A grow light for the AquaFarm created by Back To The Roots

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AquaGrow is a low cost, efficient grow light designed specifically for the AquaFarm, a micro aquaponics system by Back to the Roots. It is designed to match the ID and elegance of the AquaFarm and be simple and low cost. This is a developing project.

They say you only need to put your AquaFarm in a sunny window shade, and that may work in Southern California, but here in New England, you can't grow much without a decent grow light.  Most grow lights available are 1) Bulky 2) Ugly 3) Expensive and 4) Power Hungry.  The goal of this project is to create something elegant and efficient and looks like it belongs with the AquaFarm.  I'm using LED's and knowledge resources from LEDSupply who is located nearby in Vermont, and has tons of great information for hackers and artists alike.

The main chassis of this project is meant to simply clip to the back of the aquaponics tank and double as a heat sink for the LED's.  Hopefully no active cooling will be necessary.

  • 3 × Blue LED Cree XPE - Indus Star 1-Up Blue High Power LED
  • 3 × Red LED Cree XPE - Indus Star 1-Up Red 56.8 Lumen High Power LED
  • 1 × Constant Current Power Supply Xitanium - 700mA Constant Current LED Driver
  • 1 × Chassis Aluminum Heat Sink - Currently on a lab stand, designed to be aluminum sheet metal
  • 1 × Connecting Wire

  • 031214

    bveenema03/12/2014 at 23:39 0 comments

    This is the first log post for this project.  Currently, I have done some research on LED grow lights.  To some it up, the information is scattered and conflicting.  From what I've gathered, Red and Blue are the main colors you want to work with.  Cannibus growers seem to prefer one or the other although they don't seem to agree which is more important. Since I'm not trying to grow weed, I'm just going to try a mix of both.  Right now I am germinating basil seeds and will test. 3 Blue and 3 Red high power LEDs.

    While this test is going on, I'm refining the design of the aluminum chassis and logging temperatures of the LED's and temporary aluminum plate they are mounted to.  Trying to keep temperatures low enough for the LED's to last a long time.

    Progress will probably be slow due to my work schedule but I'll try to keep things moving even if just a little bit.

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Enjoy this project?



Eric Wiiliam wrote 06/26/2015 at 20:57 point

Love it!  Great work.  

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bveenema wrote 01/21/2015 at 00:40 point

Hey, so I haven't been active on this project in a long time. Short story is the LED's seemed to work well although the plants started to not do as well. The Aqua Farm tank isn't very durable and started warping and generally being a pain in the arse to work with. Once my fish died I decided to officially pack up the tank.

I'd be willing to send anyone who's interested in continuing the project everything I have for it for the cost of shipping. That's the tank, all the stuff that goes in it (heater, pump, fake plants, gravel), extra chemicals and the LED strip and power supply rig I made up. Preference to someone who will do aquaponics with it, but first come first serve.

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Christopher Zucker wrote 10/31/2014 at 19:17 point
I would too. My girlfriend has tasked me with building her an LED array for seed starting. My initial plan is to use a Spark Core and a setup similar to yours in terms of lighting.

Any progress?

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Gareth Coleman wrote 08/08/2014 at 12:32 point
I'd be really interested in your results, great work!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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