Hello there fellow growers!
Been away from growing for a long time, but found my way back and have started to grow again.
Started out at the drawing board, planing everything out and going over old equipment.
First part of the build was a 2x 600W HPS flower room, with a simple flowtable setup and a 66 Gal res.
Next I would need a place for mom's n clones, and space wise a good closet would meet all the needs.
Only problem it's a pain to cool a HID light in that small space, so LED came to mind and I had a little laugh to myself.
Not trying to piss anyone off, but I had the images of LED grow's 10+ years ago.
Started reading and I found a bunch of nice looking results, it was very clear the LED lights had improved ALOT in the past decade.
To the drawing board once more, planing drawing and calculating prizes.
Went over a bunch of different layouts, untill I ended up with this plan.
Now I just needed a little plywood, paint and a few other essentials. Like LED's
Let's see LED's - we'll just google that and buy some good once.......
Okay, so we got LED chips, Cob's, passive and active cooled, white and burple spectrum.
WTF ... there got to be someone who have tested this things, I just need to read a little more and I'll find my answer.
I found like always, people are people and everyone wanna impress others. Everyone was super happy with the lights they build, even tho there where massive difference in the results people got.
Eventually figures out LED chips where the way for me, as I was aiming for low heat and not most Par light per watt.
Now I started talking with people growing under LED strips, everyone seemd to be talking about one specific Samsung chip. The Samsung lm561c from 2015.
Ohh look and behold, the mighty and glorius price id have to pay for these lights.
No local option to buy, shipping + import tax + handling fees, simply made it too expencive!
But hmmm 2015, 16, 17, 18 .... I wonder how far China is with copying that....
Can I build an effective growlight, from cheap stuff I can order on ebay?
I can import as much I want from china, as long the shipment is under 14$
A lot of orders later! (I am still waiting on parts)
Starting the build:
Step 1 Find a clear spot, where you can feel your zen!
Step 2 Sit down and meditate, imagin your build and how the end result should look.
Step 3 Your done!
That was pretty easy, let's hope the DIY LED stuff I know very little about is just as easy.
It's electronics how hard can it really be?
I have basic understanding about a lot of things, Low volt DC and electronics is not my strong point.
But it's DC 12 - 24 volt, it can't really kill me. So I have no problem fucking around with it, even tho I don't really know what I am doing.
Reading about it only gave me alot of mixed info, about what spectrums to use. Everyone I talked with, had an oppinon about what spectrum would be best. But when it came down to it, they had only ever tried one or maybe a mix of two.
The same went for 12V vs 24V, everyone have told me 24v is a lot better then 12v due to heat.
And sure that is correct, but how bad is it? Don't know, never tried!
I then ordered some dual row 12v hard strips, cool white or something. Turned out to be 6500 Kelvin!
Also ordered 24V hard strips, in 3000K, 4000K, 6000K, and 8000K
A bunch of small constant current LED drivers, 30Watt @ 900 ma, 50Watt @ 1500 ma and 70Watt @ 2100 ma.
Biggest issue prolly is the Ebay dealers, don't have any real datasheets and the little info you get. You really don't know if you can trust it or not, or if it's just copied from some where else.
On the other hand, all the stuff I have ordered have been so cheap.
That even tho it might not work, I think it's worth every penny to do this test and collect this data.
Each test light of 6 strips, have a build cost of less then 40$
Mounted the strips on curtinhanger profile, it was the cheapest alu profile I could find and it was a perfect match!
Cut some old scrap alu profile up, with a hack saw and saved a little money. It seems to be way more alu then needed, but it keeps the frame nice and sturdy.
I use 2x 50 Watt drivers, they are running 24-36 Volt. So I have paired 3x 12V strips up, to split the 36Volt between them. If I knew more about what I am doing, id prolly be able to tell you why it's only using 40Watt and not 100 watt.
I just trust my digital reading, it says the light and drivers are using 40watt.
So looking at SolStrips and quantum boards, they don't have a lot of resistors like these do.
What do a resistor do? I think it's something about limiting the voltage or current, so you don't fry the LED's pumping too much juice into them. Look it up if you want to know, don't take my word for it. I don't know what I am talking about, im just doing shit. THEY WASTE ENERGY!!!!!
Again I ask around, what will happen if I remove the resistors of my cheap strips? Most plain and simpley told me not to do that!
Then asked my go to guy, who's a pro and he told me. That's not a problem, if you have a datasheet on your LED's you can just add more of them. Matching up the amount of voltage the resistors lower the strip, so do you have data sheets on the LED's and resistors?
We already know I don't, so he too told me. If you do that, blind you risk to fuck it up.
So I did exactly that!
They are brighter then they where before, and it was some spare strips I was shipped by mistake. I ended up getting a refund for, so burning them out will cost nothing.
But so far so good!
Got the lights done, closet somewhat done. With some pink ducktape and fairy dust, I managed to fit it all together.
Fitted some plants into the closet, under the many different spectrums. (Still waiting on a few drivers, so it's not all strips, that are running on 1500 ma drivers)
A digital PAR meter was too expencive, so we will have to do with 12 organic PAR meters.
I am sure they will show, what spectrums do what for them.
Now I'll leave it at that, im going on vacation and won't be back for a couple of weeks.
This should be just the thing they need, a fresh batch of nutes and a big bottle of LITFA.