Let's raise awareness about screw-in led bulbs! Budget friendly growlight

Cannaprentice

Active Member
Hi! :mrgreen:
Usually household led bulbs are regarded as a really poor lighting option.
Some go as far to say CFL's are better than those!

But I did a healthy amount of research and experimentation and y'all might be surprised with the outcome of it all! So here we go: let's raise awareness and help all the broke growers like me who want dense nugs without cashing out!

First I'll cover the don't and do and then we'll take a look at the results!

Don't:
-Don't even dare to look at the "equivalent wattage". They compare it to incandescent bulbs and those are a really poor standard as they don't have what it take to grow plants

-Don't let the plastic covers. They are designed to diffuse the light when what we want is a nice bright and
straight beam aimed at the canopy.

-Don't screw them on a plain boring square board. I went through three versions and my first two where like
that. Turns out it acts like a heat trap which make your bulbs run even hotter and that can't be good. :wall:

-Don't bunch them up! you'll bleach your plants. I know they have a bad reputation but they'll fry your crop if
you underestimate their light output!

Do:
-Do the math and calculate the right amount of bulbs for your growspace. I calculated my number of bulbs two
times, once based on actual wattage and then based on lux. Turns out the number of bulbs matches! It's
somewhat of a hint at a nice efficiency.

-Build a frame with gaps. It will allow the heat to rise, your bulbs will run cooler and it will all be easier to
manage. Plus it will be a whole lot lighter.

-Buy two sets of bulbs. A cold light one and a warm light one. I mix them, adding a bit of warm in veg and a bit of cold in flowering to try and get a fuller spectrum but I'll need more research to claim it makes a difference.


Now that this is out of the way let's look at my current light setup and results!

First of here's my fixture, I made it fancy because I like DIY projects but all you really need to do is a wooden grid with E27 light sockets wired in parallel. You want to spread them evenly and far apart enough so that the light is evenly distributed across the WHOLE canopy. If you don't, all that math will go to waste as your light footprint won't match your grow space.
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The girls on the pics are both LSD25 from fastbud.
67397162_473450846820440_4145695694742618112_n.jpg
Doing pretty good and gaining weight fast! Can't wait to see what it's gonna look like two weeks from now.
The purple pheno smells like grapes and berries and the greenish one leans towards lemony diesel smell.

Now for some bud shot of finished runs. Both are sour diesel auto from dinafem/
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Those were nice, smelly and dense and had a nice trichomes coverage!
Made a lot of happy friends at parties! :bigjoint:

I hope I'm gonna inspire budget growers to move away from cfl's because this is so much better and has a similar price tag. In my book there's no looking back really! :razz:

I know commercial led growlight are better but this is a fraction of the price and can get you serious bud!
If you got any questions or suggestions I'd be more than happy to talk about it!
 

vostok

Well-Known Member
the advantage of a light array is that you can lower the lights to the plant

with yours at best I'd stick blue ray covers under the pots to raise them up to the lights

to at least 1-2 inches

a small pc type fan will encourage the plants to leave the stomatas open to at least outgass

cheers/
 

Cannaprentice

Active Member
the advantage of a light array is that you can lower the lights to the plant

with yours at best I'd stick blue ray covers under the pots to raise them up to the lights

to at least 1-2 inches

a small pc type fan will encourage the plants to leave the stomatas open to at least outgass

cheers/
I don't really see the point in raising them with blueray covers, It would be easier to just lower the light with the ratcheting hangers
but any lower and it would start bleaching my plant!

And worry not, there's a small ocillating fan blowing on the canopy from the top down, it's just not in frame ;-)

My post is about the growlight I made, not my plants!
but thanks for your insight anyways :D
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
I'm using my 11 bulb fixture right now for vegging but change to HID lights once the plants get bigger.

I made it out of some nice chrome vanity fixtures I scored cheap at a local thrift store. All bulbs are centered 6" apart and seems to give good coverage for it's size. Running all 5000K bulbs tho I have some 2700K as well.

LEDFinish05.jpg

24 little plants recently cloned from the 12 plants now in their 4th week of flower in the grow room and a taller Hindu Kush in the back. All growing really well but I don't know what I'm going to do with them all. lol

Clones01081901.jpg

:peace:
 

Cannaprentice

Active Member
I'm using my 11 bulb fixture right now for vegging but change to HID lights once the plants get bigger.

I made it out of some nice chrome vanity fixtures I scored cheap at a local thrift store. All bulbs are centered 6" apart and seems to give good coverage for it's size. Running all 5000K bulbs tho I have some 2700K as well.

:peace:
Nice one!
I think that without the tall HinduKush you could lower your light a fair bit and you would gain in intensity!

as you have access to HID it's surely better,
but for those who can't, with a homemade fixture you can go crazy on the number of bulbs and add them up to the required wattage.
At this point, my 15bulb 189watts fixture is more than capable of flowering two small plants :mrgreen:
 

vostok

Well-Known Member

My bitch about you guys using LED home bulbs is....I can't find any LED bulbs that can out do my current shitty CFL's(1500Lu)
vs the LED(here) at 800Lu at best these are Phillips Tornados at 1550Lu @25w
my setups run at 20% cool whites to 80% warm whites or daylight

note.. I use only the cfl's for germming or emergency use these days ..
 

