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Thread: Varying light frequencies with LEDs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundrew View Post
    This setup is awesome! Can someone explain exactly why it's better to "ease" the plants into the light?

    Drew, along with other environmental factors, there is evidence to suggest that plants need lower frequencies of light in conjunction with higher frequencies in order for proper stomatal movement to occur; this may seem obvious when you consider the varying frequencies of light at different times of the day (lower/redder in the morning and evening, higher/bluer in the afternoon, etc.). Although some people may think it's unnecessary (it probably won't induce huge, new growth with steroidal pitchers like we see from EP), the implications of proper stomatal functions are invaluable to the wellbeing of the plant; for example, the diffusion of CO2 from the air for carbon fixation, or the movement of water and nutrients from the roots to the shoots due, in large part, to transpiration. It's one of several reasons we say plants grown in "natural light" look healthier (if I could utilize the sun, I would). This experiment is just a way of making it seem more like a "day" to the plants, rather than a dank cell at Guantanamo Bay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonH View Post
    Great looking setup! I was also looking into supplementing with LEDs so I will be paying close attention to this thread. Kessil is the brand I'm looking into to get more of the red spectrum.
    Kessil's dense matrix LEDs are a great design. Unfortunately, they were quite a ways out of my price range.

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    pmatil's Avatar
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    I was thinking something like dimming the lights so that in the morning the light output gradually increases and in the evening vice versa. But I'd have to switch to LEDs first. T8 tubes are not easy to dim.

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    I have LEDs with a manual dimmer. I'm trying to figure out if I can make that work with a timer. It's a combo between a strip of 12K bright white: http://www.ecoxotic.com/panorama-pro-module.html and one of these: http://www.ecoxotic.com/stunner-led-strips.html I'm not sure if the second one really does any good for my plants all though I assume that counts for some red light. I was given these for free along with a 20 gallon reef tank from someone who didn't want it (sweet deal!) so I figured I'd utilize them for my plants since I'm not growing any crazy corals at the moment. Whats the difference between alternating red/blue like you have Mato, vs. the actinic blue that I have? It looks very similar to your photo of only the LEDs running. I know that my plants respond very well to the 12K bright white one but I'm not sure the "stunner strip" is even worth using. if it is I'd set it on a separate timer to achieve the effect your talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_to_west View Post
    I have LEDs with a manual dimmer. I'm trying to figure out if I can make that work with a timer. It's a combo between a strip of 12K bright white: http://www.ecoxotic.com/panorama-pro-module.html and one of these: http://www.ecoxotic.com/stunner-led-strips.html I'm not sure if the second one really does any good for my plants all though I assume that counts for some red light. I was given these for free along with a 20 gallon reef tank from someone who didn't want it (sweet deal!) so I figured I'd utilize them for my plants since I'm not growing any crazy corals at the moment. Whats the difference between alternating red/blue like you have Mato, vs. the actinic blue that I have? It looks very similar to your photo of only the LEDs running. I know that my plants respond very well to the 12K bright white one but I'm not sure the "stunner strip" is even worth using. if it is I'd set it on a separate timer to achieve the effect your talking about.
    I'm pretty sure there are products on the market that allow you to do this, but I never really investigated enough to find out. After a very brief search, it seems there may be some timer/dimmer combos used for the aquarium hobby. Not entirely sure if you can force your manual dimmer to work like that, but I'm sure someone much smarter than me could give you an answer.

    The reason I went with the red/blue 2:1 was partly based on the results in nepaholic's thread, where he advocates the use of primarily red LEDs over both blue and white. However, a mix is never a bad idea. The frequencies of our lights will ultimately be a bit different and therefore stimulate different reactions from the plants, but it may be a negligible difference. Personally, I feel you do need some red in there, as I've seen the difference it makes firsthand when plants have been deprived of it (vining occurred almost immediately after the addition of lower frequency bulbs in some plants), whether you're talking about LEDs or fluorescents

    Quote Originally Posted by pmatil View Post
    I was thinking something like dimming the lights so that in the morning the light output gradually increases and in the evening vice versa. But I'd have to switch to LEDs first. T8 tubes are not easy to dim.
    I thought about something similar, actually, but my lack of patience and desire to spend as little as possible led me down the tried and true path of household items. And since I forgot to say it in the original post, kudos to Av8tor for the suggestion that I use a laptop power supply, which made the process so much simpler than google would lead you to believe.

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    silly google, DIY is for kids

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    you can dim LED if the dimmer is programmed, most LED's need a program to run differetn applications. from my experiences you cannot just plug the LED's into a wall outlet that has a dimmer switch, they will flicker, strobe and potentially hum

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    I've been using the adjustable output Buckpack driver in my experiments

    http://www.luxdrive.com/content/3021-BuckPuck.pdf
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 03-07-2013 at 03:03 PM.

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