Let's talk DIY lights


I’m going to use Arduino to build some smart power switches. Working off of this kind of model:

From a user interface perspective, I’ve been playing around with an IoT service called Blynk:

I currently use an app I made with Blynk to track and monitor humidity and temps. By adding in the smart switches, I can use simple code to set up light timers and toggle switches. I can also combine the sensor data so I can do something similar to what you’ve done, and turn on and off stuff based on what other monitors in the system are reporting.

I’ve also found water temp sensors, lux sensors, etc. My intention is to see if I can build and design my own “Smart Garden” system using open source/platform specs.


I should note that Arduino (or Raspberry Pi) has a full compliment of little sensors and motors you can use… on of my long term experiments is going to be if I can make a valve system I can open and close - that combined with a smart switch on a water pump could prove very interesting.


@dbrn32 check it out:


Someone had the idea to try and measure PAR using Arduino.


I haven’t messed with the arduino stuff any. But if I was, the first thing I would probably do is convert my dimmers to arduino controlled 0-10v instead of the pots. That would give you remote dimming control correct?

The stuff is pretty cool. It’s just more than I’m typically into. I would be more likely to snag a pic from work and automate my room that way. The plc’s we use now are junk though, and I don’t have the software for them. So I’m out from doing anything like that anytime soon.


Yeah that would be an easy one to do with the B model drivers that I have too… hmm. I have to think about this one.


Arrow has 10% off all week FYI.


Trolling around arrow got me spending money. Two of these BXEB-L0560Z-30E2000-C-B3 on the way to go with some monos I was fooling around with. And ten of the 280mm version of same strip.

No dice on the driver I wanted though, blah! Lpc-150-700 will run 10 of those gen 2 strips for $31.50. Was hoping to use 10% discount, oh well I’ll find it somewhere else eventually.

I was gonna give them a go on some 12”x12” .125 plate. But I think I can spring a few extra bucks for something from heatsinkusa.


Lol, got email. Was just typing that.


Arduinos typically like to put out 0-3 volts or 0-5 volts. So it’s a bit tricky to get them to control 0-10 volt dimmers. You would need a little op amp that does linear amplification powered by +12 volts. There is also a very nice STM32 board ($8.88 at Digikey) that has a 32 bit ARM processor and C programming suite that runs on a PC for free. Connects with a simple USB cable and has on board flash so your programs run instantly. This ARM has tons of I/O interfaces on board. Programming suite includes drivers for everything on board. I’ve tried it and it is a pleasure to use.


I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about it, but I’ve seen people post about 0-5v to 0-10b pwm converters.


PWM is a lot easier than 0-10 analog. You can do it with just one little transistor. It is an on/off signal and you just need to scale it up to a 10 volt on/off signal. Or if you have an open collector output on your processor board, then all you need is a little pull-up resistor network and a 10 volt or higher power supply.

For example, a 2K ohm resistor connected to +12 volt wall wart. The other end goes to a 10K resistor connected to ground. Both open collector output and 10 volt PWM input connect to the point where the two resistor connect. When the open collector output is inactive, the PWM input will be at +10 volts. When the microprocessor drives the open collector output, it pulls the PWM input to 0 volts. You might have to experiment to see if a 0 or 1 drives the PWM low or high. You’ll know you have it backwards if a 100% setting turns the lights off.


The meanwell b’s will dim pwm as well if that helps @Bogleg.


Got all the parts and am working on the “Rev B” light fixture. Used threaded rod instead which worked beautifully! Ran the main wires through the fixture and moved the driver away from the 3 strip heatsink. Today I should get it mounted next to the other one.


Nice! My arrow order came in yesterday as well. I may drop down from 10 strips to 9, messing with driver fitments is proving to be a little difficult with 10. There are a couple that will work, but my goal was to get some lower cost options together.

I found some aluminum plate on eBay fairly cheap. Just trying to decide how hard I want to push them.


It’s going to be bright come Valentine’s Day because I get my drivers today - last piece I need to build the next two rails.



@Myfriendis410 Do a couple of those strips look like they have some leds out? Or just camera angle?


I thought the same thing but no: wires in the way.


Copy that. Can you move them around out of the way, or won’t be an issue when it’s installed?


They’re tie wrapped down now.