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InvisiblephychotronM
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My first LED build. 20w, $30 * 1
    #821642 - 12/03/16 08:44 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

This is my $30, 20w LED grow light that I'm working on. Its the start of a much larger project to build a bigger unit capable of flowering cannabis.

The idea is simple. I'm going to make it as modular as possible so that I can easily expand and replace components as needed. Ideally I want to have 3.5' long bank of these 1' wide modules that all have their own power supply and can just drop right to be swapped and replaced with other color configurations. I've decided to start now with just white diodes but will probably end up ordering a bunch of red/white/blue diodes to round out the spectrum.

Driver: 600mA 18-33V (20w) ebay generic ($6.35)
Diodes: Cree XTE 2900-3200K, 5800-6500K on aluminum pcb (5 each, $11)
Aluminum: 300x25x12mm finned (2, $5.32)
Various other parts (wire, connectors, solder, shrink tube, etc)

I started with the diodes I wanted to use, Cree XTE white, and selected components to suit that. The heat sink is designed for about 12 watts but I plan on using five 5w diodes per heat sink. In order to put that many 5w diodes on I need to make sure to drive them at a lower current so that they don't blow up from heat stress. The diodes are able to run between 350mA and 1500mA. That will determine their brightness, power consumption and subsequently amount of heat they produce. More current means they're going to be brighter but less efficient (Lumens/Watt is lower). I decided to go with the recommended 600mA. This means that the diodes will run at about 2 watts each. That puts the heat sinks at 10 watts each.

Future designs will have active cooling (fans) so that I can either put more diodes on each heat sink, or run them on a higher current. I could have easily spent another $2-3 on a larger power supply and run the diodes on full power but decided to go easy on them for longevity and testing the thermal load of the design before maxing it out.


Determining which power supply is the hardest part of building an LED light. The formula is very simple though. You look at the specification on the diodes, mine are 350-1.5mA and 2.9-3.6V. Watts is completely irrelevant but gives you an idea of consumption.

For LED's you want to run them in SERIES with a constant current. This will allow them to protect themselves by shutting down all of them as soon as one blows up. Parallel circuits will systematically blow up every diode as soon as one goes out.

Once you determine the constant current that you want to drive the diodes at, you have to figure out the voltage requirements of the driver. My diodes take a minimum of 2.9V each to operate and I have 10 of them in my circuit. Y That means that the power supply needs to supply at least 29V to light them all up. My supply is rated to supply between 18-33 volts, which is large enough to drive them. As a rule you don't want to run the driver at higher than 90% load. I found this after buying mine but the multi-meter shows it at 44V.

Watt = Volts * Amps

Watts = 29-36V * .6A = 17-21watts.

To get the full 5w out of each diode I'd run them at 1500mA and the same voltage, but consume upwards of 50 watts.





To mount the diodes on the heat sink I'm using double sided thermal adhesive tape. Future design will have screw holes drilled into the aluminum after I determine the best configuration.

This is a work in progress, I haven't received the heat sinks yet. I'll edit/post photos of the build as the rest of the thing comes together. Sorry for the teaser ladies...


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTheman
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #821675 - 12/05/16 02:51 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

Coo beans man.

Just 1 thing. White led aren't the way to go as ur loosing significant of energy that plants can't use. Led don't make white light so they usually add a filter and add multiple colors so appears white so ur loosing all that energy. Work ya but just using led is all about hitting the par so every watt goes to making wavelengths the plant uses. Not large broad spectrum. So by not targeting par u are wasting all the energy of the extra spectrum ur making.

  If Google white led for grow there is some.good write ups. Remember u don't need to round out the spectrum. U want to target wavelengths very specifically. Or u might aswell just use compact floro s.

http://www.ledgrowlightshq.co.uk/white-leds/

Here u can read up on PAR and is the backbone of LED growing efficiency.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetically_active_radiation


Edited by Theman (12/05/16 03:02 PM)


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: Theman]
    #821690 - 12/05/16 06:05 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

The Xlamp series from Cree is designed for plant horticulture. The white is used as a filler spectrum for most of the micro requirements between red and blue. Plants actually need green as well just in very limited quantities. White is the newest solution to having to pick out a bunch of specific in-between color diodes. They make the 4000K lamp that is more 'full spectrum' but still needs to be supplemented with red. Those weren't available so I opted for the 2 different white to get started. Red and blue only don't perform like their 'full spectrum' counterparts.

