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Thread: DIY LED plant light project

  1. #41
    Hermopolis's Avatar
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    This debate has been going on for a while now with much more glister than gold. I've heard a lot of claims made in regards to LEDs. Quite frankly these claims smack of the hype used with compact fluorescent bulbs, and they were a bit of a bust when it came to a high end lighting solution--although I'm sure someone will disagree with that. As I am no expert on lighting, I would like to ask those who know better than myself, is there any scholarly consensus yet on the use of LED lighting for growing plants with high light needs, e.g., CPs, bell peppers, etc?
    "The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

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  2. #42
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Wes,

    It seems there are very few black and white answers when it comes to needed wavelengths....
    Earlier research by Gioia D. Massa et. al., for NASA's ALSS showed quite a bit of variability in the needs of plants.
    Some performed well with no FR, others poorly.... while some other observations were not understood and still needed further research.
    (20% seemed to be a good metric for blue)

    In some experiements CWF's seemed to provide benefits that were not achieved using RGB LED's.... which seemingly were still missing something or maybe were of the wrong balance.

    I'm anxious to see your research when it becomes available, plant lighting has been one of my fav areas of interest for quite a while.

    I also look forward to playing with my new Tristar when it arrives
    (I ordered this heatsink/fan for it)
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 10-18-2012 at 06:24 PM.

  3. #43
    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermopolis View Post
    As I am no expert on lighting, I would like to ask those who know better than myself, is there any scholarly consensus yet on the use of LED lighting for growing plants with high light needs, e.g., CPs, bell peppers, etc?
    I am no expert either, but I am an experimenter. I have been tinkering with lamps for growing plants for many years. The primary advantage of white LEDs over linear flourescents, in my opinion, is that they are easier to direct/focus. The exact spectrum that they output is dependant on the phospors used, in the same way as flourescent lamps.

    But, the main reason for using LEDs over flourescents would be to increase efficiency by selecting the specific wavelengths required for plant growth and thus eliminated the waste light that plants cannot use. I have experimented with white LED but now just use them as supplimentary, rather than primary light sources. For the primary I use wavelength specific LEDs, such as reds and blues that have wavelengths as close to the chlorophyll absorbtion bands as possible.

    As for whether they are suitable for CPs, one of my experiments is with growing U. campbelliana under a LED grow lamp, consisting or red, blue, amber and white LEDs. This species likes lots of light but not much heat, so LEDs are ideal for this and it grows very well.

  4. #44
    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    Herm, one of my colleagues is currently working with tomatoes and high output LEDs. The problem they have been running into with the high output LEDs is that they must be actively cooled which ends up requiring more energy than is saved by using the LEDs. I think the current goal is to see whether or not plants that need high light can be suitably grown with LEDs. The next step would be to develop more efficient cooling (be it active or passive).

    Butch, yea, we've gotten some very species specific results as well which isn't really a good thing because no greenhouse manager wants to have to adjust their lights according to species. My goal is to find a mix of R/B that is suitable but not necessarily for all species across the board. We are specifically comparing it to HPS the current industry standard. But yea, black and white RARELY happens in the real world.

    Mobile, yup, that's why people are really watching LED research. Since they can be tailored to a very specific wavelength we can develop lights that are optimal for plant use. Additionally, LEDs are nice because they dont waste most of their energy in heat loss. So, yes they generally stay cooler which for some species is actually a bad thing. Think Celosia.
    ~Wes~

    My plants are going green to save the environment

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  5. #45
    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    i was wondering if it is possible to use something like a liquid CPU or RAM cooler, like this one, http://www.frozencpu.com/products/13...c225s557#blank to cool some Tristar LEDs. things like this are sometimes used in high end/gaming computers, and i figure that if they can handle the type of heat lhat CPUs, GPUs, etc, etc, generate, then they would also be perfect for cooling LEDs.

    any suggestions as to how i could go about doing this?

  6. #46
    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarracenia_X View Post
    i was wondering if it is possible to use something like a liquid CPU or RAM cooler, like this one, http://www.frozencpu.com/products/13...c225s557#blank to cool some Tristar LEDs. things like this are sometimes used in high end/gaming computers, and i figure that if they can handle the type of heat lhat CPUs, GPUs, etc, etc, generate, then they would also be perfect for cooling LEDs.

    any suggestions as to how i could go about doing this?
    Heatsink performance is measured in C/W, which the above does not appear to specify in the link. Without this, it would be impossible to say whether it is suitable for LED cooling. Personally, I tend to use active cooling, e.g. with a fan cooled heatsink.

  7. #47
    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    Personally, I tend to use active cooling...
    isnt liquid cooling a type of active cooling?if you wanted to use that thingy above, to cool RAM chips, LEDs, or really anything else that needs cooling, then you wouldnt just use it passively. it would be attached to a reservoir, pump, and a radiator. water would flow through the device, taking heat away from the chip.

    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    Heatsink performance is measured in C/W, which the above does not appear to specify in the link. Without this, it would be impossible to say whether it is suitable for LED cooling.
    that is just one of many heatsinks/water blocks available fom the site, and that is only one in who-knows-how-many other sites on the web that sells this sort of thing, so there is probably some water computer cooling device out there some where that would be suitable to re-purpose for coolin' high-power LEDs

    oh, and the particular cooling device i posted a link to above is intended for RAM chips which are shaped like a long-ish rectangle, so i thought that if it could cool them properly, then i could put a couple of LEDs in a row along it, to make a kind of LED strip-light. if i wanted a longer strip , then i could just put together a few more, and arrange them end to end.

    another idea i had would be to use a bunch of CPU water blocks (which are usually square, like ordinary CPU heatsinks) , and have each one cooling a single tri, or even quad LED, and position them over the plants. then i would just connect them all together with tubing, and attatch the whole thing to a reservoir, pump and radiator.

    i got the idea to use some kind of water cooling system because i wold rather use tri, quad, or other multi-LEDs so that i wouldnt have to worry as much about color blending. these kinds of LEDs throw off a lot of heat, and these type of cooling systems are used to cool CPUs, some of which can get pretty darn hot, about as hot (probably hotter) than these LEDs, so it seemed like something that might be a good way to keep the lights cool. i take it that no one on here has tried this? might be worth a shot, ya never know 'till ya try...

  8. #48

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    If you do leds, order from stevesleds.com. They use rebel leds and offer customization for dirt cheap. A tristar is $12 with RB, NW, and DR.
    As for cooling, from what I know from reef leds, a regular heatsink should be fin as long as a fan is there as well. Steves actually sells nice fans and heatsinks.
    And CPU coolers work great because they are made for moving heat away from a small area, like with leds, but again, an extruded heatsink with fans works good.

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