Self leveling lights are useful in many different applications. Hydroponics are wildly popular right now and this light is a perfect application for this. Light is one of the most important parts of getting your plants to grow well. If your lighting is adjusted wrong you can potentially scorch your plants. this setup gives you a way to easily and quickly adjust your light height. This set up is also easily scale-able for small grow pots to whole room applications. The lighting you can use is as varied as your imagination.
Step 1: Supplies
5 - 1/2" pvc pipe in 10 ft length
8 - 1/2" elbows
12 - 1/2" T's
2 - small pulleys
1 skein - 75lb rated poly rope(we got 50 ft, but buy relative to your application, I.e. smaller, less rope; larger projects, more rope)
We used a 4ft florescent light, but this application really makes it easy to use any kind of light. Mount individual lights on a board if you choose that route.
Step 2: Tools
Pipe cutter/jig saw/hacksaw (basically whatever way you are comfortable cutting pipe safely)
Step 3: Step 1: Cutting the Pipe
Cut your pieces of pipe to the following measurements:
8 - 2 1/2 ft (we cut our 5 ft pieces in the supplies picture in half) top and bottom rails
6 - 3 ft columns
4 - 18" ends
8 - 3" between elbows and T's
Step 4: Step 2: Gluing the Joints
Make four of each direction. Best way to think about it is to start at the T
Set aside 8 T's, 8 - 3" pieces of pipe, and 8 elbows.
Take 4 T's and glue 4 - 3" pieces of pipe in the left side
Repeat on the right side with the remaining 4 T's
Glue the elbows at a 90 degree angle from the bottom of the Ts
Step 5: Step 3: Assembly
Take 2 - 3 ft pieces of pipe attach 4 T's, one to each end with the elbow openings facing up. Take 2 - 18" pieces and put them between the 2 - 3 ft pieces.
Take 4 - 2 1/2 ft pieces and put them in each of the elbows
Repeat for the other end
Add the remaining 4 T's to the ends of the 2 1/2 ft pieces, 2 with the bottom of the T pointing down, two pointing up. Put the remaining 2 - 3 ft pieces in the "bottom" of the T(creating a middle support beam for the whole piping unit)
Connect both halves.
Step 6: Step 4: Pulleys and Rope
Fit the pulleys into your light
Run the open end of your rope thru both pulleys and tie to one end of your pipe assembly.
Loop the other end of your rope over the other end of the pipe assembly. Cut the rope, leaving yourself plenty of slack.
If you want to seal the ends of the rope so it doesn't unravel, melt the ends of the rope with a lighter, put a piece of wax paper in a rag and twist the still hot rope between your fingers in the rag.
Step 7: Step 5: Adjust Height
Pull the open end of the rope over the edge of the pipe. As you tighten the rope, you'll see the light sliding down the rope and leveling itself naturally. Tie off a quick knot and you can see how easily and quickly you can adjust your lights for your hydroponics setups.