How to Build a High Power LED Grow Light
LED lights from China / 2013-01-13
Traditional grow lights include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), fluorescent tube lights, high-pressure sodium bulbs (HPSs) and high-intensity discharge bulbs (HIDs), all of which produce the light spectrum and power needed to grow plants indoors. Unfortunately, running any of these bulbs for 12 or more hours a day can result in a large electricity bill, reducing the cost-benefits of growing your own food. Light-emitting diodes, more commonly called LEDs, can be used instead, and though they have a higher initial cost, they'll last longer and use much less electricity than their glass counterparts. Does this Spark an idea? Other People Are Reading Plants Grown With High-Power LED Grow Panel Lights High Power LED Strips Things You'll Need 2 Red LED Christmas light strands 1 Blue LED Christmas light strand Melamine sheet Drill Yardstick Permanent marker Show More Instructions 1
Purchase two strands of red LED Christmas lights and one strand of blue LED Christmas lights. Plants require more blue light initially, which causes leafing and growth. Once the plant has grown for a few weeks, the blue light needs to be reduced and the red light increased, causing the plant to flower and produce fruit. Two red strands and one blue strand can be used throughout the entire growing process, however, eliminating the need to swap out bulbs.
Purchase a sheet of white melamine; these are large, thin pieces of flexible wood-like material with a smooth white side designed for dry erase markers.
Cut a 2-by-2-foot piece from the white dry erase board. Measure the sheet with a tape measure and mark the dimensions with a marker, then cut it using a power or hand saw. Discard the extra board pieces.
Draw vertical lines onto the 2-by-2-foot board piece spaced 1 inch apart. Place a yardstick on the board and draw a straight line down the wood, then move it 1 inch and draw a new line. Repeat until the entire board is covered. Rotate the board one turn and repeat the line-drawing process, this time drawing lines that cross the original lines. The wood should resemble a checkerboard when you're finished.
Drill a 1/8-inch hole over each line intersection on the board using a 1/8-inch drill bit and drill. Locate a part of the board where one vertical and one horizontal line intersect. Place the drill bit onto that spot and slowly drill a hole through the board. Repeat at each intersection.
Press a red LED from a light strand through the back of the board so that it is visible on the white side. Fix it in place with a glob of hot glue using a glue gun. Repeat in the next hole, inserting another red, then again using a blue LED. Repeat this process, inserting two reds, then one blue, until all the bulbs are used up.
Trim away any excess board if necessary.
Plug the three Christmas light strands together into a single strand if possible; some light strands can only be plugged into an outlet. Plug the strands into a surge protector, then plug the surge protector into a wall. The LEDs will illuminate together and reflect off the melamine's white, shiny surface. Place the light over your plants to aid growing.