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solar powered planter box lights

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by markalishousfantastico, Nov 1, 2010.

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  1. markalishousfantastico

    markalishousfantastico

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    Oct 5, 2010
    i would like to build an led lighting system for a planter box. what would be the easiest way to go about this. i was thinking it would probably be easiest to just buy some cheap solar powered garden lights and use the parts from them and slightly modify them. or would it just be easier to start from scratch. i would like to power somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 30 leds that only come on at night. sorry if this is a stupid question im only new to electronics.
     
  2. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,688
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    Jan 15, 2010
    Look, I don't think people are ignoring you, we're just not sure what you're trying to do.
    I'm assuming you want these LED's for decorative lighting at night, but we don't know that from what you've said, maybe you're trying to supply enough light to keep the plants alive in a dark room? It matters.
    It doesn't take much power to run a string of LED's, but you can do that with a wall socket and a photocell to detect darkness, ....unless, and we don't know, there's some particular reason why you want to use (apparently), a solar powered rechargable (again, uncertain) power system from a garden lighting system.
    Is this going to be at a remote location, so you can't use house power?
    Are you trying to charge this system during the day, and run it at night?
    Is it for growing things, or just decorating the planter at night?
    Maybe they're stupid questions, but answers get smarter when we know what you want.
     
  3. markalishousfantastico

    markalishousfantastico

    10
    0
    Oct 5, 2010
    sorry about being a bit vague about things. i am building a planter box that is going to be outside away from any power source i am building a water feature (waterfall) attached to the back of the planter box with a solar powered pump to circulate water. the back of the waterfall is going to be made of clear perspex so i would like to use solar powered lights behind the perspex to light the waterfall up during the night. would i be better off using LEDs to light the waterfall or would it be cheaper/easier to just buy some pre-built solar garden lights to illuminate the perspex waterfall? thank you for any help that you can give me.
     
  4. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,688
    457
    Jan 15, 2010
    The value of LED lighting would be that they use much less power than other types of lighting. That means you'd have brighter lights for a longer period of time at night. The first thing I would do, is check if any of the solar powered garden light products you can find have LED lighting, ...my guess would be probably. Then decide if the assemblies the garden light system supply, can be adapted for your planter configuration. If you're already planning a solar powered pump (I assume with a rechargeable battery system, so it'll run at night), then you'll already have your power system for your LED lights (if you just want to add those LED's to the pump power system). It'll be up to you whether you think you need a second solar powered rechargable battery system for your LED lights.
    Just giving you ideas for possibilities to consider.
    If you've got a recharging battery system for your solar powered pump, you decide if you want the pump AND the LEDs to run at night, or just the LED's (the pump will use a lot more power from your battery, than the LED's alone would).
    I know you said you plan to run waterfall at night, just giving you something to think about.
    Considering the fact that LED's consume considerably less power, I'd be thinking about just adding the LED's to the power from your solar powered pump system, and skipping the garden light system altogether, ...but the trade-off is, that if you had the garden-light solar recharging system, you'd have more power (for longer duration run-time at night).
    The practical consideration here, it seems to me, is that the pump will require considerable power to run off a rechargable battery, and I would guess you'd only get a few hours of pump run-time from it, after the sun goes down. (It'd take a heck of a battery system, to keep a water pump running all night long).
    Hope the above offers some help in your planning.
     
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