Let there be light

@dbrn32 following up regarding adding more light to my 3x3. As I said I have a Kind K3 XL600. Diagram PPFD and spectrum from supercloset


It is 28"L x 13"W x 3.25"T. I would think there is enough room along its length to add a 24" bar on each side. Here is a rough sketch of what I am thinking of. Use the Kind to support the new bars via cross members to avoid a bunch of hangers etc. Feasible? Make sense to pursue? I wondered around the internet searching for bars and light strips. You have to careful how you word your searches. In the end, to do what I want, it has to be DIY. And that is where your help and knowledge is needed. I would like to add overall light intensity with emphasis on flower phase. For example the PLC Photo Boost strips you referred me to seams to fit the bill. Or any other bad ass QB strip that are as good or better along with the necessary driver needed. I have now idea how much I can /should add without getting into CO2. I liked the 23″ Photo Boost Heatsink because of its use of T nuts to attach it to the cross member (or comparable). Any other DIYer who would like to add / make recommendations please feel free. Thanks

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If you like the idea of photo boost strip it would be hard pressed to say that anything else is better. You know this stuff usually comes down to what is available and how much money you want to spend.

The photo boost strips are 25mm wide as is the heatsink. You could essentially use the photoboost heatsink and any strip that is 25mm or less wide.

The amount of strips will probably be dependent on current you run them. Higher current will get you more light per strip, lower current will get you higher par per watt (more efficient), and then you need to look at what’s available for drivers close to what you’re looking at doing.

Is waiting for photoboost strip to be in stock an option? I just checked, out of stock currently.

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I am not in a huge rush. What I have in the tent now can just finish but I will want it up and running when my NL photos are flowering. The seeds went into soil 4/4. No idea what the back order time is.
I’m thinking 2 boost strips per side. Total of 4 would add about 160W.
PLC says driver for 4 strips is Meanwell LG 120H-c1400 (or comparable what ever that might be) plus
2 of there heatsinks. Should the driver be attahed to the frame or outside of the tent? Back in May 19 @Drinkslinger posted his shopping list for the system (s)he put together. I can use it to figure out the other bits and pieces.
Sound like a plan?

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That driver will just fit 4 strips. If plc has it listed, then I expect it would. But you may want to check pricing on hlg-185h-c1400a. The 4 strips would run at same current as driver you posted but there would be headroom on the driver. And I believe the driver cost is nearly identical.

You can do driver mount either way. Mounting outside of space will keep heat out, but it’s also less convenient to work with.

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I love the lights I made with PLC strips.
The first is here.


The parts list was from plc

I recently built 2 more lights. 5 strips each. Both in a 24”x24” frame. Each of them will hang over a single plant. Unfortunately I was a little high when I ordered the drivers, and for some reason I bought 2 Meanwell HLG240h-c1750 drivers instead of the 2 hlg-185h-c1400 drivers I bought before. face palm
They work, and will drive each of those lights at 300+w, but doing so decreases efficacy and may run too hot for the heatsinks Im using. I’ve got them turned down to 250w ea, and the heatsinks can easily by held by hand.

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I searched for recent threads from dbrn32 and PLC and came across your build. The Photo Boosts are of course out of stock but I ordered the new heat sinks from them. It took me forever to find T-slot nuts to fit it. I hope I got the right ones. I may be looking for different strips depending on how long it will take to even place an order for the boost. I am glad your lights are working out.

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If you get tired of waiting for PLC (they seem to be available about every 5 weeks) Im sure @dbrn32 can recommend some bridgelux or samsung strips that will fit those heatsinks. I’ve got a couple strip build lights with bridgelux and they’ve been workhorses for the last year +

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Cutter electronics has nearly identical strip, but voltage is different.

My advice would be to not order driver until there is confirmation that strips are shipped. If you’re not committed to driver you’re not committed to strips.

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Let no dust settle. I ordered the driver in the b model along with a dimmer. I spent some time on Cutter. I couldn’t tell up from down.

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Their website is kinda difficult, not surprised. This is a good place to start. Although If you already ordered driver above, that would be limited to the plc strips. Maybe something from Samsung for best application. with the cutter strips will put them at max current.

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I think I understand (at least a little more now than before). In looking at the HLG 185H spec sheet it says the nominal out put volts is 71-143v
The PLC Photo Boost max volts is 28 x 4 = 112, while the Cutter SSK-1560ZGE-35-2835CR is 36v x4 = 144.
Cutter also had a Samsung chip strip SSK-1560ZGE-301B-3K (same diode as boost without the red) drawing 48v x 4 = 192 (way over).
Some where in my reading, there is something about a 20% cushion. Is this applied to the driver’s nominal out put 143 x .8 = 115? Can you tell I’m retired and have time on my hands :sunglasses:
One other thing. The SSK-1560ZGE-35-2835CR comes in 4 variations. The 3000k and 3500k with 660 red are out of stock.
Is there another source for comparable led strips? I can cancel the driver order if it limits my options.

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I’m very intrigued, this is like a lighting boost?

You are picking it up pretty quickly. You could certainly fit 4 of the plc or cutter strips on the hlg-185h-c1400. I was just pointing out that the maximum current rating for each strip is different. I usually look to run the leds at half of their maximum rating or less, but I will run them a little higher than that in situations it makes sense to do so. To go over half with either of these is reasonable with the heatsink you’re ordering. The plc strip on that driver will be about a 38 watt strip. The cutter strip on that driver will be about a 53 watt strip. This is due to the difference in forward voltage of the strips.

Imo, if I bought either I would probably look to run the plc strips about 1050ma, maybe even 700ma. I did buy some of those cutter strips, the driver I have for them is 500ma. Using these methods it’s more expensive to build a suitable fixture, but the light runs significantly more efficient and cooler.

That is how @beardless is intending on using. However most will just build out their entire space.

In conclusion then, first choice for performance and best match for the driver I ordered are the PLC Photo Boost strips?
A second option would be Cutter SSK-1560ZGE-35-2835CR. Unfortunately, the more preferable ones are out of stock and apparently can not be back ordered.
I didn’t understand your last paragraph regarding ma. Is it important that I do (to some degree)?

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Just want to keep up with this conversation, good luck!

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That is output current from driver. Watts= voltage x current. 36v strip at 500ma is roughly 18 watts, at 1000ma is roughly 36 watts, and at 1500ma is 54 watts. So the plc strips are not just blindly 40ish watt strips. They are whatever the builder makes them.

Ok so if the driver says 1400a and plc max volt is 28 that translates to (1.4 x 28) 39.2 watts.
4 strips = 156.8 watts. this is OK for the 185h? Or can you / how do you run them at less than max (is the right question). I hope I’m not being a pain in a… I know when a client of mine would ask the same question 3 different ways I would take a deep breath. thanks

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No problem at all. I helped you down this road I will see you through it.

Yup, long as strips are on heatsink you’ll be good. You’re wording here is off though. The driver is gonna do what it’s gonna as long as system is designed properly. The proper question would be is if the strips are going to do ok on that driver. Same answer, yes.

The context for which we are speaking, you buy a driver with lower output current. Hlg-185h-c1400a is 200 watt cc driver with 1400ma output. Same driver is available in 500ma, 700ma, and 1050ma. The only difference is whatever happens to current will inversely impact available driver voltage.

In the short, did driver you ordered end with the letter A or B? One has built in dimmer to control output current. The other you can wire in 100k potentiometer to adjust output current.

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@dbrn32 I ordered the B model and also the dimmer

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