The word “IP” is a common sight in electronic devices, but it’s often overlooked and considered something too technical to understand. Many LED screens, from indoor LED walls to outdoor advertising LED displays, come with a label that offers an outlook on the protection level of the device. IP65 rating is one of the most common protection levels for LED displays but what does this mean? 

Diving into the IP65 Rating Meaning

IP65 Rating
IP65 Rating

Decoding the IP65 waterproof rating meaning involves going through each of its four letters. The letters IP and numbers 65 pertain to something that needs deeper understanding to fully comprehend this protection level. Let’s go by each letter one by one to understand the IP65 rating meaning better. 

What Does IP Mean?

Ingress Protection refers to the measuring scale that devices use to show their capability to stop the entry of solid and liquid elements inside. This is where the acronym IP comes from. This scoring system for devices is used by manufacturers and enterprises in the global market as accredited by The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Simply put, the IP65 rating is just one of the combinations formed by this grading scale. 

Devices have protective covering in the form of resistant materials, including the following:

  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Metal

These devices require protective casing because the insides are often sensitive. They can get damaged when external elements like dust and water. Despite the added protection though, some are more vulnerable than others. It can cause short-circuiting and react negatively to the elements, destroying the electrical connections, and in the process the entire device. 

What Does 6 Mean in the IP65 Rating?

IP65 Rating - Dust Protection
IP65 Rating – Dust Protection

The 6 in the IP65 rating refers to a device’s capability to resist the intrusion of solid particles, including dirt and dust. Resistance is measured from 0 to 6, where 0 means that the device has no protection against dust while 6 means that it’s dust-proof. the meanings of the different numbers are as follows:

0~6 Dustproof capability

0no protection
1Prevent solid intrusion >50mm
2Prevent solid intrusion >12mm
3Prevent solid intrusion >2.5mm
4Prevent solid intrusion >1mm
5Prevent the accumulation of harmful dust
6Prevent dust from entering in all aspects

Dusts are small earth particles that can come in different forms, from smoke and ash to wood chips. Since they are small, they can easily get inside the crooks and crannies of the devices. With the damage that it can bring, protection is ensured through the following ways:

  • Advanced sealing techniques
  • Strong sealants
  • Gaskets

A higher first-digit number denotes strong resistance, which means that customers tend to look for this number. Considering that 6 is the highest in the solid particles scale, the IP65 rating offers the strongest protection against dust and similar elements. 

What Does 5 Mean in the IP65 Rating?

IP65 Rating - Water Ingress Protection
IP65 Rating – Water Ingress Protection

The 5 that falls on the last part of the protection level points to the resistance of the device to water and moisture. The grading scale runs from 0 to 9, with 0 as the lowest rating and 9 as the highest resistance to moisture and water ingress. Similar to dust, moisture can cause irreparable damage to LED displays, which is why they are structured to be more resistant to the liquid element. 

In the IP65 rating, the number 5 promises relatively high resistance to water. Checking on the scale for water ingress sets a standard for devices to be water-tight. The protection applied to these devices is thorough and durable. It means that displays with this rating are water-resistant and so can withstand common water splashes and jets when installed outdoors.

Is the rating of IP65 waterproof? Considering that the number falls in the middle of the scale, it does not guarantee optimal protection. While it may be protection from water splashes, moisture from a humid environment is an entirely different matter. It can also be affected when submerged in water for a long time. 

Level 0~9 waterproof capability

0no protection
1Water droplets dripping onto the outer casing have no effect
2Water dripping onto the housing from an angle of 15 degrees has no effect
3Water dripping onto the housing from an angle of 60 degrees has no effect.
4Splashing water from any angle has no effect
5Low-pressure injection at any angle has no effect
6High-pressure water injection has no effect
7Can withstand water immersion in a short period of time (15cm, within 30 minutes)
8Prolonged immersion in water under certain pressure
9Can be immersed in water under high pressure and high temperature without any impact.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IP Ratings in LED Displays

The IP ratings you’ll find on devices like LED displays are necessary to give a general outlook on the device’s strength in materials and durability. An IP65 rating can be seen as a good thing because it is regarded as a strong device protection level. But it’s not also a perfect process and has its limitations. These are its pros and cons. 


outdoor led display screen banner
outdoor led display screen banner

A device with an IP65 weather rating guarantees protection against the entry of particles into the system. This protection and particle resistance delivers some amazing benefits to the devices and the people using them, including the following:

  • Worry-free Operation in Harsh Environments – Devices with this rating can guarantee their operation even when you’re using them in environments with extreme weather conditions. While there may be a limit to how “extreme” An environment can be, the rating still promises resistance to rainy and dusty weather conditions. 
  • Cost-Effective Maintenance – When a device is used in an environment with harsh conditions above what it can take, you’ll have a problem with it. However, if it’s used within the scope of the setting with its guaranteed protection, it will require low maintenance from its users. 
  • Fool-proof Operation – The way IP65 rating pertains to the fact that the device can fully operate uninterruptedly. The protection gears added to the device ensure that its performance continues without downtime, even if the weather conditions may be harsh. 
  • Adherence to Regulations – Some regions require LED displays set up outdoors to at least have a specific protection level. This goes the same way for some indoor venues for rent. 


