Happy New Years! Hope you all had a good holiday.
LED Grow Light news
We were asked by Grow To Eat online magazine to provide a grow light design for DIY home growers. The monochromatic lights we put together take a while to assemble, so we decided on using a COB LED for their tutorial. So to handle the orders for those wanting to DIY, we will be stocking COBs going forward. They will be available on the website soon.
We already provide some name-brand COBs. The Cree CXB series, and Bridgelux Vero29 Gen7 series are available to customers who want the highest efficiency available on the market. For large grows, efficiency is important, because the cost of electricity will become more than the cost of the light, after about 2 years.
For most home-growers however, growing herbs or microgreens, the most cost effective option are cheaper, Chinese LEDs. The quality and longevity of Chinese/Taiwanese Epistar LEDs and COBs depend heavily on assembly quality, and thermal management.
The newer 'flip chip' COBs have better efficiency and more consistent production than the previous 'double gold-wire' COBs, but how can we verify their efficiency claims, of 130lm/W? That's 20lm/W better than the Phillips LED bulb I bought from Makro.
Well, we have ordered Chinese COBs from a few LED factories, and will be testing the output with a few different lux meters, and reporting their output compared to the Bridgelux and Cree.
We will also be investing in glass lenses for the COBs, to focus the light from 120-140 degrees, down to 45 degrees. With these improvements, we expect the light from these cheaper Chinese COBs to be of similar brightness to the name-brand COBs.
LED Strip news
This year, at Afrika Burn, we will be doubling the size of the Limitless Slip artwork, to 2400 WS2812B LEDs. If you're going, it will be hard to miss. Check it out at lsdo.me
We have printed 500 circuit boards of our hydroponics controller, which will be going into a product on the market soon, for a client. We are also working on making the controller simpler and cheaper, to make hydroponics affordable to everyone.
Here's to a good 2017!