Outdoor electronics enclosure question

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by russpatterson, May 21, 2011.

  1. russpatterson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010

    I need a 24V power supply for an LED lighting project that will all be outdoors. I was thinking about buying this power supply:


    Then installing it in an outdoor electrical enclsoure (the grey box with the flip up front panel). I would knock out all the holes in the bottom for some airflow and maybe put in a fan. It should last for 5 years. Will the moisture effect this switching power supply circuit in a bad way? How do you handle heat dissipation in an outdoor environment?

  2. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I'd think about a metal outdoor box so it can be a radiant heat sink for the 15 to 20 watts you will have to dissipate. Maybe even use heatsink compound to mount this switching supply. That seems better to me than letting soggy air convect through the box.
  3. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    The map shows you near the ocean, so I'd worry about corrosion. I'd recommend buying three of the power supplies and being ready to swap them if/when one fails (I'm sure you'll have some other projects if you don't need the spares down the road). I don't know what your neck of the woods is like, but here in the northwest, we'll often get lots of insects inside such boxes. Thus, if you ventilate it with a fan (a good idea), include some very fine screens to keep the critters out. I got a lifetime supply of some silkscreening material, so that's what I'd use.
  4. russpatterson

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. Yes we get some salt air here but it's not that bad. None of my tools rust in the garage. Good point about the insects too.
  5. DC_Kid

    Distinguished Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    how much LED power are we talking about (total kJ used per day)? i would perhaps think about some deep cycle batteries and solar panel(s). basic/simple setups will allow batteries and LED lighting to last at least 5 years, solar panel about 20 years as longs as everything is properly maintained. the simple one 12v battery and one panel with integrated charging controller will run about $170 total.

    if you must use that dc power supply then you might think about encapsulating the device in some heat conducting epoxy (potting epoxies from MG Chemicals). however, heat management would be tricky, so maybe adding heatsinks would be required.

    another option is place it into a oil canister, just like what is used in the transformers we see on tele poles.

    last resort is to find another power supply made for outdoor use.