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Building DIY LED?

Colesdad

Well-Known Member
Every grower has something that is a little DIYish. I will soon embark on the magical journey to grow my own medicine. I'm going led for my grow and have the cash to purchase. but I got to thinking, I wonder if it would be possible to build a better /larger light for the price of a smaller one. I certainly have the time, I'm on SSDI because of an inoperable brain tumor and seizures.

I've been looking around the last couple of days and now have an understanding of the components and how they work.

Has anyone here built their own?
 
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ibaba

New Member
I have built my own light, not using individual diodes but using 100w LED COBs (chip on board) this is very easy and any novice can do it. I used full spectrum phosphor COBs, which are white diodes with a coating to give color peaks in the correct places for photosynthetic use.

It is as simple as buying the driver, chip, and CPU (computer) cooling fan and heat-sink and mounting all on a piece of ply or other suitable material. Cost was 100$ with shipping per 100w, which is cheaper than any grow light I have seen. Also easy to replace parts if you have any problems. Supplier for the full spectrum COBs in Van-q LED. I am very happy with this setup.

You could also just buy the chips and drivers from a LED company and source the heatsink locally, they cost around 10$ that way save some money.

I am not using lenses as I feel any benefit gained is lost because of photon loss through the glass and have removed side growth and "popcorn" buds, so light under the canopy is not required.
 

Colesdad

Well-Known Member

ibaba

New Member
ok will do, but it´s very basic. I would have liked to spend a lot more $$$ but don´t have them, few hrs till lights on and then I´ll show you my "not so" handy work :)

total cost:

100$ for the 100w cob, driver and heatsink/fan
23$ for 10 x 10w GU10 (2*2w blue 3*2w red)

123$ inc shipping

I wanted 2 * 100w cobs but could not afford it, to be upgraded later, GU10s were on sale :) wire I had lying around, I had to buy the GU10 holders they were 10$ for 10, I used electrical insulation tape for the connections. Probably neater to use something else but that´s what I had !

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Hosebomber

New Member
I should add, it is nearly impossible to get remotely close to the cost of low end panels when building yourself. You can beat the price per watt on diodes alone, but by the time you add drivers, flux, paste, wires, and heat sinks... you are much closer to the higher end panels.

Yes, homemade panels do work and many times better than the factory one. This is due to the use of high quality components. The hardest parts to source are diodes below 455nm and above 660nm and heat sinks.
 

jummejum

Well-Known Member
I should add, it is nearly impossible to get remotely close to the cost of low end panels when building yourself. You can beat the price per watt on diodes alone, but by the time you add drivers, flux, paste, wires, and heat sinks... you are much closer to the higher end panels.

Yes, homemade panels do work and many times better than the factory one. This is due to the use of high quality components. The hardest parts to source are diodes below 455nm and above 660nm and heat sinks.

The man of the year ^^

I was about to build my own panel, with 50x1w diodes, but a total cost with only 4 cobs, 4 heatsinks and 1 driver = 328 us$ .I just bought another reflector led instead. one day i'd like to build my own but at that price i'd have to wait much longer.
 

ibaba

New Member
The man of the year ^^

I was about to build my own panel, with 50x1w diodes, but a total cost with only 4 cobs, 4 heatsinks and 1 driver = 328 us$ .I just bought another reflector led instead. one day i'd like to build my own but at that price i'd have to wait much longer.

328$ for 50w is not really smart I agree

Reason for my DIY was cost

DIY for me cost 100$ per 100w real consumption

100w full spectrum or high end ww cree cob - 40-60$ (incl. free thermal grease)
100w driver -20$
cpu heatsink w/fan -$10

accessories - wire, piece of ply to mount, screws etc - 10$ (had most lying around)

that is cheap imo and very comparable to a 100w ufo price, and btw includes shipping. also if something goes wrong it is easy to replace the faulty part and not have to send the whole unit back. and I believe full spectrum phosphor has all the correct frequency of light, no need to mess looking for specific nm chips, although in efficiency a better DIY with individual diodes or a high end model would be better ( PAR / watt)
 

noutram

New Member
Hi (1st post)

-I am very interested in growing plants with these COB chips, also smaller plants like culinary herbs with multiple (automotive) 15watt strips on 12v...

You can now buy full spectum 100W Cob for $30 and 200Watt ones for ~$90 (link below). Best price is 4 x 100W for

I just sento ff for some 17W strips, and some 30W and 100W normal white and full spectrum cobs to "have a play with". Since I have a computer background I am going to have a tinker with liquid cooling the 100W cobs...


Nick.


