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Thread: Full-spectrum LED screw-in replacement bulbs?

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Full-spectrum LED screw-in replacement bulbs?

    I'm mostly using T5HO fixtures currently and have been meaning to set up a few specimens apart from my plant racks under their own lamps. At first I thought I'd shop around for CFLs, but then I remembered those full-spectrum screw-in LED replacements. Not that I am uninterested in horticultural-grade LEDs - I just want something I can read by right now. Is anybody using LED screw-in bulbs with any success? It used to be that with some hunting you could find high-wattage CFLs that put out an acceptable amount of light for Nepenthes and undemanding Drosera. Anything like that? I'd prefer to use just one bulb.
    Thanks,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    I've been using a couple of bulbs like this in my orchidarium with success for the past year. I have one from that 4-pack which isn't exactly the optimal color temperature and another bulb on the more red side in the orchidarium, but I did initially grow a few orchids under just the one reddish bulb. Several orchids have flowered for me in the setup and I've got an Utricularia alpina in there as well. I've had to jockey around the orchids because some of them can't handle being too close to the bulbs and some are more tolerant. They do put out some heat but possibly less than CFLs. My orchidarium is in the basement here in Portland, Oregon and it still gets to around 70F with a fogger running and the two lights in there.

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    @bluemax uses screw-in LED bulbs too for some plants. There's no reason why a given product wouldn't work if the bulbs are rated at an appropriate color temperature for plants. You just want to make sure you find a high quality product to ensure reliability and better power efficiency.

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    Plant Heathen's Avatar
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    I found some 90W replacement flood bulbs at Home Depot. They 1000 looms at 5000k. I'm growing some D. Pulchella from gamma right now just fine. It was like $9 for a two pack.

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    Grey Moss's Avatar
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    It seems like all those LED's meant to replace florescent and incandescent bulbs work. I've found that the long T8 replacement LED's work just as well. I'd assume that any white LED would be workable for plants.

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    Yes any white LEDs will work. They function in basically the same way as fluorescent bulbs by emitting high energy electromagnetic radiation (for fluorescents, UV, for LEDs, blue) and the bulbs are coated in phosphors (this is why white LEDs appear yellow when off) which absorb this and emit lower energy electromagnetic radiation (the rest of the colors.) The phosphors are obviously a bit different in each, with fluorescent phosphors emitting several very narrow ranges of light wavelengths, while LED phosphors emit more of a continuous spectrum. Plants don't really care either way but as we all know, LEDS are more energy-efficient so it benefits us.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks folks. I know they've generally got the right spectra, was just wondering about the intensity 'cuz most of the ones I come across are equivalent to 60W incandescents, tops. For my purposes if I have to use more than one bulb/fixture I'd rather just go with a small HID or some short T5s. Those floodlights sound good, I'll see what I can find.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    nimbulan's Avatar
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    Yes usually those bulbs are only powerful enough for a small area. People will put them in spotlight-type lamps to focus the light on a couple plants, or even just one. You can also set up rows of bulbs to cover larger areas, something I know @bluemax did but can't find the pictures he posted.

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