Introduction: SunCalc: How Much Sunlight Is My Plant Getting? a Sun Light Calculator for Plants

In this instructable we are going to show you how to build a very useful Sunlight Calculator with a basic DIY Tools using Arduino. Find out how much light your plant is actually getting through the day with this nifty device!

Step 1: Parts You Will Need:

  • Parts List:
  • Flora
  • Neopixels/ Led lights
  • UV Sensor
  • Lithium Battery
  • Optional: 3d printing resources
  • 4 band Resistors ( 320 W)

Solid Wires (lengths do not include exposed ends):

  • 2-inch lengths (4)
  • 1 .5-inch length (3)


  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Small pliers
  • Scissors
  • Soldering Iron

Step 2: Step 2: ​Connect Wires Between the Pixels, UV Sensor, Battery, Switch and the Flora Board

  • Following the diagram below, securely connect all wires.

  • Do not solder the UV sensor wire on just yet. If you are following Step5 to add on the in the 3d printer pieces.

  • Be sure not plug in more than 8 led's at a time it might cause the Flora Board to break.

  • Be aware that the wiring is done gently, and it is ideal to apply some electrical tape to keep them in place, as if they could interrupt the data flowing through the wires.

Step 3: Step 3: Load the Code Onto the Flora

  • Download this Arduino software, we used the provided link specifically because it included the Arduino Adafruit Library.

  • "Download SunCalc Code" folder attached, and make sure you save it in the "Library" folder.

  • Under tools of the Arduino.ide select the "USB Modem" and "Flora Board" and open the .ino file.

  • Verify the code and after it's Done Compiling you can plug in the Flora board

Step 4: ​Step 4: 3d Printing the Casing

  • Download the latest Fusion 360 Software.

  • Click on Download 3d folder to get the 3D printing files.

  • Open the four .Stl folders on a desktop connect to a 3d printer. ( We used a UP! Mini 3D Printer)

  • Part2 Top Half and Part3 Bottom Half should take about 2 hours to print

  • Part1 Ring and Part4 Stick should take about 15mins to print.

Step 5: ​Step 5: Adding the Battery & Switch

  • Take the red (power) and black (ground) wires from the battery, cut them in half, and use a multimeter to make sure which was ground, and put the switch in the middle.

  • The switch has 3 prongs. Put ground in the middle, and power on the right, nothing on the left (so when the switch is flipped left it should interrupt power and be off).

Step 6: Step 6: Case Assembly

  • Gently place the Flora board and the connected parts on the Part 3 Bottom Half of the case
  • Take the Part 1 Ring and thread the UV wires through it and solder the UV sensor
  • Connect the Battery and place it inside the case along with all the other parts, test the model and once everything is working as planned. It's time for placing the Part 2 Top Half
  • Make sure the led's and switch are visible through Part 2 Top Half, use a few drops of hot glue on the edges of the LED strip to make sure they stay in place
  • Snap the Part 2 Top Half and Part 3 Bottom Half together with drops hot glue in the joints, hold the Part1 ring in place while holding the case shut tightly while the glue settles
  • Hot glue the Part 4 Supporter to the bottom of the case.Your SunCalc is ready!

Circuits Contest 2016

Fourth Prize in the
Circuits Contest 2016

LED Contest

Participated in the
LED Contest

Live off the Land Contest

Participated in the
Live off the Land Contest