I need help replacing a driver in my very underpowered 138w LED UFO grow light. i bought it for my son to grow chilli's and other consumables over winter months and also as something of a hobby. The crappy Chinese driver inside is universal voltage 100V-240V /50-60hz , output current 300mA, output voltage 80-130V DC. You see, when i ordered this thing it came as 138w 9-band UFO with 46x3w chips, so instinctively i though it should push 80-90 watts actual draw due to manufacturers habit of under-driving 3w LED's, but turns out it is a critically under-powered product that runs at only 42 actual watts, that's not even 1w per 3w chip and even less considering the fan itself consumes 10w, what we have is pretty pathetic intensity and a waste of 46 x 3w chips, it grows seedlings and small plants but is useless after that. I wish to replace the driver for something more powerful, I think its the low 300mA current that is the issue, driving them at 600mA or 700mA would push it towards 70-80w output so this is my issue the low constant current driving the 3w diodes. So anyway im wanting advice or guidance on what to do to get more bang for buck from this thing and i would appreciate either recommendations for alternative LED driver and/or other powering options.
If the driver is 300mA and a maximum voltage of 130V then the maximum power is 39W. It sounds like the lamp description is poorly written. The LEDs are capable of 138W but the light fixture is not.
It is not unusual to under drive LEDs. It improves the lumen maintenance and lamp life. In light fixtures a 3W (max) LED would typically be driven at 1 - 2W. 300mA is low but not unreasonable.
I would not change the driver or increase the current. The light is probably qualified at 1W per LED not 3W. You could have thermal and safety issues.