Arduino light controler based on preset time and light intensity

I want to build an Arduino based controller for my chicken coop that will turn on the lights at a prescribed time in the morning (while it's still dark outside), then turn them off during the day (using a photoresistor) and then turn them back on when the sun sets and then finally turn them off again at a prescribed time so my hens can sleep.

I have an Excel file with the lighting cycle times that is specific to my global position that is designed to maximize egg production from my hens that I'd like to use to control the on and off times of the lights.

Can anyone point me to specific recommendations on which arduino board to use, and how to set up the timer and photoresistor properly?


maewert5 years ago
Any of the arduino board should meet these needs.

This instructable shows you a little program on how to read a simple light sensor:

Arduinos do not have real time clock modules so they don't know the time precisely. I'm not sure your application would require a clock module or could simply read the light levels, but you could get a real time clock module at Sparkfun. Here is a link to another instructable using one:

The last problem is how to turn on and off the lights. For that you'll need a relay. You may find my instructable interesting for this part:

Best Wishes!
maewert maewert5 years ago
You have also read:

erich_870 (author)  maewert5 years ago
I searched, I really did! Something about the search interface on instructuables makes it IMPOSSIBLE for me to find stuff.
erich_870 (author)  maewert5 years ago
Thanks Maewert,

Sspence has a lot of great info on Aurdino projects for off the grid systems.