Steakbomb Builds: HLG QB Fixtures w/ Emerson, Far Red, and UVA

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Steakbomb, May 19, 2020.

  1. Hey GC Peeps!

    I build a pair of new lights over the winter and wanted to do a build recap here. The lights are already in service as we speak, but I will break this into several posts to cover my build process.

    I went thru several designs but landed on this:
    20191212_075436.jpg The new lights feature:
    4x HLG QB288 R-Spec
    4x HLG QB3 Far Red
    1x HLG QB30 UVA

    Here's a shot from underneath with all the boards turned on...
    I'll start from the beginning of the build in my next post... and may not get it all in today but I will try to document the whole build for anyone looking to do something similar.
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  2. Key to my design was having the 288s and the 3s being controlled by dimmers and having wattage readouts.
    For the QB288s I have the four on each lamp wired in parallel running off an HLG-320H-54AB driver. The QB3s are in series off an XLG-25-AB
    20200519_124636.jpg Both of these feature the ability to wire a potentiometer to use as a dimmer.

    Note that the UVA bars have integrated power supplies so I did not need to buy drivers for those.

    My dimmer box materials, pre-build:
    20200123_133730.jpg Black anodized aluminum project boxes with two Bayite in-line watt meters and two pre-wired dimmer pots from RapidLED...
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  3. In a previous light build I used aluminum angle for the frame, and would HIGHLY suggest the same for anyone unless you are a lunatic.

    I happen to be a lunatic, so I opted for black anodized t-slot aluminum from 8020 for my frame.
    20200127_184212.jpg 20200127_184456.jpg Floor layout looked good - the only thing not properly shown here is that the two short segments in the middle needed to be raised to keep the UVA bars' faces even with the faces of the rest of the boards. Rough assembly things started getting clearer...
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  4. I had to do some major hacking on the project boxes to get the meters and knobs in - nothing that an angle grinder, dremel, and drill couldn't handle...
    20200223_153530.jpg 20200301_122144.jpg 20200301_135701.jpg 20200301_160925.jpg
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  5. The control boxes also provided a convenient place to hide all the wiring...
    20200328_095257.jpg 20200328_095241.jpg I drilled two power cord holes thru the top; one for the UVA bar, and the other for the qb288 and qb3 wire bundles.
    20200328_124423.jpg (Just UVA wire thru in this pic)
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  6. For wiring the drivers to the lights, I wound up using some four-pin quick-connect wires to connect dimmer +/- and power +/- to each set of boards...
    I used heat-shrink barrel crimps for wire splices - mainly because I was too lazy to solder this time lol
    Here's what comes out of the light:
    20200328_141445.jpg I bundled the wires using nylon mesh sleeves, and did the same for the long whips of wires coming off the drivers...
    Drivers sit on a shelf in my tent, whips go over the support bars at the top of the tent and over to the lights
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  7. All up & running now - had plants under them for about 6 weeks now (3 of veg and 3 of bloom/stretch so far).

    I've been running at 13:11 for bloom time, having the QB3s on for 2min after lights out to initiate "sleep" in the plants. Longer bloom days result in more photosynthesis time, which increases bloom period number of weeks, but also increases yield. Here's a shot at night between lights-out and reds-out...
    20200429_195953.jpg (This was day one of 13:11)
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  8. At this point I have the QB3s on all day. The combination of a bit of far red from the 3s and the extra deep red on the 288s will promote the Emerson Effect, which will up photosynthesis overall.
    20200519_081122.jpg 20200519_081021.jpg 20200519_081034.jpg
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  9. UVA is currently on for two 90-min blocks per day as the plants acclimate to it. I would like to try to get to 6hrs+ but we'll need to see what the plants can tolerate.
    20200506_103700.jpg 20200506_103825.jpg You can see the UVA spike in this spectrum analysis - and you can see the red bump from the far red in my previous post... I haven't had the chance to get a good reading with everything on just yet, but we still have a couple months before harvest time...
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  10. And to wrap up all the intro posts here, here are the plants currently enjoying this setup:

    Gorilla Zkittlez
    20200519_080728.jpg 20200519_080734.jpg
    Tangerine Dream
    20200519_080748.jpg 20200519_080754.jpg
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  11. Very nice man. Got to be the sexiest diy light Ive seen. And everything’s sooo neat and the black filter combo, ooooosh. Perfect looking room!

    can I ask for a link or name for the metal “wall” you have connected in your tent. Aperently I’m not googling it right lol.
    Oh and who you use for the qb288s?
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  12. @wEEDhEAD1 I think you're talking about the "gear board" maybe? It's a Gorilla Tent & that's one of their accessory options.

    The QB288s are from HLG - specifically the QB288v2 R-Spec boards.
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  13. Fuck me how did I never know about that, they have drying racks made for it too. No more garden wire lol! I got the 5x5, they seem to have come down in price abit too.

    Ive been looking around on alibaba was hoping you could Recommend a vendor that’s all.

    But “gear board” will help my life out lol. Thanks man.
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  14. Ah gotcha - yeah I ordered all mine from horticulture lighting group in the US. There are plenty of similar boards on alibaba but I've never ordered from there so not sure what specific vendors to look for.
  15. Sick lamp man, very nice and thought out build, neat and clean I love it!
    What's your impression so far with the uva strip? I got one when they came out with the first version (no onboard driver) but have yet to take it out of the box. I was under the impression that since its UVA it would need more on time to deliver enough radiation? Have you seen any recent studies on UVA specifically?
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  16. Thanks dude - I'm really happy with how they came out.

    Format-wise, I wish they had still been selling the bare UVA boards when I bought these, but no joy. (Having 3 dimmable channels would have been my ideal).

    My understanding is the same as yours - UVA will work, but will need more hours. That said, the reduced skin cancer risk and reduced damage to grow equipment relative to UVB makes it a fine trade-off IMHO.

    Now function-wise, too early for a final verdict yet, but my initial impressions are it is definitely doing things I would expect UV to do. When I first fired the UVA bars up, I was doing 6hrs straight in the middle of the day - and this started on maybe day 2 of 13:11. I had a few leaves get burned up in a few spots.
    20200509_102246.jpg Hopefully you can see it in the above, but if not just know it was a few blotches and crispy leaf margins. At this point I suspect the main cause for crispiness was either too much UVA relative to other light - can't dim the bar and my white boards were at maybe 150w at the time, or older leaves not being ready for the UVA.

    I've tinkered with the schedule and am at 3hrs now, but my white light has been dialed up considerably. I think I will add another hour to the UVA for a few days and then keep going up or sit tight. My plants have started forming cola tips now, and the fact that some decent frost is showing up around them when they've only really formed in the last 3 days is really promising.
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  17. Some of the current tips (first two on Tangerine Dreams, third on Gorilla Zkittlez)
    20200519_190811.jpg 20200519_190818.jpg 20200519_190832.jpg I added 1hr per day to the UVA bars while I was in the tent grabbing pics, so we'll see how they handle 4hrs now that the white boards are at about 260w.
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  18. Flip +35. Running at 12:12 now with 9hrs UVA.

    The GZs evidently had poor genetics - for the second time in the same pack of seeds I got bananas - and I'm pretty confident I didn't cause them this time.

    That said, the tangies are coming along really nicely - very frosty where the UVA is directly over.
    20200604_090604.jpg 20200604_142443.jpg 20200604_142452.jpg 20200604_142501.jpg
  19. Any updates? Would really love to know your thoughts on the UVA and it's proper usage. Thanks!
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