Veg Lighting only in 4x4 - what light do I need?

Barrel connector should be plenty good. The wago connectors you’re looking for

Or

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@dbrn32. 2x4 veg tent. Hlg 300l bspec. I have room to put a 65w v2(sitting around) on each side. Is that overkill for say 10 plants with about 4 weeks of veg?

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I will say TY again

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Yes, that fixture could veg a 4x4 lol.

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Thanks for the link/images, even I can get the stuff right and not bug you. TY they are shipped already.

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So I’m at the point where I’m ready to build my first light frame (4 qb 120) but over analyzing everything which led me to search here for other DIY builds. The above link was a very simple and user friendly thread.

To start cut aluminum angle to length and drill holes at corners and attach 4 eye bolts for hanging.

I’ve decided to go from a 2 over 2 design to a straight 4 boards in series on roughly a 12” wide by 48” long frame (3/4” by 1/8” aluminum angle) with flat 1”x1/8” aluminum spacers to attach the boards to. A little extra work and metal but it allows the proper spacing and a clean surface for attaching the boards.

Attaching the driver is not something I have over thought, just need to get it securely on the frame. I’ve got a 15’ power cord to wire the input of the driver to the AC but have never used wagos before but it looks pretty simple. Tin the ends of the hookup wire after cutting to length and connect each board in series. I feel very unsure of myself about THAT.

At this point I think I can manage to cut the frame parts and get them together and mount the boards. I’m not at all sure how these wagos are used. I bought 100 of them just in case…I’m feeling like an adolescent kid right now

Final draft and WAY over thought I know
image

Joining the conversation late but for anyone living in the states Grainger.com is a good place to source aluminum. They usually have everything in stock, and they do pickup and they deliver. Prices are comparable to home depot’s prices.

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I am going to use these for my build

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IQTX9YK/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=greengenes-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01IQTX9YK&linkId=cba1523e39f95452434a9cf774e37e76

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Those should work. Says cable gland is good up to 8mm, may have to drill that out some to get cable to fit.

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I was ablr to fit a 16 gauge 3 strand heavy duty extension cord through without much trouble.

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Well I changed my mind again about the frame layout. Its 95 degrees out on the deck and I’m cutting and drilling aluminum. No one suggested using lock washers so I started cheating the frame holes toward the rail to lock the nut in place. May have to get some lock washers anyway.

HLG has some wiring diagrams for the 4 qb120’s in series (as I’ve got my frame configured) but I cannot understand the connection of positive of one board to negative of the next etc It’s been way too long since I learned ohms law.

My simplistic drawing of my layout:
2” setback on either end and 2” between boards

I’m looking at 4 plants max in the 4x4 as a newbie and realize this layout may limit penetration in the canopy if I get greedy. I will adjust the occupancy to the results.

I finally got the PH situation under control AND my local nursery had Fox Farms HF in stock. I’m planning to mix 8 quarts perlite with each 2 cf bag of HF to transplant my seedlings (just about 5 weeks) into 3 gallon nursery pots with HF/perlite/ micorrizae
(Kudos to hellraiser for his starter course info)
So if I can wire this thing properly I just have to assemble the tent and move them in.
I’m looking for simple steps to wiring the light boards and driver. I know having the driver close to the boards is preferred. Are the wagos used for ease of R/R components that may fail? Stupid question perhaps but without any knowledge of this technology I’d just use solderless thermal connectors and shrink tubing lol
I took a quick look at the 3 pin waterproof barrel connector (from Super Bright LED’s on-line) and it’s got the correct diameter for the power cord (came with two diameter sleeves) but again I’ve never used one. I don’t like asking for help but am asking anyway.
H___, I cant even tag members or upload images…

Best of luck! Here’s h___ @dbrn32
Happy Growing!

Wiring looks correct. You are creating a series circuit, not parallel like typical house wiring. You didn’t have to use wagos, they are just easy and reusable so very popular. Any connector rated for circuit would essentially be acceptable. You just need a way to connect driver whip to board wiring.

Did I already ask why you’re not configuring in a square?

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No

You did say that I should keep a minimum of 2” between boards and no more than 6”

You also said to cheat towards the middle (why no square makes sense now) for canopy penetration I assume. It’s a first attempt and I’m now concerned that this arrangement is not ideal, but it’s no deal breaker for me. I think you gave me enough room to move and maybe I let you down…lol

I’m like a toddler when undertaking new stuff-I need direct concrete factoids or I’ll take liberties.
FWIW I will never be upset with you or anyone on ILGM for attempting to help/mentor me. I try to respect everyone’s short time on this planet and figure out as much as possible on my own. Everyone’s time is limited and I wouldn’t want to waste yours.

