It can be confusing as to where to start and what to buy which is why we've pulled together this guide. However if you just want to skip all the complications and just get to growing, then check out our VELA Series Systems.
Our VELA Series Systems have everything you need to get started for LED Growing.
If you're up for a bit of tinkering, and learning a bit about wiring then this is Atreum Lighting's Guide to Making your own LED Grow Light system setup.
There are 3 things you need to buy to get started
- Lights: LED Board vs Bar
- Driver: The controller that will regulate intensity through the modulation of current (amps).
- Connectors (Optional but important to think about): Wires, Mounting System to raise and lower. If you have multiple boards or bars then you'll need a frame. If you're just growing on a bakers rack and don't intend to adjust height, for example for microgreens, then you can just get away with zip ties.
If you don't want to think about it or just want to make things as easy as possible then consider purchasing one of our VELA (LED Board) or ARA (LED Bar) series products with a driver and it comes with everything you need to get growing immediately.
1. HOW TO PICK LEDs TO BUY
Bars vs Boards
The difference in selecting Bars over Boards really comes down to whether you want something linear (Bars) or more square (Boards).
|VELA (Board) Series|
2. HOW TO SELECT DRIVER FOR YOUR SETUP
- Power Requirements
Power Requirements: How many bars or boards are you powering?
You'll need to select a driver for the given amount of power the boards will need.
For example, if you want to buy 3 VELA 120W boards and want to wire them together yourself, you'd think you'd need 360W driver but you can actually get away with a Meanwell 320W driver.
We would simply recommend considering one of our VELA Series systems.
Wiring: Parallel or Series?
Parallel wiring is what we generally recommend because it's more intuitive to hook up all the positives to each other and all the negatives to each other. However the downside is that it requires more wiring and also there is a belief that if a board fails (which is almost never does) then the remaining boards could receive too much current, however this never happens.
Series wiring is slightly less intuitive but it uses less wiring and should a board fail, the others will just not receive power.
When selecting a driver, you have to balance the amount of voltage as well as current that will go to each board and make sure that the range the board will receive is within the range the driver will put out.
With our VELA Series systems, we go with parallel wiring and you can be confident that the accompanying driver will work with it.
Dimming: Onboard or external?
Our guide to Dimming Drivers goes over how to dim to the lights, but something to consider from the beginning is, do you foresee yourself adjusting the lights frequently or just once in a while?
If it's just once in a while, then go with onboard dimmer (A types) as it's simpler and requires less parts/setup.
However if you foresee needing to adjust the intensity frequently (instead of just raising and lowering lights) then use an off board dimmer (B types).
How are you actually going to mount the system above your plants?
Will it be on a bakers rack or something simpler like a simple pully system in the closet?
If you have multiple boards, how are you going to connect them?
These are all considerations that must be taken into account when purchasing a system.
We sell a variety of accessories for mounting (our adjustable rope hanger 4 pack is our most popular) but sometimes, like with our 288 boards, you can just get away with some zip ties to a rack or even maybe some coat hangers.
HEIGHT AND SETTINGS FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLANTS
Height: Height from top of plant (canopy) to light
Temperature: This is the color profile of the LEDs. Plants have specific and optimal colors for growth however for the most part, you can just use it right out of the box without worrying too much about dialing in the right amount of blue vs red vs green. Our lights are full spectrum, so they're designed to mimic the sun. Our 144 boards are better for vegetative growth whereas our VELA boards can do both seedling, vegetative and flowering.
Intensity: This is the strength of the light. Adjusting the height of the setup will also regulate the PPFD to a degree. However if your setup isn't height adjustable, then you'll want to use a driver with a dimming function.
Typical settings for Cannabis. (Thanks to GrowDoctor for this)
(Height, Intensity/Power). Temperature is not adjustable by default
|Cannabis||4-5ft, 50%||2-4ft, 75%||1.5-2ft, 100%|
"-" means it doesn't really matter too much
*Microgreens: Bonsai veggies such as mini bok choy, sprouts, baby radish, garnishes/herbs etc
Got suggestions for settings? Email us --> firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready to start growing?
Check out our VELA Series Systems!
Contact us with the following
- Grow Area
- What you’re growing
- How you're hoping to grow it
Phone: (512) 766-4067