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HOW TO BUILD AN LED GROWLIGHT

DIY LED GROWLIGHT INDOOR LIGHTING

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#21 N8thaniel

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Posted 28 November 2015 - 11:59 AM

BUILD KIT # 5

 

the 'EL Cheapo'
Includes Bloom mode only/ not dimmable- value for money

[Price: $69] [Skills Required: Soldering] [Tools Required: soldering iron] [44watts/6000 Lumens- good for 2sq ft/ fruiting 1 plant] 

 

we will use Cree XP-G2 R5 2800-3500K (115 degree viewing angle so lenses are totally optional in this tight space)

 

so at 600mA we get 140L/w and about 250L each chip-seen as they are only 2 watters we can attach with a thermal pad and reduce the cost of mounting



the driver will push them @ 600mA in series but unfortunately can only drive 12 per string without reducing the mA so we will have 1 spare chip 

mount 8 chips per heat sink in series (or if u want to just have 2 separate units get an extra heatsink and mount 6 per heatsink aka 2 heatsink led combos per driver)

 

 

Screen%20shot%202015-11-28%20at%2017.50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOPPING LIST


(5x5 pack of chips[25 total chips])https://www.fasttech.com/p/1921703


(2x 20 pack of thermal pads)https://www.fasttech.com/p/1350301 


(x2 driver)https://www.fasttech.com/p/1734701 


(x3 heatsink)https://www.fasttech...roducts/1348407
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#22 N8thaniel

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:25 AM

if any links dont work or dont take you to the right product(check the screenshots) please let me know

i found a few wrong links the other day and fixed them


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#23 juanitos

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 12:06 PM

thermal adhesive for the win.

 

i did drilling and tapping and all kinds of stuff to secure the chips before i discovered thermal adhesive.I have 3 and 5w stars using only adhesive to secure them running no problems for a year now


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#24 N8thaniel

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 01:32 PM

thermal adhesive for the win.

 

i did drilling and tapping and all kinds of stuff to secure the chips before i discovered thermal adhesive.I have 3 and 5w stars using only adhesive to secure them running no problems for a year now

 

 

I absolutely disagree lol well i kinda agree but i find the pads easier they r like double sided tape

 

BUT

in order or how well TIM(thermal interface material) transfer heat

1) grease

2) pad

3) adhesive

 

as mentioned in the intro for anything above 10w(heatwatts so 100%-actually effciency*total watts) using the pads or adhesive is dicy 

 

as you can see in the el cheapo build i do recommend the use of other tims just not for all applications

 

thanks for your input


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#25 frosty

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 10:15 AM

A hint,use pop/push pull rivets to mount your LEDs with heat conductive grease to mount your LEDS.
Gives you playing room for changing out LEDS.
 
Screws are a hassle when playing with enlarged holes IF you want to play with changing out NM/LEDS.
 
https://www.google.c...iw=1024&bih=643
 
Might need a washer,depending on your build/LED mount.
Can't get a screw head too close to power...avoids the whole possible problem.
Plus they are fast to use in your build,no tools needed but fingers.
 
Great post and info!
Good stuff,Thanks for taking the time.

Smokie had mentioned that earlier and I am using it for my current build. It is awesome.
Cheaper than thermal adhesive
Flat so it doesn't block light
Easier than screws
Easily removed
Heads of screws will short the stars I am using
The one thing is there is little room for error in drilling holes. I made a wood block with perfect measured distance. I drill through it to get my holes right


I'm using r4120 rivets on aluminum channel
http://www.amazon.co...U3LL&ref=plSrch

Edited by frosty, 05 December 2015 - 10:24 AM.


#26 N8thaniel

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 12:42 PM

Frosty, are u using grease with the rivets or no TIM at all?

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#27 frosty

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 03:04 PM

I'm using thermal compound from radio shack

Edited by frosty, 06 December 2015 - 08:18 AM.


#28 Ozzy2001

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:16 PM

I'm going to have to sit down and check out the videos. I was wanting to build some LED's this winter.

Thanks for everyone contributing to this thread. Lots of good info.

#29 Trevox

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 04:21 PM

Thanks for this awesome post, I was thinking about building a CFL growlight before but this setup is easy and almost as cheap!

Plus its fun and somehow more elegant using LEDs.

 

I'm thinking about building the "El cheapo", but I want slightly colder light for it (4000K-5000K)

 

Do you think I can swap the LEDs in the "el cheapo"-setup for these ones instead? https://www.fasttech.com/p/2058901

They are even cheaper than the other ones (3.81 for a 5-pack!)

 

They seem to have slightly different specs though, thats why I'm asking..

