Watch a moron build a LED light

Discussion in 'LED and other Lighting' started by chuckduck, Nov 27, 2017.


    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Hey gang. I love DIY. I love researching new things and figuring out how they work. There's one problem. My execution tends to fall short. Built my first drone and it flew away. I occasionally have success. I built a working LED for my reef aquarium ten years ago so I know I can do it. This thread is going to be one for me to post questions and document the build so others can see how difficult (or easy) it is to build a LED light.
    So here's my first problem. I bought a replacement power tool cord to power my meanwell driver. The internet wasn't much help trying to identify what goes where. So the cord of the left is the power cord with the plug. Internet says green is ground, black is hot (source of power), and white is neutral. Except I don't have green. I have a light blue. So I could use some help on what colors I should match up. Pic attached. [​IMG] I have to go to hardware store and get those tube things to crimp wires together. Turns out I suck at soldering and should do my best to not using an iron. Burned my wrist when I leaned on the damn thing. Pic attached. Told you I was a moron. I'll post some pics of the thing wired up tomorrow. [​IMG]
    Nugachino likes this.

    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Whoops. Pics attached here.

    Attached Files:


    coreywebster Well-Known Member


    lokie Well-Known Member



    It's cool you have the drive to DIY.
    Nugachino likes this.

    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Moflow likes this.

    [email protected]@ Well-Known Member

    On the meanwell driver to your 110v cord
    Brown= Hot (black)
    Blue= neutral (white)
    Green= ground (light blue is ground in your case)
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    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Thanks Montana and thanks to lokie for some tips about posting photos. I'm going to attempt to post some photos of what I have going on. I used three foot aluminum angle and steel bars from Home Depot. Next time I'd just use all aluminum angle. Drilled to the frame are four Photon Famtom Sunboards 5000k for my veg tent. Being a moron I'm very lucky to have a smart friend who told me what Meanwell driver to buy. These will be running at 50ish watts and don't need a heatsink but I thought I'd cut some aluminum angle and create a sort of DIY heatsink. They were attached with thermal tape.
    Tonight I took the red wire to positive on the board. Then out neg and connected to positive and so on. The first clip broke so I had to solder it to the board. No biggie. Later I broke another clip and tried to solder and the solder would not stick to the wire and bridged the gap between positive and negative. Had to pull everything off. Luckily the board had another spot with an intact clip. I'll post of pic of that. Hopefully there won't still be a bridge across. IMG_2926.jpg IMG_2927.jpg
    Here is my goof. I'm going to try to clean that spot up. It's not solder it's just gunk.....I hope. Off to bed.

    jacrispy, Moflow and lokie like this.

    firsttimeARE Well-Known Member

    These lights were incredibly simple to DIY.

    The hardest part(and this isnt even that hard) was to tin the wires. Im not even sure this is necessary given the low amperage and volts, but its simple enough to give me that warm feeling knowing my,angry pixies are staying where they should.

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    just use solid wire next time. always better in any solderless holder

    firsttimeARE Well-Known Member

    The ballast came stranded as was the plug I was using

    lukio Well-Known Member

    lol! you came to right place (:

    Humple Well-Known Member

    Do you feel that the clips that broke were too fragile, or that you were too rough with them? I'm quite curious about the Photon Fantom boards, because they so rarely pop up here, so your assessment of the sturdiness of the boards would be most helpful!

    meowmicks Active Member

    Can't speak for chuckduck but the plugs on my Photon boards are just as sturdy as any other wago solderless holders.
    Wonder why I don't see more of these boards on here...
    Humple likes this.

    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    The plugs are fine. I just cut the wire a bit short and had to pull it out. My wire is pretty thick and just barely fit in there and in the process of pulling it out I broke the holder. My fault completely. My order came with a waterproof plug connector thingy and that was pretty handy. Made it super easy to connect the cord and I must have gotten the wire matched correctly because the light works. I have a pot and a kill a watt coming in the mail soon. The driver is running pretty hot right now (120F) but I think that's because it's running max and my smart friend says that may be because they run a bit over 100% when there isn't a dimmer connected.
    I gotta say I was pretty surprised to see how bright this thing was. I think it's running at about 200 watts and it seemed noticeably brighter than my 600 watt metal halide.
    So I guess I proved my point. Even a moron like me can build one of these. I've got four more I'm going to hook up for a flower light and I'm going to run them a bit higher and use a 2100mah driver.
    IMG_2932.jpg IMG_2931.jpg

    E2DX Member

    Looking good awesome job, I sure your going to be happy with the results when things get rolling. Best of luck!

    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Built a second light for another 3x3 tent. Went with a 2100ma driver and figured I could dial it back if needed. This thing is super fricking bright in a new 3x3 tent. Hard to look into it. I bought a Kill-a-Watt and have the thing dialed back just a bit from max. Right now I have it running at 140 watts and the boards are 89-90F without any sort of heatsink or fan blowing on it.
    I ordered a Par meter that I'll pick up at the grow store on Monday. I'll draw up a par map of my 3x3 tent at various heights and different wattages. Should fun fun and I'm really getting into this stuff. I spend some time digging and have some Samsung LM561C PCB boards coming from china. They are from a reputable manufacturer and are unlike anything I've seen on the forums anywhere. We'll see....I'm a moron. Maybe they'll be shit.
    Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 7.41.10 PM.png
    Colo MMJ, Randomblame and Rolla J like this.

    CobKits Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    i feel like a moron when im drilling steel and again when i have to lift it over my head ;)
    all the boards use those. they are what they are, usually break either in shipping or from people torquing them with oversized wire

    i think the only reason phantom hasnt gained as much traction as say QB is lack of forum presence and photometric data
    Humple likes this.

    Dave455 Well-Known Member

    The spectral charts shown on their website look interesting.

    chuckduck Well-Known Member

    Phantom is definitely shooting himself in the foot by not responding to email of social media. While the wavy board and the fusion board don't have the photometric data the sunboard has all Samsung LED that other boards use. Also, his boards sell out with little effort on his part.
    These kind of boards are going to get remade by other manufacturers real soon and once people see how easy it is to make a light shit gonna get crazy. These will be available soon by the same company that makes all the other Samsung LED PCBs. Have eight on the way. I like that these have the LEDs staggered and lights more spread out to spread out heat. I'll have heat, ppfd, and wattage posted next week on the sunboards when I get the PAR meter. I'll do it without a heat sink and then add the DIY aluminum angle heatsinks. I feel like these new boards will have similar heat dispersion properties.
    Size: 305*355mm
    336led on the pcb board
    voltage: 68v
    max current: 2800ma,160w
    Going to pick up a couple HLG-480H-C1750B and run four panels off it. Gonna make two of those for my 4x8 tent. I'll post PPFD, heat, and watt info on these too when I get the panels together.
    Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.01.07 PM.png
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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    Humple Well-Known Member

    This is the thing that gives me pause. I've read the same complaint elsewhere on RiU, and on Reddit. If the dude is unresponsive it doesn't matter how good the boards are. At least with HLG, I know Robin or Stephen will answer all my questions.

    Hopefully Photon Fantom will up his game, because it looks like he's offering a good product.
    Moflow likes this.

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