Introduction: Grow Your Own Color Changing LED Plant!
In this Instructable I will teach you how to grow your very own LED plant from simple materials!
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Step 1: Gathering Materials
There are a few items that you will need to make this project but overall they are cheap and easy to find.
-Mini Flowerpot ~ $1
-Enough Marbles to fill the flowerpot ~ $1-2
-10 20 Gauge Florist Stem Wire ~$2
-Brown Florist Stem Tape ~ $2
-Wire, I used 24 Gauge ~ $?
-10 5mm RGB Slow Color Changing LEDs With Free Resistors ~ $10
-DC 12v Converter ~ $? Found an old one around the house
-1/8" Drill Bit
Step 2: Preparing for Growing Branches.
This step will describe how to prepare the materials for stem building
1. Firstly we need to randomly cut the 10 stem wires down to whatever sizes you want. These will be used to form and support the branches of the plant.
2. Next, cut matching strips of wire (one negative, one positive) for each matching stem wire but make sure to leave a few inches extra than the stem wire for soldering and such.
Step 3: Preparing the Buds, or LEDs
This will describe how to wire the LEDs with there resistors and with the wire you just cut.
1. Wire up 10 Color Changing LEDs with the resistors supplied with the pack you bought. Make sure to attach the resistors to the positive leads of the LEDs which is the longer lead.
2. Wire the LEDs with resistors to the strips of wire you cut for the stems. Make sure to match up the leg of the led with the resistor to the positive wire that you cut for the stems and vise versa for the negatives.
Step 4: Constructing the Branches
This will use the prepare materials from the last steps to make your branches.
1. Grab your stem wires and you wires with LEDs. Line them up so the LED tips are the only thing further out than the stem wires.
2. Insert the stem wire in between the leads of the LEDs so it separates the positive and negative leads and prevents them from touching each other and shorting out.
3. Now wrap this in the florist tape all the way down but leave enough at the ends so the wire can be stripped and soldered.
Step 5: Connect All Branches Into a Plant!
The branches we just got done making are now gong to be compiled into one plant.
1. Stack all branches so the LEDs are up and the wires are touching the bottom surface. By this i mean straighten them like you would straighten up a stack of papers by so all of the bottoms of the branches are even.
2. Twist all branches like in the picture. Make sure to split up the positive and negative wires.
3. Bend the branches so they resemble a plant.
Step 6: Drilling the Flowerpot
1. Drill and 1/8" whole in the side of the flowerpot about a 1/2" from the base. Make sure to go slow and don't press to hard because remember we are dealing with fragile clay pot.
2. Make sure the wire from your DC adapter will fit through the whole, if not drill it bigger.
Step 7: Finishing Up Wiring
1. Pull about 6" of wire from the DC adapter through the flowerpot and make a knot with the wire on both the inside and outside of the flowerpot so the wire can move around too much.
2. Solder the positive and negative leads to the matching leads from the plant.
3. Plug in the DC adapter and make sure all the LEDs are working and cycling through their colors.
Step 8: Adding the Soil, Uhhhh?? Well Marbles I Mean!
Instead of dirty messy soil I decided to use marbles.
1. Set the plant in the pot the way you want it to stay permanently.
2. Now cover all sides of the trunk with marbles until the pot is filled and the plant won't move around.
Step 9: Pat Yourself on the Back!!!
Now were done!!! Yippee! You know have a plant that produces light instead of taking it in!
To Further this project you could add leaves or more branches and the possibilities go on and on.
If you happen to make one please tell me how it went and be sure to post pics!!!
Hope you enjoy your new one of a kind plant!