As eluded to in a previous post, the next project on the books is an LED grow lamp. I’ve named it informally as the uSolaire 180…

Why a grow lamp? Well: one might think an obvious – not necessarily legal, depending on where one lives – reason, but actually it’s because my chili plants don’t do so well over the winter period. (Just to prove the point that I have other hobbies other than work and electronics.) There simply isn’t enough sun and warmth to keep them going strong outside, thus the idea to move them inside. A grow lamp may not solve the problem totally, but we’ll see and it sure is an interesting project.

This is the first real post for the project and illustrates that the build came to fruition quite nicely. All parts were received and then assembly proceeded without too many hitches. The enclosure – from Schaeffer AG – especially worked out well. Some aspects could be improved upon, but overall not the worst I’ve experienced for the first version of anything. For viewing pleasure here below are some photos of the finished unit.

More to come, including some details of the light output and efficiency comparisons against other light options. A more involved topic than would first seem: including light spectrum from LEDs, what actually works for plants, exactly how to measure it and more… Not to mention how to cool such a light – this is hardly a high powered LED grow lamp, total power consumption is around 185 W – but the heat to be dissipated can’t be forgotten.

Anyway, I’m very happy with how things turned out. A good learning experience plus a useful grow lamp into the mix. Time will tell as to whether the chili plants appreciate all the work that’s gone into it – hopefully they will!