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Thread: DIY LED plant light project

  1. #49
    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    It would work to use a CPU fan, liquid cooling or a combination. The problem you will run into there is that you might as well switch to fluorescent lights because you won't save enough energy with LEDs+active cooling to make the switch worth it (unless your goal is specific light wavelengths). Any number of tests that we've done with active cooling usually any energy saved with the LEDs themselves. Cooling fans (CPU, GPU, RAM, PSU, etc.) are why desktops are such huge power suckers. If you are not trying to supplement sunlight I'd recommend using block heatsinks because they should work just fine and there wouldn't be a concern over blocking precious sunlight.
    ~Wes~

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    I never though using forced cooling was very endothermic. If you use a couple 12v fans over an extruded heatsink, The total power usage of the fans should only be about 6w.
    Maybe it's different with cpu coolers.

  3. #51
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    I typically find that I only need a small wattage fan. What I don't know though is the efficiency of LED Vs. fluorescent lamps. If they are close then a fan could tip the balance.

    The theory is that LEDs should be more efficient plant light sources than white light sources, if the correct wavelengths can be identified and provided, as white light light sources potentially produce wavelengths that plants can't use - thus wasted energy.
    Last edited by mobile; 10-26-2012 at 01:51 AM.

  4. #52
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    LED's are actually rather electrically inefficient at approx 40% radian efficiency. This inefficiency is obvious in the heat they generate and the cooling they require to live.

    Their big advantage to me personally is while T5's need to run hot for top efficiency; LED's are just the opposite, they need to run cool.

    So if you are trying to build a setup for HL or UHL, LED's bring a big advantage to the design. They may indeed lose out in electrical efficiency compared to other forms of lighting. However, their ability to do it while being kept cool is a major advantage imho.

    Mobile comments are also very true.... energy not being used in unneeded wavelengths is an inherent increase in efficiency.

    Just a caveat, I looked at stevesleds.com and while cheaper.. it appears they are an older model (now discontinued by mfg.) as compared to those being sold by luxeonstar.com
    (Stevesleds.com carries the Rebel SE models with what looks like the "Saber" tristar mount)

    Of course they are almost half the price of Luxeonstar....just something to be aware of when making comparisons

    Av
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 10-26-2012 at 05:35 AM.

  5. #53
    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    So if you are trying to build a setup for HL or UHL, LED's bring a big advantage to the discussion. They may indeed lose out in electrical efficiency compared to other forms of lighting. However, their ability to do it while being kept cool is a major advantage imho.
    Av
    And that's something I'm using to my advantage with my U. campbelliana setup. It would be extremely difficult to direct as much light at this plant using anything other than LED lighting. In fact, one of the successful EU campbelliana growers uses metal halides for his plants and keeps the plants in a fridge, with the light shining though a window at the top. With my setup, using LEDs, I need no cooling for the plants.

  6. #54
    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    And that's something I'm using to my advantage with my U. campbelliana setup. It would be extremely difficult to direct as much light at this plant using anything other than LED lighting. In fact, one of the successful EU campbelliana growers uses metal halides for his plants and keeps the plants in a fridge, with the light shining though a window at the top. With my setup, using LEDs, I need no cooling for the plants.
    Wow! Growing plants in the fridge to counteract the HID? That is pretty amusing. I'd hate to see that power bill too! LOL
    ~Wes~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    Wow! Growing plants in the fridge to counteract the HID? That is pretty amusing. I'd hate to see that power bill too! LOL
    FYI - he may have needed the frig with or without the light since campby's can be picky about temps & definitely likes things on the cool side.
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  8. #56
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    If I'm thinking of the right set up, there are also a few other picky HL only species in the fridge as well.

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