IP65 Rating - Water Splash
IP65 Rating – Water Splash

Is a device with an IP65 rating waterproof? While it’s true that it means a device is water-resistant, it doesn’t guarantee full immunity to moisture. Since its water resistance falls in the middle of the scale, it means that there are some limitations to it. 

Here are some of the common limitations of devices with an IP65 rating and the disadvantages that come with it. 

  • Limited Exposure – When considering the IP65 water rating, there’s a limit to the device’s allowable exposure to water and moisture. While quick water jets and splashes are not an issue, exposing it to moisture for a lengthy time can weaken all the protective measures added to it. This is where the numbers on the rating play an important role. It will tell you the limit to which your device can be subjected. 
  • Expensive – The added protective measures on the LED screen to achieve a high protection level are not cheap. For a device to have a fairly high protection level like an IP65 rating, the product quality can be assured through its high cost. 
  • Low resistance to humidity – Water and moisture may sound similar but they’re two different elements to consider regarding Ingress Protection. 
  • A device may be water-resistant but not moisture-resistant. The key in this case is the environment’s humidity. Many devices can claim to have an IP65 waterproof rating but can’t do much when it comes to the moisture that seeps through the device with high air pressure. 
  • Requires regular maintenance – While maintenance of keeping your device with an IP65 rating well is not expensive, it however needs to be a regular habit. Cleaning and repairing faulty parts are necessary for the device to continuously operate. The protection gears added also require repairs and checkups.

Cannot be submerged in water – Many devices can boast the IP65 weather rating but it doesn’t mean you can dip the device in water. With only 5 water ingress protection, it is still susceptible to damage when submerged in water. This is why it’s important to know what each number means and what their limitations are.

Ideal Situations for IP65 Protection Rating

LED displays with an IP65 waterproof rating deliver sufficient device protection. This rating is considered a high option for LED screens and maybe a vital consideration when choosing a display to use. There are specific instances when you need a high protection level such as an IP65 rating. 

Outdoor Installation

It’s undeniable that outdoor installation of LED displays requires enough protection to protect them from external elements, including sunlight, dust, and wind. With a rating of IP65, it ensures that the device can be installed outdoors without having to worry about the screens malfunctioning or getting damaged. 

When LED displays are placed outdoors, there’s a higher chance of dust and water entering the system, especially with its exposure to rain and dirt. This is why a higher IP rating is needed for outdoor devices. 

Dust-Prone Locations

Some places are dust-prone with dirt swirling around nonstop in the air. In these environments, it is a must that LED displays and other devices have a minimum protection level of IP65. Some areas even experience dust storms, which is why the LED displays installed in these places should have a high level of protection against solid particles. In this case, you can look into the first number of the IP rating and 6 is the best option perfect for this situation. 

Places with Extreme Weather Conditions

Some places are humid and tend to cause moisture in the devices. The immense water vapor in the air seeps through the device and conquers the inside of the system, damaging the LED displays. For people living in areas with extreme weather, your devices must have at least an IP65 rating to ensure operation. 

How Do You Identify if Your Led Display Has an IP65 Rating?

IP65 Rating - Certification Label
IP65 Rating – Certification Label

If you’re a buyer who wants to have an IP65 rating on your LED screen, there are different ways you can identify the protection level of the devices. Here are some of the most common ways you can know if a device has this rating or not. 

  • Certification labels – This is the easiest way to check if the LED screen you’re interested in has an IP65 rating or not. Considering its importance, manufacturers often display this label clearly so that customers can immediately tell. This transparency is highly appreciated by the market. 
  • Product documents – You can also check the documents that come with the LED display if the IP rating is not clearly stated. If the screen has an IP65 rating, it will be included in the specifications and documentation of the LED display. 
  • Manufacturer and supplier – If you can’t see it on the product or the documents that come with it, ask the suppliers. It’s almost impossible but if the rare situation happens that the IP rating is ambiguous, simply ask the manufacturer and LED display provider you chose. 

How Does an LED Display Qualify for the IP65 Protection Rating? 

An LED display may achieve the IP65 weather rating when it has undergone the necessary test procedure and standard for evaluation. Depending on the IP rating, the tests will vary from one level to another. For IP65, the device will be tested for two elements – dust and water. 

