Your camera will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day so it should be protected by IP-67 enclosure
Your camera will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and therefore needs to be protected from the elements. There are two options: buy a commercial CCTV enclosure (of which there are many to choose from) or make your own. It is a relatively simple task to make your own, the fundamental requirements being a watertight container and a clear window providing an unobstructed view across the entire camera field of view. However, we have found that it is well worth paying a little extra for a commercial camera enclosure for the following reasons:
Most enclosures are described in their sales literature as being waterproof but our experience is that many aren’t. One reason is that CCTV enclosures are rarely designed to be pointed upwards. What we find is that overhangs and run-offs designed to direct water away from seals will do exactly the opposite when the camera is pointed at extreme angles. One of the best enclosures we have seen is the Genie TPH2000 enclosure. This is an IP-67 rated enclosure which comes with a 12v internal heater and can be purchased for around £50 to £55.
The IP rating is the ‘ingress protection’ rating for dust and liquid. Our recommendation would be IP rating of 5 for water ingress; the Genie offers a rating of 7 (will withstand immersion up to 1m). A description of the IP rating system is available here (Wikipedia)
Housings such as the Genie provide a thermostatically controlled heater for dew control. If this option is used we recommend a separate 12v power supply. Firstly, to power a heating element a supply of at least 2A will be required, and secondly, the switching of the thermostat creates electrical noise which may interfere with camera operation.
Some enclosures require a 240v supply; for safety we do not recommend using any enclosure that requires 240v as providing safe external mains supply increases complexity and installation cost.