Powering led strips, crazy lots of them.

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Kyle128, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    So I am building a led array for my greenhouse. The prototype is designed to be scaled up once i get a logical system in practice.
    I am using 12v 60w 300 led strips. For the prototype I will be using 10 strips, but the larger system could easily go up to thousands of strips. So i am looking for the most economical method to power them that could be easily reproduced.
    Is there a way to build this, or am i better off just buying industrial units down the road for a hefty price tag.

    Any thoughts or comments, or even just loosely related discussion is welcomed and appreciated.

    Thank you for your time
     
  2. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
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    If you make your own,what's the cost and what psu will you need,its a trade off which is easier and better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  3. Marcus2012

    Member

    Feb 22, 2015
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    What is the purpose of these LEDs is it for general illumination or for grow lights? Because if it's for grow lights, personally, I wouldn't bother. With the massive initial cost compared to other sources and the sheer quantity you would need you'd be better off with something else. HID etc. more light but more heat. LEDs are very poor for this function, they have got good in recent years but not that good.
     
  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Since that would mean 60kW or more, you're talking some serious power. See-it-from-space type power. Clark Griswold Christmas lights type power.

    I agree with Marcus that this calls for a thorough review of options and a careful choice. There are probably government subsidies to consider, local permitting, letting law enforcement know your plans, and on and on. If you really need 100kW or more power, your local utility will need to know about it also.
     
    Marcus2012 likes this.
  5. Marcus2012

    Member

    Feb 22, 2015
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    This made me lol. So much power haha

    UNLIMITED POWA!!!
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    It's possible the TS meant 60W equivalent lighting from LEDs. That would knock things down an order of magnitude, but it's still a big project calling for professional input.
     
  7. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    Yea, tonight im gonna break out the instruments and measure the actual watts drawn. Only problem iv had with chinese parts is they are poorly documented.

    Yea visibly from space gave me a chuckle too.

    Doing it for grow lights. I feel like i have balanced cost vs assembly time. could do it real cheap if i wanted to sit there for months assembling leds...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2015
  8. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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  9. Marcus2012

    Member

    Feb 22, 2015
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    This would be such a time consuming endeavour the only way I can see of doing this to maximum efficiency would be to use High Power surface mount LEDs, regulars would just take up too much room. So unless you have access to solder printers, pick and place machines and ovens I think you may have to go conventional lighting or buy ready made panels.
     
  10. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    yea that is why im using strips. that way every 300 is one piece, logistics become much more manageable.
     
  11. Marcus2012

    Member

    Feb 22, 2015
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    Ahhh ok I didn't realise they were prefabricated strips, that's good then, if you decide to go down this route I wonder could you add a curvature to the panels to better direct light output. Anyway the power supplies ronv suggested look nice and cheap but see if you can search for it in feedback. The max was 12V 30A so that's 360w available to you from one unit. Once you've done your power tests on your strips you should have a better outlook on cost/time required. But if they are 60W strips that's only 6 you can run off one supply.
     
  12. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    still cheaper than the other options i was looking at. darn kids stole the probes to my multimeter.... hmmmm where did they go
     
  13. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    The TS said these, do you think is that 60KW:
    I am using 12v 60w 300 led strips. For the prototype I will be using 10 strips.
     
  14. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    so i couldn't do a proper test as there were components missing from my meter.... so i made a small grow light for my fish tank to test them. It is using 60 leds, about 1 meter length of strip. They seem to be doing fine on the 200mah power supply, so by my math it couldn't be more than 12 watts a full 5 meter strip.

    this makes things much more manageable :)
     
  15. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    just a follow up. turns out they pretty much are 60 watts per 5 meters. but i found the same 30 amp unit for about 3 bucks cheaper and ships from the states rather than china.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00D7CWSCG
     
  16. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Do your strips have internal regulation such that they are designed for a 12V supply like that?

    The ideal LED driver for this application would be something like 48V and have a constant current setting. This would allow 12-15 LEDs in a series string, with precise current control and decent efficiency (by eliminating current-limiting resistors in the series string). But this would not work if the lighting you are using is already designed for a 12V supply.
     
  17. Kyle128

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 28, 2015
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    Yea it has built in resistance, i tried before building it with individual leds so i could skip the resistors and just build it that way. but it is impractical for anything larger than like one sqaure foot. If only i could find preassembled resistor-free strips that let me worry about voltage.
    But the inefficiency cost is lower this way than the labor cost the better way.
     
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