As to the frame layout, I think the fact that HLG had a simple frame diagram that was easy to make and met your minimum spacing recommendations helped me start cutting aluminum.

I figured it must be ok because they (HLG) made the boards!!! (I searched “4 qb 120 wiring diagram images” on google) you also suggested I use the search box lol

My tent is 55”x55” so this light will fit fine and allow me room to work inside. If it will have a narrow focus that you think is detrimental please weigh in on that. I could always make another frame, especially if you said “make it x__x and space the boards ___”
Lol

I’ve got 3 ILGM indica and 3 gold at week 5 that I’d like to get in 3 gallon pots ASAP even if it means 2 go outdoors.

I am so grateful you suggested the Apera PH pen because I’ve been able to get my water/nutrients very close to perfect. I had a cal mag issue that I’ve got under control; only with help from you and others here on this forum. I can only be grateful for your help/time mentoring me.

When you previously said (re: DIY lights) you liked to give guidance but allow room for individuals to make the final decision I know that cannot be easy at times. It’s gotta try your patience at times; just don’t want it to be me causing that.

Seems very difficult to be bombarded by strangers with questions about something you obviously have great expertise at and THEN have them do something contrary to your “suggestions/guidance” That is not an easy thing to do. I was a union steward for many years; another thankless position. I did it for myself as well as for others; we all benefit from sharing knowledge.

That’s enough philosophizing from me.

Questions:

Mounting driver
I’ve got (2) 1”x1/8” flat stock spacers on the board side of the frame that I’m thinking of mounting the driver to. It would be dead center on the ceiling side of the frame. I also still have some 1”x1/8” square stock and more 3/4”x1/8” stock I could use as well to the mount the driver (you were right about 1” being easier to work with-I’ll never use 3/4” again)

Are lock washers necessary on frame bolts? I had gotten 1 1/2” bolts but ended up using 1/2”
I know I don’t need your “permission” to use lock washers and it’s not belligerence, just curious why no one uses them…or maybe I missed that.

Now the really stupid question.
Are those wago connectors on either side of the boards (V+V-) I’ve never used them and afraid I’ll break something believe it or not. I have no idea how they work (I’m serious) I have some properly rated surface mount wagos but the box I ordered from Menards you suggested has been delayed.

Newb anxiety maxxed out today

(have 100’ of properly rated solid hookup wire and 100 proper wagos coming from Menards so I’ve got room for some error)

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I guess I just figured a square light made the most sense in a square tent. Others have used those boards and built Similar to your design, but usually for a 2x4 space.

Lock washers aren’t really necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt anything to use them. I typically rivet my frames so never really faced with issue of using them or not. Imo, you probably don’t see a lot of them to keep down on weight. Not that a few lock washers changes much, but a little here and there could add up. I think if I was concerned I would maybe opt for nylock nuts instead. But you will probably be fine no matter what you decide.

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Which saves time, weight, and money. I have a rivet kit around here somewhere and am considering rebuilding the frame since I actually prefer the solid connection of rivets over machine nuts and bolts
Could not help thinking about nuts falling off as I went along. Huge PITA using hardware like machine bolts and nuts

If I reconfigure where would you suggest the driver be laid out-I’m asking specifically so I could lay out the frame design with the driver location as a central point and then lay out the 4 boards. I’m asking about mounting the driver on the light frame even though some folks argue about heat (negligible)

I think I’ve read discussions here about the actual circuitry functionality and efficacy being more important factors (engineering design) While those details may seem irrelevant to some, it is more important to me overall than HEAT, which can be controlled.

TY for the link on the wagos

Seems you are hinting that YOU would only use that frame layout in a 2x4 or rectangular space yet no reference to the down side. It’s the same amount of boards as a square design. Seems the only fair criticism of it is I would not be utilizing the grow spaces full potential which even I understand.
I expect to learn from mistakes and this is just one of them in the learning curve.
If you say “I’d do this“ and explain why, I always “get it” at my newb level even if I don’t have the grasp of the technical details of lumens and canopy penetration etc
On some level, your lighting posts are always informative, especially the ones I’ve read where you explain your reasoning.
TY

@Glam
I think this was his reasoning?
That being said… it’s just once you get things up and running… majority of the time you wonder where you can pick up either watts or inches… or even feet. Light displacement is critical to maximizing our limited watts and space. Plus… there’s always hotter spots than others… if it’s squared… in a square tent… easier to deal with. Hope that helps.
Happy Growing!!

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TY
I had great success with ILGM seed germination and delays I’d not anticipated from amazon but it’s all good
just feeling like I don’t need 6 solo cup challenge entries lol

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