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If you were to build a LED grow from scratch what would you purchase?

OldnTired

Member
Well I'm ready to pull the trigger and purchase some LEDs for my grow area.
I want to use DigiKey as I have some other items to purchase besides the LEDs.
Area is 6'x2'x6' (LWH).
 

Rockyhigh

New Member
Hey Old N Tired, I purchased 44-650's Lumi- Grows & 2-325's for my grow rooms. I am now setting the trays and will have more info. I purchased the Lumi- Grow because they are they only manufacture that the US Government allows a 30% purchase rebate from my energy supplier. So 30% of my purchase price is going to be rebated in a direct check from my supplier.
The warranty terms are far better then the other brands & the professionalism of the staff was far exceeding then the others.
I could go on and on but after a 1 1/2 year research I decided on Lumi-Grow. Also the others are not waterproof just water resistant.
 

OldnTired

Member
Thanks for the reply Rocky, The Lumi-Grow products look very nice, am I correct you purchased 44 of the 650 models?
Anyway I'm more of a DIY person and I'm looking for a list of LEDs that I should purchase to make my own grow light.
The Cree 3070 CoBs are very expensive but if they are the better way to go I will purchase a couple.
Will 2 of the 3070's be good enough for my grow area?

My other idea was to purchase some discrete monocolor LEDs maybe 3 or 5 watt units.
I have all the mounting hardware etc that I need to make this happen but I have yet to find the "Best" LED to use.
Maybe I will make two lights using the monocolor and Cob white LEDs.
Here is the thing, I can always re-purpose the white CoB light as something else but a light made up of Red/Blue LEDs would be a waste if the white CoBs work better.
 

OldnTired

Member
So what I'm looking at is 2 x 6" x 20" drilled and tapped heat sinks. (By RapidLED)
They will hold 36 LEDs (4 rows of 9).
They also sell a verity of LEDs by Cree and Phillips mounted on a Star heat sink. They also have a solder-less Star heat sink.
It looks like they also have the Cree XM-L2 10 watt LEDs mounted on a solder-less Star.
It probably would not be recommended to mix the 10 watt and 3/5 watt LED on the same driver, but a string of X 10 watt LED on the proper driver should do.
The drivers they sell are the Mean Well series.
So my question is what mix of red/blue/white should make up the 36 LEDs?
 

Rockyhigh

New Member
Hey Old N tired, maybe I should have been more creative in stead of buying 46 lights at one time. I am going to look into the info you have written. I am trying to figure out my camera to send to my email so I can post photos. I was given a tour of the assemble process and truthfully the whole process is not all that difficult. Most likely a whole lot less then what I paid but time is of the essence so I had to break the bank on the lights. Keep in touch and let me know. My guys are finishing the plumbing for the EZ drain 50's today and time to grow. Thanks, Dan
 

OldnTired

Member
Thanks for the help Rocky!
My grow is very small and personal if you get what I mean.
It was very unexpected as the seeds I used were very old but they took and I was thrown into a grow.
I cannibalized as much lighting as I could from the house and purchased some CFL bulbs that can be re-purposed once I make a new system.
I'm quite handy with a soldering iron but lacking the knowledge in LED lighting to make an informed decision.
However I'm learning...
 

Hosebomber

New Member
RockyHigh, you are 100% incorrect about the purchase rebate. The government will give you a tax credit for purchasing nearly any "green" energy efficient upgrade (to include insulation and solar panels). This is a government rebate to you in the form of a tax credit and not from the supplier. If they are cutting you a check, then they are claiming your product as a tax rebate for their company. This is in the gray area of legality but is often done with PPA solar panel installations. There is a reason that Lumi Grow has been out for a number of years and have very little use in the growing community and I will leave that portion at that.

As for what diodes to purchase, if you are going for efficiency then vero's or CXA's are currently the most efficient COB's. Cree now covers everything except >445nm and <660 in the XP-E series. I personally prefer Rebel and Rebel ES for their wider bands in the reds. If you are growing in a scrog system then 3 watt diodes are the way to go. If you are growing natural or Sativa plants you will want 5 watt diodes and possibly lenses too depending on how tall/ how much penetration you want.
 

OldnTired

Member
Thanks HB, my current grow is from unknown bag-seed and it turns out they were Auto's.
My next grow will be non-auto with scrog. Have you seen the XM-L2 10 watt white LEDs from Cree?
Same die size as the 3/5 watt LEDs mounted on Star heat sinks.
I'm trying to figure out what mix of white/Red/Blue I should purchase.
 

Hosebomber

New Member
The efficiency gain of the XM-L2 isn't that great compared to the cost increase to be honest. It is more efficient and has a better curve at lower drive currents though. Mounting them to star boards are nice, but you will still need more additional heat sinking. For a manufactured panel where looks and form factor mean more, the XM-L2 may be a really good option. For a one off hand made panel, I don't see it being worth the extra cost. If you are going scrog, I personally would use 3 watt diodes and IF you want better eye quality lighting with additional penetration, some XM-L or XM-L2's.
 

OldnTired

Member
I decided to make a couple seperate lights.
What spectrum should I get?
Blue, 465-485nm.
Royal Blue, 450-465nm.
Red, 620-630nm.
Cool White, 5,000-8,300K.
Netural White, 3,700-5,000K.
Warm White, 2,600-3,700K

I'm thinking a ratio of 4:1 Red/Blue and a seperate unit of just Warm White.
 

ibaba

New Member
for my led light I bought some full spectrum phosphor 100w cob chips, PC computer CPU heat-sinks and 100w drivers. These are not the 10 x 10 diode COBs with many different diodes, but white diodes covered in a phosphor so they give out a complete spectrum. This way they last much longer - I must say they are working very well and cost about 100$ per 100w of light (consumption/ power draw) but in retrospect I realise I could have done it about 30$ cheaper each one individually sourcing the parts.

the reason for this method is that I am broke and cant afford to spend more!
 
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