Navigating camera ratings for outdoor surveillance

Hangzhou, China

Even with outdoor IP ratings on cameras, utilising incorrect mounts or mounting techniques can cause the camera’s outdoor design to become ineffective

No matter the location, winter is likely to bring a host of inclement weather conditions, from icy cold temperatures to intense rain or snow. Selecting the correct outdoor cameras for these conditions to withstand the season is an essential decision when choosing a surveillance system Aside from knowing how to keep the security cameras working through the winter, it is also important to understand the camera ratings that are suitable for any given outdoor scenario.

Dahua has a few simple tips on what to look for when choosing an outdoor surveillance device:

IP67 rating

Looking at the IP rating on cameras is the simplest way to tell if a camera can handle outdoor environments. A camera with IP65, IP66, IP67, or IP68 rating means the camera offers full protection against dust, and varying degrees of water resistance ranging from a water jet (IP65) up to 1m of water submersion (IP68). Most of Dahua’s cameras offer an outdoor rating of IP67.

Even with outdoor IP ratings on cameras, utilising incorrect mounts or mounting techniques can cause the camera’s outdoor design to become ineffective. It is important to ensure that proper mounts are used and a drip loop is installed to prevent any water from finding its way into the outdoor conduit and components. This should be done in any outdoor application, whether or not water is a primary concern.

Temperature ratings

While a camera may be outdoor rated for water and dust, that doesn’t automatically qualify it for all outdoor temperature applications. It is important for users or integrators to check temperature ratings on specific cameras and make it a point to note the temperature range on each camera to ensure it meets the deployment’s specific needs. While many brands of outdoor rated cameras are able to perform in temperatures down to -22° F, for example, including Dahua cameras, for extremely cold climates a temperature rating of -40 °F is recommended.

It is also important to note that even those cameras designed for outdoor use will usually need to be installed in weather resistant housing and may even require a heater to stabilise the temperature inside the housing in the event of extreme cold.

Heating elements

For particularly cold applications, it is best to look for cameras with built-in heaters. This feature allows cameras to withstand more extreme winter temperatures. It is important to note that cameras with built-in heaters will require additional power compared to cameras without a heater.

For scenarios with temperatures below -40, you could deploy Dahua cameras with a built-in heater. Some ideal examples for this type of scenario are: HFW5241E-ZHE model (IPC); SD5A432XB-HNR model (PTZ); and HAC-HFW3802E-ZH-VP model (HDCVI).

Wiper blades

For outdoor environments that are plagued by rain, snow, or fog and require high-powered PTZs that can capture distant details, look for built-in wiper blades. This small feature ensures that the lens of the camera is clear of water and other debris, so that video is usable no matter the weather conditions.

Voltage tolerance

The final requirement may seem like a strange one, but voltage protection is an important yet often overlooked specification for outdoor cameras. Many Dahua cameras can handle a 25% change in voltage coming into the camera, which is important for outdoor deployments as environmental conditions can easily affect a power source. For more advanced protection, specific lightning protected cameras can be found with up to 8 kV surge protection rating.

Selecting the best camera and mounts for a particular outdoor location, as well as utilising preventative installation techniques, can help prevent future issues and save time for any business. Please read more information on this topic here.


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