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Michael*R

LED grow lights

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I’m looking into some LED grow lights for my Highland Nepenthes and my cool growing orchids that I keep with them.

I’m trying find some info on what grow lights I need for them but cant find much, I will have the lights on a timer for the day time.

Can you suggest what to look into and what are really good for the plants I want to grow?

Thank you

Michael

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Warm white LED, or HPS or even ordinary flourescent tubes all seem to work, a lot might depend on how big a space you want to light. I found some LEDs recently that give quite a focused beam and are good for tall enclosures for example.

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Warm white LED, or HPS or even ordinary flourescent tubes all seem to work, a lot might depend on how big a space you want to light. I found some LEDs recently that give quite a focused beam and are good for tall enclosures for example.

 

Interesting, the area im thinking of using it in is 5ft wide, 8ft long and about 6ft high, its a mini polytunnle in my heated polytunnle. lol

I was thinking would a few bulbs on the top of the frame pointing down?

these where the bulbs i was thinking of E27 38 LEDs 2W Plant Grow Growth Light< any thoughts or suggestions?

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You would need a lot of them. The absolute minimum you can get away with is a few thousand lux so you should be able to work out how many bulbs you would need.

I use a 400w HPS in similar sized area.

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I have been messing with some 12v grow led strips, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIaBonlDxN4 for wattage to light concentration to area, they seem pretty decent and they last years :-) I cant knock the halogens though, its a hard call between the two :-) 

Edited by battonfive
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Interesting, the area im thinking of using it in is 5ft wide, 8ft long and about 6ft high, its a mini polytunnle in my heated polytunnle. lol

I was thinking would a few bulbs on the top of the frame pointing down?

these where the bulbs i was thinking of E27 38 LEDs 2W Plant Grow Growth Light< any thoughts or suggestions?

Low wattage LEDs and those without secondary optics tend to not have very deep light penetration. Even for single plants, at close proximity, I use higher power LED lamps than the one that you have mentioned. For more depth and light spread I use minimum of 36W LED and I would imagine the area you have would require several and possibly higher wattages.

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Low wattage LEDs and those without secondary optics tend to not have very deep light penetration. Even for single plants, at close proximity, I use higher power LED lamps than the one that you have mentioned. For more depth and light spread I use minimum of 36W LED and I would imagine the area you have would require several and possibly higher wattages.

 

Ok this is very interesting as I know very little in this sort of field; I can grow plants and look after live stock but this sort of thing just baffles but interreges me!

Can suggest what I could do be it LED or halogens in the size of area I mentioned? Also what would be cheapest to run?

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Cheapest to buy and run is probably HPS (high pressure sodium). A lot cheaper to buy than LED and in most cases you get more lumens per watt.

If you go for LED you will need somewhere around 200-400W. That should give you around 4000lux, allowing for losses.

Edited by manders
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Cheapest to buy and run is probably HPS (high pressure sodium). A lot cheaper to buy than LED and in most cases you get more lumens per watt.

If you go for LED you will need somewhere around 200-400W. That should give you around 4000lux, allowing for losses.

hps definitely give the more lumens for the wattage, but im hoping that these 12v led grow strips will make up for it as I would usually swap out a hps after 6 months where with these leds im told they are good for some years :-) I do like the hps for some heat though, I like good evaporation :-D with these led strips I got off ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351548644827?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT they look promising but they definetly need a rewiring so each strip is running direct from your psu, as they come the rails cant transfer the wattages down the line so by a couple of strips in they are bright but only taking 3w rather than the 9.2w they are getting in parrallel which seems suitable for each strip to work nicely :-)

 

cant wait to put my feedback down on how the led strips perform :-) 20 strips of 36 leds per strip is taking 187w which is covering about 1.8m x 0.4m x 0.4m space :-D

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Here is a making video.

this is a very clever way of building studio lights but its worth noting the grow leds take more amps than this circuit provides so one couldn't just swap out with the neutral white regular led strips :-) but for filming this is a bob-on build, cant imagine a better more efficient way of doing it :-)

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this is a very clever way of building studio lights but its worth noting the grow leds take more amps than this circuit provides so one couldn't just swap out with the neutral white regular led strips :-) but for filming this is a bob-on build, cant imagine a better more efficient way of doing it :-)

 

 

Maybe Chinese wholesalers on ebay will help, if I needed a grow light, I would write a ebay message, you click ask a question on the led listing, then select the option "how to use the item", like this -

Hello "wholesaler name here",

my monkey plants (Nepenthes) are lacking of the lighting in this the 猴子的一年 (year of the Monkey).

I want to buy these good leds,   x nnn leds, and also buy your correct products to make them work, I follow this YouTube tutorial as outline (add link).

Please send me links to your products I can buy to make the led growing light for Monkey plants.

Or a link for a diy kit to buy all components together.

Kind Regards

 

I think you will get the kit you need, and a list telling you which part # is replacing which part in the circuit of YouTube video.

 

I have sent emails like the above type to Chinese wholesalers on a variety of subjects and they have always been very helpful, and I remained a loyal repeat customer. Some were honest and said they didn't know, so I asked another seller who did know, for the light I would go with asking an electronics component wholesaler, scroll right down the listing and look for the Business information and you want an electronics factory or components shop, not a shop selling spares and goods, or one without any business information, as this could mean you end up copying pasting your message a lot of times.

Hope it is useful for someone, to sort out the lighting for their plants.

