Let's talk DIY lights


@ktreez420 did you decide to go with the 180 mm heatsinks too? Well worth the extra couple bucks in my opinion. The next size down will do, but the more heat you can disperse the the better your light will perform for longer.

Also, are you familiar with the wago connectors? They can be a real time saver, and really good for making and breaking electrical connections. I have bought them at big box home improvement stores, but Jerry’s price was fairly reasonable.


I went with the B series and wired in a 100k pot. The driver doesn’t cost any more and the pot was only $6. It just gives you a lot more lighting options some that you might not even be aware of till you use it. I turn mine down when working on plants so you still have light but not so bright that you need glasses


Buy the WAGOs too. Very easy to use. I bought a box of three ways from amazon for cheap

That’s only 0.29 each


I also usually opt for b series as well. But I also have a large box of pots, and the couple of extra connections aren’t really a big deal for me. I could see how someone may not want to mess with it on their first build. Especially when the a series drivers are still dimmable without having to make any extra connections.

I feel like I should note that if anyone selects a b series driver, it’s not necessary to install the potentiometer. You can simply cap each of the dimming cables individually, and the driver will run at or slightly above its rated output. So you could technically come back to it later and install dimming function. Builders choice as to how they intend to use it.


Ok so a couple things for you @dbrn32, Jerry only has 3000k and 3500k available for the vero29 se’s. He recommended the 3500k, which I think I’ll go with, but do you think the 3500k will be good for veg? I know you said the 4000k is good for veg, but what about the 3500k?

Also, I said I wanted 4 of the vero29 se’s and he said I could use the HLG-240H-C1400A, and he said the 133mm heat sink would be good, but I will ask for the larger 180mm because I want the coolest lights I can have, temp wise lol.

Thanks for all your help @dbrn32 I really appreciate it dude!! You’re the man!



I’m not sure this is relevant here, but I spent an hour tonight trying to explain why cob lighting became a big thing in horticulture. Just in case there were any misconceptions, I’d feel better getting them out of the way.

Who has heard recently… man those blurple lights are junk, you need to get some cobs???

Has anyone replaced a true 200 watts of blurple light with 200 watts of cobs? What are your thoughts?

I ask because 200 watts of cob lighting won’t necessarily grow anymore than 200 watts of any other lighting. It could and does but that would be based on creating a better footprint of higher intensity light than the other 200 watt light. You see it’s not that cobs have magic fairy dust they expell right after lights out or anything. They just allow you multiple lower output sources of light. Maybe there is some spectral gain over other types of light, or being able to tune your spectrum anyway, But 1000 watt hps is still a badass growing machine. Why go with cobs? Because we can spread them out and create the same amount of par at the edge of a 5’x5’ as we do in the middle drawing less overall power. Besides being able harvest dense nugs from the edge, we can run cobs closer without having as much fear of burning the center of your grow. Instead of having to run that monster hps light high enough to get some light to the edge and not light burn the center.

The guys that made cob growing what it is didn’t do so by driving 2 cobs at max current in the middle of a 2x4 tent. They found the points where the cobs had the best balance of efficacy and electrical efficiency, and then tested to find out what it would take to get strong even par numbers throughout their canopy. Depending on the particular cob and build specs, this number is around 1 per square foot. We can fudge this a little by using reflective material in very small spaces, or higher wattage cobs in larger areas. But I don’t have an answer for the tweeners like a 2x4. I just don’t know how to make 2 cobs good in that setup. Now you can grow with 2 no problem. But don’t be expecting to triple your yield over your 120 watt mars light. Your cobs will produce a more intense beam of light than most, but that really means you need more of them to blend at the areas the beam starts to get weaker. The par drops and footprint gets bigger when raised just like any other light. This can be a huge advantage when used correctly, or disadvantage when not.

Rant over


Ughhhh man this is tough. First of all, the 3500k will veg a plant. But I would like the 3500k a lot better in a full cycle light, especially the vero 29 line. It seems to have just a bit more red in the spectrum than say the Cree 3500k which is what pretty much everyone uses for seed to harvest in that line. In my opinion, I would feel a lot better if you got some something a little more colder white for a strictly veg light. Just as a thought, have you looked at sourcing the chips somewhere else? And then just trying source the other stuff from jerry? Looking around, I see them under $30 a few places.

As far as the driver and sinks go, you could do that. But you’d really be getting away from the strength of the vero. Going from the hlg 320-2100 to the hlg-240-1400 means you would be running each cob at about 55 watts instead of the number we figured, 78 watts I think. That’s why the smaller heat sinks would be good, less wattage.

All things considered, the setup he recommended would work fine. But you’d be giving up about 80 watts, and getting away from the strength of the vero cobs.

Does he not have the hlg-320 or 180mm heatsinks in stock? Or was he simply giving you a cheaper option? If he doesn’t have them is one thing. If it’s a savings thing, it was $2 or $3 extra per sink, and an the 320 watt driver is around $20 more right? At $35ish I would personally stick with bigger driver. Especially since you’re going to be underpowered for the area even with the hlg-320. Even if it meant saving up for another couple weeks or whatever, doesn’t really make sense to give up 80+ watts for $35ish. If you were building an 80 watt light using any other chip it would easily cost you $100 or more, if putting it that way helps. I’d try to get the 320 watt driver and 180mm heat sinks from jerry and grab the cobs from someone that has the 5000k or 4000k in stock.

