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Thread: Most Energy Efficient Light

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    Swagalotus's Avatar
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    Most Energy Efficient Light

    Hey all,

    Recently I've acquired a lot of plants. I need to buy more lights, but I need something really efficient, because I can't afford to pay $40+ dollars per month. I am willing to pay for a more expensive light if I am going to save in the long term. Anyone have any ideas?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Sunlight is free

    LEDs draw the least amount of energy for amount of light output. But can you afford the higher upfront cost of the lights?
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Swagalotus's Avatar
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    I wish I could rely on sunlight, but a few windowsills is all I have. I am considering buying leds from Rapid LED. They are quite expensive but they seem to draw next to no electricity.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    If you aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, this is the best efficiency you can get with white light, and it's really not that expensive (I put together two of these for about $60 each): DIY COB LED info

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    I supplement the sunlight with Jungle Dawn LEDs.

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    Nimb- I'll take a look at that

    Anramitaco- Not too sure about that. Looked at the product description and it doesn't even say how many lumens it outputs.

    Edit @nimbulan Do you get good colors on your plants with these? Pics? Also, how much area can one of those cover?
    Last edited by Swagalotus; 05-15-2016 at 05:19 PM.

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    I set one of these up for approximately a 2'x2' area, though you could go larger depending on the desired light level. The issue with just using one is that it's basically a point-source light so it'll cast strong shadows and won't have as good of coverage as something like a fluorescent light. You can mitigate this somewhat with reflectors, though it may be a better idea to set up more than one LED. The other issue is that LEDs are more efficient the lower the output power, so if you were to set up 2 both running at half the power of one, it would be producing more light, and even more with 4 COBs running at 1/4 the power of one.

    I don't know of any way to calculate an exact lumen output since no two LEDs are the same, but I estimated at least 8000 lumens running my LED at 50W - so somewhere around double the efficiency of T5HO fixtures. I don't have the light properly distributed since I don't have any sort of reflector set up so it's a lot stronger in the middle than at the edges, which actually works well for the various types of plants I'm growing. It is strong enough in the middle to turn my supposedly lime green Heliamphora solid red though.

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    Yeah, I don't know what the lumen output is but my totally non-scientific measurement is plant color and vigor. Some unhappy Neps that weren't getting the best light took off when I added the LEDs. Whatever brand you choose, the cost of running LEDs shouldn't break the bank.

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