Can I control a pre-made grow light with an arduino mega?

I have bought this 100w LED grow light for my Carolina reaper pepper plant (https://a.aliexpress.com/_mL3rjPr)

It has 9 dimmable light levels, 3 different timers and 3 light modes with different light spectrums.
All of this is controlled by a detachable controller with 4 buttons.
My question is now, is it possible to dip the controller and replace it with an arduino mega.
For example, I want my arduino mega to automatically turn the light on and off on specific times. But I also want to keep the 3 light modes and rather control it via my arduino.
Any help and maybe ideas how I should tackle this project?
I'm completely new to this so any help your be appreciated :slight_smile:

if the remote controller has mechanical buttons, it may be easier to rip that open, and take control of the remote by soldering to the button pads and writing them high or low as desired/required.

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This is famously called "reverse engineering"! You will have to document exactly how the existing controller operates and then design a way for the Arduino to interface to those functions.
Have you ever done this before?
Paul

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"writing them high or low as desired/required" what do you mean by that?

I have never done something like this, but I get the idea!
Do you have any tips to begin with?
I don't want to screw this up and lose all the functions :confused:

Sure.
Begin by removing all enclosure. Then take digital pictures of the internals. Top and bottom, if there is any printed circuit board.
Then print several copies so you can annotate what you see as to switches, cables connecting to anything.
Then begin measuring the voltages you find and mark them on another picture. As you change any control/switch, etc. Also mark the change in voltage that produces.
Pretty soon, you will begin to understand how the controller operates as you change the controls.
At that point, you can begin to relate those changes to possible ways to make an Arduino control and monitor those changes.
Paul

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Thank you paul for that beautiful summary!

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+1. This is by far the easiest and safest way to monkey with this thing. At the very least level of understanding, one can simply use relays for any buttons that would need to be pressed.

Wire the NO normally open contacts of a relay to the switch, or more likely the switch PCB traces.

Then you can program “pressing” the button by operating the relay. The relay acts like you closing the switch.

One relay for each switch. You can get nice relay boards for the Arduino.

This is yet fraught - it take some care to get in and out of a remote and molest it in this fashion w/o ruining it… I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t sure I could get a replacement. :wink:

It will exercise your skills, getting in and out, soldering &c.

a7

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Thanks a lot for your answer!

could you tell me which relays could maybe work for my purpose?

At this point I would advice you to open up the remote or keypad thing and share a few pictures here. It may rule in or out some things. Please we curious.

How many switches? Are all the switches just pushbutton or what, &c.

Do you have any programming experience, where is this headed because maybe you don't do it all the way, so it makes sense to look before you leap, generalized.

a7

The Mega is a microcontroller. it uses 5 volt logic to gather data,. make decisions, and operate controls. the task you propose would require modifying inputs from the grow light to accommodate the needs of the Mega, do program things, and modify the outputs of the Mega to accommodate the needs of the grow light.

search terms: SSR relay, Arduino relay control, Arduino grow light

do not power modules from the 5v out of the Mega. feed well regulated 5 volts into that pin, and feed all modules from that same external power supply.

for the

So here is a different remote, but same concept. Read this instructable (no need to DO IT) but I think it'll give a decent high-level overview of what you're attempting.

For a relay. this one will work, and VERY simple to make function (youll need 1 for EACH button you need to control)
Relay: "SRD-05VDC-SL-C"