Let's talk DIY lights


You’re good, you can ask away.

80-90 cri in a nutshell is giving up some light intensity to target a different spectrum. 80 cri is going to produce more light per watt at its provided spectrum. At the same color temp, the 90 cri is going to have a little higher intensity in blue wavelengths, and it’s peak is going to be deeper in the red wavelengths. Targeting more intensity in areas of light spectrum that are going to have peak photosynthetic absorbtion, and create more of an Emerson effect.

They’re both gonna grow pretty good weed.


Yes @Nug-bug , @dbrn32 is correct. This wasn’t my grow it was someone who did the test with different CRIs with everything else identical. In the end the yield was almost the same between the 2 but the 90 cri finished first by almost 2 weeks. Now if you were to blend lights…that was my idea and the point I was trying to make. One grow and the light will pay for itself.


Funny you say that! My next light will be a 4000k 80 cri quantam board surrounded by Cree cxb 3590 3000k 90 cri. Right, wrong, or indifferent, you’re thinking the exact same things I am.


And I will be running the Vero but not until next spring. It’s funny that everyone is hesitant because of the pricing but at look at it this way…you might be into 3-4 of the led panels and have $400-800 tied up into them but still want or feel you need more light. One cob setup will cook your plants if your not careful. I will have $900 in one light fixture but only need 5oz for it to pay for itself. I’m pretty sure I will get 4x that lol.


I figure most beginners don’t realize where they’ll end up, and get a little sticker shock when it comes to lighting. They read several journals and threads of people effectively using budget based led panels and figure they’ll be good enough with one of them. Then in separate threads, they read how bigger is better in the tent category, and get a large tent to have lots of room. Typically 2 and 2 isn’t put together until it’s too late. By then they already have a few hundred bucks invested in a couple panels and it’s cheaper to just buy a couple more. Like you said, they’ll probably have the same amount invested at lower performance. But it’s hard to throw stones at those who simply didn’t know any different. Growing indoor is expensive, and the more you want out of your grows it’s simply not going to get any cheaper.

The vero’s are great! I have a few, was really happy with them. I think they are the go to when trying to fill a large area. The efficiency at higher current makes them prime for squeezing a few extra watts out of, in turn keeping you from having to buy a few extra cobs.

If I hadn’t decided on the qb and Cree setup, I probably would’ve looked toward the Vero 18. Not going to be as high powered as the Vero 29, but you can buy them super cheap. And they have a 30v nominal version, that has fv around 27 when driven soft. So you can squeeze a couple extra on larger drivers. Not the ideal choice for flowering a large area, but you could build a kick ass veg light with them pretty darn cheap.


Oh I wasn’t trying to knock anyone, that was what this thread is about…helping people with lighting. Trying to show them that before they spend the money, this might be where you end up anyways so why not start here and save some time and money in the long run. Or start saving up for this now lol. I don’t think anyone would every regret buying a cob setup but I know some do after buying led panels.


I’m with you, that’s for sure. And I definitely meant that as I generalized statement not directed at you personally. There are some light snobs out there and I try not to be one of them. Everyone’s story is a little different, and you never know who had to go without to scrape together $70 for their light. I just want everyone to know they are welcome here to post, ask, share, or drop by and say hello.


“you could build a kick ass veg light with them pretty darn cheap”

That’s what I’m trying for. I’ve got a little more than 18 square feet for a veg room, so I am putting together 8 VERO 29 5000K COBs. After they veg, they will go outside to flower when the photoperiod permits. Then I can start another 6 clones and always stay legal. When outside daylight does not permit flowering outside, I have a 400 watt HPS I can add to the inside grow room. It still works fine. Only one grow on the HPS setup.


Have you looked at the Vero 18 as an option? You’re not gonna pull the watts from them as the 29, but they can be had for under $10. Seeing how you don’t really need all that much light to veg well, you may be able to get a better spread cheaper using more of the 18’s in place of high powered 29.


Already bought the Vero 29’s. That Digikey is really fast: You order online and have it in a couple of days. I’m just going to run them at 1140 ma so they are up around 200 lumens/watt. Had to revise my DIY driver plans because I ran into a fundamental physics limitation that would have held my design down below 50% efficiency. I can experiment to see if I can get upwards of 95% but in the meantime I’m doing to a circuit that uses a couple of 12 watt lamps as part of an active current limited transistor-based design. It’s about 80% efficient but at least I get a little bit of incandescent light out of it instead of all heat.

It will do for now, as I experiment with the 95% efficient design. I’ve got plants with not enough amber showing and they will be ready for harvest any day now. The plan is to reveg all 6 strains back into mothers, do the dry and cure, and then see which strain I want to put in continuous cultivation. One such strain is already harvested and the new mother pruned down and under 100 watts of CFL. I need those COBs up and running soon!.


