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Here in the UK, we are known to receive a lot of rain and bad weather in general, so I wanted to make sure that any video doorbell I purchased was protected when it is exposed to the elements.
So, are video doorbells waterproof? Generally, they are not waterproof, but they are considered weatherproof. Out of the 10 different video doorbells I researched, the majority were rated as weatherproof and will be protected from the rain.
If you live in a particularly wet area of the world, you may want to choose a video doorbell that has received an official IP rating as these have been tested under rigorous conditions. It’s also worth considering the operating temperature based on your climate.
Waterproof vs Weatherproof: What is the Difference?
Video doorbells may not be considered waterproof, but the majority are weatherproof and so you should quite happily place one outside without fear that it will get damaged in the rain.
The terms waterproof and weatherproof can seem silly, but they do have a very distinct difference which is worth keeping in mind.
High-quality, well-known manufacturers tend to do a good job at sticking to the standards, however, there are others that will label their product as being waterproof when it technically isn’t.
I did some research into 10 different video doorbells all from different manufacturers to compare whether they are weatherproof or waterproof, whether they received an official IP rating and their operating temperature.
|Video Doorbell||Protection||IP Rating||Operating Temperature (°F)||Operating Temperature (°C)|
|MECO||Weatherproof||IP65||-4°F to 122°F||-20°C to 50°C|
|Ring Video Doorbell Pro||Weatherproof||None||-5°F to 120°F||21°C to 49°C|
|Amcrest||Weatherproof||IP55||-22°F to 122°F||-30°C to 50°C|
|August View||Weatherproof||IP55||-4°F to 122°F||-20°C to 50°C|
|Arlo||Weather Resistant||None||-4°F to 133°F||-20°C to 56°C|
|Eufy||Weatherproof||IP65||-4°F to 122°F||-20°C to 50°C|
|Google Nest Hello||Weatherproof||IPX4||-15°F to 140°F||-26°C to 60°C|
|ADT||Weatherproof||IP65||-4°F to 122°F||-20°C to 50°C|
|SimpliSafe Pro||None||None||14°F to 104°F||-10°C to 40°C|
|Owlet 3||Weatherproof||IP64||-40°F to 122°F||-40°C to 50°C|
Let’s look at makes waterproof different to weatherproof and why it is an important consideration.
Waterproof devices have been designed to be submerged underwater and should receive an official IP7 rating (we’ll take a closer look at IP ratings shortly).
I can’t imagine anyone would want to go swimming with their video doorbells, so it is understandable for manufacturers to not go to the great extent that would be required to make their product technically waterproof.
If a device that is not waterproof does get submerged, it will inevitably let water in with a high likelihood that it will damage the internal components.
Waterproof essentially means that no water gets in or out.
Weatherproof devices are resistant to the effects of bad weather, especially rain, but have not been designed to be submerged in water.
It is much more reasonable for video doorbells to be designed to be weatherproof rather than be waterproof.
Not only will the product end up cheaper for you and I to purchase as it wouldn’t have needed to go through such rigorous testing procedures, but it just simply isn’t necessary.
Even those countries that receive torrential downpours on a regular basis would not require a waterproof video doorbell; a weatherproof one would be perfectly adequate.
Despite a waterproof video doorbell being a bit unnecessary, I would still recommend one that has at least an IP rating of IP4 to protect from splashing water.
IP Ratings Explained
We’ve mentioned briefly about IP ratings, so let’s take a closer look at what they mean and how they can influence which video doorbell may be best for you.
IP rating stands for International Protection Rating but can also be referred to as Ingress Protection Rating.
It consists of the letters “IP” followed by two digits. The first digit classifies the degree of protection provided against solid objects including hands, nails and dust, whereas the second digit defines the protection from various forms of moisture ranging from drops of condensation to strong jets of water.
If one of the two digits is replaced by an X, this indicates that the enclosure has not been rated for that specification.
It can be difficult to remember what each IP rating means, especially given how many combinations there are, but if you just keep in mind that the higher the number is, the more protection is provided.
In terms of video doorbells, my recommendation would be to look at one that provides protection from smaller objects like wires and screws given that these will be used during installation, and protection from water splashed in all directions.
This would be an IP rating of IP44.
I’ve put together a couple of tables to show you the different ratings for both solid objects and moisture. Combine the two to get a complete IP rating. Here is a great reference if you want to see all IP ratings including those at both ends of the spectrum.
Digit 1 – Protection provided against solid objects
|0 (or X)||Not rated|
|1||Protection against solid objects larger than 50mm. Includes accidental hand contact but not against deliberate body contact|
|2||Protection against solid objects larger than 12mm, e.g. accidental finger contact|
|3||Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5mm, e.g. wires|
|4||Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm, e.g. nails and screws|
|5||Partial protection against dust and other particulates|
|6||Full protection against dust and other particulates|
Digit 2 – Protection provided moisture
|0 (or X)||Not rated|
|1||Protection against vertically falling droplets, e.g. condensation|
|2||Protection against vertically dripping water when enclosure is tilted up to 15° off vertical|
|3||Protection against direct moisture spray at angles up to 60° off vertical|
|4||Protection against splashing water from any direction, tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray|
|5||Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm nozzle) of directed water from any angle|
|6||Protection against powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) of directed water from any direction|
|7||Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 meter|
|8||Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure|
|9||Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures|
Does Operating Temperature Matter?
I’m guessing it rains at least some of the time where you live, so having a weatherproof video doorbell is an important factor to consider, but you may also want to keep in mind the operating temperature if you live in a particularly hot or cold area of the world.
The operating temperature of a device is the range of ambient temperature in which it will continue to function. Operating outside of this range could lead to the device failing due to it not being able to withstand the extreme hot or cold.
Most of the video doorbells I researched all had similar operating temperatures, averaging between -4°F to 122°F.
There were a few that were slightly better at withstanding the cold and others that performed better under the heat, but generally, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern as even those without such a high operating temperature range will cater for most climates.
I would suggest paying more attention to the IP rating of a video doorbell rather than the operating temperature; just make sure the average outside temperature does fall somewhere in between the range.
The conclusion I came to is that video doorbells are typically not waterproof, but they are weatherproof which is perfectly fine given that they aren’t being submerged underwater; they just need to be protected from the rain.
If you are looking to purchase a video doorbell, I would recommend one that has received an official IP rating, paying attention to the second digit as this refers to its protection against moisture.
Also bear in mind the operating temperature; just make sure the outside temperature you live falls within this range.