Wiring LED grow lights

Discussion in 'DIY LED Builds' started by green2man0, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. green2man0

    green2man0 The Horticulturist

    I haven't been on here in a long time, but figured this would be a good place to ask.

    I've been playing around with led's. I'm trying to build my own panel but keep getting confused by the numerous wiring guides I've run across.

    I have 30 total 3 w led's. 20 red 10 blue. I'm assuming that I need a 100w power supply (90w actual use and 10w to power the driver/line loss). From the guides I've checked I'll wire them is series + to -. It seems simple 120 v input so +, -, ground and then hook the leds up to the the output with runs 24-38v depending on the driver. My question is can I wire the leds directly....so assume there in series and then just wire the + led side to the + led driver(power supply) side and vice versa with the -. Or do I need to think about resistors or regulators inline.

    I've done HPS ballast wiring in the past and never had any major issues but leds are new territory for me.

    There actually going to be used for starting my garden seedlings.

    I've got a bunch of carolina reapers I'm trying to get going...1 is awesome but the other 5 are about 1/4 the size.

  2. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

  3. AlienBait

    AlienBait Custom User Title

  4. Justcheckingitout

    Justcheckingitout GK Old Timer

    I second what Res said^^^^^^^^

    Skunky is the DIY Led man here.

    Keep us in the loop on the build so we all can learn also, plus we like to see finished projects.

    CREATIVE GARDENER Cured Fat Sticky Bud

    I third that ^^^. Skunk's da man to talk to. Good luck!!.

    Be Cool, CG
  6. skunky

    skunky labor smoke'n lumberjack

    Really depends on the driver current and what you are trying to run your LEDs at. Keep in mind though that the harder you drive them the less time the light will survive. It's a balance of of performance and efficiency. That varies from diode. What do you plan for this light? Honestly I'd stay away from monochromatic LEDs unless for supplemental lighting and low efficiency diodes. Blues are the most efficient and reds are too. Both are actually better electrical consumption wise to a white but the whites will do better than the two monochromatic LEDs. Look into CREE XPE, XTE, CXA, CXB, com2, or bridgelux veros like the vero 18 or vero 29. The cob style cree cxa or cab and the bridelux vero series are great and easy to set up. Either way what ever you do remember you will need proper heat exchange that's extremely important for the life of the lamp. Good heat sink whether actively cooled with a fan or passively cooled. Of course active air or water cooled heatsinks will require less area than a passive cooled setup. And don't skimp on a good thermal paste which you will have to order. Can't go wrong with prolimatech pk-3.

    If you want some really good advice if you are a member on rollitup I suggest you pick supraSPL's brain. He's got lots of good technical data on driver efficiency and diode data. Also just saw you want to use for seedlings. Should be more than fine But too much red. Also you won't be running at 90-100w even though you're using 30-3w diodes. You won't be driving then more than 500-700mA and running around 1.5-2.2w or so max. So would probably be around 60W or so at the wall. Though with that right diodes that wattage is enough to veg a 2x4 no problem. Hell I use ~36W in a 2x4 for veg and clones.
  7. green2man0

    green2man0 The Horticulturist

    Yeah I'm learning as I go. I just can't justify paying several hundred dollars on "new light" technology. I'm in about $35 at this point and that's fine. I ended up getting a Hatch LV100-24N-UNV-I Constant Voltage Output LED Driver 100W Universal Voltage. It looked good "as if I actually know". But it's for LEDs and is waterproof so that's a good start. AlienBait--that site is awesome btw--Thanks. Now it's time to source the resistors...I can only find the in 50 and 100 packs....and I only need 5 but there dirt cheap "actually cheaper than dirt". What would a local place to get these??? Also speaking of resistors it seems they are split into 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 watt resistors...how do I choose the right one??? The plan as of now is to run 5 strings (not sure about terminology) of 6 3w LEDs. Then based on the schematic the cpu spit out for me 5 R = 10 ohms resistors.

    One last question: after specking the LEDs the reds have a lower diode forward voltage 2.5v vs the blues which are 3.5v. How will this affect things? The DC forward current is about the same at around 700mA.

    I'll post pics as I collect the pieces: The plan is to mount the LEDs on an aluminum strip (similiar to a t5 fluorescent tube) using thermal glue, mount the driver on top of the strip, add a pc fan for cooling and maybe a heatsink on top (not exactly sure how hot it will be)(I'm guessing nothing crazy) and then build a sheetmetal box around the top/fan/driver. I'm not a fan of raw wiring hanging out so I'll try and make this as legit as possible. And if I get really ambitious I'll do a clear/frosted plexiglass cover over the LEDs.
  8. skunky

    skunky labor smoke'n lumberjack

  9. ChristopherAndrews

    ChristopherAndrews New Member

    It all depends on what type of the grow tent you have!

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