First time LED

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Cobra200, May 25, 2019.

  1. Tent is approx 4x4, looking to grow 6 plants in soil. I have no understanding of LED efficiency, what wattage should I look aim for to get optimal yield. Cheers
     
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  2. Agreed. I will be using half that set up for a 2x4. It's going to cost me about $300 to put together.

    If I can do it anybody can

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  3. I flower in a 4 x 4 as well. Have been thinking I am going to go with the 96s as well. Wanna pull the trigger soon. Thinking it may be better with only one driver for me since my lack of outlets. Is there any advantage other than individual dimming to go with 2 drivers instead of one?


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  4. Good question! Honestly I dont really know but I dont think you can go wrong either way.
    Maybe @Tbone Shuffle can answer this question better.
     
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  5. The advantage is price for the amount of power output. The largest driver that Meanwell makes is the 600h. It's roughly capable of about 620 watts output and 650 watts of wall draw. It costs about $180-200. It only comes in constant voltage versions which isn't a problem but as far as getting the max potential from a qb96 elite you want to choose the current range you're able to give them carefully. Do all the math.

    If you run 4 in parallel off of an HLG-600h-54a it would split the max current output of 11.2 amps between the 4 boards equally.

    11.2 / 4 = 2.8amps or 2800mA each board.

    The HLG-320h-54a is about $80. It has a max current of about 6 amps but when wired to two qb96's in parallel I've seen it put out 6.2 amps when maxed. The HLG drivers push past rated limits easily by 10% or more. The 320h will put out over 350 watts of output.

    That means two in parallel on that driver would get 3.1 amps each or 3100mA instead of 2800.

    Another popular option if you have the cash is the HLG-240h-54a wired to each driver. That gives you a potential max current of 4450mA or 4.45amps per board and the cost to run 4 of them over a 600h is about $20-40 more for way more potential power.

    Remember the absolute max rating of the qb96 elite v2 with a fan on the heatsink is 6 amps at 54 volts.

    If you want to run it passive cooled I would recommend keeping it about 3 amps max which is why two in parallel on the HLG-320h-54a is so popular. That's exactly what I run. I thought it was a great choice and I've owned my qb96's since last October. I was one of the first to pre order them before they were even out.

    When Horticulture Lighting Group decided to build a commercial fixture based on the qb96 the 360 elite. They used that exact same driver so it seems like a good combo. New versions they're selling are using a different brand driver now but the original 360 elite fixture they sold for $700 built came with an HLG-320h-54a wired to them in parallel.

    If you want max potential I think the 240h-54a on each board is the way to go. I've been told with a combination of the current dimmer first and then reducing voltage you can get them below 20 watts with the included dimmer if you want and that driver is only a little over $50. IMG_1090.JPG IMG_1092.JPG IMG_1093.JPG IMG_1094.JPG
     
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  6. You always want an electrical component like a driver or a computer or even a garage door opener plugged into a surge protector.

    If you have a brown out/black out it can burn up anything with a circuit board plugged directly into power. You should just use a power strip with a surge protector built in then you can plug multiple drivers into a single plug.

    Two 320h's give you about a 720 watt max output potential when you won't get quite to that level on a single 600h.
     
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  7. That's what I am doing in my 5 x 5. Almost settled on the 600 until I did a little research.
     
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  8. Thanks Tbone. Awesome explanation. This gave me a much better understanding of all the different driver options. The 4 240’s must be a killer combo but maybe overkill for a 4 x 4? Either way like you said the 2 320’s would probably be perfect for me since that would be a good amount of power and wouldn’t run too hot. I’m glad I didn’t go with the 600. As for the power strip part, I never knew that.. glad you told me that since for some reason I thought something like a driver you would want plugged directly into a wall. Good to know I’m better off using power strips and that it is actually safer. Thanks for all the help man very much appreciated.


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  9. Two pcs of Mars SP250 can cover your tent well. Two of them can output 480W totally.
     
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  10. Wattage is a horrible way to assess a lights capabilities
     
  11. True but absent someone having a light meter or understanding the capabilities of their leds it's about all we have. Often you can't rely on the light output numbers cheaper manufacturers give you.

    You can still use watts per square foot for ballpark figures and just dim to hit the correct light output.

    40-50 watts per square for low end single diode leds/burples.

    30-40 for higher end led's like qb's.

    A skilled grower can get a good crop from modern leds with as low as 26 watts per square in flower but it takes an understanding of how to shape the canopy properly for optimal penetration/ect. to get the most out of lower light levels.

    That is about as low you you'll ever want to go in flower even with today's super high efficiency leds. Many think that more light power = a better crop but there's a certain light level where if you push past that you may get larger buds but they won't grow as efficiently in grams per watt.

    That's about between 900-1000ppfd or 55,000-66,000 lux. You can grow great bud at 1200ppfd but you won't hit as high of a gram/watt number.
     
  12. 2 lights with the same wattage can have totally different lux ratings, spectrums, etc is what I'm getting at. Watts is definetly not a good way to assess a light. That information was given too me directly from an electrician who builds and installs lighting for many different applications including growing. I trust his advice.
     
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  13. #14 Tbone Shuffle, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    I 100% agree but when you're talking led grow lights specifically or known outputs like HPS there is some good ballpark numbers.

    I'm the first one to say measure the lights lately. I always get asked how many watts or whatever I'm running. I don't even know. I'm dimmed all the way almost. I dim until I get correct light levels.

    That's what I've been recommending lately. You want 55k-70k lux approx depending on the strain at the top of the plant in flower. Doesn't really matter what led you're using. It roughly converts to 900-1000+ppfd.

    That's the sweet spot in grow efficiency research has shown with led. If you're not measuring it you're just guessing.

    Of course it's pretty difficult to measure a light setup when you're ordering it and you've never seen it so if you know a little about your setup I would still use watts/sq foot and the light's footprint to design a bloom setup.

    Many people aren't careful enough to match the light footprint to the space they're growing in.
     
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  14. Do you recommend this over 2 HLG 260's? I was going to buy them preassembled and I do not play to do DIY. But I'm just wondering if it is superior to 2 HLG 260 R-Specs
     
  15. It would have approx 150 watts more power capacity and a very similar light spectrum. I believe the rspec was built to copy the qb96 spectrum. The qb96 was the first board they sold with included reds and deep reds.

    I love my qb96's. I've been buying HLG products since early 2017 and have many. Those qb96 elite boards are the most impressive I've seen though I don't own an rspec yet.
     
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  16. My current plant is ready to harvest. Going to start chopping tomorrow morning. It's in such a fallen down state you can't even see half the colas. They've fallen down and stacked on top of each other. It's a single blueberry in a 10 gallon fabric pot of promix/perlite GH fed mostly. It's in a 4x4x82" space with two 288v2's on the left in 3500k from invisible sun on a 320h-c2800a in series, two qb96 elite v2's on a 320h-54a in parallel, a qb18 red strip on an HLG-40h-24a, and a qb260 kit with two qb304 boards in 3500k as well on an HLG-240h-c1050a in series. I have all lights dimmed all the way except the red strip which is maxed. Running about 600 watts. I think I'll get close to 2 pounds. I have experience with these single monster plants. My last one was 23oz's and looked small compared to this one.
    IMG_1188.JPG IMG_1189.JPG IMG_1190.JPG IMG_1191.JPG
     
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  17. If you're a real G, 500-800W of true led in a 4x4
     
  18. I have close to 1000 watts potentially in mine potentially but I run it dimmed.
     
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  19. Awesome work man , just incredible great job I'm kinda speechless . Love how even you made it the first pic shows it flat as a tabletop
     
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