How much do your LEDS use in electricity


Ok. So it’s safe to say you’d be looking for 2 fixtures that would typically be used for 4x4 coverage? I would check out pacific light concepts plc-6.

It’s not the most efficient fixture out there. Buy it’s a little bit higher than a de gativa, will provide similar footprint and par #'s only drawing about 600 watts. I believe it uses 3500k Vero 29 Gen 7. The spectrum shouldn’t be difficult to find.


Winter flowering outside in SoCal might be problematic. Think bud rot. I’m up in Santa Barbara county and have tried to work outside with inside into all of my grows but it’s tricky.


I have a locked chain link grow cage (to stay legal). I’m assuming I have to cover my grow cage when it rains. Really doesn’t rain that often in San Diego, and I’m east of the coast so I miss most of the fog. It’s a lot drier here. And if it doesn’t work out, I have enough room to do it all inside. I just wanted to save on electricity.


I’m with you @1BigFella. I do something similar. Indoor grow that goes out whenever conditions allow. Mainly to save on electricity.


PLC-6: $800 and they’re out of stock. Let’s see, $135 worth of LEDs and $665 for the power supply and reflector (which I’m pretty sure serves no function). I can see why you build your own! My 400 Watt HPS cost me $20 at Home Depot and the bulb socket was another $10 at the local hydro shop. I had a ballast sitting around. Works fine. My NL clone is days from harvest and colas look scary.

I think I will buy some 3000K Veros from Digikey for the expansion.


And that one is fairly cheap, considering what you’re getting…

I believe the breakdown is more like

$150 in led’s
$150 in heatsinks
$180 in drivers

The rest is kind of subjective. It wouldn’t be hard to spend another $50-$100 buying wire, connectors, thermal compound and some aluminum to build a frame with, and a dimmer. I have most if not all of that laying around from buying in bulk. But if you had to source it all, expect a little bit of cash. Depending on how that all plays out, you’ll be looking at spending an extra $100-200 to have the fancy case and connectors.

Some people prefer the fit and finish of the commercial fixtures or aren’t confident they have the skill to build, others would rather save the cash.

If you’re OK with building, timber grow lights and horticulture lighting group offer kits. When you can find them in stock anyway. It’s only slightly more than buying all the components, and they supply everything you need. It can keep you from buying 100 feet wire or 25 connectors when you only need a small portion. And you wouldn’t be limited to any specific brand of leds either… may be worth checking out.


Thanks, I’m an embedded systems programmer so I have tons of such stuff laying around. I’ve even designed and built custom boost/buck regulators so power supplies are no problem. I’ll have a look at those kits.

Do you think these Vero LED modules are anything other than a straight resistive load? If the datasheet says 52 volts at 1.8 amps, do you really need to have a power supply that controls the current, or can you just string some modules in series and drive them with 120 VAC rectified from the wall by a bridge with a big capacitor to smooth out the ripple. That would supply 56.7 volts to each (assuming they are from the same bin). The selection guide says “Reliable operation at up to 2X nominal drive current” so would a very simple drive circuit matter? You get a lamp dimmer to control the AC input side and the whole driver for 3 modules costs about $10.

Or do they have some sort of thermal runaway so stringing them is series blows one of them up when it’s voltage drop shoots up.


Pretty cool! I don’t geek out on electronics often, but anywhere you can save money is a plus.

I like to use the meanwell drivers. There are some cheaper options, but when you get into the bigger models the cheap ones usually don’t compare in efficiency.

All of the led’s I’m familiar with will change their resistance as heat goes up, the voltage drop across each will follow suit.

As far as what you’re asking, I’m not really sure if it would work or not. The cobs do have strings of individual diodes in series/parallel configuration. And thermal runaway is always a concern, also the reason we always try to wire in series. Parallel is a good option under certain conditions, but ALWAYS install some overcurrent protection. As far as what you’re suggesting, not sure man. You’ll be talking about a pretty good load, and I’d hate to see what would happen if it didn’t work.

I wouldn’t ever recommend someone without fairly extensive electrical background wire in parallel. There’s just to much at risk for me to judge if things are good or not by a picture. But that’s just me.

The meanwell 200 watt drivers are like $50. For what you’d have in trying to make something else work, I’d probably spend the cash just for piece of mind.

Also, the Vero Gen 7 is available in b,c, and d versions. All of which have different voltage configuration. If that helps you out any.


