NEMA Codes, IP Ratings and the Sun

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

Outdoor LCD enclosures are designed to be weatherproof and as such have to prevent rainfall and other elements from penetrating inside the enclosure and damaging the housed device.

To ensure an LCD enclosure is able to provide waterproofing they are often built to international and national guidelines such as NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) or the European IP rating (Ingress Protection).

Both ratings systems determine the ability of an enclosure to prevent water and other elements fro getting inside. For outdoor use, IP65 is commonly sought after, or its NEMA equivalent, NEMA 4.

These two rating systems ensure the device is built to prevent ingress by falling water, and other elements such as windblown dust. Quite often, devices that adhere only to IP54 can be used successfully outside as they too prevent falling rainfall and adhere to NEMA 4.

For outdoor use, often the waterproof qualities are the least challenging aspect of successfully using an outdoor screen. Most LCD enclosures quite easily satisfy these NEMA 4 and IP54/65 ratings, but there are other challenges with using an outdoor screen that are not governed by such standards.

Sunlight is one major factor that can mess up your plans for an outdoor screen. If sunlight is too bright it can have several effects on the screen. Firstly, it can cause glare making the screen unreadable; secondly, the brightness of the sun can make the display unreadable too, with the brightness of the LCD too weak to counteract the brightness of the sun; and finally, sunlight can cause overheating, especially if the sun is allowed to beam directly onto the screen.

All these problems need to be countered by the outdoor LCD enclosure so when looking for protection for your outdoor screen, while IP and NEMA codes are important there is more to outdoor screen protection than just weatherization.

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