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Fixing my broken LED grow light

Sunshine

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One of the panels on one of the led light units stopped working a few days ago so I've temporarily removed it from the grow for safety and am going to try and work through and either fix it myself or upgrade the internals entirely and switch it over to cob led (less soldering and better light penetration). 💡
It seems a shame to throw away the nice casing, wiring, heat sinks and working fans so I'm going to attempt to get it working again with cheap parts from ebay/amazon.
First up I removed all the screws to take a peek inside, it's all laid out in an easy to access way and is all screwed and has push fittings so in theory should be fairly straight forward to swap out parts.
When I turn the switch to on, on the non working side the lights flicker which is a good sign that the led's themselves haven't burnt out, it also demonstrates that the switch is turning power to the driver and board on and off. This makes me think that it's probably the driver, the switch is dimmable and there are 30 x 3w diodes on the non working panel. So I need a driver that is dimmable and rated up to 90w.
Before I get too excited and go driver shopping I'm going to remove the non working driver and swap it out with the working driver to make sure that that's definitely the issue and take a pic of any electrical specs on the existing drivers.
 

Sunshine

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First thing I did was double check and mark the non working and working drivers and panels with ticks for working and crosses for not working to avoid confusion then took a lot of pics of the internals so I can put everything back exactly as it was. DSC_1097.JPG DSC_1096.JPG DSC_1095.JPG DSC_1098.JPG DSC_1100.JPG DSC_1099.JPG DSC_1102.JPG DSC_1101.JPG DSC_1104.JPG DSC_1105.JPG DSC_1106.JPG
 

Sunshine

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After carefully removing the suspected non working ballast I realised I didn't need to do any of that (so put it all back again) :/ 😆😂
It dawned on me that all I needed to do was unplug the connector from the driver to the panel turn the panel the other way and replug it in to see if it was the driver or not (see red connectors going to the panels in the last pic of the above post). Oh well, I know how it all fits together now 🙄
It turns out that it is the driver, when switched over the non working led panel fires up fine with the working driver! 👏👍 Very happy about that, hopefully won't cost more than 20-30 to get this fixed and working again 💡
I've googled the serial number of the drivers but no luck so far, will keep looking and update when I've sourced a suitable replacement :)
 

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Sunshine

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but if you can get a new unit for 60 is it worth it ?

i mean in case theres another issue the driver failed . If the new driver fails may as well of just got a new Mars.

what is a COB unit ?
I've looked at pretty much all new units and nothing particularly excites me, the most interesting units out there at the moment for me are the diy cob led lights people are putting together. For some time I've been interested in making one but put off by having to get all the individual bits, so when the time comes (the existing lights die) I will use the bones of these lights to make some extremely powerful cob led lights :)
In the mean time I'm happy to spend 20 instead of 65, the fault can only be the driver as the switch works and it is the only component between the switch and the panel. The 45 surplus will come in handy when I buy some super powerful cobs in the future!
For example a chip like this can put out 9000 lumens!! Two of those in one of my units would kick out 18000 lms that's more than a Mars 900w 😲💡
The thing I like the most about the cobs is not only their superior efficiency and cooling but the fact you don't need to muck around soldering lots of diodes in sequence, there's only on chip to solder which is fixed directly to the heatsink making things much easier.
All that to one side, I enjoy the tinkering, it's a cool part of the hobby 🌞

info from another site...

What is COB?
COB (Chips on Board) , is a new technology of LED packaging for LED light engine. Multi LED chips are packaged together as one lighting module. When it light up, it looks like a lighting panel..


Why COB? --Background
LED(light emitting diode) is new technology with advantage of saving energy and very long lifespan. But all LED lightsource can not be faultless especially SMD, HP, flux LED etc. Compare to traditional lighting such as fluorescent lamp, as it is super bright in a small size, it cause uncomfortable glare. In case of no diffused optical lens used, such LEDs usually cause glare and zebra strips . But when optical lens or cover used, it will cause light loss when LED beam pass through this lens or cover.


How COB LED Light source works
COB LED is multi chips packaged, it can 10 times more increase lighting area, so it avoid uncomfortable glare by the maximum extent.
Lightspot use small size of chips to make COB LED package.
By now, for small size chip, ?some famous LED chip manufacturer can reach 249lm/watt @ 20mA. But big size LED chip can only reach 161lm/watt @350mA. The light efficacy decrease when chip size is bigger. Also when LED driver increase current to LED, the light efficacy per watt is even low.

COB Advantage
COB, (Chips on Board) , multi LED chips are packaged together as one lighting module. COB LEDs have great advantage of thermal resistance, larger cooling area, better lighting effect and high light efficacy.





 
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BurchSung1

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Hi...this may have been caused by that metal mesh screening touching the board and shorting power to ground. Usually in installations that close to metal, they use a plastic shield to isolate the board from the metal. It would be safe if there were non-conductive material between the board and the metal it is mounted to.If they can replace that module, your lights should work provided the power board didn't surge a bunch of current through the LEDs.

http://percentagescalculator.com/
 
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Sunshine

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Thanks Burch and welcome to fc! thankfully the led's themselves are fine (tested with the working driver), sadly replacing the broken driver isn't straight forward. It's an unusual spec and hard to get here, I emailed a company in china but no response and the only replacement driver I can easily get here costs more than the unit itself :/
For that reason I'm currently just using the working side of the panel at the moment and have disconnected the other non working driver.
I may end up going for a new cob led and a driver to fit into the non working side but I'm still reading around the subject re the best setup, efficiency and cost :)
 
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