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DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

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DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:03 pm

Edit:
Just a few more weeks and ill have my bachelors in science, ill have full time to update then, and i will include my new 10w leds as well



This thread will be updated in bits and pieces since im really busy at the moment.
Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JktWq303GBw
This is the complete panel except 5 660nm leds, so actual intensity will be higher, full sun is 1800 microEinstein.
Power supply broke down today (20-5-2013), no apparent reason, just does not power anymore, just ordered some cheap 2 dollar transformers, which i will also try and i contacted the seller to see what he can do for me.

Hey everyone,

I decided to build my own LED (light emitting diode) grow light since i didn't want the pre-build led light because it favors red over blue wavelengths.
I will split this post into 2, first some theory about LEDs in general, growth leds, and some physics 101 that is of interrest when building your own led light.

Light emitting diodes:
The principal leds depends on electroluminescence, which means light through electricity and was first discovered in 1907.
The whole principal in a nutshell is, electrons are excited to a higher orbit and releasing light when going back to the ground state.
The Color of the led depends on the level the electron is excited to, lesser orbit means a higher wavelength (energy is a to the power -1 function of wavelength), the materials used in leds to create different colors are:
(GaSb), GaAs, indium phosphide (InP), and silicon-germanium (SiGe)
Reason LEDS are becoming more common is that they are way more energy efficient then an incandescent or fluorescent light because of the required energy less is transferred to heat, and more into light (which is also heat but another wavelength which we consider useful)

Growth LEDS:
The earliest lifeforms on earth could not produce their own energy, but gladly they evolved.
The first plants that used photosynthesis to produce energy were cyanobacteria and eventually they evolved further, and somewhere between a few milion years ago and now, carnivorous plants became to exist.
Every plant uses photosynthesis, which is: using light to make usable energy.
Plants do this by capturing electrons (light) by having chlorophyll. The 2 main chlorophylls in plants are Chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b.
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In these chloroplasts there are Photosystems (I and II), which can "capture" electrons and divert them to make all kind of molecules (like making O2 from CO2 and ATP)
But the rate at which plants can use electrons is depending on the wavelength (also commonly known as color):
Image
Therefore it can be concluded that giving plants the light they can use most effeciently (most usable electrons per watt of energy) is the light at the maximum absorption.
So became the LED grow lights.

I have to say i have found very few commercial grow lights that consider these peaks (they come close but as u can see a 20nm change can mean 60% less efficiency), that's one of the reasons i made my own.
Another reason is that comercial lights favored red, and i wanted more vegetative growth (which comes from blue light) instead of potgrowers which want flowering (achieved from red light).

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Last edited by Sander on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby jaghetermicke » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:58 pm

good going! making one myself! :) its great fun.
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:20 am

NIce, tell me more.

Im gonna get my resistors bank ready in a min.
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby nimrod337 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:15 pm

Looking good, man.

Could you add some captions to the photos when you are less busy? I know pretty well what's going on here, but I'd still like a little narrative to get an idea of your workflow/attack strategy.

Are you going to add more "fins" or aluminum to the heat sink? Or just the fan?
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:37 pm

What do you mean captitions?

And besides the fan, i dont think ill need fins or heat sinks
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Ae9803 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:42 pm

LEDs hardly release any heat, youll only need a fan.
Jake

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Http://www.thecpforum.com <---My Site

http://www.thecpforum.com/topic/3-jake-grow-list/
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:54 am

Well Ae9803, i had 20 leds on a 20x16cm aluminium board, which was already 20 degrees above ambient temperature, and i added about 20-25 more on the same plate, so i recon the temperature would be at least 50 degrees C above ambient temperature, so it does heat up a fair amount, but not as much as a indecent bulb
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:45 pm

Edited 1th post + updated with a video!
Worked 110h this week, so it keeps being delayed
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Mikey3288 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:15 pm

Great build! Do you by any chance have a reef as well? :D I built a few for my reefs which worked out wonderfully. Less heat, less electricity, more output, what's not to like?
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Re: DIY: Building my own LED 5 band grow light

Postby Sander » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:05 pm

Hey mikey, thx!
No, not yet, if i wanted something it would be a mantis shrimp!
Well, im about to do some *tests* this autumn and winter if i can get a decent sample size, so ill update it sometime (i know, still have lots to do)
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