QB96’s or strips?

Hey Everyone. So I have been trying to decide on the best setup for lights for my next grow. Right now I am in day 32 of flower so another 30 days to go before harvest. Right now I am using a 600w HPS for this grow but I want to switch to a diy led. Could I get some input and suggestions on my 2 options?
Going to grow 1 plant and plan to scrog. Will be a 3x3 custom built room or 4c4 tent that I have now.

1st option is 4 QB96’s and maybe some Qb132’s or? I want to use for both veg and bloom and I believe I need some more blue spectrum when using the 96’s? Would build a aluminum frame myself.

Option 2 Is using 2’ strips. This is where I am having the hardest time figuring what ones to use. Waaaaaay to many options and honestly I would take the advice from you guys on here as to what ones to order. Again will build the frame myself.

Option 3. All out crazy hienze57 setup. Open to all options here.

XLG drivers would be nice if possible. Dimmable as well. I have potentiometers on the way already.

I hope this is enough info to get us started? Budget wise? Probably around 400-500 Canadian dollars. Frame work and materials will not be included in this price. I have most of the stuff I need already to work with.

Thanks all :slight_smile:


Since you’re scroggin it’s a no brainer. Strips all the way for that 3x3 space for a single plant IMHO. 3500k Bridgelux EB3. Best bang for your buck and perfect for that 3x3 veg and bloom. Prolly can outfit it with about 320w of strips for $300-400 CAD delivered. No need to supplement with other spectrums.

I posted this to someone else but it’s relevant to you as well:

Goto www.ledgardener.com check out their DIY builds at https://ledgardener.com/diy-led-strip-build-designs-samsung-bridgelux/ and their forums. Read up on all the important deets. Their Bridgelux gen 2 builds can be subbed with the new gen 3 strips for much greater efficiency and the most photons for your buck of any options in the DIY world. They give you the exact bill of materials and show you how to wire it.

XLG driver series is OK but you lose 3-5% efficiency compared to the HLG series and also lose 2 years of warranty, both of which you will most likely regret. :wink: I mean you’re choosing high efficiency LEDs, why screw the pooch on the driver selection to lose a good portion of that efficiency? Wire them 240v if you can to get the most efficiency.


So would this be the part number for the strips


Just want to make sure I get the right ones. And qty wise. Thinking for 3x3 will put in 18 of them? And will probably run off 2 HLG’s. Just gotta figure what ones. I want to have remote pots so I can dim them outside the tent if I want. Thanks for the help :slight_smile: seems pretty quiet this way when it comes for lighting advice.

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Yeah man, that looks like it’s the best option available. If you can find them in stock, the normal 1" width gen 3 strips are a tiny bit better with heat dissipation, but otherwise they’re about the same.
The part number for that one is: BXEB-L0560Z-35E2000-C-C3 or you could go for the 90cri variant that is BXEB-L0560Z-35G2000-C-C3, but that’s rarely in stock.

Here are the datasheets for both the Slim Gen 3 and the normal Gen 3 versions just so you can see what I’m talking about.

DS132 Bridgelux EB Series Gen3 Data Sheet 20190617 Rev A.pdf (963.2 KB)

DS171 Bridgelux EB Series Slim Gen3 Data Sheet 20190620 Rev A.PDF (980.6 KB)

LEDGardener forums have tests of the 2700k 90cri version of those Slim Gen 3 strips and show them to be an outstanding performer, especially for the money.

In my first reply above, follow the link to the DIY builds at LEDG, scroll down to the 3x3 section and follow the build labeled “Bridgelux Gen. 2 BXEB-L0560Z 2′ LED Strip Build – 3’x3′” It uses 15x strips and a single HLG-320H-20A or B or AB driver with a pot you can wire remotely. You should use angle aluminum instead of the heatsinks it recommends - those strips don’t need the extra mass from the heatsinks and the angle aluminum is both cheaper and lighter weight and easier to work with.

The only other suggestion I have is to buy the thinner width thermal tape if you go with the Slim strips, and then either use nuts & bolts with plastic washers to help secure the strips, or just zip tie them to the angle alum in addition to the thermal tape.

That should be all you need to know about the build, but if you have questions, I’d start a topic on the forums over there, or ask in the thread here Cheap LED Strips : A Viable Alternative


@nube just slight correction, the Gen 3 normal’s i have yet to see offered for sale anywhere they have had the spec sheets for them since early last year but only the Slims have been out on the market and why they still offer the gen2’s even though pretty much out of stock everywhere atm due to covid reasons i presume.

My guess is the potential cost difference between the gen 2’s and gen 3 for a 10% increase in efficiency would be a hard sell when everything else is the same, where as the slims are a different form factor and voltages.


Hi Mr. Sparkle. I’m happy to report that gen 3 normals are being produced and shipped. :slight_smile:

I have the Gen 3 2700k 90CRI 4ft strips in my hands awaiting metal for the frames. They’re being sold by Future Electronics as a backorder item for $11.29 per strip - you can buy them and expect a 3wk turnaround time right now.

FE and a couple other retailers had the 2ft and 1ft available as well when I checked Octopart. 90cri in some cases, 80cri in most. FE can order any of them for you, you just have to inquire. I have no affiliation with any of these or other companies.

Here’s my packaging:

And about efficiency, it was measured to be 20-35% increase in efficiency in Teknik’s tests, depending on drive current. Check out the threads about it over at LEDG.


ah makes sense if its a back ordered item good to know


Cool. Thanks for the advice. At first I was thinking of building a really cool multi use light. Wanted to have a bunch of 3500k as my main strips. Then have some 2700k and 4000k strips in there. Have the 3 ranges on separate drivers and dimmers so I could dial in what I wanted and different times. I am guessing now that this is a waste of money and I should just go with the 3500k? Or is it still possible to make it a fun but very useful light for both veg/stage?

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I think you should do whatever you want to do. For me, I think the extra effort, money and complexity of multi-spectrum builds is a waste since there’s no proof of benefit.

Also, using current LEDs, extra blue spectrum for veg is of very very very marginal benefit. The high Daily Light Interval (DLI - a measure of how many photons delivered to a plant per day) from current white LED builds will keep nodal distances short. All current white LEDs that you’d use for a veg & bloom DIY build have a high percentage of blue built in, even the 2700k 90cri stuff. For veg, you don’t need more than about 15-20% of your total photon output coming from the 380 - 500nm spectrum. Any more and you actually stunt overall growth of biomass.

For reference, check out this professional 3rd party goniosphere testing of the Bridgelux Gen 3 Slim 2700k 90cri 2ft strips, and pay attention to the ratios of the parts of the spectrum in relation to each other:

Scientists studying the effects of LED light spectrums on cannabis are finding that the most important things for growth are the ratios of specific parts of the spectrum in relation to each other. We used to try to accomplish that by adding different spectrum sources together, but we simply don’t have to these days.

Bridgelux EB2 and EB3 strips have one of the best ratios out of the box on the market today, and 3000k or 3500k are probably perfect for your situation. It’s so good that many LED panel / strip boutique manufacturers are confused how Blux can sell their strips at such cheap prices. Not sure I care. :smiley:


Sounds good to me :slight_smile: I will stick to the simple 3500k build :).


That’s pretty much how I set mine up except I did 5000K and 2700K. It’s fun to tinker, but I’m not sure the cost outweighs the benefit. For example, I use a $200 LED controller to simulate sunrise/sunset, but I dont think it has gained me $200 more yield.


Very true. Sometimes Simple is better. For one, it gets done quicker. And two it gets done ;). I have had a few projects sit forever and then never get finished because there was waaaay to much involved.