Introduction: LED Grow Light
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UPDATE: fanless design - https://www.instructables.com/id/an-even-cooler-LED...
I am going to share with you how to make a cheap yet very powerful grow light. this 12Watt - wide spectrum led light will flourish your plants ($7.88 / year). almost every part can be found around the house or at a thrift store - cost is ~$15.
advantages to CFL:
- almost impossible to break
- clean operation, (no toxic fumes or mercury)
- 120 degree light output, unlike 360 degree with CFLs, there is no light loss
- cool to touch. plants can touch these lights and not burn their leaves
- easy customization. size, shape and color.
Step 1: Frame / Parts
the metal sheet in between was bought from a local hardware store.
you will also need;
high power leds
6x 1W warm white (you can also do 4x warm white 2x cool white - make sure they are 1W)
dc adapter (matching with case fan voltage !!)
female & male usb connectors
Step 2: Led.s
first we are going to make 2 in series modules of 6 led.s. then we connect these two modules together in parallel. which leaves the voltage same, but doubles the current - matching perfectly with the driver at 700mA.
apply a tiny amount of thermal glue under and lay out your led.s (wait at least 30 minutes to cure)
measure, cut and snip the ends off each wire - get them ready to solder. I use masking tape to stabilize everything, this makes the entire process very easy.
solder the led.s
the led driver doesn't come with an ac cable. solder the AC cable to the driver.
before going any further test your system. connect the driver to the wall, and touch the positive (+) and negative (-). make sure that they all turn on. do not stare at the light !!
carefully disconnect the driver, do not touch the positive (+) and negative (-) together EVER.
Step 3: Usb Connectivity
i want to easily be able to attach/detach the light system. this is why I converted each connection with a usb socket.
connect the male usb sockets to the fan + lights
connect the female usb sockets to the dc adapter + led driver
now you can mount the power adapters to a frame and still be able to remove your light for upgrades/fixes.
for more info on connections: instructables.com/id/usb-power-source-hack/
Step 4: Conclusion
I have been working with high power led.s for over 7 months now. they are superior to CFL grow lights in my opinion. here are a few prototypes.
the new system (12Watts - 4.5x4.5inches) is going to be replacing the current 16Watt system in the plant box (8x6inches). I will be loosing a few led.s but this light is much more stable and sleek, less moving parts, much less space. (will post about this soon!). I am planning on a time-lapse plant grow movie with this new system once box1 is finished. I can't wait to put this thing to a real test.
my new system is very similar to another older design. this auto grow system is power with only 6Watts. (4.5x4.5inches)
here we have another led grow light system (11Watts) with a fan on top again. (4.5x4.5inches)
last we have a system without fans. it is also 11Watts but the sheet size is 9x9inches (3.5mm thick). I have successfully raised 3 lychee trees sharing all the light. the heavy frame acts as a heatsink.
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