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I've made blog posts related to DIY LED grow light.  I've been growing orchids for a while. I have less experience with carnivorous plants, but I do grow 100 or so CP species.  I think the post is also useful for CP growing, so here are the links.  I'm not familiar with the European market (cost of components and electricity), but you could save lots of money with high efficiency DIY LEDs.  Hopefully, it could be useful for some people here.

Basics of LED drivers


The followings aren't about COB LEDs, but other easy DIY LEDs:


High efficiency Sunritek T8-LED conversion

Simple T8-LED fixture

Edited by naoki
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Stu, yes, individual LEDs are nice because they create more scattered light.  But COB LEDs are much cheaper (and easier).

JMHoff, indeed we do.  I killed all of my orchids when I moved up to Alaska until I learned to grow them in a different way.

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Happy Thanksgiving (at least in the US)!

Another DIY LED update.  I made a plastic container based grow space.  I used Samsung H series LED linear modules this time.  This module was announced in Summer 2016, but it started to ship in October.  This Samsung basically beats Philips XF-3535L (I posted about this previously) in all aspects.  It has amazing efficacy (187lm/W), even higher than most COB LEDs. I haven't calculated the PAR efficiency, but I'm pretty sure there is no commercially available grow light with this high efficiency.  It is a bit more expensive per light output than COB, but it is easier to assemble, and better for a small area. Also, it provides very even light distribution.  It costs about $60 to cover 2-3 sq. ft.

I built this for pygmy Drosera, so it is targeting relatively high-light plants. Last year, I was using much weaker light (PPFD of about 70-100 micomol/m^2/s).  Surprisingly they did ok.  I doubled the amount with this H-series.  So we'll see how the plants respond.  It takes about 1 hour to assemble.

Here is the link to my Orchid Borealis blog post.



This is supposed to be Drosera dichrosepala ssp. enodes from Scott River.  It is with the previous weaker light.

Edited by naoki
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Hello friends , really interesent post , i want start in indoor grow . First i think  i want practice whit germinator but i don't know this leds it's ok for carnivorous plants germination & grow?ámpara-Iluminación-Hidropónica-Crecimiento/dp/B01D4FZ50C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1480030425&sr=8-4&keywords=leds 225 165 rojos 60 azul

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Ignacio, I don't know about this particular model.  As usual, they don't have enough specification, but it is unlikely that it is efficient.  I would rather go with linear fluorescent like T8, T5, or T5HO.  Plants will grow if you give enough light, but these cheap LEDs will be expensive in a long term.  A lot of people goes with cheap LEDs, but it is a false economy.  There is a trade-off between the initial price and the efficiency due to the property of LEDs as I mentioned in the blog posts. 

Also the price seems to be high.  These are from China, and you can probably get the same one from eBay or AliExpress at much cheaper price.

I had a similar older model long time ago, it didn't have sufficient heat management, and blue LEDs kept blowing within 6-8 months.  If one of them blows, one entire row goes out.  I had to replace the LEDs by soldering frequently. Hopefully, the quality has been improved.


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  • 5 weeks later...

I have just ordered four of these 15 Watt COB LEDs from Aliexpress. I realise they won't be the brightest but they are cheap enough for an experiment. I have already got a suitable driver that has a display of both voltage and ampage so it will be easy to run them at a reduced level and easy to calculate the wattage. (Amps x Volts = Watts).

I have got a couple of polystyrene tropical fish transport boxes and a small aquarium that I am using for LED growing experiments. 

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