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The Sun Logger, a data logging device, combines several components we’ve used in previous Weekend Projects. You may recognize the light-sensitive photoresistor (Optical Tremolo Box) and the Arduino Uno microcontroller (Touchless 3D Tracking Interface). These parts, when combined with a 74AHC125 Level Shifter and SD card socket mounted on a homemade “shield,” will record the levels of light shining down on your project box. That data, recorded every 15 seconds to the SD card, can be exported later to any popular spreadsheet software and graphed, giving you a visual representation of light changes over time. This data could aid in knowing where best to plant a garden, or simply to understand changes of light intensity throughout the seasons in your micro-climate.

And while this project is readymade for recording levels of sunlight, the Arduino has a total of six analog inputs (labeled A0 – A5) and could easily record other variables. For example temperature, motion, or barometric pressure. Makers looking for a mid-level Arduino build, or knowledgeable coders looking to solder together their first homemade shield, the Sun Logger is a great project to build!

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See all of the Weekend Projects posts

Nick Normal

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


  • davad

    Lately I’m having a tough time finding the details for any of the blog entries. What changed ?

    • Nick Normal

      hi Davad, Sorry for the hiccup – the details for any of the blog entries are back!

  • Martin N.

    Where is the text of the article?

    • Nick Normal

      hi Martin, the blog is back online, sorry for the downtime.

  • jlrich

    Second time today that I have came to look at this sight and neither had text besides the headline

    • Nick Normal

      hi Jlrich, everything should be working again now. Thanks for your patience.

  • Todd Welsh

    That was a great video! You said what to do, you said why to do it and you showed how to do it. Wonderful job. I look forward to more of the same.

    • Nick Normal

      Thanks Todd!

  • http://diariotraineerov.blogspot.com.br/ Geraldo Cartolano

    Good Job Nick !

  • ameyring

    I coordinate garden activities for my son’s school and this will be a great project for kids to study sunlight patterns. Even if someone outside the school has to build the device (hard to tell if the teachers can work the construction into the students’ schedule), the students will get something out of studying the data. Can’t wait!

    • Nick Normal

      That sounds wonderful ameyring. Keep me posted if you do find someone to build the device and coordinate with the students on tracking solar movements and intensity – it’d be great to get some localized data and input. Good luck!

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