This is just the first of many modules, most of them will be mostly red and some blue. The red diodes I wanted to get were not available and I couldn't wait to get started.

http://www.cree.com/LED-Components-and-Modules/Applications/Color/Horticulture

And a good reference build of a grow light, with metered results.
http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED-Components-and-Modules/XLamp/XLamp-Reference-Designs/HorticultureReferenceDesign.pdf


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTheman
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #821695 - 12/05/16 06:55 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

Still technically wastes energy:) even of built for growing. Read how they obtain white light in led and u will understand my meaning :smile:


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: Theman]
    #821696 - 12/05/16 07:16 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

I understand, but look at some of the spectral output of those white diodes and you'll see its not just spikes of specific wavelengths.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #821697 - 12/05/16 07:42 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

Another thing you have to consider about diodes is their proximity. Its very hard to have a full spectrum light with a perfectly even distribution of that spectrum. The individual color diodes have to be spaced apart in an array that will best distribute their light and overlap with others.

White diodes allow you to have a broader spectrum in a single point and therefore more even light distribution.

The ideal plant diode will most likely be some sort of 5-10w COB style emitter with the various spectrum in their proper ratios. Any larger of wattage and I feel you loose the ability to spread the light out evenly.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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Offlinefunky
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #821699 - 12/05/16 08:33 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

From what I've seen of the xlamp chips they work great over reef tanks. I've never really seen them over plants but they should do good, have you thought about lens? How big do you plan on making your array? I've been looking into the higher power cobs by cree, an citizen, I ordered a couple citizen clu048-1818 chips . They compete with the Cree cxb3590 chips. The Samsung quantum boards are pretty impressive at 200lm/w link.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: funky]
    #821716 - 12/06/16 03:20 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

That's a calculated value of 200lm/w. I'm sure actual test would prove different. Plus that's at very low current and they only tested at 40 degrees, whereas most test at 85.

That's basically just a multiple diode PCB, or what I refer to as a module. I've been exploring options such as that but usually find the diodes are not what I like or the shape is off or something isn't right.

Its not the most user friendly. When one diode goes your gonna need to get some work in learning how to solder/de-solder those small SMD's without messing one up.


Lenses are a future investment. I wanted to figure out the thermal management before I mounted lenses. Not sure how I'm going to incorporate them entirely but they're in the works. I like the 90degree lenses.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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Offlinefunky
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #821719 - 12/06/16 05:24 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

Yeah those boards are better suited for cabinet growers or side lighting maybe, not very useful for most people. I've noticed a couple thread on another forum where they are using them . Definitely not something I'm putting any money in .

Premade modules would be nice if the power was there but I would spend my money on something else. I'm still deciding which leds I will be using efficiency isn't my top priority but anything over 150 lm/w is good in my book (short book). The new Vero Gen 7 chips look good they are around 170 lm/w an the price isn't to bad either. Lots of ways to skin a cat these days.

Running at 2 watts each they should be easy to cool plus they should run more efficient at the lower power. With a good bar heatsink you may be able to passively cool them, depends on how densely you pack them on there. I have a reef breeders photon 48 (216w) led fixture that I recently converted to a more plant friendly spectrum and it has 90° optics on it an I'm going to be upgrading them to 60° optics soon. The 90's spread the light out to much for my liking.

Edit

Another thought on optics if you weren't aware is transmittance % , I've noticed there is a lot 92% ones being sold these days and it's definitely worth paying extra for the 98% optics.


Edited by funky (12/07/16 02:53 AM)


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InvisibleChakanooga
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: funky]
    #821790 - 12/08/16 09:40 PM (1 year, 10 months ago)

Sounds like a good build, it should have a decent outcome and yeild a lot of bud.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: Chakanooga]
    #822017 - 12/18/16 01:03 AM (1 year, 9 months ago)

I was tired of waiting for the mail for the finned aluminum so I went out and picked up a flat aluminum bar to mount the diodes on. It'll add more heat sink when but also allow me to mount the diodes more easily. I'm going to use some sort of thermal adhesive for the finned aluminum.

I used a $1.50 yard sale sign stake for the frame, the Aluminum bar was $7.




Used the sharp end as a mounting press for the diodes. The thermal adhesive requires as much pressure as possible to get the best contact.











