DIY COB LED Grow Lights

Several Helpful Tips To Design Your Own Working LED Lamp

There are many do-it-yourself types in the world, trying their hand at anything and everything. Why not create a lamp as well? That’s right! You can actually create a do-it-yourself Cob LED grow light and for less money than you may be thinking.


Why Should You Consider A DIY LED Lamp?


A do-it-yourself lamp is nearly 49% more efficient, especially if you can use top bins and run them softly (700mA).  With a mid-bun running hard at 1,400mA, you get a 36% efficiency. Onyx, Apache and Area 51 are regarded as the best LEDs in the commercial industry, running in the low 30s.


A second benefit is the option to use remote drivers that keep the heat out the growing space and from LED heatsinks.


Now that COBs are available, it’s much easier to construct a lap. And, it appears that 3,000K works even better than HPS.


What You Need To Create Your Own Lamp At Home


If you want to construct COBs, the best to use are Vero 29 and Cree CXA3070. Vero 3000K 8 to 10% and CXA 3000K has 14% blue. You can purchase them on Digikey or save yourself money by going with Arrow.


When it comes to drivers, 1.4A is a worthwhile concession between efficiency and cost. You can buy these on eBay for about $13, and they have had their power factor fixed and are 90% efficient.  While the Mean Well LPC-60-1400 can be used, its efficiency is lower and isn’t correctly power factored. If you’d rather have the 1050mA, you can choose the Mean Well LPC-60-1050.


When it comes to heatsinks, small grows benefit from using CPU coolers. The 92mm Arctic 11 Plus is a worthwhile option and costs around $10. It has a fluid dynamic bearing fan with a plethora of cooling power and isn’t excessively noisy. You can often find them on Newegg and Amazon for $10. OutletPC currently has them for $10…although you do need to pay for shipping.


If you plan to create a do-it-yourself medium or lamp, it may be a good idea to consider the HeatsinkUSA 5.88” profile.  If you have 2 COBs, a 12” length is ideal. If you have 4 COBs, it’s best to have a 24” length.  All of it can be cooled with a super-efficient but lone 140mm fan.


Consider the Prolimatech 140mm that has 13 volts and can move a lot of air. It’s only about $11 on Amazon.


The Vero is free of solder, but the Cree needs a COB holder so that can be. Both approaches need to be drilled and the heatsink tapped. Smoldering tends to do better than drilling.


However, make sure to mount the COB using Prolimatech PK3 thermal paste and use Kapton to keep the COB in place. You want to make sure it doesn’t slip. The paste produces a strong suction when the COB is pushed into the heatsink. The COB will be kept firmly in place. You’ll need to twist and then slide if sideways for it to come off.


When it comes to diy cob led grow light wiring, it’s best to go with an 18-gauge stranded alarm wire. You can find the wire for cheap and be easily installed. You can take out the drivers from the tent, which gets its AC power out of the grow space.


To make the connections, you can use the .25” crimp slide connectors, which you purchase from elecdirect or any other parts store. These kinds of connectors ensure a secure connection and no flickering – something that’s vitally important for LED circuits.  With slide connectors, you’re forced to use the proper polarity. You can easily change out the drivers or LED modules. You can also connect to the multimeter.  You can create splitters to give power to several fans at once.


Heat shrink them for insulation and color coding.


If you’re going to create a lamp, you’ll need to prepare the heatsink. Heatsink preparation is important if you’re going to run the COB hard. Bear in mind that protruding aluminum heatsinks don’t come flat. You’ll need to flatten them yourself and then sand them to 1,000 grit before you install the COB if you are DIY.


3000K COBs gives you better returns than HPS, but you can also alter the spectrum to add royal blue and deep red. Consider the Luxeon ES royal blue M4R bin or the Luxeon ES deep red EX6 bin.


An Important Consideration To Bear In Mind


Be sure to wear a mask and use wet sandpaper instead of wet/dry sandpaper, sanding outside, as aluminum dust is dangerous.