Help creating a diy led fixture

I was bemoaning to my friend about my lights, and he suggested diy strip lights. I guess that is the term?
He recommended


I understand the basics, I have done a bit of wiring and work with aluminum stock, so I am confident of my skills.

How many strips for a 2x4 tent? These are “22 inches long.

What should I be doing in the way of heat sink?


Check this out, quite a few people here using these


The worst part is spacing your holes on the frame properly


Be glad for all the options these days. Not that many years ago building a quality LED light was a pain. Drilling and threading computer heatsinks, wiring all the fans together, soldering all the wires to the COBs.

Any way goodluck and there’s lots of options and info on those options out there. Pick what will fit you and your grow best over what’s the hottest thing.

Back when I built mine CREEs were the big thing and Vero 29s a close second. I went with Vero 18s simply cause they fit my area better. Could spread out the light more in a small space and keep them closer to the tops of the plants.


I priced out the parts, and it is looking to be about $200. Is there any reason I shouldn’t buy this instead?
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Plant Grow Lights with LM301B Chips & Driver, Plant Growing Lamps Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lights for Indoor Plants Greenhouse, Hydroponics, Seedlings, Veg and Flower

IF they are what they claim then you’d need at least 2 of them. At a quick look i can see a couple of potential issues.
They claim to be 100W panels but have a flat plate heatsink (no fins) and no cooling fan so they will run quite hot.
If the driver is sitting on top of the plate it will run very hot which will shorten it’s life.


I would avoid that light and look at others. I agree with @Albannach about the heat and their claims.

I also suggest looking on Craigslist for ones too. They are out there is you are patient.

Ultimately it is your money and grow so you have to be happy with it.


Well put @Old-Ron. It’s your call but an informed decision is best, especially if the budget is low.
Building your own from strips will give you huge satisfaction, smoking bud you grew under a light you built is about as good as it gets.
You’ll also get far better coverage so it will work better and last longer than anything you can buy at twice the cost.
Best of all, if it does fail you can easily repair it cos you built it :+1:


Stick with the home made light, any advert that lists you can get 2.75g per watt in its specs is just lying and preying on the gullible. Basically you are looking for an even footprint of light at about 25-30w a sq ft out of the wall for a good LED light using quality chips like Samsung.

If you build one as in the cheap LED alternative thread, you will not be disappointed, I have made 4 so far, they don’t need heat sinks. You can have the driver’s outside the grow area to keep the heat down in summer, and put them in the grow area in winter, to help with keeping the plants warm. There are lots of people who will help you out, with instructions, and the tools required are minimal.


the best part about a DIY light is that you can rebuild the frame to suit your needs in the future. add more strips, more drivers, swap out drivers, etc.


If you are in the US, check out Rapid LED. They have DIY kits that have all the parts you just have to assemble them. It’s kind of a middle ground pricing wise.


Ha ha sounds like the consensus is that I am better off building one!

I don’t see much discussion of heat sinks. Are they needed, and what is a good product?

Edit: looks like Shadey already answered my question.

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Thanks for the link! I only got through the first 300 posts before I went cross eyed. Good stuff!


How many strips should I use? Somewhere between 16-20 I’m guessing.

How close can I bring the light to the canopy?
I don’t have a ton of headroom, so I am hoping for “12 or less.

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The amount of strips depends on the driver you want to use. I run my lights at about 16 inches as I have had some light burn occasionally but you can use a lower power set up or a dimmer switch if you need to get the light closer due to height restrictions

A 2x4 tent running at 30w a sq ft would need around a 240w driver and 16X 22 inch strips which is what I am using, but if you have height problems you could reduce it down to a smaller driver and less strips.

If you post what you want to do on the thread Grease gave you the link to, Mr Sparkle will tell you everything you need to know.


I’ve gotten my 2x2 about 6 inches from the top at 150 watts

But my circulating fan also blows directly down through it so that may help keeping things cool at the canopy

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check out horticulturelightinggroup: QB288 V2 RSPEC & SLATE 2 TRIPLE $279.00 and then you need a $70.00 meanwell led driver

That is an elegant solution. I will keep that in mind