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Build Your Own LED Grow Light

Thread starter #1

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
- Do you want the best technology available?


- Do you want a good light/heat ratio?


- Do you want value for your money?


- Are you tired of companies trying to push sub par tech?


- Would you like honest recommendations for what type/amount of light is best for growing cannabis?





Then keep reading;)





Building your own LED growlight is not as hard as it seems at first glance, nor do you need to spend countless hours reading up on chips and drivers, watch a few youtube videos and ask around the forum and you'll be up and running in no time.


Just to make it absolutely clear I have no affiliation with any company or any economic interests at stake, I only want YOU to get the best LED grow light possible and at a reasonable price.





Terms you should know, and some you should know to disregard:



LED: Light Emitting Diode.

COB: Chips On Board - A cluster of diodes on a circuit board powered as a single unit.

DIY: Do It Yourself - this is what you're about to do :)

Watt: Joules per second - Measures how much energy is put into the lamp, the only thing this measures is how much you pay for the light you get!

nm: Nanometer - one billionth of a meter, this is a unit used to define the lightwaves.

CCT: Corrolated Colour Temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin and describes a mixed spectrum of diffenrent nm lightwaves.
You'll see most of these: 2700K, 3000K, 3500K 4000K, 5000K but there are other CCT's available too.
Very simply put: the lower the number the more red, and the higher the number the more blue.
3000K and 3500K are the most recommended for flowering and full cycle.

Lumen: Measures light VISIBLE TO THE HUMAN EYE! 1w green light has way more lumens than 1w red light and plants use very little green light but a lot of red light. So though it actually is almost the same range as PAR, this unit is useless for choosing grow lights!

PAR: Photosynthetically Active Radiation, which just means the lightwaves between 400nm and 700nm, not a unit for measuring.

PPFD: Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density measured in μmol/s (micromoles per second) on a given surface area from a given distance from the light.
The sun will give about 2000 PPFD at high noon in summer, and of course a lot less when the sun is at an angle and on overcast days.

IR, FR, UV: InfraRed, Far Red and UltraViolet respectively, lightwaves in these spectrums(outside the 400nm - 700nm range) create very little photosynthesis, but IR and Far Red contributes to the Emerson Effect and though studies show that UV-B increase resin production, newer studies show that UV-A also has positive effects on plants.
Keep in mind that the sun gives off a lot of these lightwaves, and that a lot of scientific studies on light and plants is still to be done.
There are lot of grey areas and pseudo-science out there...







General advice:



More COB's/boards run soft is always better than a few run hard, the more power you put into a unit, the less efficient it is.

Use Meanwell drivers! The best you can get and 7 year warranty.

If you're on a tight budget, GET HID and save up for a DIY project.

If your apprehensive about fiddling with electronics, try a DIY KIT.

Get the latest generation COB's from: Bridgelux, Luminus, Citizen, Cree, or a board/strip using Samsung 531C S6 Bin diodes.

A grow light should physically cover at least 2/3 of your grow space and it works best if the entire space is evenly covered.





First you need to ask yourself a few questions:



Is the light for veg, bloom or full cycle?

How big a space do you need to cover?

What's your budget?



Basically to properly flower cannabis you want to cover your entire grow space, corner to corner with at least 800 PPFD, but unless you add CO2 going over 1000 PPFD will give you very little photosynthetical return on the extra power put into producing the extra light!

Even coverage is very important, and while LED companies like to sell small easily shipped panels, you should cover you canopy with light and thus ommit the Inverse Square Law that applies to a single point of light like a bulb or a LED panel.
Having 1500 PPFD just under the light and 200 PPFD at the edge of your space is a poor light distribution and that means you put a lot of watts in that aren't being used by the plants - This is the sort of light distribution you get with a bulb or a single panel.


If you're on a tight budget you should accept that LED is out of you range and get a HID light, cheap LED panels are not cheap in the long run and more expensive than HID up front.






Websites/threads/links worth looking at, some links will be removed by mods so just google it:


LED Gardener: A great source for grow light knowledge and a calcutor to help choose driver(s)


PPFD Graphs and Analysis for Mars, Amare, Fluence LEDs & CMH
Photosynthesis - Wikipedia

Photosynthetically active radiation - Wikipedia

Photosynthetic Environment

Emerson effect - Wikipedia


Kingbrite - LED component vendor on Alibaba, good prices and decent service, make sure you tell them that you have to pay tax of the shipment ;) They have DIY kits.

Mouser: Electrical component vendor

RS Components: Electrical component vendor

Horticulture Lighting Group (HLG): Manufacturer and vendor of Quantum Boards, DIY kits, and lamps.

Luminus: Manufacturer of COB's, very recommendable if you live in the USA.

...And many more I can't remember or don't know of ;)





These videos by Growmau5 are pure gold:










Edit: It should be noted that the CXB3590 chip Growmau5 recommends was top of the pop when he made the videos. today it's obsolete and better COB's can be bought for less ;)






Feel free to correct me and add to this tome of grow light information, and discuss technology and photosynthesis.

Also please post pictures of your build and/or building process.


