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Build your own led grow lights for 30 bucks!!!

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by DAMAN2U1, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. SO..... Who want to spend hundreds of dollars on LED grow lights? NO ONE!! So I just built my own. This is my own design of a "UFO" Grow light that uses 100 high intensity RED LED's dialed in on exactly 623 nanometers on the light spectrum. They are all soldered in parallel running off a a DC power supply system for electrical testing. It draws less than 4 AMPS, but don't let that fool you. When it comes to LED's, it's not so much the intensity of light, but the exact spectrum used for certain stages of cannabis development. This thing gives off NO HEAT, so it will literately rest on top of the buds. In particular, the plant that has grown past my 1000W light that is FIXED to the 10 FT ceiling. If this works as well as I think it will, I will be making much more of these, even though the soldering is horribly tedious to put 100 LED's in one parallel circuit in such a small space. But..... Did i mention this only cost me 30 bucks to make?!

    Attached Files:

  2. Instructions?
  3. #3 DAMAN2U1, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    I am in the middle of writing them up. I am very tired though, so I think I will finish it tomm.
  4. #4 DAMAN2U1, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    Sorry I posted all these pics with out a single word on how to do it. I just got really tired last night after hours of soldering. Here it is:

    Materials and locations:
    - 100 5500mcd 623 nanometer RED piranha LED's
    found at: LED Lights & Accessories - SUPER BRIGHT LEDS
    - 4 bread boards or one big one
    found at radioshack. Make sure you get ones that have a metal background
    - Cardboard cut out of a circle (about a foot in diameter, these is dependent on
    - Duck tape
    - Soldering iron
    - Solder
    - Glass of scotch, steady hand, and a shit load of patience.

    The last thing you need is the only real variable, and can be pricy.
    You need to be able to power this thing. I have a degree in electrical engineering, and I have lots of equipment that the school gave me, including a DC power supply. Most LED run off of 3.5 - 5 volts, and usually draw anywhere from .001 AMPS to a full AMP or more. Some people prefer to buy static drivers that are fixed on a certain voltage and amperage. If thats the route you want to take, you need to find a driver that will have an output of 5V and 2AMPS. Here is the spec sheet for the LED's I used:
    5mm Red Piranha LED | Super Bright LEDs
    You can see that each one requires .02Amps (20mA). So, 100 of these draw 2 AMPS in order to illuminate to it's full capacity. I prefer a variable DC power supply so I can have options to add or take away LED's depending on application
    The method of power is the only thing that is pricy, look online and get a cheap DC power supply that is used.
    After you have gathered your supplies and smoked a fat bowl, check out the next post.
  5. lol duck tape....but really this is pretty cool, would like to see how it turns out
  6. The hardest thing about this is soldering these little fuckers onto the bread boards. Before you begin soldering, develop a plan of attack. Every bread board is configured differently in regards to how it's pre-drilled holes are arranged and what lines of conductivity there on. Since this is going to be one huge parallel circuit, not series, we need to establish common lines of ground and common lines of hot. What that means, is that every positive connection must have a direct line to power, and every negative connection needs to have a direct line to ground. Thats a parallel circuit for those of you who did no know. There are lots of ways to do this, but the best way is to work WITH the design of the bread board you bought. Radio shack has some that make every other vertical row pre connected, so instead of using jumper wires you could bleed solder over rows to establish parallel lines. I know this sound confusing, and I wish I took pics of the back of the finished boards to show you what I mean, and if anyone would like I will go into more detail with this, but the goal is to not use jumper wires and to make it as clean as possible. Depending on whether or not you got 4 sep boards or one big one, you will need to wire each board in parallel as well. Each board (or the one big one) should have a positive wire soldered to a hot line, and a negative wire to a ground line for easy access, and so you can lace the wires to the back of the puck. Once all of soldering is done, position the 4 boards ( or one big one) on the card board cut out. I used duck tape. Lace the wires to back, attach to power supply, and then literately lay the light on top of the bud. This thing gives off NO HEAT. Let this fucker rest on top of the plants and buds, it won't burn it.

    If anyone has any more questions, feels I didn't go into enough detail on something, or just want to chat, please do so. I welcome comments and constructive criticism.
    stanky1234 likes this.
  7. I know, but this was a dry run attempt. Now that I got it working, the next ones will be more aesthetically pleasing. I will probably turn to hot glue!
  8. Did you only use the one wavelength of light? Almost every LED light I've seen has at some blue lights mixed in with the red. A lot of them have 5-10 different wavelengths. It's awesome you built this, but you should research what wavelengths are necessary for plant growth before you build more.
  9. double post woops
  10. I think this would work fine as long as you used it mainly for flowering.

    I found this on another site, not sure how reliable it is, but it sounds right.

