Igor's Blog

One of the problems of living in a high rise apartment is not getting enough sun for your plants. We've been trying to keep a largish plant in the bedroom for atmosphere and better quality of air but all of them have suffered with leaves drying out and the plant not looking too happy. So I decided to attempt to fix this by adding some grow lights. Here's what I did.

I used this LED grow light as it seemed to be a middle-range of what's available with a good spectrum distribution. The end result is the corner where the bamboo plant sits is illuminated for 2hrs (for now) per day, this is done via a timer plugged into mains.
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The light fits into a standard E27 socket. The body of the bulb serves as a heat sink, it does get hot to the touch after around 10 minutes of operation so it's important not to cover it.

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To wire this all up I picked up a couple of ceiling light fittings at a hardware store that happened to be in the bargain bin. I got two because one was too short, I added a switch to be able to turn the light off and more importantly to extend the length of the cord.

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Apparently it's not a DIY project, but really connecting a couple of wires is not that difficult as long as you know which wire goes where (so look it up if you do this).
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I took the light fittings apart, keeping only one of the E27 sockets connected. The second E27 socket was completely taken apart to get the wiring out. I really liked the braided wires, turns out it's quite expensive to buy these by the meter!

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A few minutes later and everything was wired up to the switch and the mains plug. Voila! I had a double length light fitting that I could plug into a wall socket!

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Now the light fitting on it's own was pretty useless as I decided it wasn't going to be hanging above the light, so I had to build a little stand for it. A weight (actually a candle) sits on the stand opposite the light fitting to counter-balance it.

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That's pretty much it! I did measure how much power this light used - it's rated at 8W but didn't pull that much, maxing out at around 6.8W. With my electricity rates this equates to around $14.20/year to operate non-stop, but since it's only running for 2hrs a day for now this cost is significantly lower.

Will see what results this brings, if any, hopefully the bamboo will grow nice and healthy!

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-i

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About — I'm an enthusiastic software engineer and consultant interested in many fields including J2EE, programming, electronics, 3D printing, video games, wood working and gardening.
See my Resume for more information.
The views expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer.
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