Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

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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