DIY LED grow lights provide indoor gardening enthusiasts with a customizable, affordable, and energy-efficient lighting solution.
This LED solution helps you to provide the specific wavelength and intensity that plants require for optimum growth.
And what’s more, you get a chance to assemble an LED system of your preference from available materials like drivers, wiring, LED chips, and heat sinks.
Generally, DIY LED grow lights offer affordability, control, and flexibility, especially for smaller-scale indoor gardeners.
Today’s article gives you the knowledge you need for a DIY LED grow light. Let’s get rolling.
Understanding LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights have greatly changed indoor gardening by providing an efficient and versatile lighting solution.
This light allows you to tailor the light spectrum and wavelength to meet the specific needs of a plant’s growth phase.
For example, red light stimulates flowering and fruiting in plants, while blue supports vegetative growth.
Therefore, combining the right amount of blue and red light will give you a balanced light spectrum to support optimum plant growth.
And since these lights have high efficiency and emit limited heat, you won’t experience plant damage or worry about implementing heat management systems.
When selecting the best LED grow light, consider factors like intensity, coverage area, and wattage for optimum yields.
Whether you have a large-scale commercial farm or a small indoor garden, LED grow lights offer the performance you seek.
Why Do You Need LED Grow Lights
(Vegetable growing under LED)
Below are why you need to be LED grow lights for your indoor garden.
LED lights contribute to environmental sustainability by using less power and, in the process, releasing little greenhouse gases.
Moreover, they don’t contain harmful elements like mercury and lead, which you’ll find in plenty in incandescent and fluorescent lights.
Therefore, it’s about time you replaced your traditional lighting options with LED grow lights.
You’d want to spend less on energy bills when dealing with indoor gardens or a large commercial farm.
And no other lighting option consumes less power and emits more light energy than LED grow lights.
Surprisingly, these lights convert almost 90% of the incoming energy into useful light.
Therefore, expect to save almost 50% in energy cost when using LED grow lights than conventional options.
Efficient Light Spectrum
There is a reason why indoor plants under LED grow lights experience successful growth.
The grow lights can produce a targetted light spectrum that matches the plant’s needs at every growth phase.
Generally, optimizing the blue and red wavelengths can stimulate fruiting/flowering, promote photosynthesis, and optimize vegetative growth.
Limited Heat Production
If you have ever used conventional grow lights, you’ve seen the significant amounts of heat they emit.
However, we can’t say the same about LED ones since their high energy efficiency means that most energy is converted into light, not heat.
Therefore, there is low plant damage due to heat; you won’t have to use cooling systems in most cases. Additionally, cases of frequent watering won’t be necessary.
Why would you invest in a lighting solution that won’t last long?
We can confirm that LED grow lights have the longest lifespan, and you should never consider investing in conventional options.
With LEDs, you can have about 50,000 hours of constant use, translating to at least ten years.
Finally, we like LED lights for their compactness and the ability to conform to different shapes and sizes.
Therefore, you can employ them in limited spaces, especially in vertical farming systems and small indoor gardens.
Furthermore, you can position these LEDs to distribute the light uniformly.
DIY led grow lights kit: Tools and Materials
(A wire stripper)
You’ll need the following materials and tools for a DIY LED grow light project.
- A wire stripper
- A soldering iron
- Sharpie markers
- A drill
- Gloves and a screwdriver
- A stranded wire
- 700mA FlexBox
- 24 VDC power supplier
- 1000 and 1400mA Buckblocks
- A hanging kit and a marker LED
- Royal blue, deep-red, red, and warm-white cree Luxeon LEDs
How To Make A DIY LED Grow Lights
(A greenhouse interior with colored LEDs)
This section highlights a step-by-step DIY LED grow light process.
Get The Tools In Order
Ensure all the above tools and materials are available before you start working. This will guarantee you a smooth workflow.
Stick The LEDs To Wooden or Aluminum Bars
First, establish the cut marks on your strip and make cuts equivalent to your lighting project measurements.
Secondly, you’ll have to remove the paper before you stick the sticky backing on your aluminum bar.
Surprisingly, the bar acts as the heat sink helping with rapid heat dissipation to prevent overheating the plants.
You can mount solderless stickers on the strips, but tie your wires with nylon for good stability. Moreover, a silicone blob offers a good insulator for the connection.
Install The Aluminum Bars
To begin with, install the IC layer to act as a link between the heat sink and IC.
The copper and aluminum bars run parallel in this structure, so ensure you bolt them to the frame to keep the structure firm.
The best approach is to connect one strip to the power source and run strip-to-strip connections from the first strip to the end.
Take note that this connection supports 32 strips on a single power source.
At this point, you can power your LED grow light and use it to support plant growth.
Types of LED Grow Lights
(A vegetable garden with LEDs)
We have several LED grow light types, each offering unique features and benefits, as we’ll highlight below:
- Full spectrum grow light: These lights combine almost all light wavelengths to offer a spectrum similar to natural light. Therefore, you can employ it to support almost all growth phases, from seedling to fruiting.
- Multi- or Dual-band LED: These lights focus on supporting multiple spectrums, especially red and blue.
- White grow light: Here, you’ll get a balanced mixture of red, green, and blue light wavelengths. Therefore, white light is the best full-spectrum light replacement and supports general plant growth.
- Supplemental lights: We use this light to supplement the primary light source, especially natural light, to complement the missing wavelengths.
- Chip-on-board (COB): This light involves mounting many LEDs on a board to produce a concentrated, high-intensity light beam.
Can you make a grow light from home?
Yes! If you acquire the right skills, tools, and materials, nothing stops you from making LED grow lights from home.
And if you lack the skills to design and create grow light, we have many online tutorials and guides to help you.
But if you succeed in making one, expect energy efficient and fully customized grow lights.
Can you use LED lights as LED grow lights?
Yes! You’re free to use LED lights in place of LED grow lights, but you won’t get the same excellent result.
Although LED lights have almost all wavelengths to support plants, they are not optimized for specific growth phases.
Therefore, using dedicated grow lights presents more energy-efficient and optimal growth.
What makes a light an LED grow light?
Below are things that make a light an LED grow light.
- First, the light must provide specific wavelengths and spectrums, like blue and red, that support plant growth.
- Secondly, it should consume less energy but still emit high-intensity light.
- Thirdly, it should generate less heat; if it emits more, heat management systems should be present to correct the situation.
- Moreover, it should have an extended lifespan to eliminate replacement cases.
- Lastly, control and customization features should be present to adjust timing, spectrum, and intensity.
As you’ve seen, making an LED grow light at home is straightforward as long as you have the skills, materials, and tools.
Just follow through with every step above to complete your project successfully.
And once you’re done, we guarantee you’ll have an energy-efficient, long-lasting, customizable, and versatile grow light.
It is time to focus on lowering energy costs and promoting optimal indoor plant growth with LED solutions.