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Upgrade in progress - from 35w led to 300w led

Cerberuss

New Member
This has been my pet project for over a year now.
Around 4 months ago I put together a small panel with 19 3w led stars.

36W meanwell driver (135$)
2x 12V pc fans with power supply (scavenged from an old pc and an old laptop power supply)
9x winger 2,4V 630nm 750mA, 8x winger 3,4V 450nm 750mA (120$)
TOTAL 255$



Where are the 660nm deep reds you say? well... my order got messed up by one of the most reputable led companies in Europe (not saying any names or pointing any fingers). To be honest i was pretty pissed. I got some extra 450nm instead of the 660nm.

Once it was up and running we put it to the test and I must say, 36W sounds nothing but I have grown my OG Kush under those lights alone. And considering the low wattage and lack of the deep red spectrum the plant is doing damn well.

Based on the observations made during the last 3 months I have convinced myself that LED grow is possible and decided to invest a bit more money into the panel.



The Kush is 4 weeks into flower now at about 60cm in height and parts for my new project are shipping as I type. Cant wait to give my baby some more light.

The new project is two panels, 150W each.

2x XP Power 143V 1.05A 150W driver (325$)
2x 48V 0.085A 4W low dB server fan (12cm) (free)
1x fan power supply 48V 0,38A (10$)
4x 660nm 24V 1,05A 30W, 6x 450nm 10V 1,05A 10W, 16x 630nm 8V 1,05A 10W (285$)
TOTAL 620$

this thing will be a monster compared to the 36W. I am sure that the old panel will still be useful for clones and mothers.

Will post more when I get all the parts delivered.

-Cerb
 

Cerberuss

New Member
Greeting fellow Growers
After some two weeks I am back with updates on the 36W LED grow. Got some good news and some bad news.

Good news:
got the drivers a few days after the first post. scavenged a whole lot of heat-sinks from old laptops and PCs. Aluminum 1,5mm plates have been cut and ready for assembly. Almost everything is as it should be. Which leads me to the...

Bad news:
LEDs might take some time to deliver. The company where I ordered the leds from advertise express shipping with dhl, tnt etc for orders greater than 200$. mine was almost 300$ and they still sent it by regular post... don't you just hate it? :) I guess another week or two of waiting.

In the meantime the OG Kush is thriving considering the low, low wattage used to keep this baby alive and flowering.
Here are some pictures to pass the time.

P6251648.JPG

P6231643.JPG

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P6171623.JPG

P6151602.JPG


-Cerb
 

Cerberuss

New Member
Panel No.1 COMPLETE

I used an old DVD player case for the housing. Nice light sturdy aluminum, perfect.

Used Arctic Silver thermal adhesive to glue LEDs in place, along with the heatsinks on the other side. An easy process, much less time consuming than drilling holes and bolting each led in place like I did for the last panel.


I'm not a very good solderererer.... only good enough to get it done with, overlooking some finer touches concerning soldering.

Medication time! Needed to clear some fumes from my lungs :)

The next step was to instal the fan. The fan is a bit on the beefy side so it wouldn't fit inside the DVD player case, so outside the box it is!


With some time and a hole-saw drill-bit I made a hole for airflow on the upper part of the case, screwed the fan in place and sealed the borders with some thermal silicone.

All done and ready for testing.

-Cerb
 

Cerberuss

New Member
Panel No.2 COMPLETE

Used a 1.5mm aluminum plate. Again arctic silver thermal adhesive to glue leds and heatsinks to the board.


the process was almost identical to the construction of the 1st. the only difference is that this one has only passive cooling, no fan installed. will observe if I need to add extra fan cooling.

-Cerb


Edit: in the end the heat was too much and I had to install the fan. After some time the temperature of the metal plate dropped substantially.

made some "legs" for the fan to stand on with some long screws and a few bolts to keep it high enough. 4 drops of thermal silicone to hold it in place on the metal plate and we're golden!
 

Tardigrade89

New Member
This looks good. Always fun to watch DIY-projects. When you say your LED's are 3W is that the actualy wattage they are running on? As I understand most store bought LED panels have the power tuned slightly down to increase lifespan. I got two LED lights myself, one UFO at 90W and a panel at 180W, and they were both advertised as 135W and 240W respectively.

I must actually say I was really surprised to see that photo knowing it was grown under a 35W. That is impressive, really. Would be interesting to see the difference if you had gotten those 660nm LED's in there :)
 

Cerberuss

New Member
Thanks Tardigrade89
The LEDs on the small panel are generally known as 3W stars. I tested them with a multimeter and they seem to match (+,-) the technical data procured by the manufacturer.
About the advertised wattage on manufactured LED panels: you have to include the wattage used by fans and anything else that's connected on the device. A marketing scheme that works for most of the time:)

To have LEDs running at optimum efficiency means to drive them at the appropriate Constant Current with enough voltage + headroom. Under-driving them with a lower amperage will DECREASE the lifespan of LEDs as surely as over-driving them with higher amperage; and driving them with lower voltages won't even power them up.

-Cerb
 

Cerberuss

New Member
Thanks for the support Big Perm.
It's been a while since posting anything new in the forums.
Since the project started I had 2 harvests (OG Kush test plant and 9 plants in a 12/12 from (bag)seed setup) and am now closing in on the 3rd (Power Flower). So far the performance has been excellent and the product dense and sticky. A real treat to touch, look, smell and taste.
In fact, the results were the feather that tipped the scale on some misconceptions of my skeptic fellow grower friends, deciding to switch from HPS to the lean green growing machine that is the LED.
In face of these recent developments I have been tasked to construct 6 LED panels with 30W LED chipsets, each panel with a power output of 300W.
I got some nice larger heatsinks to balance the heat output of the 30W. In case that won't be enough I still have easy access to some server fans.
On the other hand I have been looking for a 300W 286V 1,05A LED driver or a 300W 143V 2,1A LED driver, but can't find one. If any of you happen to come across one(or six) please let me know in a PM.

-Cerb
 
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