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With that much space (40 sq ft), you'll need quite a bit of light, right?  I'm guessing 600-1000W HPS.  If you want to go with LED and if you can DIY, Chip-on-board (COB) LEDs would be the most economical (in long and short term).  I would recommend Bridgelux Vero 29, Cree CXB3070 or CXB3590.  If you drive each at 50W (or 38W for vero), you will need at least 8 of them (or 12 is probably better).  The cheaper option is Vero 29; $30 x 8 (or 10) for the LEDs, $140 or so for drivers, and then you need heatsinks (if you go with cheap CPU coolers, about $10 x 8).  If you go with CXB3590 (quite more expensive than Vero), it is probably the most efficient grow light (in terms of PAR efficacy)  available at a reasonable cost.  The radiant efficiency (proportion of electric energy converted to light energy) is > 50% with CXB3590.  Best HPS is slightly lower, and fluorescent light is around 30%.  Vero 29 isn't so far behind.   With this much light, going with a cheap fixture is a false economy; you'll be paying more for electricity in a long term due to their inefficiency (those cut-to-size LED strips have notoriously low efficiency).  

Edited by naoki
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Maybe Chinese wholesalers on ebay will help, if I needed a grow light, I would write a ebay message, you click ask a question on the led listing, then select the option "how to use the item", like this -

Hello "wholesaler name here",

my monkey plants (Nepenthes) are lacking of the lighting in this the 猴子的一年 (year of the Monkey).

I want to buy these good leds,   x nnn leds, and also buy your correct products to make them work, I follow this YouTube tutorial as outline (add link).

Please send me links to your products I can buy to make the led growing light for Monkey plants.

Or a link for a diy kit to buy all components together...

 

thank you for the input and good advice to contact the vendor to see if they could arrange the correct setup, but I must admit for lummens to wattage naoki does have a point. For a larger area like for what the 'super bright led panel' provides, I would want to use some 'sunmaster pro' bulbs to be honest. I found for wattage to lumen return the leds are ok for shelving like I have made here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqDWejeXIKE

 

but that really only works because the power supply is so cheap and I made additional efforts to fix the wiring, to do that on a larger scale would take a lot more work so I would then take the hps bulbs :-)

 

hope it helps :-D

 

 

...it is probably the most efficient grow light (in terms of PAR efficacy)  available at a reasonable cost.  The radiant efficiency (proportion of electric energy converted to light energy) is > 50% with CXB3590.  Best HPS is slightly lower, and fluorescent light is around 30%.  Vero 29 isn't so far behind.   With this much light, going with a cheap fixture is a false economy; you'll be paying more for electricity in a long term due to their inefficiency (those cut-to-size LED strips have notoriously low efficiency).  

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thank you for the input and good advice to contact the vendor to see if they could arrange the correct setup, but I must admit for lummens to wattage naoki does have a point. For a larger area like for what the 'super bright led panel' provides, I would want to use some 'sunmaster pro' bulbs to be honest. I found for wattage to lumen return the leds are ok for shelving like I have made here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqDWejeXIKE

 

but that really only works because the power supply is so cheap and I made additional efforts to fix the wiring, to do that on a larger scale would take a lot more work so I would then take the hps bulbs :-)

 

hope it helps :-D

 

Nice growing set up on your video ;-)

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Nice growing set up on your video ;-)

 

thanks ji :-) i used these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351548644827?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT which have pretty decent 5w led chips in them, they don't spit out 5w but i imagine the 3w led chips don't spit out 3w either, so its the lesser of the two evils :-) mixing those with the cheap psu's http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/361358055393?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT it feels like for the wattage to light output they are actually not to bad :-D 20 strips are coming in at 187w, while each strip is hot to the touch running a nice 9w a strip and there are 34 leds per strip so its powering 680 leds nice for 187w :-)

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thank you for the input and good advice to contact the vendor to see if they could arrange the correct setup, but I must admit for lummens to wattage naoki does have a point. For a larger area like for what the 'super bright led panel' provides, I would want to use some 'sunmaster pro' bulbs to be honest. I found for wattage to lumen return the leds are ok for shelving like I have made here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqDWejeXIKE

 

 

It is indeed quite a project, battonfive!  It looks like SMD5050-based strip (i.e. each diode is 5mm x 5mm)?  How much total wattage going in the entire shelf?

 

(edit) I saw that you answered my question about the total wattage at the same time I was posting.  I agree that those marketing terms of 5W or 1W LEDs are pretty misleading.  They are referring to the maximum capacity, and nobody use it at the maximum due to the efficiency issue (and longevity).   Just for your info, SMD5050 is usually not considered to be 3 or 5W max, though.  In your case, each is running around 0.25W or so.  187/680=0.275W, but I think that the older AT power supply can take quite a hit in the AC/DC conversion efficiency, so at the LED it is lower than 0.275W.  Also with this style, there are bunch of inline resistors every 3 diodes, which uses up some wattage.  They use these resistors, so that people can use 12V or 24V constant voltage driver (instead of more expensive constant current drivers).  Sorry to get into too much details, but I hope that you'll get good growth and I hope that your neighbor won't get too spooked out!

Edited by naoki
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It is indeed quite a project, battonfive!  It looks like SMD5050-based strip (i.e. each diode is 5mm x 5mm)?  How much total wattage going in the entire shelf?

 

yep im sure its a SMD5050 to, rings a bell from when I was looking in to the chips, they are about 5mm x 5mm :-) epistar led 5w chips I think they are called. they are weird looking chips I must admit they look more like little microchips rather than the usual diodes, really strange :-D the three tiers of the shelving come to about 590-610w in total, im running a psu with 20 strips at 187w, a psu at 23 strips at 215w and a third psu with 22 strips at 205w, where each psu is consuming 7-10w to run each onboard psu fan :-)

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