Before First Light

A project log for Web Connected Hydroponic Led Grow System

A Homemade LED Grow light and hydroponic system connected to a Spark Core for web control and monitoring.

Joshua SnyderJoshua Snyder 08/05/2014 at 08:070 Comments

Well, this is a project log intended to give people an idea how to where I am with the project at this point. 

I am sure I can trace the idea of this project back to a trip to Epcot Center when I was 7 years old. The "Land" exhibit featured airoponics and hydroponics with some aquaculture in addition.  It was a very memorial visit.  Many years later(around 2005), I saw information about NASA exploring the idea of using LED Lights and airoponics to feed people on the ISS.

This really got me interested in doing this at home.  The first investigations into using LED's had me quickly finding that I could only afford systems that would use only 3-6 watts of LED's.  In 2005 I could only find 1/4 watt LED's to create a LED light.  In the end, I wasn't sure 3 watts's would be enough.  So I put the whole idea on hold.  In 2009 I looked again. This time, 1 watt LED's had fallen to about $8 each.  The idea was within reach if I built a 9 watt system.  But after finding some people that had tried LED systems, it was clear that 9 watts just wouldn't be enough. 

Then finally late last year, I looked again.  At the time, the blue 450nm LED were down to about $1 each for a 3 Watt LED.