Thanks to all the inspiration in this thread, I finally decided to also take the plunge and build myself a LED light. After hours of searching for currently best setup for COBs, many forums were pointing to the efficiency of the led strips / quantum boards, so I spent many more hours researching how to strike a good balance between light output, power usage and cost of parts. My goal was mainly for starting seedlings in the spring, and perhaps to keep a plant or two going for an additional month or so after the summer to ripen the last batch of pods. Of course I could have just bought a quantum board + driver and be done with it, but what would have been the fun in that? Besides, I was hoping to get a little more spread out of my light so I could cover a larger area.
End results of parts ordered were the following:
2x SI-B8R261560WW (LT-F562B, 5000k)
2x SI-B8T261560WW (LT-F562B, 4000k)
1x HLG-185H-24A (~190W driver, which is overkill for 4 strips, but allows expansion with at least 2 more strips if needed, and was basically the same price as the 150W driver)
Some U-channel aluminium as heatsinks, and L-channel aluminium for the frame.
Total price of parts was a little over 100USD plus tax, or around 100EUR, so quite affordable for the light output I’d say, and the same, if not a little cheaper, than buying ready-built quantum boards.
In the current configuration, these strips have the same number of leds (288 total) as a single quantum board, and them being the same samsung LM561C diodes, should result in the same benefits, except for the fact that I was now able to mix the 4000k and 5000k spectra to hopefully obtain the best of both worlds for pepper growing.
I’m running the strips, in parallel, at 1,200mA, resulting in a total current draw of 4.8A, meaning around 120W pulled at the wall. According to Samsung’s calculator, this gives just under 20,000 lumens at an efficacy of 174lm/w, and let me tell you they are bright!
After about 2hrs of running, temps are at a steady 50C, so could probably push the strips a little harder, but I think this should suffice. I've also put a 1,600mA glass fuse in front of each strip, in order to prevent any current runaway higher than what the strips can handle (1,800mA). This shouldn't be necessary but adds a nice layer of security and peace of mind...
Unfortunately the pictures don’t do the brightness justice, but I think you get the gist of it…
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Edited by lespaulde, 22 September 2018 - 03:10 AM.