Cannaprentice

Active Member
My bitch about you guys using LED home bulbs is....I can't find any LED bulbs that can out do my current shitty CFL's(1500Lu)
vs the LED(here) at 800Lu at best these are Phillips Tornados at 1550Lu @25w
my setups run at 20% cool whites to 80% warm whites or daylight

note.. I use only the cfl's for germming or emergency use these days ..
The bulbs I use are 1521 [email protected]
So almost the same lumen output for pretty much half the power consumption.

I can't out do the lumen output per lightbulb when comparing to your cfl's, but for the same total wattage, a led setup would be significantly brighter.
I don't know if they measure the brightness with the diffusers on but it gets even better when you take them off

Also I would argue that leds have a better light penetration so you don't need to get them all close and personnal to light up lower growth.
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
I think that without the tall HinduKush you could lower your light a fair bit and you would gain in intensity!
I'm actually trying to keep the intensity down a bit so they grow slower. If I had someone local that wanted that Hindu kush I'd get rid of it as two of those small plants are from the same mom.
 

vostok

Well-Known Member
The bulbs I use are 1521 [email protected]
So almost the same lumen output for pretty much half the power consumption.

I can't out do the lumen output per lightbulb when comparing to your cfl's, but for the same total wattage, a led setup would be significantly brighter.
I don't know if they measure the brightness with the diffusers on but it gets even better when you take them off

Also I would argue that leds have a better light penetration so you don't need to get them all close and personnal to light up lower growth.
I also use LED floro replacement as in a 4 foot T8 led tube with the difuser is crap yeah remove the sleeve and increase Lu no problem
these T8's/led do make germing very short indeed but thats about all ..lol
for $25 A light meter is a good investment
 

Cannaprentice

Active Member
I'm actually trying to keep the intensity down a bit so they grow slower. If I had someone local that wanted that Hindu kush I'd get rid of it as two of those small plants are from the same mom.
Makes sense!

And that makes me wonder...
Recently I was starting to think about building a small growbox to root clones.
How long could you keep clones under 10" with a low wattage light?
Thing is, I can only grow two medium sized plants at the same time, so if I take cuttings from a future vegging plant, will I be able to limit their growth till the two big girls are ready to harvest?
I want to pheno hunt to keep clones of my favorite and all that good stuff but it's tricky with limited space!
 

Cannaprentice

Active Member
Walmart Hyper Tuff under cabinet plug in 24” 13 watts, 1300 lumens with frost cover, can be daisied, 5000k.
$11.87
There's no wallmart where I live, but the globes I used are philips 13watts led bulbs with E27socket.
it's like 30£ a pack of 6
But I can't stress enough on removing the cover though.
I really saw a difference when I first done it!
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
Makes sense!

And that makes me wonder...
Recently I was starting to think about building a small growbox to root clones.
How long could you keep clones under 10" with a low wattage light?
Thing is, I can only grow two medium sized plants at the same time, so if I take cuttings from a future vegging plant, will I be able to limit their growth till the two big girls are ready to harvest?
I want to pheno hunt to keep clones of my favorite and all that good stuff but it's tricky with limited space!
I've kept clones going for 7 months once leaving them in the 9-hole seed starter pots I started them in. Low light and low feed kept them alive tho not pretty but once put into pots and vegged properly they grew just fine and soon looked great.

11 of the 12 flowering plants I have now are new to me and once they are done I can evaluate them and will be only keeping 4 or 5 for future growing. 6 different strains in those 12. The one I've done before is a revegged AK47.

All under a 940W Hortilux conversion bulb riding a foot above the plants on my Light Rail 4.0.

Group29Days01.jpg
 

Hempire828

Well-Known Member
Nice one!
I think that without the tall HinduKush you could lower your light a fair bit and you would gain in intensity!

as you have access to HID it's surely better,
but for those who can't, with a homemade fixture you can go crazy on the number of bulbs and add them up to the required wattage.
At this point, my 15bulb 189watts fixture is more than capable of flowering two small plants :mrgreen:
Walmart Hyper Tuff under cabinet plug in 24” 13 watts, 1300 lumens with frost cover, can be daisied, 5000k.
$11.87
Well I be damn... I bought a 45w Hyper Tuff led.. 5k 21.87....5000 lumens... the 4’ ...nice led.. I took it back because I thought it wasn’t enough...oh well
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
fookit I'll look for some LED bulbs at about 25w
Take your VISA card with you as the higher wattage LED bulbs are pricey.

I bought a shitload of the 9W/60w equiv. ones when they first came out at a buck each and now see them on sale once in a while for $1.50 but the 100W equivalent ones were $7.50 each in a 2pack. True 25W ones if you can find them will cost an arm and a leg to fill your rig.
 
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