These certifications set the standards for electronic devices like LED screens. To accomplish the certification for IP65 rating, the devices undergo the following tests. 

Dust Tests

LED screen panels undergo dust tests through a customized chamber for this evaluation. The chamber is designed to emit dirt similar to the ones found in a dusty environment. The resistance of the panel is evaluated and matched with standard values and qualifying values. 

Water Tests

LED displays undergo water testing in an enclosed chamber similar to the one used for dust tests. In the chamber, a rainy setup is initiated. Water jets are also used to test the panel’s resistance, not just against water but also the impact of the collision. 

Ensuring IP65 Rating for Devices 

IP65 Rating - Cabinet
IP65 Rating – Cabinet

IP65-rated LED screens are dust-proof and offer excellent water protection. LED display manufacturers design the panels and screen cabinets to be resistant to water and dust, to qualify for the IP65 rating certification. These are some of the protective measures made by manufacturers to guarantee the device’s scoring. 


These are the ones used to seal the spaces between two flat surfaces in the device. They glue the two panels together to close the gap in between and help maintain the device’s form. Without any space, external elements won’t be able to penetrate it. 

Sealed Cabinets 

These ensure that openings and ports are closed. Many cabinets are designed to be sealed even when allowing wirings and ports to be connected to the system. Besides the actual structure, sealants can also be used, including silicone and polymer. Ports and holes remain functional despite being sealed against water and dust. 

Sealed Connections

Sealed connections are also used to qualify for IP65 rating certification. With power and control system connectors in LED panels, it is necessary to seal the connectors used for the screen. This includes HDMI and USB wires. If not properly sealed, the LED panels may be subjected to water and dust despite all the sealing.

Use of Water-resistant Materials 

Manufacturers also used water-resistant materials to help keep water from LED displays. With water-resistant materials, there is a higher chance that the internal part of the screen will be protected. The ideal water-resistant materials used are the following:

  • Acrylic
  • Latex
  • Natural rubber
  • Silicone
  • Other waterproof synthetic materials

Comparing IP65 Rating with Other Protection Levels

To have a more thorough understanding of the different protection levels you can encounter and how different they are from the standard IP65 rating, here is a table for a summary of their descriptions. 

IP LevelProtection Description
IP44Poor dust and water protection (Often used for lighting fixture)
IP54Can withstand mild water splash but with limited dust protection
IP65Water resistant but vulnerable to water submersion
IP67Poor dust and water protection (Often used for lighting fixtures)
IP68Waterproof and can stand under water 3 meters (30 ft) downward

IP ratings depict the resistance of an electronic device against dust, water, and moisture. In this table, the first number designated refers to a device’s dust resistance while the second number points to its resistance against water and moisture. The higher the numbers are, the stronger their resistance to the elements.  

Common Issues Led Displays Get With Moisture and Dust

LED Screen Damage Types - Featured
LED Screen Damage

What is the sense in all of these? The main point in learning about protection levels like the IP65 rating is to avoid possible issues an LED display may encounter when exposed to dust and water. These devices are prone to the following issues because of dust and water ingression:

Visual Distortions 

Also known as artifacts, these are visual defects evident in the LED display. This can be in the form of moire, flickers, and even glitches, depending on the damage. 


  • Dust accumulation on LED chips
  • Short-circuit through water ingress

Heat Build-up

Another issue common for devices without an IP65 rating is the heat build-up. LED displays need to have proper ventilation so that the heat won’t accumulate inside the device and cause unexpected malfunctions because of the high temperature inside the device. 

Causes: Dust blocking the vents

Irregular Color Contrast

LED screens may show images of inaccurate and imbalanced colors due to water and dust ingression. 

Cause: Dust-blocking LED display’s color-filtering layer

Dead Pixels

This common issue with LED screens happens when the LED chips stop working. It occurs when voltage is not properly delivered to the appropriate pixels. The cause of this is due to the constant exposure to elements that can make it vulnerable, including water and dust. That’s why an IP65 rating is necessary for LED displays. 

Cause: External elements (water and dust) entering the LED panels

Electrical Damage

This type of damage is heavily influenced by water and moisture. When water seeps through LED boards and chips, it causes the parts to rust. Rusting parts can cause the LED screen to malfunction. 

Cause: Water seeping through wires and connections

Reduced Lifespan

When an LED display is exposed to dust and water without proper protection, its parts weaken and become more vulnerable. In the end, the operating hours of the device will be reduced. 

Cause: Too much exposure to water and dust


LED screens with an IP65 rating operate worry-free when it comes to dust and water ingress. When it comes to dust, it carries the highest protection, making it dust-free. In terms of water entry, an LED screen with this protection level is set in the middle of the scale. While it may not be waterproof, it’s water resistant to splashes and gets.

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