Let's talk DIY lights


The efficiency of the diodes and total light won’t change with the length of strip, they’re the same. It will be a product of the drive current we decide to run them at. They’re pretty darn good at 700ma, and don’t really drop off too much at 1050ma especially being mounted to the aluminum. One of those will be best bet. For example wattage can be the same for 4 1120mm strips at 1050ma as 6 strips at 700ma on hlg-185 series. Same line of driver different output current cost difference is exactly two strips. So $30 gets you about a 5% increase in efficiency. I have built them both ways, they work fine both ways, that will be entirely up to you.

I think the biggest decision in whether to go with short or long strip will come down to coverage. Are you more likely to have dead space along the 4’ walls or the 6’ walls? Once they’re built you can’t really play with your strip length. But you can slide fixtures in or out to kind of tweak coverage right?


I try to bias my plants to the center and don’t run more than 3 flowering plants at a time. That said, the 22" strips might make the most sense. Not interested in dimming as I have lights for veg.

I’m more interested in coverage and efficiency while cutting my electric bill.


Fair enough. I’m going through the drivers and 300 watt driver is out of the question for what we’re looking at. The voltage is just too high. We can do the 250 watt driver if you think running at 1050ma is good. Otherwise the hlg-185 (200 Watts) is good fit.

Which brings me to another idea. What about trying three 200 watt fixtures with the 22” strips for a grow? It’s going to be more par per watt than than hid or amazon panels obviously. But then you get a look at it without blowing the whole wad. If you’re still looking for more, it might make more sense at that point to put a couple of the 44” strips perpendicular to the 22” strips on each edge. You may be completely happy with it as it sits too.

In which case it may be even a better idea to just build one 200 watt fixture and incorporate it into what you have and get a look at it. You may think I’m an idiot lol, in which case you would have only spent a small portion of your money. I think you’ll be happy regardless, but just a thought to look at big picture of it.


I like the idea and that would be half of the draw I’m currently pulling.

The other option would be to spread the strips so I could double up on the heatsink and add another driver if the light values are too low.

So, what am I looking for specifically. Lights, drivers, connectors, tape, etc. 3,000k is probably what I need.

My plan was to build one anyway and see what the challenges are.


@Myfriendis410 You looking to move on this pretty quick? Or wanting to wait for the newer gen 2 strips? I can grab the part numbers and what not if you’re ready to go now. There’s some voltage difference between the current strip and the new one, so I would just need a little bit of time to do a final number crunch.

3000k should be good, probably what I would do. If we get it lined up to do like 9 strips per fixture ( I believe what I calculated for 1050ma) you could sneak like one or two 4000k in there to spike the blues. Only real benefits to that are maybe a touch more frost and little tighter node spacing. Probably barely identifiable by your eye type of difference.

As far as expanding, should be pretty easy. Just a matter of not mounting any strips on edges, and how you connect each piece of the rectangle tubing to the next right? I suppose if you wanted to get extra cute with it, drilling holes through the sides and putting a longer than needed piece of all thread through it with jam nuts on each side of each piece of tubing would make it easily adjustable. Just leave some slop in your wiring. Or probably several other ways to do it too.


I’m game for using what’s available now, probably order parts next week if available. 22" I think is preferable


Ok I’ll get the stuff together.


@Myfriendis410 there was a slight error in my math.

Here is the part number for 3000k 560mm eb strip. BXEB-L0560Z-30E2000-C-A3

Here would be the different driver configurations in the neighborhood you’re looking for.

Hlg-185h-c700a 12 strips at 15 Watts per strip
Hlg-185h-c1050a 8 strips at 24 Watts per strip
Hlg-240h-c1050a 10 strips at 24 Watts per strip
Hlg-120h-c700a 9 strips at 15 Watts per strip

All of those drivers have the built in potentiometer, so they will dim. But you don’t have to do anything to use it. Remove plug turn with screwdriver replace plug. It’s not like the b series that you have to add additional components to. If you don’t want to mess with it, turn it up and leave it.


@Myfriendis410 here is heat transfer tape

Here is wire I use

Here is wago connectors


Do you see a benefit to running the lights with the lower current or is there much difference? It’s attractive to run the 10 strips at 24 watts but if I’m losing efficiency then that won’t play. Although with that driver rated for 10 at 24 watts I could run it at a lower current setting if I want.


The 3000k is 156 lumens per watt at 700ma, and then 146 lumens per watt at 1050ma. I think the math works out to like 6-7% difference in efficiency. It’s also a 30% increase in total amount of light. It’s not a bad hit in efficiency in my opinion. And yes absolutely, that’s why I mentioned the dimming on the driver. You could run as low as 500ma via the built in dimming pot. In my opinion, that’s the setup that will give you the most versatility, it’s also going to give you the most power per fixture so to speak out of a single driver.


I’m sold. I’ll start looking for eb strips and a driver.


Cool! I think I listed just about everything you need except for a plug for the ac side of driver. They come with about 10-12” whips on ac and dc side. You can use those wago connectors if you like, wire nuts, solder and heat shrink, or whatever. On the ac side, if the whip is long enough you can just buy a standard male plug. If you want to make it longer I think the cheapest way is to cut female end off of like an outdoor style extension cord at whatever length you need and then connect to whip using whatever style connector you choose. As long as connections are solid and safe, you can do ithowever you’d like right. When I do them for someone else there are neat little terminal strips I use. Mine are usually put together with wago’s or wire nuts lol, same purpose and both function the same.

Only other thing I would suggest is maybe doing a little surface prep on the aluminum just prior to mounting. If it’s not all beat up a quick sanding with something like 400 grit should do, and then a good cleaning with rubbing alcohol. You’re probably familiar, but just in case I figure I’ll mention that aluminum oxidizes very quickly. And the better the surface is the more heat transfer you’ll get. Also, it’s not good to breathe the dust. So outdoors, using a wet/dry sandpaper and be liberal with the water. Dust mask never hurts either.

I think that covers it, but definitely don’t be afraid to ask if I didn’t explain anything well or you think I missed something.


@Dumme thanks for editing those links! I was just trying to find the info to replace. I know it’s something then greenreel right? Is that pinned somewhere? If not, is it possible to get it pinned? I seem to link a lot of stuff and would be happy to do it myself, I just can’t ever remember what I need to put in place.


I second that pin @Dumme and instructions how to just in case?


Look what I found, now remembering who it was that showed interest.

@BIGE @MAXHeadRoom @Covertgrower @Bogleg @MattyBear @Myfriendis410 @Onlythebest79 @Venomous

Sorry if I missed someone, but feel free to tag anyone if you know they were interested in these.


Man I kind of want to buy them. That seems like a great price.


I’m trying to remember who was looking at these just yesterday I think! Stoner memory lol.


They are 4-$116 if you order directly from HGL. So $17 cheaper. Shipping cost and availability would be the determining factor for me. If you have Prime then it would be cheaper to buy from Amazon.


Yep. Obviously hlg sold out, as usual. I’d guess with shipping it’s about the same. And shipping is still free if you’re not prime right, over $35?