Need help on led clueless

Hello of, I have a 800w Chinese knock off cob, used for flower in a 2×5×5, and a 200w Vander if I in a 2×2×4 tent for veg. I would like a cheap but effective led strips, or board for flower closet, I have seen so many diy…drivers, heatsinks…ect…im lost. Don’t know which way is up …:rofl:, so…im all ears I know the og community will help me out big time.:sunglasses:


I can’t reccommend SolStrips enough… specifically the X2’s. They use one the best diodes on the market (Samsung LM561c) - can’t go wrong with them. You can order them here: Also, our very own @Baudelaire runs the company and is pretty active on this site. They aren’t quite plug n play, there is some assembly required but it is not difficult and there are plenty of people available on here and the OG Discord server that would be happy to help out!


Another option is the TCI strips, with the LM651B chips, it’s about 25 lm/w lower then the LM651C chip.
But at 1/3 of the price, I went with a extra strip top make up for the lost lumens and still saved alot of money.

If you wanna avoid DIY, and have “the best” Fluence LED make some nice lights, from what im told.
They look solid and the grows I have seen done under them, are looking great.
The price for the light, now thats less attractive if your on a budget.

I just brought 65 TCI strips myself in 3000K and 4000K


Hi @Jamescoldflame,

If you want primarily DIY, there a quite a few threads here that show individual builds using a variety of technologies including COBs, strips, etc. Solstrips is one example where you can obtain quality LED strips with modern discrete diodes for a DIY or partial DIY fashion. You can get a good bang for the buck with a bit a sweat equity.


Palindrome has been doing some cool experiments with his LED upgrade:

Here is a nicely executed build using the before mentioned Solstrips:

For fully integrated solutions, keeping the amount of DIY effort to a minimum, there are also quite a variety of vendors with varying levels of quality and at varying points of costs. If there is something out in the marketplace that caught your attention, let us know and you’ll get some thoughts and opinions.

A recent conversation that might be useful:

Do you have a budget in mind? Size of flowering area? Want to do DIY? Do you have any primary concerns such as power consumption, heat dissipation, safety (e.g. wet)? Balanced spectrum? I know there is a lot to decode but some of your details and thoughts might help further tune some of the suggestions.


That’s a steal! At that cost you’re better off saving $ on heatsink n buy more. Just under driving them for high efficiency.

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I built my first prototype SolSheet with TCI’s 561B strips. Still use it over my clones. The only down side is PAR output. It is significantly lower than the lumens/watt differential with the LM561C chips used by most premium light manufacturers (along with the 301B chips) would suggest. My tests suggest 30-50% less average PAR than a similar wattage of LM561C strips (like SolStrips).

The other thing to keep in mind is they are less than half the wattage (23w) of SolStrips (50w), so you’ll need more than twice the number of TCI strips to equal the same light output of a SolStrip system.


The driver is a 500 mA driver, the strip is a 900 mA strip. You mention you already own this, don’t yours say 900 mA MAX ? They are 41 Watt strips, but run at 23 Watt with the supplied driver on max load.

I will run them and I will make my results public, for all to see and then people can make up their own mind.
I have saved 1800 $ buying TCI strips, compared to SolStrip as you don’t have a EU outlet. I’d have to add 25% import tax on your price and deal with customs.

Had I been able to buy Solstrip in EU, or another strip with the LM561C chip. I would be testing them as well, but so far I haven’t been in luck finding any.
Anyway I look at it, even with a 30% less PAR. There is a long way to 1800 $ saved, have been spend, given I payed 650$ for the 65 TCI strips.

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Thanks everyone. I think I’ll try a solsheet original, in my 2×2 and see how it goes.


I run the TCI strips with their included drivers at 23w just as they are advertised. I’ve had them in service for over 2 years, and never could get any information on the drivers. They are fine strips, I’m sure you’ll build a nice system. My comments only reflect the statements of the manufacturer and the technical specs of the diode, which is a couple of generations older than the LM561C diodes in SolStrips. Looking forward to seeing your system in operation.


these are the boards i got for my veg tent, except mine were all samsung LEDs w/o the epistar reds they apparently add now … 25$ for a 304pc board + heatsink, and they are identical diodes to the quantum boards i bought for 3-4x the price from HLG … ~335w LED for under $200, or about $0.59 per watt w/ only 2 boards purchased, compared my HLG fixture only 2x the power for prob over 5x cost… if you spread the shipping cost over more boards it’ll bring the price per watt down even more


