Yossu

LED lighting advice please

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I'm looking for some lighting, as I want to expand my indoors growing space, but don't have any windowsills spare. I currently use 30W 6400K CFLs, but have been looking at LEDs, as apparently they last longer and are cheaper to run.

Most of the full-spectrum LED growlights I've seen have been silly prices, which puts me off (can't afford it). However, I've just seen someone selling what looks like extremely cheap ones on eBay...

2X 14W 225 LEDs Grow Light Full Spectrum Hydroponic Plants Veg Flower Lamp Panel
£3.99 and free P+P for two units!

45W 225 LED Grow Light Full Spectrum Hydroponic Plants Veg Flower Lamp Panel Kit
Only one unit, but 45W for £10.80 and free P+P

The same seller has others, but these look the best value from what I've seen.

Anyone any comments? Are these lights likely to be any good, and if so, how do they compare to what I currently use? If these are growlights, do they compare to 6400K bulbs? Also, is there any advantage of red/blue over daylight white?

Edit: I found a couple of pages (here and here) that compare LEDs to CFLs, and it looks like my 30W CFLs are the rough equivalent of 20W of LEDs. This means that the 42W unit I linked above is about twice as powerful as my CFLs, for less than the price of two bulbs.

Thanks

Edited by Yossu

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Same, meaning these specific one,s or the same in general?

The reason I ask is because I brought the subject up in another thread, and Dieball (who started the thread, and has some great lighting there) commented that these were "most probably just a piece of garbage. Even a few Phillips Tornado bulbs would give better light."

I'm really an ignoramus with this stuff, and am trying to work out what to do. On the one hand, I want more lighting, and LED seems to be the way to go, but commercial stuff is very expensive. Then you have ones like this, that look the same to the common man, but are very cheap.

What's a boy to do? Any advice welcome, as I'm confused!

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I'm not an expert but obviously from my earlier postings I've been looking at this.  I'd guess that given the price and some of the comments on more illegal growing forums (the things I have to google....) there is no way on earth that puts out what you'd expect from 45W.  My guess is its using cheap Chinese LEDs that are only a fraction as efficient as advertised.  A real 45W LED light with the correct spectrum on the other hand would be pretty good on a small scale I think.  Wouldn't be a tenner though.   There seem to be some nice PAR (purpley coloured output) LED bulbs for about £20 for 36W that look ok.   I'm also looking at using Epistar or Bridgelux LEDs and making my own - similar but bigger to the one I made previously.

I really hope there can be some discussion around this - lots of misinformation out there and I'd love to learn more about whats worked for other people.

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4 minutes ago, Yunzi said:

There seem to be some nice PAR (purpley coloured output) LED bulbs for about £20 for 36W that look ok.   I'm also looking at using Epistar or Bridgelux LEDs and making my own - similar but bigger to the one I made previously.

Do you have any links for those? £20 for 36W is within my budget, so I would be interested.

I really hope there can be some discussion around this - lots of misinformation out there and I'd love to learn more about whats worked for other people.

Me too, that's why I started the topic. I'd like some of the experts to give some clear advice. Be a huge help.

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34 minutes ago, manders said:

Just get normal white LEDs 40W bulbs are about 10£ on ebay.

I thought the blue/red ones were supposed to be better? Don't get me wrong, I don't speak form any position of knowledge, just saying what I've read. If you were to ask me, I would have expected white to be better as it simulates what they would get in the wild, BUT that all assumes it gives a full spectrum. Do white LEDs give out that?

6 minutes ago, mobile said:

This appears to be the same 45W one on Amazon, with reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Excelvan®-Hydroponic-Lighting-Hydroponics-Vegetables/dp/B00Y7WBKUQ

Trouble is, none of the reviewers came back after a month or two and updated their reviews, so you have no idea if it actually works or not. If, as manders said, you can get white LEDs for £10, then they would probably be cheaper overall.

Oh I'm confused! Can someone tell me what to do!

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Due to the low power of the individual LEDs - 45W/225LED = 0.2W, I would personally think they would be most suited to germination. 

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Due to the low power of the individual LEDs - 45W/225LED = 0.2W, I would personally think they would be most suited to germination. 

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1 minute ago, mobile said:

Due to the low power of the individual LEDs - 45W/225LED = 0.2W, I would personally think they would be most suited to germination. 

Meaning not so good for growing on? I'm looking for lights for post-germination plants.

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Red and blue LEDs are more efficient for plant growth than white as they are the main absorption bands for chlorophyll a and b. White LEDs put out a certain percentage of their light energy in the green spectrum, which is not used by plants - leaves are green because they are reflecting the green light. Having said that, viewing plants under a purple (blue and red) light does not make them look very attractive.

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1 minute ago, mobile said:

Red and blue LEDs are more efficient for plant growth than white as they are the main absorption bands for chlorophyll a and b. White LEDs put out a certain percentage of their light energy in the green spectrum, which is not used by plants - leaves are green because they are reflecting the green light. Having said that, viewing plants under a purple (blue and red) light does not make them look very attractive.

Hmm, so it's a toss-up between the plants looking nice and growing better? I suppose that comes down to where the lights are used. For a growing area, where I want to get some small plants into a big enough state to sell them on, then colour isn't so important to me, but in my display area, I guess white would look better.

Do you have any idea what wattage white you would need to get the same as the red/blue? I mean that suppose you had a 20W red/blue one, what wattage of white would you need to have 20W of red/blue light, as well as the green. Don't know if it's posisble to say, but it would be useful to be able to compare.

Do you know what sort of white LEDs I would use if I were to use them? I had a look, but got so confused at the enormous choice. If you could link to an example or two, it would help me make a comparison.

