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BigBudD

New grower needing help choosing a light

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Hey guys . I m looking to build a small grow box to grow like 2 plants . As it’s a first build I ve done a lot of research and I m still not sure what light will be solid enough to have a decent yield and not break the bank . I have about 1500-2000 for a light . 
 

https://legalgrow.co.za/product/150w-cob-led-grow-light/?v=edb5dc74af1c

https://marijuanasa.co.za/product/cob-led-150-watt/ 
 

these were a couple I was looking at . I have looked at HID but factoring the ballast 2 different bulbs and a reflector it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna work for me. I wanted to make the box 70cmx70cmx1.2m 

any help would be greatly appreciated 

thank you so much ! 

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What about LED strips or Quanum Boards?

You could make something happen within your budget if you were to look at buying and making your own LED strips... Especially if you can source some decent strips locally.

Otherwise you may need to look at Arrow or Digikey and bring in some.

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Agreed with Psyclown, the lights is the most important element rather save just a little more for a legit QB , the DIY part is cheaper if you have spares lying around to build, I built my own box before lock down, I will post link , also at the time could only get a cheapie ebayish light for R2500 advertised as 900 w ,true draw maybe 200w , so far not getting bad results with 2 plants , next upgrade for me is 200 watt QB in a bigger space, also check fellow member Zah's build and results, very impressive

https://www.420sa.co.za/topic/3651-white-widow-coming-down-today/?tab=comments#comment-41114

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I m not sure where to even start by doing it myself . With lockdown happening everything I find online is out of stock . Basically I need a light that can get me through the full grow . 
 

What K led strips will be best ? Is 120w enough for 2 small plants in scrog ? 

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I understand it is hard to get stuff now or even future imports, those lights you were looking at should be more than adequate for 2 medium plants with all the training in a 60x60, here is another link to grow OPZ, the y still have some stuff available, this seems very decent ( 120W Luminus Gen 4 CXM-32 COB fixture) R2500

https://growopz.com/products/120w-luminus-gen-4-cxm-32-cob-fixture

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Another question. If I build my own light with led s is it vital to have the Meanwell driver ? I ve been looking into building and some videos never mentioned the driver at all . 

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Posted (edited)

The meanwell driver is a power supply for the LEDs. You will need a driver for quantum boards and strips.

I got some chinese QB's that have built in drivers and run off 220v, no meanwell required.

Edited by Bakstein420

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Chinese qb is not gonna be an option for a while . I want to start ASAP . Being home for this long is making me go crazy 

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Where do you plan on sourcing items for your light build? As all DIY LED builds I've seen have used imported (USA) diodes so not sure where you would find them locally.

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Well I m looking but I honestly haven’t found anything in stock/in budget . Might have to get a built light from grow opz . Their pricing was fair considering the current state of things 

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@Roasty did you just use old pc fans for intake and exhaust . If so how did you wire them ? 

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@Roasty did you just use old pc fans for intake and exhaust . If so how did you wire them ? 
I've tried this... Wire them in parallel to a 12v power adapter with an Amp rating slightly higher than the sum of all the fans you want to run off it.

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PC fans can work pretty well in a smaller area or if you have no other option as an inline fan is too expensive.

Find a 12v wallwart power supply and use that, best you have a multimeter handy to check which is positive and which is negative and then just wire it up to the PC fan.

 

You need something to power the LED's, as they require DC power. Meanwell make good quality power supplies / LED drivers (same thing). You do not have to get a Meanwell power supply, there are other companies which also make power supplies, however due to the reliability of Meanwell I feel they have become the standard when one is looking for a power supply for their LED lights. Some of the cheaper ones have a fan and do not output the rated power and can have failures within a year of use - the Meanwell ELG and XLG range have a 3 year warranty I think, I know the HLG has a 7 year warranty... Maybe the ELG has 5 years and XLG 3 years. Regardless its pretty long and considering how often a power supply is on when you growing, it's nice to have the warranty for just incase and for peace of mind.

A cheaper power supply will have cheaper parts, the last thing you want is for a cap or another part to blow and become a hazard in your grow area.

