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Offlineashfiken
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Registered: 09/25/14
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DIY LED project...getting help
    #772944 - 03/20/15 07:46 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

So as inspired by Rahz: my next hobbyist/grow build will be with a led light that ive built myself.
this thread is to compile a comprehensive help guide to build leds from scratch both for myself and others.
i am not even planning on beginning this for some time. giving this thread time to generate some info, while i read my ass of on COB emitters and drivers, and save a few bucks.
This is no how to it is meant to help me answer my questions as a noob in this area and also help others in the future who will run into similar questions. i will try to be as comprehensive as possible with the actual build i do, eventually, myself, hopefully building a thread with both lots of technical and also step by step info.
good luck to me and anyone interested.
also thank you rahz for the help and info i have/will get from your experience, however limited you claim, in this endeavor
Also, forgot to mention some predications, measurements, dimensions, and desires. These include about a 4x4-+(altho workin with 2x2 ATM..); would like 8 plants for personal use. All other requirements will be filled as time passes.

cheers


--------------------
Hmmm

I'm from shroomery


Edited by ashfiken (03/20/15 08:37 AM)


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: ashfiken]
    #772977 - 03/20/15 03:30 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

I'm copying this over from the other thread regarding the datasheets and how to determine LPW.

"For non-typical currents the datasheets have charts, one showing current -vs- voltage. It can be used to find the voltage for a particular current. Voltage X current = watts. Another chart shows luminous flux (lumens) as a percentage of the standard currents output -vs- current. Standard output X (percentage) = lumens @ your chosen drive current. Standard output X (the percentage) / watts = LPW."

As for preliminary considerations in a 4x4, decide how much wattage you want to run. Are you looking for something that will produce almost as much as a 1000W HPS while using substantially less power, or are you looking for something that equals the power output and will outperform the HPS?

With fans I really like the Vero 29 @ 1.4 amps (52 watts each). You could run them harder though. 2.1 amps (80 watts) is manufacturer recommended.

Without fans I like the Vero 29 @ .7 amps and 140 LPW. Although it's expensive I'm very happy with the one I built. Putting two in a 4x4 would rock it and I could easily give you a complete parts list. By output it has produced 1.35 GPW (1.2 GPW by input). Consolidating some of the power supplies would reduce the cost a little bit and improve the GPW by input to around 1.25. That's just what I've done. I use Maxigrow and Maxibloom with some cal/mag so those figures probably could be improved if you are a wiz with the ferts.

Don't limit yourself to my recommendations. There are other designs and emitters in the Vero line, as well as other brands.

The Cree emitters are worth looking at too. They're more expensive but generally produce more light per watt at any given input.

Also consider a 2x4' tent, depending on your wants.


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Offlineashfiken
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: Rahz]
    #772997 - 03/20/15 06:17 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Badass glad to see you came by.
Ive done some searching and I feel I've got a good idea of the basics, ie. Parts and their functions. I can always mix brands too right as long as the driver is compatible?
I just see it being more like me to buy piecemeal from ebay, here and there to drop my cost. Nd do I always need to stay in the 3000k range or can I deviate some here and there. I get my configuration could be any way I can attach to a "frame". If I were to do 4x2 what would be your recommendations?
This oughta turn to a pretty informative thread, was just discussing with my buddy how these led "rigs" are the future.

Also id like to run a rough equivalent to the 1000w hps to benefit from energy savings, only trying to flower8-10 plants for personal use and stash

Cheers


--------------------
Hmmm

I'm from shroomery


Edited by ashfiken (03/20/15 06:22 PM)


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: ashfiken]
    #773017 - 03/21/15 12:01 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

As long as you can figure out the voltage and the nominal current you can match up a driver.

It seems like 3000K is a pretty good analog to a CMH/HPS combo. They have a decent spike in the blue spectrum to go along with the red. My experience mixing them with 4000K emitters (combined color of 3300) is that stretch is very minimal. My second lamp I went straight 3000K and in SCROG that gives me some time to train after flipping the switch.

Taking into consideration what you've said, in a 4x2 I would build two ducted strip lamps with an AC fan on the end of each one. Simple design, relatively low cost, fewer fans than using CPU coolers and no fan driver required.


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Offlineashfiken
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: Rahz]
    #773159 - 03/22/15 07:24 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Sounds solid. I will be looking into parts to begin buying immediately. Thanks for the input on light temp range, gives me liberty to mix if I want, and I train the helloutta my girls for max yield myself so that similar window would be equally as useful for me.
I'll come back when more info is required or I have something to add in the quest for DIY led. If ya think of anything else that may steer me clear of any possible hiccups, pls lemme know.

Cheers


--------------------
Hmmm

I'm from shroomery


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Offlineashfiken
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: ashfiken]
    #773160 - 03/22/15 07:41 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Quick one, now I am big on buying quality, as I know it will actually last, produce as it says, and takes less maintenance. Now with this in mind, should I be keen to stay with the two brands ou mentioned for emitters. I said id buy piecemeal and I think I'm getting one Cree of the type you mentioned on a day or two. But also on ebay are (unbranded) as I can tell and outta Hong Kong 3w DIY light beads(emitters) would these be worth looking into at all as a bargain? Or should I consider them cheap Chinese crap and hold out for only better, possible higher watt joints like we have been discussing.

Cheers


--------------------
Hmmm

I'm from shroomery


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: ashfiken]
    #773198 - 03/22/15 03:14 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

About mixing: White COBs are blue emitters covered with a phosphor coating to convert the output into a broad spectrum... so no point in mixing unless you just want an odd spectrum average i.e. Instead of using 1 4000K and 1 3000K just use 2 3500K. I didn't know this when I built my first lamp.

