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Thread: Its time to build a Cephalotus grow space, would love input!

  1. #65
    RobinGordon's Avatar
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    you should probably nab that creeper that's growing in the middle left pot before it grows much further. If it's anything like what I have invading the garden, it's bad news.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    If you ever want to make that flood and drain system a little more automatic then you might be interested in this: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...drain-watering
    Thanks for the link, simple idea that seems to work well.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGordon View Post
    you should probably nab that creeper that's growing in the middle left pot before it grows much further. If it's anything like what I have invading the garden, it's bad news.
    I was leaving it in there as an early indicator of the medium being too dry since its a new watering system but I'll pull it just to be safe.


    I got a power usage meter and hooked it up to the 4 main bars on this rack and then one of the moonlight kits. Here are the results.

    The 28 LEDs lighting the top 2 shelves used .19 KWhrs over 5 hours of run time. A bit of simple math later and we end up with 38-40W per hour. So 1.36-1.43W per LED.
    The moonlight kit, 4 LEDs, used .06 KWhrs over 12 hours of run time. Math, math and more math we end up with 5-5.83W per hour, or 1.25-1.46W per LED.

    So basically the 4 main bars are running slightly higher than the moonlight kits but they have 3 more LEDs per bar.

    All in all running the entire rack for 14 hours a day uses under 725W, costing me around 8 cents. Under $30 a year, sell one Ceph a year and my power costs are easily covered!

  3. #67
    RobinGordon's Avatar
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    It's not a very good indicator plant for moisture - it's still happily living in a pot I haven't watered since last week and we've had >40C (104F) days all this week.

  4. #68
    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    Looking good RSS! How hot do those LEDs get when running? I'm thinking about possibly getting some for my setup. They sound like the use very little power. About how much does each cost?

  5. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by BioZest View Post
    Looking good RSS! How hot do those LEDs get when running? I'm thinking about possibly getting some for my setup. They sound like the use very little power. About how much does each cost?
    At the current power levels I'm running them at I can hold on to the heatsinks and they are just slightly warmer than room temp, nothing I would ever worry about. I believe a single T5 produces more heat than all 28 of those LEDs at the current power level but I have no way of testing this. Now understand if I turn the power up 60%+ the story changes completely. At max power holding the heatsink would cause burns.

    I've been getting the solderless kits from http://www.rapidled.com/ and the heatsinks from http://www.heatsinkusa.com/.

    If I was to build another rack I would use the moonlight kits http://www.rapidled.com/4-led-solderless-moonlight-kit/ instead of the larger kits. Per LED it cheaper and a little easier to assemble. The downside would be 4 LEDs per wall plug. The 4 LED moonlight kit is $23 + 4 lenses @ $1.25 each they come out to $5.6 an LED. The 24 LED dimmable kit is $180 which is $7.5 an LED. You would still need a dimmer for this kit. My belief is that the moonlight kits spaced 4-5" per LED would be the light level I'm after. I want good reds/purples but not the deep reds/purples that start looking black. If you order the moonlight kits make sure and add in the comments block to replace the blue LEDs with the ones you want.

    Don't forget to figure in the cost of the heatsinks.

    Keep in mind LEDs are spotlights and plan accordingly.

    So far I'm been really impressed with the moonlight kits, here are some threads with photos from those kits. I've only been playing with LEDs for a few months so keep that in mind.

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...th-a-few-Cephs
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...LED-Growlights

    The next area I'm setting up will be using 4 of the 4 LED moonlight kits spaced at 4.5" lighting a 36" X 18" area I believe this will be about 3 T5s worth of light. Here are my estimated costs so far.

    2 X 36" 1.813 Heatsink = $47.52 + $22.01 (S/H) = $69.53
    4 X 4 LED Moonlight kits @ $23 + 16 XP-G 80 degree lensex @ 16*1.25 = $135 + $7 (S/H) = $142

    Comes out to $13.22 per LED. I'll be ordering more pieces so I'll end up with less shipping costs in the end and more package deals but there is a general cost.

    They are expensive short term but cheap long term. This new build would use a max of 24W of power, my belief of 3 T5s providing similar lighting would use 150W of power. (No long term testing to compare the two and just my short term subjective conclusions) Assuming this is correct or close to correct and I run these 14 hours a day all year I end up with under 125KWhrs for the 16 LEDs and under 775KWhrs for the T5s, for my area that converts to around $14.25 a year to run the LEDs and $88.35 for the T5s. Now you can buy a 4 bulb T5 fixture for around $60-100. Assuming I pay $80 and ignore bulb costs for the T5s and only run 3 of the 4 lights. KWhr costs of $.114 in my area last year.

    All this information is basically to work out the break even point, when you start saving money using LEDs. For me using these two examples it would be 1 year 9 months 2 weeks, at this point if I went the T5 route I've paid my electric company the "extra" setup costs of the LEDs and am now just paying them $74.10 extra a year for the life of the LEDs. Once the LEDs burn out its likely I will need to replace the entire system as they will have been replaced with the next new lighting type and finding the proper LED would be difficult or impractical.

    I think people are under estimating the costs of running T5s and there is just too little good information about LEDs out there for people to run off the cliff and write that check.

    The two big factors to keep in mind also, T5 generate a lot more directed heat (can be a good thing) and LED are spotlights (good and bad imo)

  6. #70
    Decumbent Fanatic Jcal's Avatar
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    I believe I will get around to making this kind of setup with my plants. I will cheat alittle and use and airstone on the air line to add alittle oxygen before all of the water reaches the roots.

  7. #71

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    Here is another examples of the "light burn" I'm getting. I've started moving them from the lower light areas into a mid light then over to this rack, it seems to be working out better. I really didn't expect anything like this when I originally started this.

    There is new healthy growth from both crowns so all will be good in the end.

    DSC_0036 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Here is the original burnt Emu Point, all the "old" leaves have dried out and died.

    DSC_0034 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Some random photos form the rack.

    Big Boy

    DSC_0035 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Random Ceph

    DSC_0033 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    A few of the Phil Manns are turning Pink!

    DSC_0032 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    Random Ceph

    DSC_0031 by randallsimpson, on Flickr

    I've ran the flood/drain test twice now and the TDS is at 26. So far they look just fine.

  8. #72

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    Interesting to see this, have you now turned the output down or have you left it

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