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DIY - Gardening Do It Yourself Do you know a good gardening DIY plan? Are you in need for some good DIY ideas? This is the forum to discuss all Do It Yourself plans and questions. For example, learn about: The pipe work to support banana bunches, making pots out of newspaper, using plastic cups as pots, tips for building coverings for plants during winter, etc. If you know a good DIY plan, please share it here, and if you need one, please ask away!


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Old 12-09-2020, 02:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

So I decided to grow potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and herbs indoors this winter. The grow light I used last year was way underpowered, so I decided to get a new one capable of my needs. Apparently, my needs are also very expensive, as a decent light that doesn't need to be right on top of them was way over a hundred bucks; in most cases by several times.

I wasn't about to spend several hundred dollars on a light that I had no idea how it would perform, so I decided to make my own. I'm one of those people who if I can't find it, I can make it. This was no exception. I had three LED headlight bulbs hanging around at 10,000 lumens and 6,000 K temperature each, so I figured, "Hey Doug, why not make your own?" Well, I did just that.

I used a piece of aluminum track from my old screen porch company for the main beam, drilled holes for the bulbs to fit through and wired in place. I ordered a transformer to drop the 120v AC down to 200 watts of 12v DC, which means I can wire up to four bulbs to this unit. I spent another five bucks for a pair of headlight harnesses to wire into the power pack. I also bought a set of three stainless steel bowls to use as reflectors, to direct the sideways light down. So what you see are the two in place with the reflectors, but if you notice the light arcs, I think I will mount the third bulb sideways without a reflector, so that it shines downward, but in a more open pattern. That will boost the output from 20,000 lumens to 30,000. I will still have enough wattage left to use the third bowl to make a clip-on light for specific areas.

I think I have this worked out, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open for ideas!

So here are some of the pieces. You see two of the bowls drilled and ready to mount, along with the headlights.


This is the light beam with the transformer and headlights mounted from the top:


This is what it looked like underneath, prior to mounting the reflectors. Note the bulbs protruding out:


Testing it in the kitchen to check the brightness. I think I could communicate with the ISS!


And finally, here it is place. See how the light arcs overlap on the front of the freezer? This is why I think I will add a third in the middle, but mounted sideways and aiming down without a reflector. I think I can easily mount this five feet up without causing the plants to leg up, if not more.
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

That's a neat approach. I have been expanding my indoors hydroponics/aquaponics setups, and I've been using purchased grow lights (and as you've pointed out, they're *quite* expensive). I may try this out.

One question, though. Since it's LED and those tend to have a narrow band of frequencies, are you using specific head lights to work around that? (I'm pretty new to the idea, but I'll be doing more and more as my indoors stuff expands...and I'd rather not spend a few hundred bucks per plot heh).
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Joy Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Hey, Doug! Looks great! I’m very impressed and proud of you! Congratulations!
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Old 12-09-2020, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Great job.. however, i must ask how much you have total in the project? Those headlight bulbs arent cheap and you can get a really good full spectrum grow light for less than 100 bucks. I posted a link to a light similar to what i use in the other lighting thread. Either way, I admire your ingenuity!
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Old 12-09-2020, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarkie View Post
So I decided to grow potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and herbs indoors this winter. The grow light I used last year was way underpowered, so I decided to get a new one capable of my needs. Apparently, my needs are also very expensive, as a decent light that doesn't need to be right on top of them was way over a hundred bucks; in most cases by several times.

I wasn't about to spend several hundred dollars on a light that I had no idea how it would perform, so I decided to make my own. I'm one of those people who if I can't find it, I can make it. This was no exception. I had three LED headlight bulbs hanging around at 10,000 lumens and 6,000 K temperature each, so I figured, "Hey Doug, why not make your own?" Well, I did just that.

I used a piece of aluminum track from my old screen porch company for the main beam, drilled holes for the bulbs to fit through and wired in place. I ordered a transformer to drop the 120v AC down to 200 watts of 12v DC, which means I can wire up to four bulbs to this unit. I spent another five bucks for a pair of headlight harnesses to wire into the power pack. I also bought a set of three stainless steel bowls to use as reflectors, to direct the sideways light down. So what you see are the two in place with the reflectors, but if you notice the light arcs, I think I will mount the third bulb sideways without a reflector, so that it shines downward, but in a more open pattern. That will boost the output from 20,000 lumens to 30,000. I will still have enough wattage left to use the third bowl to make a clip-on light for specific areas.

I think I have this worked out, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open for ideas!

