LED Power Supplies

by /u/SuperAngryGuy of /r/HandsOnComplexity

Power supplies have historically been the weak link in an LED grow light system and cheap capacitors are the main issue. The cheap boost converters you can buy on Amazon and eBay will work, but don't expect more than about 6 months use out of them. Again, it's the capacitors that tend to fail.

XLG Series Mean Well Power Supply

Get a Mean Well LED driver for your DIY projects. The XLG series are constant power and work quite well with a Vero 18 or 29. The nice thing about that configuraion is that a Vero 18 or 29 can be quickly interchanged at the same power level so you can rapidly measure the differences between the two if needed.

External LED drivers keep you off line voltage which is the compelling reason to use them for DIY use. The better ones are 'UR' marked, with a reverse 'UR', which means it has been tested for safety for a factory install component of an electrical device (as opposed to a UL marking for a field install of a complete electrical device although there are plenty of ANSI/UL 8750 listed LED drivers).

I often use lab power supplies as my LED drivers. If you only get one lab power supply make sure it's a linear power supply and not a noisy switching power supply. Lower cost linear power supplies typically have a fan that will turn on at certain current levels while more expensive and much heavier ones are entirely passive cooled.