Found driver info, on another board where a grower had been in contackt with TCI Italy.
He had some specs on the driver, how to operate the DIP switch to set it to run less then 500 mA.
Anyway the drivers are not great, they should only be around 80% but they where incl in the price.
They might do a little better on a MeanWell driver

Yeah no doubt about the LM651C chip is better then the B chip, but when I look at the papers and do the math.
It makes me wonder if there is much difference to us, small home growers with a few K watts.
Where I think it matters a lot more, when you are a commercial greenhouse grower. Who run 10-20K watt in each greenhouse, for them I am sure there is a massive difference between running the B or C chip.

Once I find some LM651C strips, or they find me, I will give them a shot as well.

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Anyone interested in buying more than 50 SolStrips should contact me directly for special pricing.


Solstrips have really peaked my interest!

I initially wanted a single room setup, but in the interest of keeping things ticking over regularly, I’m planning on converting an old wardrobe to be a dedicated veg room (with carbon filtering so I can use it for drying at stinky harvest time!), and a small separate propagation box. I’ll just have to learn to time it all right!

I currently have a G Tools cabinet of around 80x120cm which will eventually be my dedicated flowering cab. I’ve got a 400W HID on a digital, dimmable ballast for flowering, and a 250W CFL for Veg. My first grow is all gonna happen in the main cab, but I’d like to take clones for grow #2

I’m considering a Solstrip set up for my new veg room, and I imagine down the line they’ll replace the HID in the flowering room too. Was thinking a little Lumii 2-strip fluro for my little prop box, but if I can use LEDs in there too, that’d be cool.

I guess my main question pertains to power consumption, and how much less thirsty Solstip setups of equivalent output to my old school lamps would be. I need to work out how much I stand to save on energy bills, and offset that against the cost of replacing my lamps. I’ve been doing a lot of trawling through various threads on here, but I’m struggling to extract the info I need.

I’d be happy (and frankly would prefer) to build these myself rather than pick a pre-built rig.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated, and sorry if I’m retreading the well-trodden…



Use 35-40 watts of LED per 1000 square centimeters (330-380w in your example) as a rule of thumb in your planning. That will generally work with premium LEDs (not Chinese generics) to deliver a light field in the intensity range (700-900 PPFD) that you need for bloom spaces. For clone and veg spaces, use 20-25 watts per 1000 cm. A dimmable ballast can be used to maintain canopy intensities at either level as needed.

As you can see already from this rough calculation, your energy usage will drop 25-35% straight out of the gate, and may drop more if you take advantage of LEDs’ much cooler operating temperatures and reduce the vertical distance from the canopy by half or more compared to typical HID requirements. Well-designed LED cabinets can easily use 50% less energy than inefficient small HID designs, while equalling or exceeding their usable light intensity across the canopy.


Thanks @Baudelaire for pointing me in the right direction. Think I can start speccing and costing up a Solstrip set up now. I’ll be back with more questions, I’m sure… :slight_smile:


The solstrip rig and driver seems like it costs a shit load at 1st but the efficiency and yield you get in the end MORE than makes up for the initial price you pay. Strain dependent you can EASILY hit the 1gpw as long as you keep the environment in check :+1:


Yeh I think it’s worth the investment, and believe it’ll save money in the long run. Thanks for the recommendation.

It’s funny you mention the strain as a factor though, as I was just reading a Solstrip blog post about color temperature, and there was mention of 2700K being ideal for fully maturing indica dominant strains in bloom. I’m more of a sativa fan, and already have my concerns about height. Is there an effect on vertical growth that relates to color temperature? If so, does that same effect relate to potential yield, too?

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Also, maybe more importantly, is there a way I can get them at the USA prices, not the UK distributed prices… :money_with_wings:
Based on the current exchange rate, they are virtually twice the price :frowning:

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Yeah @Baudelaire is the USA distributor. If you contact him via pm I’m sure he will guide you and help all he can :+1:

Keeping the lights as close to the canopy (around 6 - 12 inch is where I keep mine) prevents stretch. 2700k is for the bloom period where 5000k is for veg. I have a 12 strip rig with 6 of each so I can veg AND bloom under the same light. The sativa hybrids I’ve grew don’t stretch as much as you seem to think they do under artificial light.