 

Thanks again



#30 N8thaniel

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for this awesome post, I was thinking about building a CFL growlight before but this setup is easy and almost as cheap!

Plus its fun and somehow more elegant using LEDs.

 

I'm thinking about building the "El cheapo", but I want slightly colder light for it (4000K-5000K)

 

Do you think I can swap the LEDs in the "el cheapo"-setup for these ones instead? https://www.fasttech.com/p/2058901

They are even cheaper than the other ones (3.81 for a 5-pack!)

 

They seem to have slightly different specs though, thats why I'm asking..

 

Thanks again

 

 

yeah u can totally do that

 

the reason i used the ones i did in the el cheapo was for  efficiency they r the best bang for buck

 

these ones are not binned so cant really tell if they r good or just ok but shoudl be fine as the single pc of the same model is listed as R5 bin

 

i havnt suggested lenses on any of these builds as i am assuming u will grow in a tent or at least have walls around ur grow area-if not i suggest you get lenses


Edited by N8thaniel, 06 January 2016 - 09:06 AM.

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#31 Trevox

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 09:45 AM

 

 

yeah u can totally do that

 

the reason i used the ones i did in the el cheapo was for  efficiency they r the best bang for buck

 

these ones are not binned so cant really tell if they r good or just ok but shoudl be fine as the single pc of the same model is listed as R5 bin

 

i havnt suggested lenses on any of these builds as i am assuming u will grow in a tent or at least have walls around ur grow area-if not i suggest you get lenses

 

 

OK, great.

But how can you see they are more efficient? The XT-Es not being binned, is that not only about color temperature but about efficiency/performance as well?

I ordered some lenses from fasttech, it isn't really clear if they fit XT-E though. Are there different fittings for different CREE leds?



#32 N8thaniel

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 06:46 AM

I can see the efficiency by looking at the data sheet :D

The lenses should be fine(yes dif models take dif lenses) but the fastexh ones are usually generic that will fit almost any diode

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#33 N8thaniel

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 10:10 AM

https://docs.google....#gid=1546675363


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#34 JOEZEP

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 12:38 AM

N8thaniel,

 

Great post you inspired me to go out and build my own system and join the forum! Originally I just wanted to make sure I could overwinter 6-8 plants successfully. Since last year I lost a 3 of 3. I went with a variation of the "EL Cheapo".

 

Trevox, if you are reading this I basically did what you were asking. I bought 15 Cree XTE's. 7- 6000K(CW)  &  8-4500k (NW). I am really happy with the results. I currently have 7 under the lights. I put them on a timer so they only come on from 9-10:30 and again at 2-5. The rest of the time they get regular NY winter sun.

Check out the link on MS Onedrive bellow for comparison. The first was taken on January 1st, the second was taken January 23rd.

http://1drv.ms/1PXcdfz



#35 N8thaniel

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 07:47 AM

N8thaniel,

 

Great post you inspired me to go out and build my own system and join the forum! Originally I just wanted to make sure I could overwinter 6-8 plants successfully. Since last year I lost a 3 of 3. I went with a variation of the "EL Cheapo".

 

Trevox, if you are reading this I basically did what you were asking. I bought 15 Cree XTE's. 7- 6000K(CW)  &  8-4500k (NW). I am really happy with the results. I currently have 7 under the lights. I put them on a timer so they only come on from 9-10:30 and again at 2-5. The rest of the time they get regular NY winter sun.

Check out the link on MS Onedrive bellow for comparison. The first was taken on January 1st, the second was taken January 23rd.

http://1drv.ms/1PXcdfz

 

 

welcome to the future my friend, we have been waiting for you =D

 

BTW I love seeing you guys adapting these builds, really makes me happy to see 

 

can u elaborate on what parts you used?

 

looks like the heatsink usa profile with how many leds? which driver? what currentz?( dont think u need to cool that heatsink with a fan if you are using 25 leds


Edited by N8thaniel, 29 January 2016 - 07:50 AM.

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#36 Trevox

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 11:39 AM

Cool, those plants seem to like it!

I have gotten my stuff from fast tech and have started to build the lamp. My plan is to attach it to a Tertial lamp from IKEA and remove the lamp head so I can mount the LED light on the lamp arm instead. I'm also designing some kind of cover for the heatsinks. (just for appearance. :)

 

Did you have any lenses on your build? I bought some lenses but I'm not really sure how to attach them.

 

 

N8thaniel,

 

Great post you inspired me to go out and build my own system and join the forum! Originally I just wanted to make sure I could overwinter 6-8 plants successfully. Since last year I lost a 3 of 3. I went with a variation of the "EL Cheapo".

