108W LED Grow Light Panel

Picture of 108W LED Grow Light Panel
This is my first instructable, I hope you all enjoy it and hopefully some of you will get some use out of it.

Growing with LED lights

Using LED lights for plant growth is a nice alternative to using HPS and metal halide. While many argue that the results are simply not the same in recent years LED's are slowly gaining respect in the indoor plant growing community.

+Uses up to 80% less energy on your bill making it a green solution.
+Lower heat and easier to control temperature.
+Long life span up to 50,000 hours
+Precise spectrum for photosynthesis

The main disadvantage with LEDS is the cost of certain high end units. This instructable is here to give those that are interested in plant growth with LED's a nice cheap alternative DIY solution.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
+Soldering Iron
+Wire stripper
+A little series/parallel wiring knowledge

+Cooling fans($6-$20 or salvage)
+Thermal glue ($7)
+Nuts + Bolts ($3)
+2 - 3 feet of 18 AWG wire (3$)
+Metal Panel 7"x7" from ($16)
+Led Drivers x 3 (36$)
****use bulk rate because you get a disscount when purchasing 3 or more****
+DC transformer 8-14V (salvage)
+AC power cord/plug (salvage)
Total: $110-120

LED's from Ebay(about 40$):
3W Blue x4  (455nm)
3W Blue x4  (445nm)
3W Deep red x16 (660nm)
3W Red x12 (630nm)
***you dont have to use the same configuration as me, try your own let me know how it works out for you***


Hello there GoonyLex, So I found all the pieces I think:


730-740 nm ( DC forward voltage :1.7-2.4Vdc : Forward current: 700MA) x 2

620-630 nm (voltage 2.3-2.8 current 700MA) x 8

440-445 nm (voltage 3.0-3.4 current 700MA) x 5

465-470 nm (voltage 3.0-3.4 current 700MA) x 5

520-530 nm (voltage 3.5-3.8 current 700MA) x 2

650-660 nm (voltage 2.2-2.4 current 700MA) x 14

total of 36 LED all separated into 3 rows of 12

LED Driver 36w (constant current 700MA, output voltage DC 36-41V Input voltage 220Vac/230Vac/240Vac.)

I know I have to reach the minimum voltage on the driver for it to work, I have a question about mixing the different voltage on the led for example 660 nm has 2.2-2.4 and 440 nm has a voltage of 3.0-3.4 .

I would love to get your opinion before I order anything since I dont have any experiance with electronics

the link to the driver didnt post right, but this is the one

and another driver I was looking at is a bit cheaper and I might go with that one

Hello there GoonyLex, i've followed your guide , importet all of the components and wired and soldered it all together, great guide btw!

Only problem is , i have like no clue about electriciti, so when i took an old nintendo power supply nothing happend, an old Laptop Power Supply, and nothing happend, so im starting to wonder, does the so called " Salvageble Power Supply " have to have a certain amount of something besides 260v ?

Btw i live in Denmark so i cant use 120v :)

Hope you can help me with some specs or some , so i can get some power through out this bad boy! :D

Cheers from DK :) !

btw its the same setup, same LED's , same drivers, just different colors :)

GoonyLex (author)  Lyseslukker2 days ago

Hi Lyseslukker

1. Do you own a multimeter?

2.If you are using the drivers , why are you also using a power supply?

lfilek8 days ago
Where did you find the LED's with the same mhA most of the ones I can find are so differenet one is 800 the other is 700. Would that be a problem mixing then in?
GoonyLex (author)  lfilek2 days ago

As long as the LED are rated for more or the same amount of current as the driver, you will not have any issues. When your power supply can provide more current than the LED's normally operate on, they will burn out.

forex5x14 days ago

Would it be possible to use a power supply from a recycled computer to drive the LED's?

GoonyLex (author)  forex5x8 days ago

yes it is possible, however you will require an additional circuit to control and maintain a constant current.

lfilek9 days ago
What do you think about using copper plate instead of aluminum since the heat transfer would be evenbetter. I'm going to try building this LED light a bit bigger x2 so 6 drivers 72 LED also Im gonna add some 60 degree lenses. Tell me what do you think
charon965 months ago
Thanks for this, doing the prepwork to build my own and my collaborator would like to know the part numbers for the LED's you used if you have them, or the manufacturer. Thanks again!
GoonyLex (author)  charon962 months ago
No particular part number I just chose the wavelengths that I liked after a bit of research. You should aim for led with the forward current of about 650mA.
JBFUK5 months ago
I'm looking at making something similar. How do you deal with each colour LED having a different forward voltage? Surely that means you can't mix them and each type of LED needs to be running on it's own driver otherwise they are potentially over/underpowered?
GoonyLex (author)  JBFUK2 months ago
All the led's have approximately the same forward voltage. As they have the same forward current you will be ok.
Does anyone ever tried this LED setup for growing MJ ?
That would be great if someone could share some info about witch led's I can add to this setup to improve vegging and flowering.
Thank you ;)
Hey AwesomeHedgehog, Actually I found a solid looking DIY LED grow light system for growing MJ last month and am looking to build it with CREE LEDs. DIY-LED-grow-light 
pmorales66 months ago
Thank you again for this Instructable. My light turned out great and super bright! I used aluminum c-channel and added 60 degree lenses. Look forward to future instructables .... maybe an easy diy constant power supply? :)
GoonyLex (author) 7 months ago
I used this specific one for aquarium plants and everything started growing out of control. PM me for more information on other plants.
definitely, thank you.
pmorales67 months ago
Great work! In the process of building my own. Wondering what grow results you are getting with this particular LED configuration. ie. more bloom? more veg? full spectrum? Thank you in advance and thank you for a good instructable!
spacemonk3y9 months ago
Besides congratulate you on your instructable, I wanted to ask you some questions about settings that I need to do a similar but 120w panel. I have given 40 3w LED and this source of power ( and wanted to know if it is possible to obtain good results with this.

