With summer on the horizon for those of us in the southern hemisphere - it's time to perhaps consider tidying up, refreshing and even reconstructing the garden. And if space permits, perhaps a feature such as a water fountain. However fitting one away from the house or shed can be a problem due to the cost and effort of running mains wiring down to the pump, so a viable method of pump power can be provided by a solar panel, sealed lead-acid battery and inverter circuitry. And with the addition of a light sensor and an Arduino - the fountain can be controlled intelligently for daylight-only operation or even remote control.
As an example project, Jason Poel Smith has documented his solar-powered Arduino water fountain, which is self-contained and even uses a 12~110V AC inverter to power the water pump. For simplicity the use of a 12V could also be used, making the circuitry much cheaper and reduce mains-related hazards. It's a fun project that could become the centrepiece of any garden, so visit the project page to learn more. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
Looking for a light sensor? Although it can be tempting to use a light-dependent resistor, they're fragile and can give varying results. Instead - consider our LIGHT: light sensor module based around the digital TEMT6000 sensor. It gives consistent and reliable readings, and is incredibly easy to use with our Getting Started guide. For more information and to order, click here!