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I'm trying to create an outdoor installation with simple embedded electronics. I was hoping to use conductive paint to connect leds. The leds would be covered (waterproof) but the conductive paint would be exposed. However, I was wondering:

1) if conductive paint being exposed to water is just as a bad as exposing regular electronics being exposed to water, or if it would be ok for outdoor use?

2) if not, what would be a good alternative for waterproofing electronics?

Thanks.

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I'm not sure if conductive paint will tarnish - but I do know that the Graffiti Research Lab uses conductive spray paint to add tracks for LEDs around their work.

From what I've seen some of the work is on a regular exterior building walls. Even if there's no information on the website about your questions, I'd imagine they would probably know - maybe you should contact them if you don't have any luck by other means

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Conformal coating is usually used on PCBs, and/or IP68 enclosures.

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As well as dissolving or corrosion from the weather itself, you should test for electrochemical corrosion if current can flow through moisture between exposed conductors. Obviously ionic contamination would make things much worse (salt air or acidic rain, among other things).

You can try acrylic or silicone conformal coating, but a better plan usually is to put the electronics in a box that keeps moisture away.

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