    200 - 280 nm UVC ultraviolet range which is extremely harmful to cannabis plants because it is highly toxic.

    280 - 315 nm Includes harmful UVB ultraviolet light which causes cannabis plants colors to fade.

    315 - 380 nm Range of UVA ultraviolet light which is neither harmful nor beneficial to cannabis plant growth.

    380 - 400 nm Start of visible light spectrum. Process of chlorophyll absorption begins. UV protected plastics ideally block out any light below this range.

    400 - 520 nm This range includes violet, blue, and green bands. Peak absorption by chlorophyll occurs, and a strong influence on photosynthesis. (promotes vegetative growth) 520 - 610 nm This range includes the green, yellow, and orange bands and has less absorption by pigments.

    610 - 720 nm This is the red band. Large amount of absorption by chlorophyll occurs, and most significant influence on photosynthesis. (promotes flowering and budding) 720 - 1000 nm There is little absorption by chlorophyll here. Flowering and germination is influenced. At the high end of the band is infrared, which is heat.

    1000+ nm
  11. Seriously dude if you make these for sale i will be your first customer.

    Are you assembling them, or selling as a kit and instructions?
  12. I never thought about selling them, but I am gonna consider it now. If you look at my journal I have a bunch of things I invented. HID car light system grow light, humidifier, and recirculating hydro systems.
    I am only using this for flowering, and the spectrum analysis you showed me is the same I went by. If i make a VEG one, I will use the appropriate LED'S

    If there is as big of an interest in this as I think there is, I will make another and take alot more pics of construction
  13. Cool and Very cool!, so the power supply is the hassle....OK well I and people here have a 12vdc car battery charger in our workshops, thats 12vdc at 4 amps, maybe we can clock down the 12vdc/4amps to 12vdc/2amps.
    2 rails one + the other -, maybe heavy copper wire, again found lying around in the garage,
    Yeah the soldering is the b!tch, can't do that to save my soul....lol

  14. i got to see how this goes. looks very promising, good work
  15. Well, like I previously said, the soldering was very intensive. It took hours, and you have to be precise, unless you spread out the lights more. As for the 12 V charger, the AMPs aren't a problem. When I say it draws 2 AMPS, it doesn't mean it cant have more running through it. On my variable DC power supply, there is an out put that is constantly fixed at 5V 4 AMPS, and I just use that so I don't have to mess with dials. It just DRAWS 2 AMPS from the Circuit. Now the voltage could destroy the LED's. These Red LED's actually have a rating of 3.5V, and too much can and will burn out the LED. 12 V will most certainly blow out these LED's, but you could run some more powerful LED'S like CREE ones that run off of 12 V. But those cost 7 bucks a pop, but are much more powerful. But like I said in the beginning of the fourm, intensity is for canopy penetration. With LED's it's all about the spectrum. To adapt the device you have to run my LED set up, you would need a 5-10 W resistor, and I would have to do the math to figure out what OHM's you would need, and to see how it affects the current. Your best off finding a pre - built driver, or fork over some money for a real variable DC power supply for labatory testing. With that you could run multiple grow light systems depending on what AMPerage it can deliver.
  16. Thank you very much. I have 2 other jobs, so my time is limited, but I am gonna try and get this thing mounted on my ceiling tonight and get it running on some plants. I make it sound like a big deal, when in reality it only ways half a pound or less and all I need is duck tape and string, but what can I say, I am a pot head and I drink scotch. So it might be tomm, but I take pictures frequently of my grow setup I made as well as new inventions. Thanks for showing interest.

  17. My Bad!....Thought you said [email protected], still a cool setup,
    hey!!! WE need guys like you ....lol!:hello:

  18. Well, i mounted this thing right above the plant that has passed my light fixed to the 10ft ceiling. These images where taken right after i put the light up, so the leaves on the plant are still sagging from being deprived of light for a week now. I am curious to see how long it takes them to recover, I will keep details posted frequently on this matter.

    Attached Files:

  19. Still thinking about all this, you adapted a dc variable supply to the LCD's

    I'm wanting to start with the power supply and THEN find the LCD's
    Hey Dam, why didn't you go "CREE" on your setup, cost more but less LCDS required for same lumens??? less soldering

  20. #20 DAMAN2U1, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2011
    Don't you mean LED's, not LCD'S? And I didn't use the CREE's for a few reasons. First of all, my DC power supply is old, and 4AMP is the most I can get out of it, and so I would been very limited on how many LED's I could have in my grow room. Second, they give off more heat than the ones I use, alot more heat. And so my mounting technique would of changed. Cardboard could catch on fire, and I would have to have some sort of heat sinc on each LED, plus some form of fan cooling. The hassel goes up 10 fold when using CREE's, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. When I get some more money, I will buy a better DC power supply and give it a try.

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