And tell him to hook you up with the screws and wire anyway lol. The stuff is cheap, but I’m pretty they’re 3mm screws and can be a real pain in the ass to find locally. I have no idea what he would send for wire, but worst case scenario can be scrapped. I like to use 18 awg mtw, rated for 600v. Its sturdy and durable, yet still kind of has a little flex memory. But there are lots of options for wire.


I think he was just giving me a cheaper option when he offered the smaller driver and the smaller heat sinks. I want to run my setup like we talked about, but I want to split it up so 4 COBs would be on one fixture, and 4 on another. Where else can I find the COBs? Also, when you guys are talking about these wago things, he offered Wago thermal blocks, but I have no clue what they are lol!



@MAXHeadRoom linked them a few comments up.

They are really convenient! It’s like a fancy reusable wire nut, that has superior wire holding abilities. The best part about them is that you’re able to glue them to your frame or wherever, abd essentially use them as a tool free terminal strip. They come in 2,3,4, and maybe even 5 wire slot models I think. For a single driver light, you’d probably use 4 or 5 of the 2 wire wago, but it may work out in your favor ordering an assortment of extras. Up to you really. You can easily use other wire connection methods as well.

I don’t think I’m suppose to link them, but rapid led and digikey had them. Sometimes arrow electronics will have cheaper prices, and free shipping. If you have an issue finding them there are some others as well, but I’d check those first.

I think you’ll do pretty good with 8. How do you plan on using the room? Full from corner to corner? Or do you plan on leaving room to work in there?

Also, you may want to use a pc to access digikey or arrow. Their mobile versions can be a little frustrating. Rapid led is pretty good on mobile.


@ktreez420 PhotonFantomDesigns.com has the Vero26 gen7 chip in stock with the 3000K, 4000K and 5000K spectrums for $25. I’m not sure what price your source has, but check it out


Those aren’t the se, and would require soldering or the purchase of a harness to be solderless. But an option for anyone that doesn’t mind.


Sorry, I’m not very familiar with the different variations of this chip. Is that a good price?


No big deal. $25 for that cob is about where everyone else is.


i checked out gromau on youtube very intresting stuff… he has some nice kits at cutter electronics i believe…
i’m getting acclimated to the terms related to this subject…lol
i am heading to kingbrite now to shop some more…lol


I have a lot of respect for someone that puts the info out like him. I’m sure he gets help from suppliers and stuff like that, but a lot of the stuff he does is on his own dime and time. Then shares his opinion. Maybe he gets a kick back on some of those kits, but he’s not cramming them down your throat either. I would always recommend watching his videos to learn about building.


I was browsing around looking for some parts and came across something that may be good for a few members here. As some of us have already mentioned, there are a lot of really good diy kits available. Usually you could source the parts individually and save some money, but the kits aren’t bad if you’re not confident in getting the right stuff.

So while checking on some vero’s for ktreez, I seen this kit at rapid. It’s a red kit available in photo or far red. It made me think of you guys growing with the amazon led’s. Some of them are light on the red spectrum, and adding some red would help them out in flower. This particular kit is reasonably priced, available completely solderless, and looks to come with everything you’d need. If I’m not mistaken, there is even a tutorial video for assembly somewhere on youtube. This kit is definitely not ideal to act as a complete light alone, so keep that in mind. But those also exist if you would prefer.

If you think you could benefit by some added red, check this guy out. As I said, a great inexpensive way to get your feet wet in diy.


I will definitely get some of the wago blocks, Jerry sells them for cheap! I love the kit you posted @dbrn32 but like you said, it’s not a stand alone type of light.

My goal is to make 2 fixtures for my 5x5 veg tent. As of now, I’d like to build the 2 fixtures, then build another 2 in the following month. I want to figure out everything I like/need and then build more, that’s my thought process. I know I would save money if I bought everything together at the same time, but I’d rather start smaller and build on.

I like the vero29 se cobs, I’d like to get them in 5000k. I want to run a driver outside of the tent, and I haven’t decided if I’ll go with the dimmer option or not. I’m going to go check out those websites right now, thanks guys you’re the f**** best!



But now that I priced it out, if I buy the 5000k Vero29 SE’s from rapid, I’ll be paying $35 for each, including the mount and reflector. But Jerry is offering the CXB3590’s with lens, reflector, and mount for $35.60 a set.

So now I don’t know if I should just go with the CXB’s or the Vero29’s since they’re going to cost the same price… Help me out here @dbrn32 lol



Hold on… you don’t need a mount for the vero, and I would suggest running without the reflector for now. You will get much better light spread without it. I would suggest waiting until you get the room full like you want it, and then if you want to increase the light intensity add the reflectors.


The vero’s have a mounting solution built into them. The mount is strictly for adding the reflector, and as I said not really something you would want right now. Even if money wasn’t an object, the reflectors are designed to change your wide beam to a tight beam. Unless you have a shit load of cobs in there, you don’t really want them. In fact, you may not even want them if you did. Using the reflector is simply sacrificing some of your total light to increase the intensity directly below the cob.

They aren’t a bad thing, just not good for what you’re trying to accomplish right now. I like what you’re doing. Start small and get a look at what you have, and make any tweaks necessary before investing more. You could think to yourself that I’m an idiot, and want to go in a different direction. I would politely disagree, but that’s your right haha.

The 5000k is good, will veg plants out nicely. If you absolutely want to go with the cree, I’ll help with that too. I don’t have to much pride or anything like that. I was just trying to get you the most bang for your buck.