Currently I'm using several different styles of grow tents. I have 5x5, 4x4 and 5 2x3 clone tents. I haven't been using the larger tents recently. My two girls (2 and 3 ) have figured out how to operate zippers and think they are cool to hide in. I mainly have been using the small 2x3 clone tents. These are Gorilla Grow brand. I use them mainly to start garden seeds in plug trays. They nicely fit 3 10x20 trays. Since I'm getting back into the world of Carnivorous Plants these will work well with the surplus 2.5 inch square pots I have. I also love the design of these little tents. No need for fancy air exchange fans. The tent accepts a standard 120mm PC fan.
Please don't mind the rats nest of wires. I have been testing a new light and I'm constantly tearing it apart to obtain voltage readings. Currently I have a plug tray of onions starting.
The light I'm currently using is a custom 4000K 90CRI full spectrum LED grow light. It is capable of 600watts. I'm not entirely sure what that is equivalent to however, at 600+ watts during bench testing (Not using reflective enclosure) I was able to get 2180 PPFD - uMols/s which is a little high. In reality during a controlled test I should see around 1600 to 1800 PPFD.
Seedling Power Test (Approx 300 PPFD)
Veg Power testing (Approx 800 PPFD)
Max Power (Approx 2000+ PPFD)
I probably will never use it at its full potential unless in a greenhouse setting. Plus running LED's that hard can shorten its life span if heat isn't properly managed. I'm using 96 Cree JR5050BWT-K class 90CRI full spectrum LED's. They are in the 5 watt class of LED's with a max running wattage of 7.2 watts per LED. In the image below I have it running on low which puts out an average of 257 PPFD and consumes approx 115 to 119 watts from the wall. It has an efficiency of around 2.1 PPFD/ watt and costs around 5 bucks a month to run in this mode. In more powerful modes I'm expecting a PPFD of 2.3 per watt. I have 5 more to build.
The light was originally designed to fit my current and future needs. To be able to run at low power for seeds, able to use different wattage LED drivers, and also be able to use multiple lights that can be dimmed together, have a good even coverage, not break the bank on construction costs and while running it. I have to do the final numbers but all said and done, each light will have cost me around $210.00 USD. Lights on the market at similar wattage and using similar LED's cost around $500-$700 USD.
**I had an image of the watt meter here however, I realized I used the wrong image. Ill replace it once I find the other image.**
The LED engine (LED Board) is a custom design that I had printed off. It's using copper traces and is printed on highly thermally conductive aluminum. Which is a royal pain to solder wires to. I spend more time soaking the board with heat than I should. I need to come up with better power connections for this board.
Here is the circuit board design from Altium software.
Here is an image of the LED engine when in use.
The light does not put off much heat. At max power I'm seeing around 130 deg F with fans. It's warm but not horrible. On low it's at a constant 85-90 deg F
The LED driver's that I use are the Meanwell HLG-240H-30A and HLG-480H-30B. I will probably never go above 480 watts with this light which seems to be the sweet spot.
I have other stats ( PAR Map and Spectrum Analysis ) if anyone is interested.
** EDIT I just redid the watt reading and now I'm getting 75 watts from the light which would put the light at around 3.4 PPFD/ watt which is impossible. I received the same reading yesterday as well and one that was in the 100+ watt range. I'm expecting no more than 2.4 PPFD Per watt max. Something is screwy. Maybe my watt meter ghosted me **
** EDIT #2 -- Figured out what it is. Had to revisit my notes on efficiency calculations. I need to redo all of my tests and get a new watt meter. It was a mixture of both error on my end and a possible bad meter. The light should be less efficient when dimmed **