Introduction: LED CCFL Plant Grow Light

LED and CCFL Plant Grow Light.  I started this while living in a house and then moved into an apartment.  I finished the project, but have not tried growing plants inside in a small apartment.  The unit should draw about 140-150W total.  It uses 6x 168 LED "flood-style" lights (red/ blue grow lights), 2x 23W warm CCFL, and 2x 23w cool CCFL.  It is very bright.  I also reused an old computer power strip.  This allowed the 5 switches to control 5 zones and a master on/ off switch.  Also, I was given a florescent light which the ballast had went out.  I used this as the reflector for the light and part of the frame.

Comments

author
kennmcook made it!(author)2014-06-17

I just bought a house, so I am on overdrive doing maintenance. I still have a list of things that the house needs done, before starting on other projects. So, I haven't set it up yet. I might try to grow something over fall/ winter in the basement or wait until next spring.

author
Akin+Yildiz made it!(author)2014-04-29

very nice design kennmcook. I believe that in the future we won't be needing so many lights just hanging from above. I feel like the trick is to use less but aim them much better to uncover hidden under leaf parts. check out my designs to get a better idea..

https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-plant-light-ba...

IMAG0348.jpgF09OVZOHU842FQX.jpg
author
CptOblivious made it!(author)2014-01-04

this veg or flower light?

author
kennmcook made it!(author)2014-04-25

I didn't answer your question very well:

This is more of a general "grow light" in it's current configuration. The LED lights I am using, with the Red to Blue ratio is better for flowering (mostly red). The warm CCFLs (Higher end of the color spectrum - flowering) and the cool CCFLs (lower end - growing). The CCFL also covers frequencies not produced by the LEDs. So depending on what you want to use it for, you could use all warm CCFLs (flowering), all cool CCFLs (non-flowering or young plants), etc. I described it as a general grow light, since it doesn't focus on the individual stage of growth or flowering.

I had the idea of growing cherry tomatoes inside year round, so my youngest could pick and eat them fresh when he wanted. I tend to over-do things at times, so it might be over kill for that purpose.

I still live in an apartment, so this is one of projects just collecting dust in the storage unit. I plan on trying it once I move into a house. It is too bright on the eyes for a small room and I really don't have the space inside the small apartment.

author
CptOblivious made it!(author)2014-04-25

I really like the idea, so you're saying that this light will convert to both flower and vegetative?, and how long does this late last? The fact it is in LED light intrigues me because I do know that LED's use little to no electricity haha and what kind of ballast would be ideal for something like this? I live in the desert so I don't have to worry about heat, and about how many plants would one of these lights grow at one time? And you say the light is really bright and intense in a small room, how small of a room are you talking about? I want to have an indoor hydroponic garden eventually and I'm trying to think conservatively. So about how many square feet does one light do at a preset height of say 3 feet above the plants?

author
kennmcook made it!(author)2014-04-28

If you are really into it, you could start with blue veg. LED Grow lights and cool CCFLs and then switch to the red/blue LED grow lights and warm CCFL lights for the flowering stage. The combo that I am using is in between, so it covers all the stages without focusing on one. It is not the most optimal for flowering, but I want the plant to continue to grow as it flowers. How you want to approach this depends on the plant you are trying to grow.

If you want to read more about growing plants with LEDs the following link should get you started in the right direction. This was what inspired me to look into LED grow lights.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home/plant_gro...

Reading and watching videos of other others who tried experiments with LED lights vs. other light types, inspired the use of both LED and CCFL. You do not need a ballast in this design, it uses 10x 120v lamp sockets. It should be low energy (less than +-150W - total bulb draw) and low heat for the amount of light produced.

It seems to assault the eyes like a 400W ballasted light in the same size room. That is a red-neck measurement and I don't have any accurate measurements to give you. Another red-neck measurement, you can compare the background light in the photos. The camera adjusted to the light being produced vs natural sun light.

I would guess the room size is about 11'x11'.

Again, I am not currently using the lights. I have not tested it for growing, at all. I built it, to test it and see how well it worked. however, it is collecting dust in a storage unit currently. I'm sure I will get to it eventually. Most of the info you are asking for would be speculation or best guess on my part.

I had somewhere between $100-150 total in this project. Between all the LED Lights, CCFL lights, Edison bulb sockets, and parts I already had and/or re-purposed.

author
kennmcook made it!(author)2014-01-07

More of a general grow light, but it is geared for flowering veg.

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