100W Led grow chip ,broad full spectrum 400nm~840nm with 3w bridgelux led COB grow chip for plant seeding grow and bloom-in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
DIY LED matrix chip ,200W COB grow chip for hydroponics seeding/grow/bloom -in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
2014new innovation,full spectrum 400nm 840nm 100w grow led,full spectrum cob led chip-in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
 

paul keating

New Member
My experience with a homemade LED light was not good.
I'm pretty good with electronics, and i enjoyed doing it, but it didn't work for me.
I used a mixture of 3w and 5w diodes. star leds. I was going to upgrade to the COBs, but for what it was going to cost, i ended up buying a commercial light. I just got it last week.

In my opinion, it's probably better to buy commercial. I thought i could save some money, but in the long run, i could of bought a high quality commercial light for what i spent, and it still didn't work. I'm not saying it won't work for you though.
There are some good, cheap commercial lights out there, and there are some heavily overpriced ones too.

I spent literally 100's of hours on research before starting. But i would still stumble on new information all the time.

One thing that did turn me off COB modules, is that although there is lots of little LEDS packed in tight, they are usually only 1w diodes on the COB, so penetration might not be too good.

But here are a few tips i can give you.

You can save heaps, if you get a lot of stuff off of ebay. Buy them from sellers in china.


Heatsinks are usually a quarter of the price you may pay in the shops.
Led drivers are dirt cheap if you know where to source them. (ebay)
I got all my Leds from china, very cheap, however, you are better buying a brand name.
I know Cree are pretty good, but expensive. I think Epistar are pretty decent, they are made in taiwan.
If you are going to use collimators (lenses), they are very cheap on ebay, from china.

I had about 72 star leds running, with a wattage draw of about 220w, but it wasn't enough.
There wasn't enough intensity, even with 60 degree lenses.
It was ok during vegging, but no good for flowering. I'd be lucky if i got a few grams.
I covered 10 or 11 spectrums i think. But maybe that was my problem. I might have focused too much on getting every spectrum and didn't have enough of the spectrums that mattered.

If you get the star leds from ebay, the chinese sellers usually have every spectrum, from 280nm right up to about 850nm.
 

Techhead

New Member
I did build my own power LED system. The pictures are on a different thread, Home made power led by Techhead. Ill tell you the truth, it was not cheap, about $2,000.00, but it covers as much area as any three units I have seen for sale. I built everything there, even got some aluminum angle stock from the hardware store, and used an old power amplifier and converted it into a DC power supply. You can read more on my thread. Unless you have some electronics background I don't think I would try it. Cree isn't the only one making good LED's out there, I used LedEngin's myself for most of my light, but there are some Phillips in there as well. As far as I can tell, there are not too many LED light systems out there delivering 550 watts of true power that will cover my 12sq feet that is wider than it is deep.
 

ibaba

New Member
Hi (1st post)

-I am very interested in growing plants with these COB chips, also smaller plants like culinary herbs with multiple (automotive) 15watt strips on 12v...

You can now buy full spectum 100W Cob for $30 and 200Watt ones for ~$90 (link below). Best price is 4 x 100W for

I just sento ff for some 17W strips, and some 30W and 100W normal white and full spectrum cobs to "have a play with". Since I have a computer background I am going to have a tinker with liquid cooling the 100W cobs...


Nick.


100W Led grow chip ,broad full spectrum 400nm~840nm with 3w bridgelux led COB grow chip for plant seeding grow and bloom-in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
DIY LED matrix chip ,200W COB grow chip for hydroponics seeding/grow/bloom -in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
2014new innovation,full spectrum 400nm 840nm 100w grow led,full spectrum cob led chip-in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

You def. need more watts if you want to flower good. Im struggling with my system. just ordered a 50w warm white cob and driver for 10bucks to add to my light. also got 2 more 30w full spectrum floodlamps for side lighting. essential to have an even canopy with led as penetration is not so good. 100w cob can be 4" of the plants which is good.
 

Techhead

New Member
I was just looking at the links ibaba put up there. Sorry to that grow light system, but 1 watt diodes, come on, lets get with the real world. Three watts at the very least or don't bother making anything. Some other thread here had a rule of thumb that I think may be right. If I remember it right, it was stated that 36 watts per square foot of LED power is what is needed at a minimum. I do think he was right. My system came out to 46 watts a foot, and as of week 5 of my maiden voyage, they are looking good.
 

ibaba

New Member
I was just looking at the links ibaba put up there. Sorry to that grow light system, but 1 watt diodes, come on, lets get with the real world. Three watts at the very least or don't bother making anything. Some other thread here had a rule of thumb that I think may be right. If I remember it right, it was stated that 36 watts per square foot of LED power is what is needed at a minimum. I do think he was right. My system came out to 46 watts a foot, and as of week 5 of my maiden voyage, they are looking good.

yes in the real world you can easily get 3w cobs, just have to look:

100W Led grow chip ,broad full spectrum 400nm~840nm with 3w bridgelux led COB grow chip for plant seeding grow and bloom-in Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group


BTW many people have nice results with 1w diodes, but it works better with a very even canopy like scrog where penetrating light is not that important.
 
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