USB Powered LED Grow Light 2.0

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new design; The Plant Shelf
new design; The Plant Arm

hello everyone, i've put together a new arm. it's much more sleek and powerful with a surprise add-on !

again people, the idea is to grow plants anywhere, but what if we add a webcam to each arm? this way the camera could be programmed to take an hourly picture of the plant and collaborate them for us, automatically posting them to facebook, time-lapse style. so we can watch an apple tree grow in 1 minutes where as in reality it took 5 years.

we can pretty much tag any plant on the planet this way, very easily and cheaply. I'm just getting into circuits and I know that there are webcam modules, eventually my plan is to use a slim cell phone camera module. it will be much more easy to hide.

In this video I had the red lights running on a recycled cell phone battery, I switched it with a USB port as well.

Step 1: Version 1.0 Vs 2.0

here is a link to my first prototype; . the first prototype was done with LEDs from Radioshack and notice that it is missing the webcam option. this was just a quick put together prototype for what is to come, now i've posted Version 2.0

- For wiring instructions please read my first prototype

in Version 2.0 i have actually used 4 x 660nm high power LEDs. they are run from an old cell phone battery ($1 from thrift store). I also have some usb powered LEDs on there to, 4 x standard ultra violet spectrum around 400nm I believe.

the high powered LEDs are from Ebay, China. Takes about 2 weeks to get here, but totally worth it. Extremely cheap, everything you need is on there. Hardware parts are again from the local hardware store. Version 2.0 is an apple tree and the first version is a citrus tree.

I do not turn the lights on all the time, just for pictures, the trees are sitting by the window. wiring is too naked to keep them on at all times, I am working on a completely hidden and safe wiring design. I first need to figure out which LEDs are best for plant growing.

- For wiring instructions please read my first prototype



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5 Discussions

Akin Yildiz

4 years ago on Introduction

the 1W white/yellow led.s haven't arrived yet. i am sure they will work just as good if not better. i will be posting new designs, keep checking for updates...


4 years ago on Introduction

This is really cool! I particularly love the webcam, because you can see growth over time. Have you used a Raspberry Pi yet? It has a camera module that's very small, and it can turn a series of pictures into a video by using ffmpeg, then save it to its SD card (or even upload it somewhere). That way you could make timelapse videos!

How powerful are the LEDs? Are they powerful enough to make the plant grow without the sun? I don't really know anything about that, but indoor farms usually have some pretty powerful lights.

1 reply
Akin Yildizosmithy

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

hello osmithy,

the webcam model arm has 4 x 1W 660nm red spectrum lights. I have seen successful plant growing attempts using only 3W. It is not the strength of the lights anymore, LEDs can be aimed perfectly and extremely close to the plant. I am about to put together a new arm that has 7W, 3-blue 4-red, that is definitely enough light. will post the pictures here in a couple of days. the cost for the 7 leds + power source is $8-10, which is equal to a 2 pack 23W cfl bulb (prices may vary). in my opinion LEDs are now cheaper than any other light source for plants if you know how to use them ! please check out my simpler design to have all your LED questions answered...

the comment picture is the 7W i'm working on (we can call this a sneak preview :) . I have just bought myself an arduino uno today. i didn't know about the rasperry pi until yesterday :) but no worries, i've found enough articles to do the same with arduino... i'm very new to curcuit boards but I know everything about plants and how to grow them. all i'm doing with these arms is trying to prove that they work... and so far so good.


4 years ago on Introduction

Great post and thanks for believing what I posted about the led power requirements. Good luck :0)