Revamp part 1: Lighting

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by BrodMan Organics, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Hey all!

    I’m planning a complete revamp of my space and am really hoping I can get some guidance. My first obstacle is lighting. I am currently running HPS dimable (400w,600w,1000w) digital ballasts. They seem extremely out of date, and My light bulbs are about done, so rather than spend the $ on bulbs, I figure it’s time to upgrade...

    I’d love to go to led’s but really don’t know anything about them and have heard they are much more expensive, but also that there is a cost reduction from heating and they tend to be more efficient. Can anyone confirm this? Also wondering if someone could explain how I go about figuring out how many i need for my space.

    I have a titan 240v control outside of my room, that I would love for the fixtures to be able to connect to. Or at least it will need to connect to 240v power...

    Would love to hear about led brands out there. I know there are good ones and ones to avoid!

    Thank you so much GCO! Really looking to knock my meds out of the park finally!
  2. Here is a sketch of my space...

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  3. #3 Possuum, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
    my first consideration would be 315cmh. two for bed 1 and three for bed 2, using the "standard" ~$175 combo fixture. the reflectors on the economy model 315's throw a very tight footprint. i hang mine at ~7' once t he plants get started and leave them there the whole grow. heat output is probably on par with a comparable custom board led setup - i'm guessing atm as i dont have data available but ime led's do add a heat load. and, the PAR output of 315's is really impressive.

    there are a couple of standard spectrum 315's to choose from and a couple of more pricey specialty lamps iirc. i use standard 315's for my personal grow similar in size as your beds give or take ~.

    first thoughts....
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  4. I would go with quantum boards 100%, there are a couple of options I would recommend depending on your grow style. If you are ok with some DIY you can cut down the costs considerably.

    QB96Elite V2 and QB288Rspec are the two boards I would be looking at. the 96elite is probably the best board on the market right now but it's rather small for a qboard which means its less suitable for Sea of Green (SOG) style where you have many small plants because the individual plants will want to "lean" towards the light source so for a SOG style only I would go with the 288 board, in all other cases the 96elite is the bees knees.

    These boards can roughly cover a 2x2 or 2.5x2.5 space for flowering so for optimal coverage in a 3' wide space I would go with 4 boards in the 3x4 space and 6 boards in the 3x6 space. You might be able to go with less boards but consider using more boards means you are splitting the power more which means the boards are running on less power each and thus will perform better becasue LED perform more effeciently the softer (less power) you drive them. So for instance 6 boards will produce more light than 4 boards using the same power supply watts.

    Now for power, with Qboards you want between 30 and 40 watts per square foot for optimal performance so that means between 360w-480w for the small bed (12sf) which makes the Meanwell HLG-480H-54a 480watt power supply perfect (the "a" model comes with built in dimmer switches).

    For the bigger bed (18sf) you need between 540w-720w so You can either go with a single HLG-600H-54a 600watt driver (these can actually output closer to 650w when the dimmers are pushed to the max) OR you can go with two smaller drivers like the HLG-320H-54a 320watt drivers which when pushed to the max will net you slightly more power than the 600w driver.

    Unless you have two left thumbs building your own qbaord lamp is the way to go, plus its fun to build a lamp. You can also buy a kit with everything included (wires, wire connectors etc) or you can buy all the parts separately and save. You can also buy pre-built lamps with these boards but then the cost is much higher.

    I'd also see if @Tbone Shuffle has anything to add/change to my suggestion as he is the lighting guru round these parts ;)
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  5. I gotta combine both Possuum's and Scoobie's suggestions into one.
    If it was ME, I'd look strongly into a combination of CMH and LED. I'd go with smh as the primary and surround it with LED "Quantum" boards. The QB96elite's and really good with one of the better spectrum's of light from an LED. or surround with qb132's which would be reativelyinexpensive and would give you really good even coverage edge to edge of your beds.
    The overall spectrum running the CMH and led should be excellent, lots of even coverage and full across the board including all the UV thru IR and deep and far reds without needing all the supplemental extra led boards to get all that.
    The CMH lights should put out less heat and be more efficient than your HPS and the led's are especially more effieb=cient and produce less heat also.

    your 3' width beds are just perfect for CMH lights as the 315 is tailor made for a 3x3 flowering.
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  6. Pretty much covered it. If you have plenty of headroom distance to run the lights further like 18"-24" from the plants I like the qb96v2's. They have a slightly better light spectrum especially for start to finish because of their larger blue spike and green part of the spectrum compared to the rspecs. By adding slightly more power and using more distance then the rspec you can cover the same space with similar intensity levels.

    I'd use 4 qb96v2's in the 3x4 area on a inventronics 600 watt 2800mA driver in series. It's capable of running up to 5 if you wanted to add another later EUD-600S280DV in Bulk by Inventronics | LED Driver Modules | Future Electronics

    Slightly more power then you need but you have more of an open space with the walkways around the tables so it will take more power to outfit properly compared to a tent that is the exact size of the light footprint. Your distance from the light to the reflective material on the walls/ect will be much further. Then you'll have 600 watts+ if you need it but you can easily dim it to your desired level.

    For the 3x6 space I would use 6 qb96v2's on two HLG-320h-54a's in parallel to each 3. It would draw approx 700 watts from the wall when maxed.

    Another approach would be to copy the 4x3 setup but use 5 boards instead of 4. Run the 600 in the 18sqft area maxed and the other dimmed on only 4 boards. Those inventronics drivers are a good deal in that power range.
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  7. Thank you so much for the responses everyone! I’m at work and will have time to discuss tonight! Couple quick things!

