In this post I will be doing a quick step by step tutorial teaching anyone who is interested how to build a 50w LED grow light for around $10.00. If you can source a few donor items it is possible to build one for even less, around $5.00!!! I will leave all the links for the bits and pieces needed at the end of the tutorial.
Let's Get Started!
To build a light you will need a handful of items and some basic skills. Nothing serious, if you can rewire a plug you are golden :-)
So as you can see in the above picture we have a few items....
- 50w COB Full Spectrum LED
- Thermal Silicone Cement
- CPU Heatsink ( I find them lying around save a buck if you can)
- Solder and Soldering Iron
- Power Cord and Plug
A handful of items we can turn in green gold:-)
First make sure the contact surface of your heatsink is clean, I use rubbing alcohol or sandpaper to clean the surface. This is essential to make a good bond between the chip and heatsink.
Once your heatsink is ready, simply take your Thermal Silcone Cement and spread a thin layer over the contact point of the LED chip like in the picture above. It's important to use Thermal Silicone Cement because this actually bonds the chip to the heatsink, simple and done!
Note: They can be pulled off and replaced if needed.
Next simply center the chip and stick it down.
It really is that simple! Try not to push on the orange bit in the center when placing the LED chip, this bit contains the diodes and if you press on it you might damage one. Once in place the Silcone Cement will be dry enough in about 30 min to work with again.
Tip: When cementing your chip in place, press down over the 4 mounting holes and work it into place a little to ensure a good bond.
Now for the fun part! Next you will need to solder your power cord and plug to the LED chip. The nice thing about these chips is that they have a in-build on-board driver. This allows the chip to be connected directly to either 120v or 220v AC.
Please note: Working with AC current is very dangerous. If you are not familiar with electricy please ask for help. I am sure you will find a helper to solder the Live and Neutral wires for ya. :-) Remeber blue is Nutral and brown is Live. This is easy to identify with the L and N specified on the chip.
After soldering dont forget to insulate the exposed soldering. I recomend a blob of either silicone or apoxy to cover the contact points and prevent a nasty shock in future.
And that's it, plug your light in and you are ready to go!
You might have noticed I am not using a cooling fan. When using a chunky heatsink like the one above, it is not required to have a cooling fan when running just one 50w LED chip in a open grow room. However if needed a simple pc fan will work perfectly.
Alternately a oscillating fan in the grow area simply blowing on the light will also work fine. These LED chips have heat protection sensors that will turn the LED off if it get's to hot protecting it.
As for the CPU heatsink and power cord I am sure these can be sourced by most people locally. In all my years of building lights I only bought heatsinks when building custom lights for people. Otherwise they easy to come by and save a buck at the same time. :-)
Also I would like to note I have been buying from this specific LED supplier now for a few years and never had one hassel. There LED's are GOOD i use them all the time!
Thanks for stopping by I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I am giving away all my secret's here lol! Thanks for the support and as always I am looking forward to all comments and questions. Also if you need help please drop a comment, I will be more than happy to facilitate were possible.