I’m looking at the product selection table on Digikey, so I can see all the versions and color temperatures. I wonder if it would give you more blue and red to mix 2700 K and 5000 K lamps. (One shifted toward the red and one shifted toward the blue.) Probably not that you’d notice. High power circuits are not a problem, considering some of the stuff I’ve done. Like a 30 amp 240 VAC water purification system with short circuit protection. I’m thinking these modules are just a bunch of blue LEDs in various series and parallel circuits. So maybe they act just like a regular LED and when the voltage is too low you get nothing. When you reach the nominal voltage, they conduct the nominal current. Then if you turn up the voltage by 10% they blow up because the resistance goes way down and current goes through the roof. That suggests a simple buck regulator to supply all modules with exactly the nominal voltage. Those are just cookie-cutter transformer-less designs with one hexfet and a capacitor to smooth out the ripple. We hardly care about ripple because this is not a light source humans are going watch a lot. The selection sheet even suggests a pulsed flux design spec.


You can certainly mix the 2, or any combination. I would say if you looked at them you would notice, but that doesn’t really matter.

That’s exactly what they are. If you go to the citizen line, that’s actually how they determine model number lol. Clu-1212 is 12 parallel circuits of 12 diodes in series, I think anyway.

I never really paid that much attention to them outside of my purpose. That being said, I haven’t found a reason to go outside of series layout or using anything other than a constant current driver. However, 90% of the lights I build are for someone other than myself. So I kind of do it that way on purpose. It’s easy to explain, modify, and troubleshoot if the need arises.

So long story short, I’m gonna assume your right. I sure as hell can’t argue against it anyway. I know that the meanwell cc drivers will kick themselves out of cc mode and regulate current output if you load them beyond rated output. And at around 10% or more they will go into overvoltage and shut down. So outside of getting into that several hundred volts dc, they’re pretty safe for the average guy to tinker with. If you start going into constant voltage drivers, a screw up can lead to some arcing, sparking, and letting the magic smoke out pretty quickly.

I’ve come across a few sites that get really techy on the diy, so I’m sure the answers are out there. I just don’t have them when it comes to diy power supplies, sorry. @1BigFella


Mine went up about 15 bucks for the month. That was with one 600 watt LED and a small t5 florescent and my fan with filter. About what I expected.


I run 3 300, 2 600, and I 96 led reflectors all mars hydro.
2 4 in fans 1 6 in fans only added about $50 month to my bill


What I went with is a product on Amazon that is currently on sale for $149.99 that has a five star rating on customer review. (it’s on it’s way, have not used yet) The array is said to put out essential spectrums equivalent to 1200 watts - but actual power used is rated at 150 - 180, to me that seems very efficient. It should not raise my bill much, and won’t overheat the space. The unit is made (or at least sold) by Recordcent

This is mainly for a winter grow, so any heat it does produce will be welcome, that will cut down on the space heater I will probably have to set up in there. This year I had been hoping to get seeds from some place local, but all attempts at that failed. In the meantime I DID manage to arrange a stealth grow plot that nobody will see unless they tresspass on my property deliberately looking for things that are none of their business.

If the max is 180 watts, since power is directly additive it would be the same as running two and a half ordinary 75 watt light bulbs.150 watts would be two 75 watt ordinary bulbs exactly, so this is no big deal. It amounts to just leaving a pair of reading lamps turned on - in terms of power consumption.

if the light output is correct, I’m guessing it should be ideal for a smaller plant setup such as two to four plants at a time. I plan to grow just two plants for right now. At the beginning of 2017 WITHOUT lights I had wonderful success in the same space with a number of vegetable plants, so this is a more focused effort involving plants of a different variety…


The light spectrum produced can be equivalent to just about anything, if it’s providing the proper wavelengths you should be good. You have to watch how they advertise equivalency though. Leds are plenty capable of providing the same amount of par with less power consumption than hid. But pulling 150 watts from the wall with efficient Leds would probably be equal to about 250 watt hid system, not 1200 watt. Aa long as you’re aware and keep that in mind, you should be within expectations.


@Sl1 Mine went up about 25 bucks a month. Running 2 600 watt LED’s, 150 T5 florescent, filtered fan, one 12 inch fan inside the tent, will be adding another. So it upped my bill about what I expected. Though I did get worried when I saw others here talking about 200 and 350 greater bills with about the same equipment. 15 to 50 sounds about right.


35 watts (from the wall) per square foot is pretty much the minimum. So 180 true watts would light a 5 square foot grow area. Pretty crowded for one plant, much less 4. I wouldn’t try to grow any more than one plant with a 250 watt HID lamp. Your 180 watt LED is about the same. Plan accordingly.