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#1 Weed

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:13 AM

Well I have had a couple people at least ask me about me light and what went into building it.

 

So in the name of consolidation here's what I have on my few year old project.

 

First, I researched many, many, many, many, many, many hours on light, LEDs, other builds.

 

Then and only then did I start ordering anything.

 

This is what I got in the mail.

 

LAiYC9r.jpg

 

This is a 5w 'LED Engin' brand LED. This particular LED put out just over half a watt of light. Cost about $10 dollars at the time and is priced just over $7 now. I ordered 4 different wavelengths: 460nm blue, 625 nm red, 660nm deep red, and ~730 nm infrared (google Emerson Effect).

 

 


This is a few of the parts with a lighter for size reference. The smaller LEDs are the same, they just came on a smaller package.

 

The chips you see are voltage regulators. We will get to those later. The heatsink came from Ebay for about $15 plus shipping.

 

uMHCHTf.jpg

 

It came with the holes so I worked around them or used them.


It took me a lot less than 4 days to make light and no magic was involved.

 

You can see two components I have not talked about yet.

 

On the left is a Pulse Width Modulator or PWM for short. It allows dimming of the LEDs. On the right connected to the voltage regulator is a 1k resistor. The regulator and LED are connected to the heatsink with thermal tape I got from Ebay for approximately $10. The PWM I believe also came from Ebay and was about $30.

 

This was just a test. The LED is dimmed to about 50%.

 

mFChfhR.jpg


Awww come on...I wouldn't run a test at just half power.

 

QMcSso2.jpg


This was the set up I had planned. These are really bright at their rated 1 amp current. Amazingly blinding at 2 amps for maybe 2 seconds before they burn up.

 

Stupid mistake. Ordered more.

bMrd9Pw.jpg


Edited by mx5inpa, 20 February 2014 - 10:03 AM.

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#2 LUCKYDOG

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:14 AM

How many are you putting in? are you making more than one panel for your grow area? Are you growing the entire season under LED or transferring outdoors? 

Pretty cool so far



#3 Weed

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:57 AM

After receiving the new LEDs I found out not all of them were fried and I then had more working LEDs than I had planned. So I adapted and re-planned. I certainly wasn't going to argue with myself over having MORE light.

 

I started with 60w of LEDs and now had 115w. That is a 24V 2.5A Meanwell power supply. The resistors are tie wrapped. The voltage regulators are thermal taped. I used the case of the power supply as their heatsink.

 

This is probably the time I should mention that the LM317 (also from Ebay, cost ~ $2 for 6 of them) voltage regulators are wired so the regulate current instead of voltage. The resistor sets the max current..which is 1A.

 

fYXoP0b.jpg


After about 6 straight hours of work I tested the reds.

 

 

nMIp594.jpg


Next I turned the blue on at the lowest setting.

 

ve5i6CJ.jpg


Finally I said to myself, let's blind myself for life.  /Cosby

 

pfWU4cN.jpg

 

I cant seem to find a pic of the power supply mounted to the other side of the heatsink. But that is what I did. I used the holes that came with the heatsink as wire runs. Now the whole light is only about an inch and a half taller than just the heatsink.

 

Tada.

 

This was in the summer of 2012. The light still works and I still use it. The LEDs if cooled properly will run for 100k hours before they are down to 90% of their rated output. That's 11.5 years if you run them 24 hours a day.


How many are you putting in? are you making more than one panel for your grow area? Are you growing the entire season under LED or transferring outdoors? 

Pretty cool so far

 

I only made the one panel. There are 23 LEDs for a total of 115W. I use the light pretty much all year but grow outdoors. Peppers absolutely love this light. They get all shiny and turn a really nice color green.


Edited by mx5inpa, 20 February 2014 - 11:00 AM.

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#4 juanitos

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:32 AM

 

 

how many trays do you put under that light?


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#5 Weed

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:52 PM

 

how many trays do you put under that light?

 

I have never put a tray under it. I reckon you could put two under it.


Flame on...

 

VpvcfPwl.jpg

 

Flame off...

 

Actually its not off, there's just some 42w CFLs on too. Check the leaves.

 

f8OOX9cl.jpg


Edited by mx5inpa, 20 February 2014 - 02:29 PM.

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#6 Roguejim

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:14 PM

How big of a space does that cover?


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#7 Weed

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:01 PM

How big of a space does that cover?

 

If I'm actively growing plants about 2 square feet. If I'm overwintering about 4 square feet.


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