Help Me Build a Light for My Clones

Hello fellow farmers,

I’ll start by giving some context on the current state of affairs:


  • 30” x 18” x 36”
  • ?


  • 36” x 20” x 62”
  • HLG-100 4,000K
    • 45 > 100 Watts


  • 48” x 24” x 60”
  • HLG-260 3,000K
    • 135 > 285 Watts

The first thing you’ll notice is I don’t have a light for my propagation/clone tent. It’s a rather small tent and I want to keep things consistent on the lighting front, I’m extremely happy with my HLG-100 and HLG-260 so I was totally onboard to buy another HLG light for my clones.

As you can see, the clone tent is pretty small. I found the perfect light from HLG: the HLG-45. Unfortunately, they no longer sell it and after reaching out to them, they confirmed that they have no plans on restocking it.

They recommended the HLG-65 but I only have 36" of height and that would be more PPFD/DLI than little cuttings would need. I looked at what was out on the market and wasn’t able to find a light that’s appropriate for this size tent/clones. So here I am! Time to custom build :slight_smile:

@dbrn32 and anyone else who has some knowledge on the matter, would you please help me put together a light for the tiny itty bitty clone tent? Budget isn’t a primary concern, I just want to build the right light for the job.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice!


You plan on using this area strictly for rooting clones? Matty has 1 that he runs in 36"x12" space, would probably be perfect. Its 3 560mm eb strips on plm-40-500 driver. If you go with latest strip, you could probably fit 4 of them on that driver.

If you need more of a multi purpose light, we could go with larger dimming driver and just use as many strips as needed.

Hey @dbrn32,

Thanks for your response and help! I do want to build a specialized and purpose driven light, no need for headroom honestly since I have both the veg and flower tents figured out and setup with QBs already.

Those strips are from Bridgelux? Do you recommend them over Samsung strips?

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Not necessarily, they just seem to fit smaller builds a little better most of the time.

For what you’re looking to do, the eb strips won’t really need any heatsink. So you can just find something rigid to put them on for support. If you went with something like f-series you would likely drive them harder and go with less strips. But since the cost is higher and you would probably want some heatsink extrusions, there’s usually not any savings. And you’ll probably do more assembly labor.

Which Samsung strip were you looking at? We can price both out if you want.


I was thinking about using the Q series Samsung @ 4,000K: SI-B8T101560US

I will say that I like the idea of not needing a heat sync, minimalistic build would be awesome, so if going with the Bridgelux simplifies the build, I’m in for it as long as it’s still a quality and long lasting light.

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You could use those and do same thing, they are just a little more expensive.

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How many of the SI-B8T101560US strips would you recommend running with the PLM-40-500? I like that this driver has some dimming capability, that’s useful.

I don’t mind spending a bit more and getting the Samsung strips as long as you think they won’t need a heat sync and can still be implemented with a simple and minimalistic design.

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If you choose the Samsung strip, I would move to plm-40-350 driver. And you could run 4 of the sammy’s on it. Its basically dropping the current a smidge because the voltage on the Samsung strip is a little higher. Basically substituting a 9 watt bridgelux strip with an 8 watt Samsung strip.

Either of those you could probably grab a 24"x12" piece of aluminum plate from Ebay, then use thermal tape to stick the strips to plate. I have all the steps pretty well lined out in a different topic here

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Sorry if I’m being a bit slow… but are you saying that the EB strips don’t really need a heat sync? But the Samsungs do? Which is why you’re recommending the aluminum plate?

I see folks using aluminum framing which looks really light and cheap. Can I just use aluminum frame and have 4 strips going across it?

No, I’m saying neither of them need much for heatsink material at that power level.

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Got it! Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking about using some L aluminum rails to build the frame and put the 4 strips along it. Will that work you think?

I took a look at aluminum plates but they seem quite pricey in my area. So any other alternative options would be awesome.

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Sure it would, just get as wide or wider than strips. Did you check Ebay for the plate?

I did check Ebay and am looking again without much luck in the $10 range as you stated in the linked thread. I see some for ~$40. If you have a link, I would greatly appreciate it!

What are you looking to pay for 10’ ish of 1" angle and hardware?

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To be honest @dbrn32, I’ll pay what I have to. I don’t want to throw money away, but I don’t mind investing in building a good light.

I feel like I need a little bit more “hand holding” through this project as I’ve never done this before. I did put the QB kits together myself, so that part I can handle, but in terms of what to buy and such, I need more help.

Also, will I be wiring this in series?

If you can help me with a parts list, I’ll order everything up ASAP and we can get to building.

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I can help. I’m heading out with my wife for the night, but I’ll try to check back with you tomorrow.

There is no rush at all. Enjoy your night out!

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Thank you!

Ok, so do you want to use the Samsung q-series in 560mm then? Also need to know if you have a preference on cct? I would probably go with 4000k or 5000k, but any of them will grow.

Hey @dbrn32, yes, I’m thinking the Samsung q series in a 4,000K. If it’s dedicated for clones, do you think I should kick it up to 5,000K?

They are sitting under 4,000k right now and seem pretty happy.

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