I haven't used the generics. I have read that their lifespan is questionable but they're also inexpensive. I would want to know their efficacy as well, for a direct comparison of light output. In any case with the prices you can get them for they could be justifiable. I would buy a few extra just in case.

I'm thinking about using the Cree CXB 3070 on my next lamp, driving them at about 70% nominal current. The will emit just over 150 LPW. :hehehe:


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Offlineashfiken
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: Rahz]
    #773226 - 03/22/15 04:32 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Bad. Ass. Sounds like you got it down to a T. Well, I won't worry about diversifying temp ranges then.. and ill plan on getting my hands on a few of those cheapos if the price is right... upgrading to all Cree?  at 70% that means you are driving them about a third as hard as they are able? Roughly., what about the cheapo? If they were ran at a % of what they are rated to be would that not theoretically raise the life span and lessen the heat as well? This is where it gets hairy for me. Would the drivers needed differentiate if one is running these at a lower current
i.e. say this 20w led needs a driver with x mA, voltage, etc. If we are running same 20w at a 60or70% nominal current could we use a lesser driver? Or more led on one driver. Maybe I misunderstand nominal current?  or is this generally thinking in the right direction.?

Cheers


--------------------
Hmmm

I'm from shroomery


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: ashfiken]
    #773252 - 03/22/15 06:29 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

In theory it should increase the lifespan at any particular temperature.

The voltage for an emitter will vary based on the current. In the datasheets you can look at the voltage -vs- current chart to see the voltage for any possible current.

The nominal current (also called the test current) is whatever the manufacturer suggests it be ran at and what they use to establish efficacy (LPW). Driving them softer increases efficacy, though the total output does go down because the unit is using less watts. Driving them harder decreases efficacy and total watts increases due to more watts consumed. In theory running them soft extends the lifespan and running them harder may result in less than the rated lifespan.

Know what the voltage will be at a particular current and you can choose a driver as well as estimate how many lumens it will output. Other than build quality, the temperature on the back side of the emitter (thermal junction) does effect lifespan so there's more to it than just the current. It's the same as with a PC. If you have good cooling you can increase the speed. The luminosity will also increase with cooler temps at the thermal junction via an increase in voltage (LPW will remain the same but the emitter will use a bit more juice as it gets cooler).

There are formulas for determining temps based on heatsink material, heatsink surface area and airflow, but that's a little more math than I care to deal with. Check out enough DIY builds and you can get a decent idea of what cooling will get the job done. A less technical and more practical method is to do some testing using a thermocouple where you apply a particular cooling solution and take a direct measurement near the thermal junction. COBs have "test spots" on their surface that are close to the Tj temp. In lieu of that testing the heatsink close to the Tj will give a pretty close reading.

If using a single emitter you want the driver to be desired current and the voltage range to be within specs for the emitter. You get best driver efficiency when the max voltage is closer to the emitters usage i.e. Driver 1 (.7A 20-30V) and Driver 2 (.7A 25-35V) if your emitter wanted 28V @ .7A Driver 1 would be the better option and would probably be cheaper too.

With multiple emitters, wiring in series stacks the voltage and wiring in parallel stacks the current. For two of the theoretical emitters wanting 28V @ .7A, in parallel a good driver choice might be (1.4A 20-30V) and in series a good choice might be (.7A 40-60V).

Edit: Post updated to correct bad info. I'm still learning here too.

Also want to mention that I've read that running parallel circuits with the larger COBs isn't recommended, so CXA/B 3070 and 3590 or Vero 29s are best ran in series unless a single driver is used for each.


Edited by Rahz (03/28/15 10:57 PM)


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: Rahz]
    #778351 - 05/11/15 03:15 AM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Here's an example of a simple, passively cooled LED lamp. I had the parts laying around and have been meaning to replace my 100w CFL panel. Although the lamp is only 500-1000 lumens more than the CFL it visibly looks much brighter.



Stats
-------
70W input / 60w output at about 120 LPW (130 LPW if Vero 18 version 2 is used)
Total lumens 7200/7800
Price: $100, maybe $120 with shipping and left over hardware.

I had the drivers laying around. Substitute with 1 LPC-100-1050 in series for increased efficiency and lower price: $90 +shipping

Parts
---------
2 Vero 18's 4000K
2 PLM-40-1050
2 Ebay 50w radial heat sinks
4 2.5m screws
2 15" strips of aluminum channel
4 1.25" #10 wood screws
4 washers
4 zip ties
some wire (18 gauge stranded)
power cord
electrical tape or shrink tubing




Tools
---------
2mm drill bit (for mounting emitters)
3mm drill bit (pilot holes for wood screws)
2.5m tap bit & tap handle
drill
electrical pliers
needle nose pliers
soldering iron
Phillips screwdriver

Notes
--------
- Apply the zip straps on each end of the driver so that the tension between them is opposite. This will prevent the driver from twisting on the frame.
-Two pliers, one loose on the zip strap and one tight above it, leveraged against one another will tighten the straps very tight.
- Use a drill to drive the wood screws into the frame. Drive them nice and tight but not too deep.
- The heatsinks can be found on ebay. You can make an offer which may or may not get rejected. I've gotten them for $12 each.
- Seems self explanatory beyond that, feel free to ask questions.


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OfflineRahz
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Re: DIY LED project...getting help [Re: Rahz]
    #778352 - 05/11/15 03:18 AM (1 year, 6 months ago)

Here's the same lamp in use. These pepper plants will be put outside next week.



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