 

Trevox, if you are reading this I basically did what you were asking. I bought 15 Cree XTE's. 7- 6000K(CW)  &  8-4500k (NW). I am really happy with the results. I currently have 7 under the lights. I put them on a timer so they only come on from 9-10:30 and again at 2-5. The rest of the time they get regular NY winter sun.

Check out the link on MS Onedrive bellow for comparison. The first was taken on January 1st, the second was taken January 23rd.

http://1drv.ms/1PXcdfz



#37 louis-123

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 01:36 AM

Hi Nathan, before finding your post I build two cob vero29 at 2.1mah 3500k for roughly 20000 lumens. They are each on a pc cpu heatsink with fans. Now I build a greenhouse and I have too little lumens for my 20sqft from reading your post I should have another 15000lumens. Iam thinking of adding another 2 cob vero 29 at 4000k to have more blue and help veging à little.
My question would this heatsink be enough (2,1 amp at 36v) to cool one cob without à fan??

http://www.dx.com/p/...66#.Vq2qucvCrqA


I want to avoid fans! Thanks

#38 N8thaniel

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:54 AM

Hi Nathan, before finding your post I build two cob vero29 at 2.1mah 3500k for roughly 20000 lumens. They are each on a pc cpu heatsink with fans. Now I build a greenhouse and I have too little lumens for my 20sqft from reading your post I should have another 15000lumens. Iam thinking of adding another 2 cob vero 29 at 4000k to have more blue and help veging à little.
My question would this heatsink be enough (2,1 amp at 36v) to cool one cob without à fan??

http://www.dx.com/p/...66#.Vq2qucvCrqA


I want to avoid fans! Thanks

no

 

@2100mA the vero 29 is 39.% eff and 78.75 electrical watts=47.439 watts of heat 

you need 110 cm2 per heatwatt min for passive cooling

that sink is only 2096cm2 so good for about 19 watts of heat passive

 

where are you exactly on planet earth? i can suggest some cheap options

 

I would recommend using active cooling anyway though or using more chips of lower wattage

 

once u start getting that high in the watts department its cheaper to run more chips softer than ship all the heatsink u will need

 

stick with active cooling buddy- you can run your fans on 5v instead of 12 if noise is an issue

 

or u can take

http://www.aliexpres...2595774515.html

 

and convert everything to passvie


Edited by N8thaniel, 31 January 2016 - 09:07 AM.

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#39 louis-123

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:13 PM

no

 

@2100mA the vero 29 is 39.% eff and 78.75 electrical watts=47.439 watts of heat 

you need 110 cm2 per heatwatt min for passive cooling

that sink is only 2096cm2 so good for about 19 watts of heat passive

 

where are you exactly on planet earth? i can suggest some cheap options

 

I would recommend using active cooling anyway though or using more chips of lower wattage

 

once u start getting that high in the watts department its cheaper to run more chips softer than ship all the heatsink u will need

 

stick with active cooling buddy- you can run your fans on 5v instead of 12 if noise is an issue

 

or u can take

http://www.aliexpres...2595774515.html

 

and convert everything to passvie

Iam in canada, heatsink usa seems to be overly expensive for shipping. Do you have other options?

With the posted heatsink from DX, i could go with 2*2000 lumen vero 13 (500 mah * 31v)
It would be enough to cool this from what i understand.
Running 3 heatsink (vero13 paired up on the heatsink 4000lumen a piece) with a 3000mah 30-36v driver would give me another 12000 lumens.
Would that be good? 32000 lumens for a 20sqft (with panda film) greenhouse.

I want to avoid fans because the greenhouse is near the bedroom and we already hear what is running now, i dont want to add more noise. Plus its something that can fail and end up over heating the cob.

Thanks for your help!



#40 N8thaniel

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:34 PM

Iam in canada, heatsink usa seems to be overly expensive for shipping. Do you have other options?

With the posted heatsink from DX, i could go with 2*2000 lumen vero 13 (500 mah * 31v)
It would be enough to cool this from what i understand.
Running 3 heatsink (vero13 paired up on the heatsink 4000lumen a piece) with a 3000mah 30-36v driver would give me another 12000 lumens.
Would that be good? 32000 lumens for a 20sqft (with panda film) greenhouse.

I want to avoid fans because the greenhouse is near the bedroom and we already hear what is running now, i dont want to add more noise. Plus its something that can fail and end up over heating the cob.

Thanks for your help!

 

 

first thing i suggest is try running the cpu @ 5v

if you can still hear it lets talk about other options


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