So here are some of the pieces. You see two of the bowls drilled and ready to mount, along with the headlights.


This is the light beam with the transformer and headlights mounted from the top:


This is what it looked like underneath, prior to mounting the reflectors. Note the bulbs protruding out:


Testing it in the kitchen to check the brightness. I think I could communicate with the ISS!


And finally, here it is place. See how the light arcs overlap on the front of the freezer? This is why I think I will add a third in the middle, but mounted sideways and aiming down without a reflector. I think I can easily mount this five feet up without causing the plants to leg up, if not more.
Good build....why the tube supplement?
For all the red your missing?
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Last edited by cincinnana : 12-09-2020 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Originally Posted by rocket357 View Post
That's a neat approach. I have been expanding my indoors hydroponics/aquaponics setups, and I've been using purchased grow lights (and as you've pointed out, they're *quite* expensive). I may try this out.

One question, though. Since it's LED and those tend to have a narrow band of frequencies, are you using specific head lights to work around that? (I'm pretty new to the idea, but I'll be doing more and more as my indoors stuff expands...and I'd rather not spend a few hundred bucks per plot heh).
At 6000 K, it's almost identical to sunlight. The two things to keep in mind with artificial sunlight is the brightness or lumens, and the color temperature. Shades of colors aid in this or that, but keeping it close to true sunlight is the best all around approach.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Hey, Doug! Looks great! I’m very impressed and proud of you! Congratulations!
Thanks, Mary! Now you know how when I get an idea, I tend to make it work. Kind of like the solar furnace.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357 View Post
That's a neat approach. I have been expanding my indoors hydroponics/aquaponics setups, and I've been using purchased grow lights (and as you've pointed out, they're *quite* expensive). I may try this out.

One question, though. Since it's LED and those tend to have a narrow band of frequencies, are you using specific head lights to work around that? (I'm pretty new to the idea, but I'll be doing more and more as my indoors stuff expands...and I'd rather not spend a few hundred bucks per plot heh).
You will need to supplement the blue with some red.
For giggles Bmw and Audi and Nissan have 8000k led lights.
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Last edited by cincinnana : 12-09-2020 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Great job.. however, i must ask how much you have total in the project? Those headlight bulbs arent cheap and you can get a really good full spectrum grow light for less than 100 bucks. I posted a link to a light similar to what i use in the other lighting thread. Either way, I admire your ingenuity!
I already had the bulbs, so I dropped $60 on the transformer, $5 for the two headlight harnesses, and another $20 for the bowls.

There are a lot of the full spectrum lights out there, but most are in the 1,500-5,000 lumen range. This light will outperform those for less money, but again, I already had the LEDs. This was also a bit of a project just to it, LOL. This way, I could design it to do what I needed for my specific situation. Thanks for the compliment, BTW!
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Good build....why the tube supplement?
For all the red your missing?
Thanks!

No, that is the one I had from last year. Once I get the third LED set up, that one will used for seedlings, as it's a piss poor 5,000 Lumens, with a max range of about 12-18 inches. I will use it on the shelf when I germinate my tomatoes and various cuttings. For the moment, its just some supplemental lighting. I plan on having full sized tomato plants in there, along with bushy potato plants, so I need a very bright light as close to the sun as I can get, with a distance of several feet.

It's amazing, as bright as that lighting is, I have it all facing down, so with the bottom window blocked, the amount of light radiating into the back yard looks like a dim fluorescent bulb! Before I did that, you could have applied makeup at 60 feet.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Originally Posted by cincinnana View Post
You will need to supplement the blue with some red.
For giggles Bmw and Audi and Nissan have 8000k led lights.
No wonder they blind the **** out of me! That is a really high blue color, yikes!
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smile Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Thanks!

Before I did that, you could have applied makeup at 60 feet.
OMG.... we need to talk
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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OMG.... we need to talk
Hilarious!
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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Originally Posted by Snarkie View Post
I already had the bulbs, so I dropped $60 on the transformer, $5 for the two headlight harnesses, and another $20 for the bowls.

There are a lot of the full spectrum lights out there, but most are in the 1,500-5,000 lumen range. This light will outperform those for less money, but again, I already had the LEDs. This was also a bit of a project just to it, LOL. This way, I could design it to do what I needed for my specific situation. Thanks for the compliment, BTW!
Yea i hear ya.. sometimes just making something yourself is worth the project! If you decide you need another light though, check out the one I linked in the other thread.. its rated at 50k lumens, have used it for 2 years with great results! Heres a current photo of my garage.. excuse the disaster! In the foreground you will see a large bordelon (thanks Cincinanna!) actively growing, to the right of the bordelon my hibiscus which is flowering.. these two are probably 10 feet from the light itself. Directly under the light is my AEAE, a dwarf red pup and above and to the left of those is my Trinidad Scorpion pepper plant, which is fruiting actively. Garage temp is 64 degrees.


