Red LED worm light

As you may already know it, earthworms don't have eyes but still can sense light. Their skin have light sensitive cells allowing them to go and hide away in the bedding when the light is shining on them, usually meaning the sun is up and could kill them. This is a survival instinct and that is why they all dive down as soon as you take out the lid and let the light in.

A lot of us are considering our compost worms our pets and love to fluff the bin, dig here and there to see if our proteges are doing well. Even though this is not advised as it decrease the performance of the worms (each time you disturb them, they stop doing what they are suppose to do: compost the food scrap), we sometimes need to check on them. There is away to check on our worms without disturbing them too much, this is using a red light.

Earth worms cannot sense red light, it is a color spectrum that seem to not bother them as much as white or other colored light. You can use a red light and watch them feed or even make babies without them spooking out and trying to hide away from you.

Here is how you can simply setup two cheap red LED panels to make your own worm farming light. Chris D. from Perth, was struggling with the electrical part of this projet, so I'm helping him build his light. First, let see what we need:

  • two 48 bulb SMD LED light panels: they are sometime sold as car interior lights
  • a soldering iron: optional but nice to make strong/secure connections
  • some heat-shrink tubing or electrical tape: this is important as you don't want the connections to touch one another especially with a 12V battery
  • a 12v battery, 1.2Ah minimum, more will allow you longer continuous use
  • a 12v battery charger that automatically goes to trickle mode when the battery is ull
  • about 1.5m of two-wire electrical cable: I'm using a cutoff speaker cable
  • some battery connectors or alligator clips

Now the illustrated steps:

The LED panels have a red/black connection cable built-in

Each panel come with a set of different connectors so you can plug them to various devices.

We will modify those connectors: keep the black connector and the two wires and cut off the other end.
When you will have two modified connectors, twist the red and red wires together and do the same with the black wires.

Now twist the wires of the electrical cable to those connectors combo by matching the colors.

Plug the LED panels using the black connectors matching the wire colors: same color on the same side.

Now you can test with a 12v battery, connecting red to red and black to black.

Now solder red and black alligator clips to the other end of the electrical cable, you can now easily connect the cable to the 12v battery.

Once tested, secure the connection with a soldering iron and isolate with some shriking tube or electrical tape

You can now decide to fit the light to anything, I made a wooden articulated stand.

And using a two-way switch, I can switch from red to white.

This is how it looks like in the room.

The white light is pretty bright when the battery is fully charged.

Here is a short video of blue worms feeding in Gargantua my CFT