LED Chicken Coop Lighting Project

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ShockValue, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Sound, Washington
    I know there are probably easier ways to accomplish what I've done here... But I like to tinker and I had most of these parts laying around (except the LED lights themselves).

    The programming works like this:

    Real Time Clock with battery backup accurately keeps track of time.

    Every night at 12:30AM the Arduino calculates the sunrise and sunset based on my latitude and longitude.
    (LAT+LON are hard coded in at this point. If I were to do it again, I would replace the clock and use a GPS chip for both Time, Lat, and Lon)

    Based on SUNSET time, it turns the lights on 14 hours before. So if sunset is at 6PM, it turns the lights on at 4AM.

    Based on sunrise time, it turns the lights off to conserve power.

    If number of daylight hours is more than 14 hours, it does nothing.

    Original High-Tech schematic.
    [​IMG]

    There were a couple of prototypes on breadboards before this iteration - but this is the product that got installed in the coop.
    I used old RCA jacks for power and LED hookups so I could seal the box that the electronics are in.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is the 12V LED light strip across the length of the coop ceiling.
    [​IMG]

    Wiring and location of the box:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The girls and I discussing their stop-work order for lack of proper permits.
    [​IMG]

    Right now it's powered off an extension cord. All the connections are in this bucket and then under the coop to keep things out of the rain.
    [​IMG]


    I set the lights to take 15 minutes to fade-on in the morning to make their wakeup call a little less jarring.

    Phase 2: I've set the whole thing up to run on 12V (right now I'm using an old 12V laptop power brick to go from AC->DC) . I plan on setting up a 12V battery and a SOLAR trickle charger to keep it topped up.



    Thanks for looking. Happy to answer questions or entertain suggestions/criticism :)
     
    jthornton and Carolei like this.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Wow that is really neat!

    I am not providing lighting this year for the first time. We are getting one to three eggs a day from 22 layers (in their second and third year of life). Lighting really helps (unless they are in their pullet year)!!

    You have put quite a bit of thought into that! Now you need an auto door opener if you don't already have one. They are fabulous!
     
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our girls shut down at then end of October and have yet to start laying again. After eating free range eggs that are so fresh they are still warm from the chickens body heat, it's really really hard to go back to the bland things they have at the grocery.

    Door opener is phase 3! Right now we just have a really long string that leads to our back door that we can pull and release at the morning and evening :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Make sure you have battery backup with your door opener when you get one. Mine has no backup and that can be frustrating. Or at least another door you can just open for them when the power's out.
     
  5. Amberjem

    Amberjem Overrun With Chickens

    wow awesome :)
     
  6. CharterChick

    CharterChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    This is super cool! We have a tractor coop so we can't run a cord to it but we are considering a solar powered water pump to install a new water system that rotates the water better :)
     
  7. WNCcluck

    WNCcluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't do extra light in the winter but understand some folks do. I love the high tech diagram. My favorite, though, is the girls and their stop-work order ... dang unions! I'm guessing the LED's put off sufficient light to do the trick? LED technology has come a long way in just a few years.
     
  8. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Sound, Washington
    Oh yeah, when I was doing my testing I just had the light strip sitting on the counter in the kitchen. Stumbling in there at 4AM it felt like I was staring at the sun while trying to find the off switch :)
     
  9. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have one string of LED Christmas lights on a timer set for a 16 hour days (they come on around 4 am and stay on all day, til they go off around 8 pm) and it's kept our 5 laying hens laying 4-5 eggs a day all winter... pretty much the same rate as summer. We have one more hen who isn't currently laying because she still is raising a baby.
     
  10. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    So I happened to be awake at 4:30 AM this morning. I think I might need to turn down the brightness a bit... Luckily it's pretty easy to throw in a resistor and tone it down a bit.
     

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