So Snarky, if your light is 30k lumens, just know you can grow things at a pretty good distance from the light itself. My old weak grown lights had to be sitting on top of the darn plants to keep them happy!

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Old 12-10-2020, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

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My old weak grown lights had to be sitting on top of the darn plants to keep them happy!
I understand that more than I should =(

I think the purple basil I'm growing in an aquaponics grow bed are the only plants really happy with my indoor lights. I can barely keep up with trimming and dehydrating that stuff.
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Old 12-10-2020, 07:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Smile Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by smeash View Post
Yea i hear ya.. sometimes just making something yourself is worth the project! If you decide you need another light though, check out the one I linked in the other thread.. its rated at 50k lumens, have used it for 2 years with great results! Heres a current photo of my garage.. excuse the disaster! In the foreground you will see a large bordelon (thanks Cincinanna!) actively growing, to the right of the bordelon my hibiscus which is flowering.. these two are probably 10 feet from the light itself. Directly under the light is my AEAE, a dwarf red pup and above and to the left of those is my Trinidad Scorpion pepper plant, which is fruiting actively. Garage temp is 64 degrees.


So Snarky, if your light is 30k lumens, just know you can grow things at a pretty good distance from the light itself. My old weak grown lights had to be sitting on top of the darn plants to keep them happy!
Move the variegated plant up 12+ inches.....those lights are good for 6-15
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Old 12-10-2020, 07:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarkie View Post
So I decided to grow potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and herbs indoors this winter. The grow light I used last year was way underpowered, so I decided to get a new one capable of my needs. Apparently, my needs are also very expensive, as a decent light that doesn't need to be right on top of them was way over a hundred bucks; in most cases by several times.

I wasn't about to spend several hundred dollars on a light that I had no idea how it would perform, so I decided to make my own. I'm one of those people who if I can't find it, I can make it. This was no exception. I had three LED headlight bulbs hanging around at 10,000 lumens and 6,000 K temperature each, so I figured, "Hey Doug, why not make your own?" Well, I did just that.

I used a piece of aluminum track from my old screen porch company for the main beam, drilled holes for the bulbs to fit through and wired in place. I ordered a transformer to drop the 120v AC down to 200 watts of 12v DC, which means I can wire up to four bulbs to this unit. I spent another five bucks for a pair of headlight harnesses to wire into the power pack. I also bought a set of three stainless steel bowls to use as reflectors, to direct the sideways light down. So what you see are the two in place with the reflectors, but if you notice the light arcs, I think I will mount the third bulb sideways without a reflector, so that it shines downward, but in a more open pattern. That will boost the output from 20,000 lumens to 30,000. I will still have enough wattage left to use the third bowl to make a clip-on light for specific areas.

I think I have this worked out, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open for ideas!

So here are some of the pieces. You see two of the bowls drilled and ready to mount, along with the headlights.


This is the light beam with the transformer and headlights mounted from the top:


This is what it looked like underneath, prior to mounting the reflectors. Note the bulbs protruding out:


Testing it in the kitchen to check the brightness. I think I could communicate with the ISS!


And finally, here it is place. See how the light arcs overlap on the front of the freezer? This is why I think I will add a third in the middle, but mounted sideways and aiming down without a reflector. I think I can easily mount this five feet up without causing the plants to leg up, if not more.
Great build...
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Old 12-19-2020, 04:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Thanks Mike! I just added the third bulb, and I'm going to mount it sideways. After reviewing the project, I am leaning toward removing the reflectors and going with three sideways bulbs instead. It's just TOO concentrated right now. If not for that old LED unit hanging over the spuds, I wouldn't have anywhere near the coverage I need.

Oh well, this whole thing was an experiment, so I'm not complaining! I'm living and learning!
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Old 01-01-2021, 04:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

Update!!!

In only three weeks, with the addition of the third bulb, I now have flowers on my potatoes! Look at the amount of growth on this plant. I expect spuds within a month, now.

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Mail Re: 30,000 LUM 6000K Grow Light Using LED Headlights

! Your plants are looking great! Pretty cool! Keep up the good work!
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I really want to be able to grow some real fruit off my plants this time! Never been able to before! So wish me luck on my quest....
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