Let's talk DIY lights


If I had to guess, your math was just flip flopped. 60% of the flux at 1050 that it would have at 2100ma. Then you double amount of cobs and it should be a linear 20% increase


yes i do understand lumens go up per watt therefore the efficacy goes way up but the light is more spread. I am trying to do intense light on each plant, I may try doubling lights to each plant with reflectors and higher efficacy, but we both know that becomes an extremely expensive light at that point lol.


Oh for sure! I personally wouldn’t recommend that particular application for the vero. But if you wanted to add cobs to that particular driver, that’s just where you would be. And it would be an increase.

If you were chasing a lower powered efficiency type of build, the citizen probably a better option. The vero doesn’t take the beating the others do at higher power, so you may as well take advantage of it.


yes the 40% number was without the reflectors taking into account diffusion and loss in light due to spread. It looks like the light gets very weak at 30 degrees from center after 12 inches. No reflectors so I get blended temps and good coverage. So that is why I picked this setup to test with. I can work the hell out of them and its easy to rearrange or alter my layout to fit my needs. And a fyi so you know…the 320 is rated to dim to 0 so no resistor is needed :slight_smile:


I have one other idea that should mess everyone up even more lol. What if you run 4x240 mean wells with 16 blended series D cobs? You are still running the same watts but higher efficacy, which means more lumens per watt. Still under the magic number of 1kw per fixture and better overall coverage. Looking lengthwise across the top of your grow, the fixture would be M shaped with your cobs at a 45-60 degree angle to your plants? And it is only about $20 more then the setup I am building now.


I knew some of them were, maybe the 320 and up? I have been working with the smaller drivers lately and none of them are rated dim to zero, or none that I’ve been using anyway.

I’ve only used a reflector once, it was little Angelina. You actually lose some photons with them installed, so I try to limit their use to when they’re needed. Like going with an efficiency build running cobs at like 700-1000 ma. Running the 50 watt cobs that low requires them to be in 10-12” range on center to keep canopy levels even. The one downfall of running the vero at 75 Watts is that it kind of upsets that balance. Provided you have them at like 12” on center, I think you’ll like them more at around 18” height without reflector. It seemed to be about the best balance of everything. In my opinion, adding reflector would’ve probably meant raising them more and having to tighten up cob spacing a little. But those were eyeball opinions from plant response. The correct testing tools may say otherwise.

I’m definitely curious to see how your testing turns out. The strength of the vero has always been squeezing some extra coverage out of a couple less cobs on budget type builds. I’ve never really seen anyone turn and burn with them.

What’s the story with going with the 240, you would be dropping them down to the 1400-1750ma range?


You could drop down amperage just for efficacy but you are only running them at 70% wattage. 4 more cobs for better coverage and higher lumens per watt for just a little more money. But you would want to really focus your lights on the plants. I think you would lose alot of your penetration.


I’m familiar with that. What I was saying is the hlg 240 doesn’t have available voltage to run 4 at 2100 ma. So in order to run 4 cobs in series per driver it would have to be at lower current. Having the additional driver and cobs would make fixture power equivalent to using three of the hlg-320.

Or perhaps I was just confused by what you were suggesting be possibly using for of the hlg-240 and 16 cobs?


Now if I was only going to run a sog or Scrog it would work really good dropping it to 1400ma …hmmmm


I thought you could over drive mean wells and underdrive veros? I’m sure I saw the info on veros somewhere.


You can underdrive the vero no problem. Overdriving the Meanwell is usually only a couple of volts before it will kick out of constant current mode and hack the current substantially. I’d have to double check numbers, but at like 15-20 volts over rated it will go to over voltage and completely shut down.

At least with the constant current driver, which I’m sure is what you were planning on using if going with series wiring. Right?

If you go constant current constant voltage, that’s a different story. But then you’re limited to parallel wiring, and having to protect from thermal runaway.

What is the exact model number of driver you have, or were planning on getting? This whole time I was thinking you were going constant current. If you are planning on constant current/constant voltage I have been halfway talking out my ass lol.


I not planning on anything yet lol. Just thoughts if I choose to build a different fixture in the future. This test grow and build will keep me busy for awhile. After I get done I am sure we will have a conversation about how to improve this build lol. The main thing I’m worried about right now is penetration. I don’t think it will do well after about 2 1/2-3’ but we will see.


Height is just going to be dictated by light density, which will be decided by power level and cob spacing for the most part. Reflectors will obviously impact that as well.

What you have to be carful of is not to fry your tops trying to get high levels beneath the canopy. Hopefully your testing will find a good balance, but I suspect some level of plant training will help.


I’ve been growing outdoors in the summertime for 10 years but would like to start my first indoor grow. However, I can’t afford a huge power bill since my grows are entirely personal/medical and we live on a tight budget. Does anyone have advice on lighting for the most economical way to have an ongoing grow? I’m curious if anyone can advise what sort of garden I might be able to create using only one 300w LED or LEC light? (or whichever light) I’ve found lots of info for multiple light grows but quick math indicates about $50/month per light and I’m not down to have a $200 power bill. I’m certain how to create economical grows is of interest to lots of people out there. Any and all tips much appreciated!


@buckparks to help others that see this, and get a better understanding. What is your budget like for purchasing lighting? Lighting is the most expensive part of any start up grow operation. (Even if it’s a small one) @dbrn32 is the lighting guru, and will be along shortly. 300w true watts you could easily grow at least 2-3 plants, providing you have reflective walls to bounce back to the plant, and the size of your grow space. This also depends if your growing an auto flower or a photo period plants.


I’m fine with buying a decent light, hopefully for no more than $300-$400. My goal is simply to keep the power bill as low as $40-$50/month max, if possible. Can you advise which specific or general lighting is 300w true watts?


@buckparks if you’re looking for super efficiency, and you are capable of putting a light together, you should look at rapid led. They have DIY kits, for all sizes of grow spaces, and super efficient. Timber grow lights is another. Both websites have lights that come ready to use out of the box if you need.


Let’s do this backwards. How many watts can you afford per month. And build your grow around that?


@Daddy I believe this was their budget…


Yes but how many kilowatts is that i.e price per kilowatts hour? Mine is .07 cents per killowatt.