Let's talk DIY lights

2 260 will not light a 5x5, and if you are talking about HLG QB132X 4, that won’t work either. You will need 30W sqft. for veg alone. You are on the right track though! when dbrn32 gets here he will find strips or boards or something good. The heat with QBs is not bad, and the length of wire for remote driver location is dependent on amp draw.

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If you’re growing in a 5x5 you could easily get away with 2 260’s for veg. But, if you’re filling the entire tent you’ll need more wattage for flowering. Closer to 750 watts.

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I’m not filling the whole 5x5 space, I grow 3 plant on the left and 3 on the right with about a foot of open space in the middle to get to the back to defoliate. I really only need coverage for 2 2’x4.5’ in each 5x5 which is why I was looking at the 132x kits. Two covering the left side two for the right and then duplicate that in the other 5x5.

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I have a question for the experts. I have been doing some reading and learning. I know enough now to be dangerous. I want to upgrade to a 4x4 tent. Originally I was looking at 2, HLG-260 xl kits for that space. Reading this thread I see some are using PLC and setting up 2 lights each using 8 boards. In my eraser he the specifications on the two fixtures look about even. Can someone confirm my belief? My second question is due to the design of the PLC fixture does it reduce or eliminate “hotspots” (my term) where the PPFD is higher? The HLG product usually has high PPFD in the middle and it declines as you work your way from the center.

@drinkhorn64 @Bulldognuts. I know you both have these fixtures. Do you find the light “more even” across the canopy?

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Those 260xl’s should do you fine. Going 4 135’s you’re doubling the drivers and costing you more $

Oh, and welcome to ILGM!

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The light is very even across the canopy with the plc strips. I’ve got mine spaced so you can drop them about 6” from the canopy. My goal was to get near to the performance of the fluence spyder, I think
I’ve succeeded for half the price.

The only problem is supply. Plc is currently out of stock on the pre-orders for early December. Which means, if you’re lucky/quick you can get in on the Jan/feb pre orders. Which is a lot of waiting.

My next build will be two lights, 5 strips each. For better spacing.

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If u go with 4 boards make your own frame and turn each board 90° from the next makes spread more even. In a 4×4 tent

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Thanks, I considered the extra cost with the 4 drivers over 2 and decided itvwas worth it being able to have all 4 at different heights and intensity for different strains in the same space. My concern was the heat from the 4 drivers in a 5x5 space and weather it would be manageable.

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If you have the option to move the drivers out of the space, it won’t be a problem.

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You can always put the drivers outside the tent.

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Damn. You beat me :grin:

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I’m of the same opinion. I grow multiple strains, at multiple stages of growth. I like being able to adjust individual lights.

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image

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Its a flexibility I’ve never had so I’m looking forward to the possibility’s I’ve just had to tilt it away from my shorter plants. Any distance you would recommend staying within with the drivers?

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You can mount them remotely just about any reasonable distance. But, if more than 8’ I’d consider wire larger than 18 gauge. If you have specifics I’m sure they can be answered here.

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Thank you for all the info, looking forward to making the switch!

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I would use the r-spec lights to flower and go after something a little less expensive for veg. Maybe Samsung f-series strips or bridgelux eb in 4000k or 5000k something like a 400 watt build should be more than enough for a 4x4.

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I agree that two 260 xl kits would probably do pretty good with the way you are describing growing. I also see a little flexibility in going with the four 135 kits. One thing that kinda jumps out at me if you’re going to remote drivers, you will have a mess of wires doing 4 drivers per 5x5. You can always tie the wiring up neatly, but that also kinda makes it a hassle to adjust lights regularly. I’m sure it can be accomplished with little extra elbow grease though.

As far as wire lengths and size to remote drivers goes, take a look at where you would place drivers and try to visualize the wire run so you can get a rough estimate on length. I can plug numbers into a voltage drop calculator and let you know. The 18awg is already larger than you need for short run, so it would probably be fine. But we can check just to be sure.

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I got the DIY bug in July, I specifically wanted to do the PLC build for the exact reasons @Drinkslinger listed. The strips weren’t available for order until August 27. I just finished up a grow of GDP. I followed the video from PLC for the 2x4 build. I currently have 8 more strips ordered to build another 2x4. I haven’t got the chance to use first one yet. Have Green Crack seeds ordered and on their way. Will be growing 2 Green Crack and 2 GDP. Will tag you as soon as I get some results. You can also check PLC videos for builds In different configurations on YouTube.

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Hey, I also wanted to say I’m a beginner. I’ve always worked long hours and never had a serious hobby. So just like a lot of people with a new hobby I am probably spending way to much money on my equipment, but I’m having fun with it. I just followed @dbrn32 advice and started checking out DIY builds on YouTube.

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