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TheMadDabber

Member of the Month: Dec 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2018
I love it subbed up for the adventure
 
Thread starter #5

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
well Done Bro!!!
Should be stickied IMHO
Thanks mate :48:


I love it subbed up for the adventure
Aren't you just everywhere mate :)

Not just an adventure, it's a genuine real life fairy tale - and the biggest thing to come along since going from buying weed to growing your own - cutting out the middle man - and having the luxury of being picky, and mix & match the perfect light for your specific needs ;)
 

Guy Cavallero

Well-Known Member
Subbed up brother. Not a " light" read (sorry I had to lmao). I'll catch up with you later. One thing I did notice PGR us your insistence on MeanWell drivers. Same with Rider.....that says a lot about them.

Enjoy your day.....be safe!
 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
Great post man,

So, what is the best cob to get then?

Im converting my strip DIY build into a cob build. for a 2x2. prob 4 cobs,

vero im guessing?
 

TheMadDabber

Member of the Month: Dec 2017 - Nug of the Month: June 2018
Great post man,

So, what is the best cob to get then?

Im converting my strip DIY build into a cob build. for a 2x2. prob 4 cobs,

vero im guessing?
PGR is running quantum boards now. 4 I believe. What strips you running? I'm planning to build 2 like riders next month
 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
PGR is running quantum boards now. 4 I believe. What strips you running? I'm planning to build 2 like riders next month
I used the cheap ebay strips. Run them 12volt constant volts, using a meanwell HLG 320H-15B.. 20 strips, and run them at 200watts. Not sure the PAR, but getting a PAR meter in a couple weeks, then I will know the par. If the par is 1000 at 18inches, Ill keep them as is. But if they arnt, I will convert to something else.



 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
whats also cool, is GreenGene has a new video up with a new wifi component that you can control your Driver to turn off and on, dim, all programmable, to ramp up and down over the day. Im getting that also.
 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
probably definitely going to just throw some cobs in this cab. Just deciding which to go with. 4 cobs, mostlikely the alibaba kit. cant beat the price. just have to rip the other stuff out, and aug some holes, done.

im currently running a PerfectSun mini, and a modded mars300, that half works for my 2x2, but im not happy to be honest. the mini doesnt cover the area well enough. plus, ive seen videos of cobs fruit. plus, i truely believe the plant only needs 6 hours of hard photon beating, and using the Zigbee controller, i can now have my rise/set intensity, and i also use GrowMau5 night puck.

4 cxb3590s in a 2x2 should rock, no? using the 185H with lens.

cant wait,

probably sell the mini for 150
 
Thread starter #13

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
Great post man,

So, what is the best cob to get then?

Im converting my strip DIY build into a cob build. for a 2x2. prob 4 cobs,

vero im guessing?
Depends on how hard you run them, but you can't go wrong with Vero29 gen7 and CLU058-1825 gen5, if you're in the states getting the Luminus CXM22 might be a better way to go.
CXB3590 is obsolete, and while it is a good COB you can get better COB's cheaper.

If you buy a kit from Kingbrite, don't get the 1212 COB, they're cheap but hardly much more efficient than HID @ 50w.


 

LB07

Well-Known Member
Depends on how hard you run them, but you can't go wrong with Vero29 gen7 and CLU058-1825 gen5, if you're in the states getting the Luminus CXM22 might be a better way to go.
CXB3590 is obsolete, and while it is a good COB you can get better COB's cheaper.

If you buy a kit from Kingbrite, don't get the 1212 COB, they're cheap but hardly much more efficient than HID @ 50w.


The Cree cxb3590 is far from obsolete [emoji52]. Every chip you just listed is inferior. Where are you getting your sources? Go look up some grows side by side with Cree cxb3590s and Vero29. Pull up some stat sheets also. When investing in a large fixture I found it a no brainer going with cree over other cobs.

 
Thread starter #19

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
Better chips that are cheaper makes it obsolete, and you're wrong that these chips(except the 1212) are inferior to the CXB3590 and the datasheets and actual PPFD measurings proves this.
You just quoted the sheet ;) and the one you put up lists lumen per watt not PPFD, lumen is not a useable unit for determining light for plants...
A pure green light epistar lamp will blow that chart up and look much more efficient even though it won't grow anything :laugh2:

I never said it was a bad chip, but PPFD readings don't lie, niether does $ per unit.

I won't look at any grows whatsoever to determine efficiency, the only way to do that is by measuring PPFD, and by using scientific studies on light and photosynthesis.
Though there are some interesting comparison grows (like 80 CRI vs 90 CRI) and these might point us in the right direction we need a high number of these tests to conclude anything for sure

Again not bashing CXB3590 at all, just saying that you can get more efficient chips for less money.
This DIY LED game is moving hella fast, and what was the best 6 months ago is behind the top contenders of today.


The DIY COB Addiction

:48:
 

LB07

Well-Known Member



Tests show otherwise. I think you need to do more research. Veros and citizen are good options, they can be better at higher driven currents, but nobody really drives their cobs above 2100 mah where the veros start to win. At lower operating amperage the Cree cxb take the lead. At 1400mah the Cree outperforms the vero. Not saying the veros are bad chips, and the citizens are good as well, but every bit of research I did before building my light says crees are better.

The chart that you are referring too has to be extremely old considering they are quoting a db bin cxb3590 when that's not even top bin [emoji102]. Good luck running your veros above 2100mah++ to outperform Crees though. They won't last long and will be making a ton of heat.
 
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