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Thread: LED plant lights?

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    sarracenia_X's Avatar
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    LED plant lights?

    would it be possible to use high power LED (light emitting diodes) as a plant lights? The kind i am reffering to are the ones commonly used for DIY reef aquarium lighting. they are sold from www.reefledlights.com. would they be to bright and burn the plants? Also, what colors would be the best to try? any ideas?http://terraforums.com/forums/images/smilies/dunno.gif

    ---------- Post added at 06:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:29 PM ----------

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    nope. inappropriate wavelengths apparently... i've entertained the thought as well.

    the LEDs that are actually used for horticulture are quite expensive as well...

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    I've seen LED's sold and used specifically for plants, so I don't think I agree with the innapropriate wavelength idea (sorry). Most plants use approximately the same wavelengths. The main problem with them is that they are pricey, as Amphirion stated. Also, I don't know how high the light output is. You would definately save on electricity costs though.
    Da' mishu
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    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    I think amph meant that those specifically marketed for reefs probably are going to be the incorrect wavelengths.

    I'm not sure what the exact savings would be in terms of energy but in terms of up front cost it seems that fluorescents (specifically T5s if you can remove heat) are the cheapest route for high light output.

    I know that in the planted aquarium community the general feeling is that LEDs are not quite there yet, and I feel the same way in regards to CP growing too.

    Just my opinion though...and to be quite honest I would love to see someone take a stab at the commercially available LEDs and CPs and see what happens. If anyone wants to volunteer (or has tried already) that would be great!
    -Josh
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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarracenia_X View Post
    would it be possible to use high power LED (light emitting diodes) as a plant lights?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarracenia_X View Post
    would they be to bright and burn the plants?
    It's just a matter of wattage and lighting distance, same as with fluorescent and other lamps.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarracenia_X View Post
    Also, what colors would be the best to try?
    LED light color "white" or "cool white" is OK for growing plants.

    When doing DIY projects with power LEDs, please be aware that the LEDs should always be powered with constant current drivers and that they need proper cooling from the first second of usage, or you can burn out your valuable LEDs in less than or just a few seconds.

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    Sarracenia freak Brie's Avatar
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    I've been toying with the idea of LEDs as well... But yes, the ones sold for reef tanks are totally the wrong spectrum. Even a reef tank "white" is typically no lower then 8000k, usually 10,000k, mixed with blue bulbs.

    I really like PAR38 bulbs, as you can screw them into a normal light socket and they are BRIGHT. Like a floodlamp. You'd prolly want to look for 6500k at least, or if you wanted to vary your light, mix it with a 3000k bulb.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...WEHT9KA8Y8SYBR

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    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brie View Post
    I've been toying with the idea of LEDs as well... But yes, the ones sold for reef tanks are totally the wrong spectrum. Even a reef tank "white" is typically no lower then 8000k, usually 10,000k, mixed with blue bulbs.
    That's too much blue. I would not mix blue and white LEDs, as "white" LEDs already give a lot of blue light themselves, especially "cool-white" LEDs. Too much blue prevents the plants from length growth. Especially with Nepenthes you can see the inter-node distance between the leaves shrink very much when lighting with cool-white LEDs, they grow much more compact and stay smaller with the same number of leaves developing.

    It's possible to use "cool-white" for plant growing, or a mix of "cool-white" and "warm-white" LEDs (but warm-white LEDs give you less lumen per watt, so they are less efficient).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brie View Post
    I really like PAR38 bulbs, as you can screw them into a normal light socket and they are BRIGHT. Like a floodlamp. You'd prolly want to look for 6500k at least, or if you wanted to vary your light, mix it with a 3000k bulb.
    For my small LED lighting constructions I mostly use affordable Cree XR-E LEDs, pre-mounted on hex-star plates in a "cool-white" color selection. I think this is a selection of 6.750K...7350K.

    I just glue the hex-star LED on a bigger aluminium plate for cooling and they are ready for cabling (soldering iron needed). Needs only about 10 mm (0.4") headroom for the lighting, so you can install such lights in very small growing cases (you can place the constant current driver somewhere else).

    You could even install a LED lighting in one of the famous "Lowes Death Cubes" and keep a single carnivorous plant in the darkest bookshelf within the house.

    You see the Dionaea used as my avatar picture?
    This one is only lighted by 1 Watt LED power (Cree XR-E, cool-white, @350mA, 14 hour lighting period by timer switch) in a plastic cube.

    LED lighting is a very good solution for very small setups.
    But LED lighting becomes very expensive for bigger installations, so for bigger installations fluorescent lamps plus effective reflectors are the better solution.

    This plant is another one grown under LED lighting (photo taken under natural light):


    And this one is grown under LED, too (even the photo was taken under LED lighting):

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