Thanks for all the help.

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2 minutes ago, Yossu said:

Meaning not so good for growing on? I'm looking for lights for post-germination plants.

In my experience high power individual LEDs are required for light depth penetration.The 36W LED grow lights which I think I seen linked above typically use 12 x 3W LED, which are very intense - though I believe that some lamps do not actually run the LEDs at the full 3W so the quoted 36W is theoretical maximum, not real.

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Just now, mobile said:

In my experience high power individual LEDs are required for light depth penetration.The 36W LED grow lights which I think I seen linked above typically use 12 x 3W LED, which are very intense - though I believe that some lamps do not actually run the LEDs at the full 3W so the quoted 36W is theoretical maximum, not real.

That sounds good (not withstanding your last comment), as they are white (so looking better) but intense. Maybe I should try some of those. What do you think of mander's comment about cheaper ones on eBay? How would I know what is comparable?

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2 minutes ago, Yossu said:

Hmm, so it's a toss-up between the plants looking nice and growing better? I suppose that comes down to where the lights are used. For a growing area, where I want to get some small plants into a big enough state to sell them on, then colour isn't so important to me, but in my display area, I guess white would look better.

Do you have any idea what wattage white you would need to get the same as the red/blue? I mean that suppose you had a 20W red/blue one, what wattage of white would you need to have 20W of red/blue light, as well as the green. Don't know if it's posisble to say, but it would be useful to be able to compare.

Do you know what sort of white LEDs I would use if I were to use them? I had a look, but got so confused at the enormous choice. If you could link to an example or two, it would help me make a comparison.

Thanks for all the help.

It's impossible to say the equivalent power in white LEDs as you would need to see the spectral distribution to see how much of the energy is useful. If I were to use white LED I would probably try a combination of warm white and daylight white to try to get a decent spectrum spread.

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for and cheap LED growlights are cheap for a reason :wink:

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It sounds to me like those white ones are going to be a good option. Unless anyone can point me to a cheaper (but not necessarily cheap) alternative, I guess I'll have a go and see. As they are a decent size (about 5" diameter), I guess they should light up a decent area, so it might be worth trying one over some plants, and a 6400K CFL over another, and see if there is any difference.

Thanks again to all for the help. I can't say I'm clear on any of this, but it seems like this might be the right direction to try as a starter.

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1 minute ago, mobile said:

Interestingly, some LED manufacturers are now making full PAR spectrum LEDs (380 - 840nm) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-5-10-pcs-1W-3W-10W-High-Power-LED-with-PCB-Grow-lights-aquarium-LED-UK-COB-/131345637382

I might get one to try.

Ulp, what a lot of information!

What options would you choose to get something comparable to the bulb we were just discussing above? I'm interested to know how the price compares. Not sure if they are similar though, as the description says they need a power source and have to be mounted on a heatsink. Sounds like it's not for me!

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10 minutes ago, mobile said:

Interestingly, some LED manufacturers are now making full PAR spectrum LEDs (380 - 840nm) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-5-10-pcs-1W-3W-10W-High-Power-LED-with-PCB-Grow-lights-aquarium-LED-UK-COB-/131345637382

I might get one to try.

They seem to have good output at the higher end of the red spectrum and into the far red, which is good for plant growth (if this is the same chip):

HTB18xygGFXXXXcGXpXXq6xXFXXX1.jpg

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I have bought some of these 10 Watt "Full Spectrum" LEDs to experiment with. I've bonded a couple of them to fan cooled heatsinks using silver loaded heat transfer epoxy. After a couple of weeks the plain bearing fan has gone noisy so I think I'm going to consider using second hand computer fans over the heatsinks.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DBZK3V6?psc=1

I am using them over Cephalotus leaf pullings in a small aquarium I got from the charity shop.

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3 minutes ago, Peabody said:

I have bought some of these 10 Watt "Full Spectrum" LEDs to experiment with. I've bonded a couple of them to fan cooled heatsinks using silver loaded heat transfer epoxy. After a couple of weeks the plain bearing fan has gone noisy so I think I'm going to consider using second hand computer fans over the heatsinks.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DBZK3V6?psc=1

I am using them over Cephalotus leaf pullings in a small aquarium I got from the charity shop.

I've ordered a 3W version on a star LED package. I will try it on a single Cephalotus plant.

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1 hour ago, Yossu said:

I thought the blue/red ones were supposed to be better? Don't get me wrong, I don't speak form any position of knowledge, just saying what I've read. If you were to ask me, I would have expected white to be better as it simulates what they would get in the wild, BUT that all assumes it gives a full spectrum. Do white LEDs give out that?

Trouble is, none of the reviewers came back after a month or two and updated their reviews, so you have no idea if it actually works or not. If, as manders said, you can get white LEDs for £10, then they would probably be cheaper overall.

Oh I'm confused! Can someone tell me what to do!

Theoretically the red/blue are supposed to be more efficient, I tried them and personally i dont like the way they look and secondly i seem to get burnt out chloroplasts on some of the plants and they simply didn't grow well enough and looked odd...

White LEDs are more effiicent than CFLs or other light types etc as the light does not have to be reflected (which occurs losses), i bought some with a 60 degree spread angle and am using them on a decent sized terrarium and getting ~6000+Lux at the bottom of the tarrarium.  Currently growing a variety of orchids and nepenthes under them and they are doing really well.

1W of white LED's is going to be a lot cheaper to buy than 1W of red/blue/whatever growlights and the plants seem to do better under the white light.

So far, and i have tried lots of different lights, the white LEDs are my favourite for a whole bunch of reasons.

The PAR lights mobile mentioned look really intersting too.

 

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