    My ceilings are 8ft tall. They might be taller but I at least know 8’.

    Scooby, I really unfortunately not very diy in the electrical...I seriously doubt I could do it, but I could definitely try, but I just don’t do well with mechanical things unfortunately.

    I’m s little confused on the power aspect but will wait to ask questions until I can actually read and process the info.

    Thank you so much Possum, Sc00by, Smokey, and Tbone!!
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  8. If you want pre built lights and don't want to spend an arm and a leg, I hesitate to link them because I don't own any but lots of people going with the Chinese lights now days. They can fill out your space much cheaper.

    Get two of these for the 3x4 and 3 of them for the 3x6 area. /done. I would get 3500k whites.

    Free Assembly Kingbrite Connected 240w Samsung Lm301h Mix Red Epistar 660nm Uv Ir Quantum Board Grow Light - Buy Lm301h Quanum Board,Quantum Board,Quantum Board Uv Product on
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  9. you gotta go with your comfort level and budget, but the electrical part of the diy is very simple on these style of lights and lots of people on here would have duplicated any configuration you would use to easily help you with the proper wiring. it's easier than it looks.
    or go pre-built kits but will be significantly more expensive. up to you decide which is more important to you - ease or budget :)
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  10. Lol, Well when you put it that way I better figure out how to diy!! Budget is definitely an important factor! I can follow diagrams for sure. Thank you!!

    One more question, how long will these last before I need to do anything with them? 1 year, 2 years, 5 years?
  11. you will upgrade for newer technology long before they wear out i'm sure.
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  12. It's easier than you would think. There are plenty of videos on YT of people showing how they built their lights, once you watch a couple I'm sure you will see how easy it is.

    diy quantum board build - Google Search

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  13. Thank you so much Sc00by!

    That’s all it took for blumats, I got overwhelmed with it all but as soon as I saw a video of someone doing it it kinda came together. Going to research this weekend and get things ordered up on Monday!
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  14. 5 years is minimum life span. You could stretch it further. They only lose like 5-10% of output in that amount of time. Plus that is running 24/7. If they are ran on a 12/12 schedule which is half the day that time period extends to almost 10 years.
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  15. I grew up building RC cars and computers then I did HVAC/R for a living. Wiring a light is so easy a caveman can do it. There's not even an on and off switch. Wiring up a car stereo is much more difficult.

    Seriously in one of my thread a lady's 10 year old son built her light for her.
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  16. I watched the videos and somewhat understand things now, thank you @Sc00byD00bie @Tbone Shuffle

    My first couple initial questions...

    1.) are the “driver modules” the part that has the actual plug in?

    2.) I’m assuming I will also need to add wire, connectors, and the special little parts from the video, or are these included with the boards, and modules?

    3.). There’s quite a few companies on that site, which one is reputable/ should I go with the driver modules?

    4.). In the 3 x 4 area, would 5 boards be the better way to go? Or is 4 really good enough. We just wondering about the middle and footprint.

    5.) I have plant count issues so I wouldn’t think I have a scog style, I use a netting/trellis sysytem but i don’t consider it scog, more just plant supporter.. I’m more of a bigger plants when time allows type, but still would be putting in the rooted clone, vegging for 7-10 days and going. I’m assuming the qb96v2’s really are the way to go?
  17. The driver is basically the same thing as a ballast with an HPS lamp. It is a little electrical box that puts out the right current for your boards. It converts that current from your wall plug voltage. The boards have push in connectors. The input of the driver only needs a wall plug so that's only screw terminals. The only place you need a splice is on the driver output. I guess that's the big hurtle is figuring out how to splice an 18awg wire onto the driver output and making each one 10-15 feet or so depending on where you want to locate the driver. It's pretty darn easy. You've seen those notched pliers that pinch crimp connectors. You can get a pack with crimp connectors and the pliers at walmart for like $5. Those work fine. You don't really need anything fancy to splice a couple of wires. Put some electrical tape over the crimp connector after you put it on and you're good.

    Inventronics and meanwell are the only brands of drivers I would use. Those are the only brands HLG and many other higher end led light companies use also. They are the most reliable industry standard type stuff. Meanwell drivers are in street lights because they are so reliable and can take extreme environments like grow rooms. High temps and humidity. Most of the drivers people use are outdoor rated for extreme climates like -40 degrees and 99% humidity for long periods.

    4 is enough for a 3x4 because many people run that many in a 4x4 and do fine. I can show you the ppfd charts from 4 qb96's in a 4x4 and they're quite impressive at 18". Nice flower numbers from 1100-800 ppfd across the canopy all the way to the corners.

    In the larger area if you go with qb96's it would be good to run at least 6.
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  18. ^^^^And for easy and inexpensive wiring, get a roll of "Thermostat wire 2 conductor 18 gauge solid", to use between the driver and boards.
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  19. I would only recommend thermostat wire for lower voltage like 24 or 36 volt boards. If you're wiring in series or running higher volt boards you do have to pay attention to the insulation rating on the wire. It's possible that some thermostat wire has a low volt rating. Standard is usually 300v or 600v rated insulation but you should check if you want to use thermostat wire with two 54 volt boards in series for example. That would be 108 volts. You can get to loads up in the 220 volt range with 4 54 volt boards in series.
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  20. The thermostat wire is rated for 300v.
    For the record, I always build every fixture based on parallel wiring configuration. You gain much more flexability and reliability when matched to the correct driver ( ie one board or connection fail, the rest still works).
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