Let's talk DIY lights


The colors are manipulated in similar fashions, but I wouldn’t say they’re the same. They work entirely differently, and if you take away the coating one is blue and the other uv.


What exactly am I looking for in wire? I see both PVC and silicone hook up wire. The PVC is rated for 300 Volts and the silicone is 600. Both pretty cheap. @dbrn32


Either will work. I want to say the wire I typically use is 300v rated for 90c. But I know there’s a spool of 600v as well, pretty sure it’s rated for 90c as well.


Everything is ordered for one fixture. Now I need to work on the heatsink.


Sweet! If you want to get them cut to size and cleaned up would be good. I would just make sure to hit them real quick prior to mounting strips and then obviously clean them with some alcohol. Aluminum starts to oxidize immediately. Not that it would be bad if they sat for a week or two. But the cleaner they are when you mount strips the better they will perform.

I’ll be watching close!


Yeah, I’ve worked in a clean room environment building small mechanical parts (think satellites) and know all there is to know lol. It actually oxidizes instantly although the film is minute.

Ah, the days when I had to machine PURE BERYLLIUM! Or mill counterweights out of pure tungsten! Good times…


Haha ya, you get the picture then.


I don’t think the aluminum oxide is a problem in terms of heat transfer. It is microscopic, after all. And Arctic Silver Alumina Thermal Transfer Adhesive actually uses aluminum oxide (instead of silver) as the heat transferring filler. What you really want is a good flat surface, so you don’t have a lot of air-filled voids between your heat sink and your device. If you are using heat transfer goo or epoxy, the thickness should be less than 0.001". If you are using tape, then you want good clean flat surfaces so the tape adhesive in in contact everywhere.

Regarding wire, the gauge is the most important thing. Then if it is solid or stranded. Most any insulation is up to the task, but there are high temperature ones and wet-rated ones. You don’t really need either. But you should use 18 gauge if you are passing more than an amp. And stranded is more resistant to breakage if you flex the wires a lot. If you are getting fancy, you could color-code the wires using red for positive and black for negative. Of course that becomes problematic when wiring COBs in series!


Exactly so! Adhesion is the main issue with oxidation. And yes: Aluminum Oxide has marvelous properties. We worked extensively with clear aluminum oxide lol. (Sapphire)

Google “Berylliosis” That will make you piss yourself lol.


18awg stranded doesn’t fit the connectors well. Not saying you can’t get it in, because you can. But you can’t get the insulation to sit within the connector. Not to mention it’s a real pain to remove them.

I agree that in most applications stranded is better. But I’m this case I’ll use and recommend going with 18 solid over a smaller stranded.


You just tin the end of the wire with a bit of solder. It makes just that part solid. You only want to do about 1/8" so you can wrap the rest around screw terminals, etc. Makes no difference unless you are moving the wires around a lot. That’s why they make extension cords with stranded. With solid it would be very hard to uncoil it and it would break very quickly.

Certainly, don’t try to use stranded with the Vero29 SE poke-in COBs. They don’t fit the angelina reflectors either.


Tinning or not, the connectors are almost identical to vero poke in. They look a little different, but fit is about the same. The insulation is too thick to fit within the connector.


Anybody wanna know what growmau5 has been up to?


I’ll check this out tomorrow!


Nothing new on the tech level, but it looks like they’re making it easier than quantum boards to diy their boards. If you even thought that was possible lol.


That thermal shutoff switch is a good idea. I’ve got one on my heatsink so if something goes wrong with the exhaust fan, all the lights shutdown. I used a clothes dryer part. I think it cost about $8. I didn’t think anybody else had one.


I have a couple of high current snap disk type of deals, but I’ve yet to install them on anything. If I was active cooling or experiencing faster temp rise they would be more critical.

Those boards have been around for quite some time, so nothing new. But when you look at what you’re capable of getting in that package and how easy it would be to install, I think it would be a pretty viable option. Especially at $800. Three channel tuning is pretty dope, although not that necessary. For the guy or gal that seemingly has the rest of their grow dialed in it could be fun to tinker with.


They really have worked out the snap-together aspect of the wiring. No tools required except maybe a screwdriver for the driver terminals. That’s nice for the less technical.

That dryer thermostat was: Edgewater Parts 3387134 & 3392519 Cycling Thermostat & Thermal Fuse for Whirlpool & Kenmore Dryer on Amazon. $7.70 when I bought it. You just wire all the light driver power through the big terminals and then screw it onto your heat sink. It’s rated for 25 amps 250 VAC so it’s quite capable of handling a huge set of lights. If your heat sink gets up to 155 F it opens and turns the lights off. Once the heat sink cools off enough, it will turn back on and run for a while. So even if your exhaust fan dies or something it will keep your plants lit intermittently and keep them from flowering! Serendipity!


I like the ease of those connectors. And those rails are cool how you can rotate them. Do you know what they are pricing that at?


Rapid led sells them, I believe they call it substrate. I think @Covertgrower has them in use with his cobs. Around $30…