To begin with, I want to thank you all for your interesting inputs. I never expected this much activity on my post, but I am more than thankful.
I will write a short reply to all the answers I got:
The Arduino board itself is probably OK, but it does rather depend where in the World you are.
That’s a good point as weather conditions are not the same all over the world. Different climates has different impacts on the hardware.
Agreed. Try it and see how long the installation continues to work.
Sounds like a good advice, the components aren’t that expensive so I guess I could just test it and readjust accordingly to the results.
Also pay attention to where advice on this comes from, and compare to your own climate.
For example, many (most?) plants that want "full sunlight" can't hack "full Las Vegas sun."
I've noticed significant changes in color on my sprinkler wires that were exposed to sunlight--enough that I have to find which color is which by trial and error.
Or my 6 mil hothouse sheeting that will break down through several levels if left in our summer sun.
Will it matter if the sun discolors things? If it causes labels to no longer be readable?
Interesting input, maybe it doesn't matter if some of my equipment gets affected by the sun. I think that the advice jremington gave was very good, I can test what works and find solutions accordingly.
Polycase Condensation Outdoors - Project Guidance - Arduino Forum
Check out the last few posts regarding vents. They work really well for a few bucks. Polycase enclosures are nice but $$$.
I read the entire discussion and found it very interesting, thank you for sharing the link. I have bought the case now and will do some testing to see if I need a vent, but if I do I know where to find them. Thanks!
Moisture is usually the main problem. I prefer an inverted bucket style container, especially for stuff that's always on and produces some heat. That, plus conformal coating, does wonders in keeping your electronics alive even through tropical rainstorms and typhoons.
For wires that are exposed to the sun, look for UV resistant isolation, or place them in a UV resistant duct. It's the UV that's killing, not the heat. It's also the UV that causes the bleaching of pigments, it chemically breaks them down. Likewise it can chemically break down the cable isolation, making it brittle, then break, and then you have a short. That's why you need UV protection.
Same for the Arduino board itself: it's the UV that may do damage. Note: may! I don't know whether it actually will. Most transparent cases are made out of acrylic or polystyrene, both of which are opaque for UV light under 400 nm. So while you can see your stuff just fine, the UV doesn't pass through.
Batteries will be affected by heat (even more so: cold) but it depends on the type of battery and the extent of the heat whether that's an issue. Check the manufacturer's data sheet for recommendations.
A lot of information, thank you for putting the time in! I didn’t know that it was the UV to look out for, good that you said that. I will read what the manufacturers say about the batteries. I think I will make a “test-setup” and see which results I get, and then find new solutions if I come across any problems. Thanks for sharing!
Wow. You linked a seven minute video to ask just that one question? The electronics in the video was obviously custom made by the guy who is using it, with a lot of design and engineering for his specific application. Copy and paste is a good starting point, but considering there are a lot of parameters (humidity, temperature extremes and cycling rates, dissimilar metal contact, material fatigue, etc., in addition to illumination intensity that you brought up), your question seems limited. If I were making this (and it's pretty cool - my girlfriend does gardening in a 'high stress environment' - an urban Sonoran Desert fruit and flower garden), I would make a trial version, and closely monitor failures and near failures to make corrections for next year's version. It might take a couple tries before discovering all of the weaknesses of the design.
I was never going to copy and paste his design. I’m sorry if I was a little unclear, but I want to make a similar setup. I just wanted you to have something as a reference to better understand what I meant with the waterproof case. But you’re bringing up a good point that I agree with: copy and paste can be good for learning purposes, but it’s problematic when you want to build bigger projects (and especially if they are affected by the climate). And your girlfriends project sounds cool! I think I will do a “trial version” as you suggested, and then note the errors to improve the system.
And again, I want to thank you all for your interesting inputs on the project. I’m really grateful for all of you who took the time to reply. It really means a lot!
And also, feel free to keep commenting on this post if you have any more inputs/ideas. I will keep replying.
Have a great day!