11 May 2014
I have always loved Arduino’s, but never really had the time to actually do anything useful with them. If you don’t already know what Arduino is:
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. it's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
But I explain them to people as a microcontroller that lets you write code to interact with electronics.
Recently I moved into a new house where we have limited garden space but wanted to be able to grow herbs and various other plants to brighten up the house. The only issue where we had decided to use was a slight lack of light, due to the angles of the building the natural light was only strong enough during mid day.
The only electronics I had was my Arduino Uno, a Luxeonstar Rebel Tri-Star LED and a externally dimmable driver (specifically a Luxeonstar 3023-D-E-700). I’m not going to go into too much detail on the actual setup as I will probably post about this in the future.
Currently you can only specify an on and off time which will dim the LED in/out at these times. Eventually you will be able to specify your location (lon/lat) to which it will calculate the sunrise / sunset times automatically.
But basically you will need to connect pin 11 (or any PWM pin) to the Ctrl wire on the LED driver and the Ref wire to the Gnd on the Arduino.
I have no RTC (real time clock) for my Arduino so the time is set in the code of the Arduino, this means you will have to reprogram it each time you restart the device which is a pain! You may want to look at getting one of these Sparkfun RTC modules.
You will see this line in the code for setting the date & time.
The format is (hr, min, sec, day, month, yr).
Latest code can be found over on my GitHub, this will allow me to update it and add more features over time.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!