I wasn’t aware that any of the Vero’s ran that high at any current, that’s pretty good efficacy from any cob. Let alone at that price.

Digikey is a good outlet, but they were a little over a week shipped to me. Wasn’t very impressed with how they packaged the strips I ordered either. Bit they showed up and worked ok.

Edit… just went and checked data sheet, brain fart on you running 5000k temps. I’ve been travelling 3000k 90 cri sheets all day. 200 lumen/watt seemed unlikely, but my head wasn’t on the same page. Sorry about that.


I notice no one is talking about 110v or 220v driverless cobs. I’m building a couple of different setups for the next ladies that are under a fixture I made out of scrounged junk.

I found heat sinks online made for cobs and bought 20 for $200. I bought a bunch of the grow spectrum (very pink) 50 watt driverless cobs for $3 a piece. They are Chinese, but they are built ok. I bought the collimator/lens piece for $2 a piece. Anyway, I’ve been running a test fixture with them about 5 weeks and they are running good and around 20,000 lux at 18 inches. I don’t have anything but my phone to measure them, but they put out good light.

I guess I’m the only one messing around with them.
They are high voltage after all. Bottom line is that a 120 watt fixture with 40mm fans cost me $20. I’m building 600 watts for veg and 800 watts for flower for less than $400 for both with cooling. So far I like what I see. They also look like they have a dimmer circuit that wires can be soldered to. I don’t know who the light guys are at ILGM or I would tag them too.


@skgrower nice! I actually have some in my amazon cart, and I hope I have the same results as you do!


Pretty cool!

I haven’t done anything with them, so I can’t comment much. The number one thing is that you’re happy with them, regardless of cost.

I do have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind… Are those 50 watts of led power, or 50 watts at the wall? Or, do you have a way of testing? I’m not being condescending, I’m wondering about the efficiency of on board driver. When I size a meanwell driver to any cob, we’ll say a cree, I multiply fv of cob by output of driver in ma. So we’ll say I come up with 50 watts. That would be at the cob. Most of the hlg drivers are about 93% efficient when loaded properly, so wall draw there would be about 53.5 watts. You picking up what I’m putting down? If you’re not sure, or can’t test, don’t worry about it. It’s just a thought that I have… in the components being that small, that it’s possibly not very efficient.

Another thing, which you’ve already touched on, would be par levels. The good thing about most of the name brand cobs is that the led nerds are out there testing them for us. So we know exactly what we’re getting for our money. Any time you come across a less expensive option, you’re always forced to determine whether it’s a good value or not. Hard to do that without the test data.

Probably bigger than test data, is seeing them in a real world scenario. We get to do that now on your expense, so thanks lol! I’ll try to follow along and track your progress. For the price, they certainly have room to forgo a little performance and still be a really good option.

Also, you said you plan on building a veg light. Are there options that provide more blue light, and is that the direction you plan on going? I would be a little nervous vegging under that “pink” light spectrum personally. It may work fine, but perhaps a small trial run would be in order prior to jumping in. Obviously, disregard if you’ve already considered that and have it covered.

Thanks for sharing, and keep us posted!


They are 50 watts at the wall. With the pink light, I’m not sure about the true led wattage. They have 72 LEDs and draws .5 amps at 110, so they’re driven pretty hard. They have 5 driver chips. To get really decent light out of them, I would recommend buying the 44mm lens/collimator for $2 - $3 each. They can be bought online from Chinese places like wish. I would rather buy American, but they don’t make this yet.
I checked the color spectrum with the light meter on the phone and it’s mostly blue and yellow.


I really want to see how these perform at harvest time. Are they vegging and flowering good and what the yield is at the end. Like @dbrn32 said, we just dont have enough info on them to just jump in and start testing when we know what the other manufactures are already putting out. We all love new things if they work better and cheaper lol.


I guess we’ll find out how they perform. At least at the flowering phase they sure didn’t hurt the one plant I have mostly under the light.

The bud is as big around as my wrist and very dense.


Looks great! That plant was under these for entire flowering phase?


No. Under 700 watts of CFLs for about 3 weeks from the light switch. I just had too much to do to get my diy lights done. I’m installing 2.5 kw of solar to run a perpetual grow and didn’t realize how much work it is. As soon as I put the plants under the LEDs along with using KoolBloom, the buds got much bigger.


@skgrower that sounds amazing. I discussed with @bob31 a perpetual grow, he said you have to start every month. Well, I made it almost. Every two months. Something always vegging is the key.
Solar panels I would love to have, that way no electricity company can say anything, and if it’s illegal I. Your meter reader won’t tip off the authorities. It’s all my business!