I used all three bars and just mounted the power supply on the middle. I'm going to upgrade it later and its ready to receive the new parts.



The plant above looks nice but the real test will be when i get a few clones under it to see what its really capable of.

I think 40-50 more watts and some cooling fans will make this complete. Probably all red/blue from here out.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTheman
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #822028 - 12/18/16 03:40 PM (1 year, 9 months ago)

Plant looks like it was too close to a light and needs some ferts asap lol


Edited by Theman (12/18/16 06:54 PM)


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: Theman]
    #822034 - 12/18/16 08:46 PM (1 year, 9 months ago)

That's just a clone that I was nursing back to life. It wasn't grown under that light and hasn't had any nutrients since its birth.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTrueHerbCrystal
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #822753 - 01/18/17 03:18 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Quote:

phychotron said:











I used all three bars and just mounted the power supply on the middle. I'm going to upgrade it later and its ready to receive the new parts.



The plant above looks nice but the real test will be when i get a few clones under it to see what its really capable of.

I think 40-50 more watts and some cooling fans will make this complete. Probably all red/blue from here out.




Trippy!

Looks a lot like my CFL design. Great minds think alike :wink:







I like your modular design :thumbup:


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: TrueHerbCrystal]
    #822761 - 01/18/17 06:53 AM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Great hack job.  I'm waiting for more diodes to come in to upgrade it to a proper veg light. Going to add 10 blue to it.  I have to wait for the mail from china and its taking forever.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTrueHerbCrystal
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #822778 - 01/18/17 01:13 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

thanks.

I know, china is cheap as hell but takes FOR-EV-ER....

But its cheap as hell :shrug: Nowadays when i shop on ebay, i try searching "US ship" with the item name. Im willing to pay extra for the faster ship. But u may have a budget priority.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: TrueHerbCrystal]
    #822792 - 01/18/17 04:44 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

China has invaded amazon/ebay and have a few jumbo jets dedicated to amazon prime shipping coming over per day. You can order and get stuff within 2 days direct from china. Basically it was the lazy American business's who had the Chinese manufacturers do all this stuff for them, including drop shipping direct. So they naturally figured out that they too could just build an amazon web store and bypass our economy completely.  Amazon is just sucking China's dick taking all the sales commissions and selling out our economy.

Shipping cost for a Chinese package to the U.S. is only like 50 cents, but shipping cost for a U.S. package within its borders is around $3. Its impossible to compete with prices like that. Its a difference between an item costing $2 vs $5. The $2 version of the exact same thing will sell more often than the marked up one sitting right next to it.

Only occasionally when I need something in a timely manner do I order from a U.S. Shipper. I've been ordering a bunch of small shit that just adds up TOO much. The $100 in random $1-5 parts I've spent would be more like $500 in material costs. Something that's just not cost effective for a small project/experiment.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


Edited by phychotron (01/18/17 05:19 PM)


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OfflineTrueHerbCrystal
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #822809 - 01/18/17 09:09 PM (1 year, 8 months ago)

Makes sense.

And yah, China has invaded both sites by a huge margin. Ive found some unique items but they were pretty lame in quality.


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InvisiblephychotronM
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: TrueHerbCrystal]
    #824457 - 03/06/17 04:46 PM (1 year, 7 months ago)

I upgraded the frame and diodes. Added some cooling fans from an old DS100 and its now cool to the touch, like 80F or something like that. Pulling 50 watts with the diodes and fans, total cost around $65.

It still needs a lot of work. I need to rewire it and probably double up the number of diodes now that it has fans on it. Plus I want to eliminate those fans and get one 120mm fan. I'm thinking about adding red and seeing what it can do in a flower situation.



I had it vegging some plants for awhile then transferred them to a 4x4 and they all did pretty well considering. Not an explosion of growth but not much stretching either. Some of the smaller clones really seemed to like it even at a few feet away.


--------------------
Any help given is for educational purposes only. Its your responsibility not to break any applicable laws
Bamboo Bongs I make | Perfect Dry and Cure | Grapegod under LED
“Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune intoned in the distance by an invisible player.” ~ Albert Einstein


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OfflineTrueHerbCrystal
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Re: My first LED build. 20w, $30 [Re: phychotron]
    #824458 - 03/06/17 05:02 PM (1 year, 7 months ago)

Looks cool, alumimum frame?


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