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Getting Started With DIY LED Grow Lights

The top reason most people get interested in a DIY LED grow light is to save money. Even low-end factory-made LED grow lights could cost around $100. Alternatively, you could purchase a box of LED bulbs or a COB for only about $10 – $20, depending on where you’re shopping. Standard LED drivers now retail around the $20 – $30 range, and heat sinks could be as low as $10.

But it’s not only cheaper to assemble your LED grow light upfront. Since you will have to calculate the input and output of your LED lights, you can maximize the efficiency of your grow light set-up. You could put as many or as few LEDs as you want, considering your ideal electricity costs.

As another bonus, making your own LEDs can be handy if you don’t have a ton of space. You’ll find it’s much easier to fit your DIY units in small spaces versus many of the LED grow lights now on the market. Just like a DIY grow tent, making your own LED lights provides you with the ultimate control over the features of your grow space.

Do I Need The Experience To Assemble My Own LED Grow Lights?

You don’t need any prior electrical experience to put together a custom DIY LED light successfully. However, the more you know about skills like soldering and sequence wiring, the more natural this process will be for you.

The essential qualities you need to start setting up your own grow lights include patience, determination, and a willingness to learn. If you put the time into learning basic concepts like voltage, sequence wiring, and soldering, you should feel comfortable using any driver, LED, and heat sink to make your grow light set-up.

Terms Everyone Should Know Before Building Grow Lights?

As you start researching the how-tos of building a DIY LED grow light, you might run across a few unfamiliar terms. Here are just a few words that you need to know before shopping for materials:


Chip On Board (COB) refers to a new type of light that has hundreds of tiny LEDs mounted on one circuit board. Although COBs are relatively new to the market, they have already gained a considerable following in the growing space because they are powerful and energy-efficient. Compared with standard LEDs, COBs usually cost more upfront.


Every LED light has both a negative and a positive charge that only light when you supply enough electricity. The measure of how much energy is necessary to light your LED light is called “voltage.” So, your LED light’s voltage tells you the minimum number of volts required to turn on your bulb.


Keep in mind that voltage tells you nothing about how bright your LED will shine. The only way to determine how powerful your LEDs will be is to look at the amperage (aka the current). Since amperage tells you the brightness of your LEDs, it also relays useful information on how much power your bulbs will draw.


An LED driver serves the same purpose as a ballast for an HPS grow light. Both of these units regulate voltage and amperage to supply your LED with power.

Heat Sink

As the name suggests, a “heat sink” helps absorb excess heat from your mounted LED light. There are two kinds of heat sinks you need to know about: active and passive.

Active heat sinks have a fan that pushes heat away from your LED light. By contrast, passive heat sinks are usually made with aluminum pins and radiate heat away from your LED lights without using electricity.

Generally speaking, active heat sinks are more forgiving and cost less, but they consume energy. Passive heat sinks are more energy-efficient, but they require more expertise to fit your LEDs.


Solder is a special kind of metal alloy that you need to join your LEDs to wires. In addition to the solder material, you must use a soldering iron to connect your DIY grow light successfully.