have a minimum rating of IP65 for the front and the back for the best performance over time. The climate of the location should be studied and considered in order to choose the correctly rated product. For instance, a product being installed in a humid climate near the ocean will have different requirements than a dry desert climate.

For indoor LED displays the IP rating should also best match the installation environment. High humidity or dust-prone environments may even benefit from a higher IP rating that is traditionally considered “outdoor” rated.

When a LED video wall is on camera there is the potential to observe a moiré pattern. A moiré pattern (pronounced moe-ray) is the ‘rippling’ visual perception that occurs when viewing a set of lines or dots that are superimposed on another set of lines or dots at a slightly different angle. It can most easily be seen by looking at a pattern of lines through a screen door while moving left and right. Applications in broadcast, house of worship, and other live events have the potential to observe moiré patterns when a LED wall is put on camera.

In order to remove moiré patterns, the resolution of the screen, camera resolution and device settings all need to be calibrated to give optimal performance. 

Now that you understand the difference in ratings, you can be better informed when asking questions related to which LED product to purchase for your application. For even more assistance, contact us and we will be happy to assist finding your perfect product match.

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