update September, 16, 2014 - The Plant Arm basic
update June 30, 2014 - The Plant Arm - Garduino Upgrade
[ new design; The Plant Shelf - The Plant Shelf, a form of live art.
" Why? because plants make anywhere a lovely place to live, clean the air and give off positive energy. we can have walls covered with these shelves with different sizes and shapes. what if paintings weren't the only form of art to hang on a wall ?! people work in office spaces with zero sunlight and no live plants anywhere, what if we changed that for the common good. " ]
in this instructable i have collaborated all my plant arm projects to get everyone upto speed. and a better understanding to previous viewers. thank you all for your interest !
once finished you will;
- be able to put together a plant arm on your own
- learn everything about high power led.s & the future of lighting
- gain basic/novice electrical - soldering skills !
- be able to imagine vast amounts of other applications for this technology.
*this metal is very easy to bend, but at the same time very strong, yet again you can rip it with your bare hands. it is extremely cheap and very easy to find, especially in developing/3rd world countries.
here we go..>
*plants used in the pictures are; the branchy, miniature tree looking friend is a citrus tree. I have eaten some lemons, oranges, grapefruit etc. and planted the seeds all over the garden. I have about 10 of them now still growing, about 1.5yrs old. I trim it and keep it small on purpose, but you can easily grow a very large and a tall plant this way. use the lights as branches and stick them in there with the tree. not 1 HUGE light above, just a couple mini lights all around and inside the plant :) this is my theory, and so far so good. trust me, I have done all that from above stuff, but if space is an issue, this is the way to go ! the other plant is a cat plant, some sort of grass that is supposed to calm them down, but my cat isn't interested in it at all so I stole it from him and now it is my test subject, it get's trimmed to, because if I don't almost every week it touches the lights... some plants grow faster then others and require different light spectrum, you will learn about all of this on your own during your research journey.
it's not that complicated, plants already know how to grow, they just need simple things, light, water and attention, just like any other pet.
Step 1: 1W Plant Arm
step 1; arm & light
step 2; solar pack
some close ups
this is wired in series > 3.2 - 3.4V @ 350mA / 1 x 1W 430nm high power led
eBay price; $9.00USD (free shipping) for 20 pack so, $0.45USD for this system the adapter to run it was $1.00 from the local thrift store - make sure the mA and Voltage matches !
total cost $1.45USD (+solder+22"wire+metal hanger+etc.)
Step 2: 3W Plant Arm
some close ups
this is wired in series > 9.6 - 10.2V @ 350mA / 3 x 1W 430nm high power led
eBay price; $9.00USD (free shipping) for 20 pack so, $1.35USD for this system
the adapter to run it was $1.00 from the local thrift store - make sure the mA and Voltage matches !
total cost $2.35USD (+solder+22"wire+metal hanger+etc.)
Step 3: 7W Plant Arm
some close ups
this is wired in series, actually more like combined as a frame. 2 seperate light arms secured to each other, calculating angles, with nut&bolt.
3W 430nm arm + 4W 660nm red arm, both connected in series.
4W arm specs;
this is wired 2 in series, 2 in parallel > 5V @ 700mA / 4 x 1W 660nm high power led
eBay price; $9.00USD (free shipping) for 20 pack so, $1.80USD for this system the adapter to run it was $1.00 from the local thrift store - make sure the mA and Voltage matches !
Step 4: 10W Plant Arm
I'm at 10Watts and still no need for a heat sink. no other light source can get this close to the plant. cool to touch, no heat
this is a bit tricky, red lights are again connected 2 in series, 2 in parallel so; 4x1W 660nm 5V @ 350mA then I have on top of it all in series 6 x 1W 430nm 19.2-20.4V @350mA totaling upto 10Watts of incredible brightness.
I mean I have been working with CFL lights for years but after my first arm's success, i've put them all in to the dark places of the storage room. these lights are so bright that you can.t even stare next to them, incomparable, HPS lights create soooo much waste and take so much space. this arm should be producing ~1000lumens (does anyone know how to calculate this exactly, i can give detailed specs info).
total cost $4.50USD for LEDs (+solder+22"wire+metal hanger+etc.) + LED driver ($2.75 lots of options here...) = $7.25USD
good enough price to convince many CFL users to switch I bet. see the cool thing is that the more you connect, the cheaper it gets kind of :) you can get them in 50 packs and 10 pack drivers... it's amazingly getting cheaper each day. If I used a single 10W high power led, I would need a huge heat sink and a fan ! this is much better
so there you have it, just use the perforated metal hanger wisely and with some nut&bolts, metal glue anything is possible !
Step 5: History, Future, Applications
it all started with.... http://www.instructables.com/id/USB-powered-LED-p...
I am adding moisture, temperature and light sensors + webcam all run by arduino. lights will come on when the sun is weak, will e-mail me when water or temperature drops, also be able to view live from anywhere and take pictures to see over-time growth; http://www.instructables.com/id/USB-powered-LED-pl...
we can transfer empty dark indoor cubicals/walls/hallways into living, breathing places of love; http://www.instructables.com/id/plant-shelf-versio...