Apparently taking only into account the amount of power (120 watt) power that gives us this should work, but with the amount of current I'm not sure. Someone could explain how I connect or components be wanting me to perform my own panel?

GoonyLex (author)  spacemonk3y9 months ago
Sorry for the late reply, the problem with that supply is that voltage output is too low while the current is high making wiring more difficult. You would have to make 3-4 leds in series and then connect them in parallel. If you need a diagram let me know and I might be able to make one when I got more time.
thank you very much for the reply. Please help me with the diagram, because I'm not very familiar with the manufacture of these panels and my plants (leaves 5 ​​points =)) will thank you.

In advance thank you very much
Greetings from Chile
GoonyLex (author)  spacemonk3y9 months ago
Yea no problem, what is your email. Also why not use the driver I recommended? The price is almost the same
sent by internal!
sidewinda9 months ago
any links for the suitable leds,,,lost in ebay for days....grrrr
GoonyLex (author)  sidewinda9 months ago
Really depends on what you are trying to grow? I buy the china made leds because I find that the American made one are good quality but not worth the price.
dchurch241 year ago
Hello again.

Is the panel you've used really 7 inches x 7 inches? It looks a lot bigger. I've managed to get hold of a large steel circle with a 5 inch radius, but now I'm mapping it out in Sketchup it looks a lot smaller once I add the LEDs to the one in your photographs.
GoonyLex (author)  dchurch241 year ago
Yea your right that's a mistake , I made several panels and most likely got them mixed up. That particular one is actually 14 inches I think
dchurch24 GoonyLex11 months ago
Hi, I ended up using a steel (thin - about 2mm thick) box as the heatsink - and it works beautifly. I've grown a tonne of tomatoes and am currently growing chilli plants now.
The difference in using this method with the plants as seedlings is astonishing! My mum planted some toms in her greenhouse about a week before I planted mine - with just being under these LEDs (i.e. they have never seen *real* sunlight), mine are three times the size of hers!
I will try to get some pics, although I am now experimenting with the chilli plants with the lights on 24/7, so all you might see is bright pink light!
Thanks once again for this 'able. Really very useful!
GoonyLex (author)  dchurch241 year ago
I would also recommend .5 inch thick aluminum for added heat protection. I never tryed steel as its to heavy to be hung for my projects. If you use it let me know how it works out. Also add a relay or thermal fuse for fire safety. My fan transformer recently died and thankfully I was home cuz the panel was HOTTTT!!
Hi, thanks for the reply. The steel is .5 inches thick, and you are right, it's far too heavy. I'll try to source something else. I have made a box with relays that are being controlled by a raspberry Pi and I have a USB thermometer so if the heat rises above a certain level then the relays cut off the supply. Also, I have two fans with seperate power supplies each through a relay of their own, so if one fails at least the other is still going. When the lights and drivers turn up, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks very much for this.
qwastic1 year ago
First of all. thanks for the instructable. im very impressed. i would like to take your design and push it a bit further to a 99 LED setup. i am thinking about using a different LED driver however. and i would like your opinion on it as i am not sure about the "Requirements" i am looking at this driver. and if i understand correctly with this driver i can put 33 LED's in series.
your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

GoonyLex (author)  qwastic1 year ago
No problem glad I could help.
It seems to me that One of these drivers could support about 40 LEDs if my calculations are correct.
You would have to do 10 parallel connections of 4 LEDs in series. It would be the best way to not overwork the driver while still providing the LEDs with the power they need.
dchurch241 year ago
Hi, great instructable. I have been trying to source LEDs for this project so that my mum can grow cherry tomatoes all year round. I contacted our supplier and he said "I am sorry we do not have the Blue led in 455nm, how about exchange it to 460-470nm led ?"
Do you think this would be ok?
Also, for the LED driver units, I found this:

Do you think that would work ok?
GoonyLex (author)  dchurch241 year ago
For the driver I would say go for something similar to the one I got at least similar power rating. As for the water proof it's not necessary but is a bonus when working with moisture.
The LEDs wavelength does matter and I would try to find close to 450nm as it is pretty optimal, different company's claim that different wavelength of blue are better it's hard to really say which one is best . You certainly can go with the 465 and let me know how it works. I would also deffinetly order online as most local retailer have ridiculous led price.
Hope that helped
Hi, thanks for the reply. I exchanged the leds for 455s as that's all they had, so not too far from the 450. Just got to wait for them to turn up from China now ;-)
I bought the drivers that you linked to as well in the end. Great instructable by the way. Thank you.
GoonyLex (author)  dchurch241 year ago
I'm glad it was of help to you. If you get a chance send me some pictures of what you make. :)
Ahh, scratch the question about the driver, I've just seen the voltage output! Doh!
ninjatails1 year ago
How did you get your metal panel for $16? The quote they gave me was $47...

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