Also Meanwell have a good efficiency, all of the above mentioned ranges are over 90% efficient, with the HLG being the most efficient - so less power wastage and less heat.

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Also take out the PC power supply.. gives you all the 12v power you need. To calculate your draw, I wouldn't just go a little below. Check that you have 50% of overcapacity in your adapter. Runs cooler, uses less electricity. If you let something run hot, the resistance increases and it draws more power. The colder you run your electric gear, the more efficient you are.

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Using an ATX power supply to power 2 or 3 small 120mm fans is overkill I feel and 1.5a should probably be more than sufficient.

The wallwarts are often rated at continuous output anyways, I don't feel its a big deal. Not with something like fans and typically 12v wallwarts would be at least 1A so not something you really need to worry about.

 

Infact, here we go: https://www.takealot.com/deepcool-120mm-wind-blade-blk-w-wht-led/PLID53565941?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtLT1BRD9ARIsAMH3BtWYppNFhl6Fw8E6O6YjOhIumTXJhG5xELAZYBlDI7aD3b5dCouvbxMaAijmEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Current draw is only 0.2A, 2.4W.... You have 3 of them running on a 1A wallwart - you're 100% safe.

Also with SMPS, often you need to run them at a higher current to get the best efficiency - so if you say have a 1000W power supply, if you are only drawing 200W it wont be as efficient as if you were drawing say 750W. So drawing less can sometimes mean a worse efficiency actually and therefore would draw more power as wastage than if you were running the power supply at a higher percentage of its max capability... I hope that makes sense.

 

Go dig in your cupboard and see if you have a wallwart from an old router, switch or some random electronic device you probably don't need anymore. As long as its 12v and the current rating is sufficient, it shouldn't be an issue.

 

EDIT: Just realized that fan had LED's, without LED's the power consumption is even less...

https://www.takealot.com/deep-cool-xfan-120-case-fan-black/PLID15202103

Less than 1W draw, 0.07A

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On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 3:04 PM, BigBudD said:

@Roasty did you just use old pc fans for intake and exhaust . If so how did you wire them ? 

Hi Bud, no I used and 6 inch bathroom extractor fan which is a bit big and power heavy, my design I incorporated a chimney stack on top of my box with the extractor fan built into the top part, the extractor fan I'm using apparently flows 50l /sec, it is connected to ducting which goes outside my rooms window , I put a intake hole on the bottom of the grow bow, with the door closed and sealed the extractor fan causes negative pressure which in turn pulls in fresh air through the smaller diameter air intake, i need to put a filter of some sort on that, still working on that, so far it has been working very well plants are breathing fine and stacking, haha before i open the box, i just take the extraction duct and stick it in my face and take a few puffs haha.

 

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I would go with the one with added reds, to help with flower.
The UVA diodes will also help prevent PM to some extent.

I'm also looking for a new light, but I think I'm gonna wait to order some from Kingbrite, double the wattage for like a 1.5k more.


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I did see a new forum on here with someone selling qb240 for like 4900@TheUltimateNoob 
Yeah but there aren't any uv or deep red diodes on the boards... I wanted to know if he'd build a light for me but didn't get a reply to my comment.

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@TheUltimateNoob I see what you saying . You prob right about the lights though . My grow space is 70x70x1.5 so that’s the reason I didn’t wanna break the bank on a light over 200w . A lot to figure out between having the right light spectrum and what is actually actually available . 

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@TheUltimateNoob I see what you saying . You prob right about the lights though . My grow space is 70x70x1.5 so that’s the reason I didn’t wanna break the bank on a light over 200w . A lot to figure out between having the right light spectrum and what is actually actually available . 
Reading up on lighting a bit will serve you well. A lot can be adapted to your grow or found by looking for a product that's not necessarily well know, but has the right specifications.

Something like the Bavagreen fixtures, with UV and IR on separate switches.

You would need something with a more square output... The Mars TS series has really good par over a 1m x 1m, but with shipping and stuff it ends up quite a bit. I haven't checked the latest prices though.

Which light are you planning to get?

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@TheUltimateNoob I m still looking . I might just buy a Mars ts 600 for now because I only planned on doing max 2 plants . Can always add led strips or bulbs to the box along the way 

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