Doing it on the cheap

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Fubard, Jan 12, 2018.


    Fubard Well-Known Member

    As the title hint, I don't like spending money on things so here's my latest little project, total cost under €40, or under $50.

    This is most of a PC tower side panel with 28x35cm, 13.8", long led strips, so, roughly 1 sq. ft. in area, mainly alternating 3000K/blurple (idiot here put two blurples side by side. Meh, no big deal), connected to a 360W driver with it's own cooling fan. Took me a couple of hours to make, time I had anyway since I'm pretty much crippled now and can't work. LED strip is 4.9m 3000K SMD 5630 at 120 led's per metre and 4.9m 4 red/1 blue blurple SMD5050 at 60 led per meter. Total length of strip is 9.8m, or 32 feet. LED strip may be cheap, but they are all Epistar LED's and I know they are decent.

    Powered up, then modified it as that amount of strip in one length suffers too much from voltage drop due to it being 12v strip so it had to be split across the two outputs on the driver, and then got the lux meter on my phone running and got a, non-calibrated, reading of 18,000 Lux at a height of 40cm, 15", above the phone. Obviously, since so little heat comes off this, I'll likely want it closer and it cleared 25k lux at around 8". That's with the panel "flat" and before I start bending it into a shape more like the reflector you use with a MH or CFL setup which will focus things a bit more.

    I reckon that's going to be close to a 400w HID lamp regarding output, given the efficiency of said lights, and can be MUCH closer than a HID lamp so less light is "wasted" spreading outside the area of whatever is under it. Radiated heat is negligible, I could hold that thing in my bare hands all day with no problems so is an obvious candidate for small, stealthy, grows like some of these closet grows some are doing.

    Don't ask me about the PAR levels, I ain't capable of doing these maths.

    The big question is, will that be enough for a single plant.....

    Attached Files:

    budman111 and deno like this.

    MichaelJ1981 Member

    Wow! Well, it looks like a good quality build anyway... hope it works out for ya!
    Lucky Luke likes this.
    Lucky Luke

    Lucky Luke Well-Known Member

    if its compatible with a 400 HID the it should do more than one plant. It should do a 4 x 2 easily so 2 or more plants.

    Fubard Well-Known Member

    Can't give a true comparison, but pulling 50k lux was easy and I could have gone higher than that by moving it closer. The Acapulco Gold I had going until I killed it by overwatering loved the little panel

    When this episode with my back is over the games shall begin again because right now I'm spending too much time floating on pharmaceuticals to be able to concentrate on and care for plants, even when I can move around.

    But I did find a "replacement" bulb that has me interested,

    That 150w bugger should be mighty bright...
    Lucky Luke

    Lucky Luke Well-Known Member


    Fubard Well-Known Member

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