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Thread: LED Lighting for Plants?

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    LED Lighting for Plants?

    I am in the process of planning a new grow rack, and I don't want to use lights that draw a lot of power. I have done a little research into LEDs, originally for my reef tank, but now I have started to wonder if LEDs could be used for growing CPs? Knowing that 5000K to 5500K is a good range for plants to grow under, would it be possible to replicate this with LEDs? I think that you can get LEDs that would do something similar for aquariums, but would these fixtures work for plants? It'd be really nice to have much less heat transfer to my grow space as well as use less power. Any thoughts?

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    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    Red and blue only lights are supposed to be very efficient.
    Formerly known as Silenceisgod!

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    As far as I know they are good for reefs but not quite there yet when it comes to using prefab LED fixtures for plants or planted aquariums for that matter. The DIY route is usually recommended in the FW aspect of the aquarium hobby for those looking for LEDs.

    Fluorescents are going to be the most cost effective if you're not up to making your own fixture. In terms of availability (both fixtures and bulbs) they have that advantage over LEDs for the time being. I hear you about the heat issue, though.
    -Josh
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    I did a lot of looking into this as well and I found that if you don't put fourth a large initial investment the light are going to be quite poor. I did buy 4 led panels that had 225 lights/panel and I think 20W/panel and they don't do the trick. From what I've read you need high wattage with led's to have an effective light, the downside is they run anywhere from $225-1000 depending on how many light are in the high watt panel.
    I love lamp...

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    there ARE horticultural LED fixtures available for growing your... um... tomatoes indoors, but the good ones are quite pricey! Google "LED grow lights" and you'll see

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann_A View Post
    I am in the process of planning a new grow rack, and I don't want to use lights that draw a lot of power. I have done a little research into LEDs, originally for my reef tank, but now I have started to wonder if LEDs could be used for growing CPs?
    Yes, you can use LEDs for growing plants. But there are pros and cons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann_A View Post
    Knowing that 5000K to 5500K is a good range for plants to grow under, would it be possible to replicate this with LEDs?
    It is possible to replicate any color temperature with LEDs, but this is not what you want with LEDs. The "good range for plants" you know is a rule of thumb for fluorescent lamps only.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann_A View Post
    It'd be really nice to have much less heat transfer to my grow space as well as use less power. Any thoughts?
    Do not purchase anything that is sold under the name of an "LED grow panel" or they sell you crap!

    If you just want to save heat dissipation and energy, use sodium high pressure lamps of 400 or 600 Watts in a greenhouse and fluorescent T5 lamps with the best available clip-on reflectors in tanks. Optimized reflectors can double the light under the lamp, such as this German construction "Dennerle Trocal reflector" that you best use with T5 lamps:
    http://www.dennerle.eu/global/index....id=102&lang=en

    LEDs are only good for use in small and very small setups, like propagator boxes, single pot lighting or perhaps a small tank. And you need to build them yourself to be cost effective.

    My recommendation is: Purchase white high-power LEDs of the best reputed brands and with the highest efficiency, glue them to an aluminium cooling plate, solder them together with your soldering iron and power them with a constant current driver.

    I cannot recommend LED lighting for anyone who cannot use a soldering iron as all of the "grow panels" sold are either crap or overprized until now (August 2011).

    And be aware: LED growing is fully experimental! Only very few people in the world are using LED lights for growing carnivorous plants and you will have to do a lot of experimenting yourself!

    Here are three pictures of my LED growing experiments which were successful:

    Drosera schizandra:


    Cephalotus leaf cuttings growing to little plants:


    Drosera rotundifolia emerging from leaf cuttings:


    These photos were taken in daylight lighting as the color rendering of LED lighting is not good, but the plants and plantlets were grown in pure LED lighting only.

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    IMHO, due to their heat sensitivity, pricing and optics we are not quite there yet for more then an exhibition plant or two....

    http://terraforums.com/forums/showth...highlight=leds

    But getting closer.... once the incandescent ban takes full effect in the States you will see the beginning of dramatic leaps in white LED technology and along with it, dramatic drops in pricing.
    Already my local Lowes is carrying 5000k white LED's

    IMHO, T5's for now.... but in a very few years..... white, high CRI LED's may be king.
    (there are some other cool technologies out there as well.... )


    Av
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 08-27-2011 at 08:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post

    IMHO, T5's for now.... but in a very few years..... white, high CRI LED's may be king.
    (there are some other cool technologies out there as well.... )


    Av
    Plasma lighting here we come!!!

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