Light sensor outdoor use
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Light sensor outdoor use

by gallaugher on Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:45 am

Hi, I’d like to hack together a simple project that I can place around my yard to track the amount of sunlight so I can get a sense of the best place to plant sun-requiring or shade tolerant plants.
1. Do you have suggestions for protecting a light sensor for outdoor use? Putting the sensor in a baggie would likely cut down on sensing and may attract condensation. I think I can mock up a 3D enclosure for the electronics but wonder the best way to put a sensor outside w/o damage.
2. I assume any of adafruits STEMMA QT sensors that have a light sensor built in would do the job. I just need to read every few minutes then either save the data or send it to a service line Adafruit I/O depending on the board.

Any advice on this is most welcome. Thanks!

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Re: Light sensor outdoor use

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:04 am

A cover-glass can serve multiple purposes. Some of the Lux sensors will saturate in full sun. For those you can use a neutral density filter to both protect the sensor and attenuate the light. Just multiply the readings by 2x per 'stop' of the ND filter.

If you want to monitor UV as well as visible light, you will want something UV transparent. Check with your biology department to see if they have any fused quartz microscope slide covers to spare.

Also note that many 3D printer filaments are not UV stable and will deteriorate over time if exposed to direct sun. ASA filament is more stable than most. A protective coat of paint can work also.

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Re: Light sensor outdoor use

by sj_remington on Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:32 am

You might find these instructions to make a professional-quality pyranometer useful. It is intended for permanent installation outdoors.
https://instesre.org/construction/pyran ... ometer.htm

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.