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Steve F
11-28-2006, 09:11 PM
I'm new to hydroponics. I built three small Aeroponic units and am working on a drip system. Seeing how my garden is in my home office, I started experimenting with LED lighting. I'm using Red and Blue lights I scrounged from ebay, govt surplus, etc. They seem to be working great! I have three 2 foot tall Tiny Tim plants with many small tomatoes now. I have lots of Bell pepper flowers (no fruits yet but close). I also just started a cucumber patch a few days ago and have sprouts about three inches tall.

LED = low power use (to light all the above 8 square feet uses about 120 watts and nice to the eyes and no heat.)

I was just wondering if anyone else has any experience with LED lighting good or bad and wants to share experiences and experiments with me. I have many pictures but do not know how to post them here.

There are a few LED Grow light sellers out there, but very expensive. The lights I've put together are way cheaper than buying conventional MH or HPS

Opinions/Experience appreciated

Thanks,
Steve

Steve F
11-30-2006, 10:34 AM
I've added some pictures of this to http://www.greenpinelane.com

Steve

Unregistered
12-01-2006, 10:41 PM
Neat looking setup... what did you exactly put together? ie. did you buy LED's and solder stuff together, or whole sets of blue and red leds in a bulb type pre-made layout?

NJGardener
01-16-2007, 07:43 AM
I purchased the commerial ($150) three (group) LED light last year as an experiment to see if it would provide enough "active" light to help an "outside" plant survive inside over the winter. I kept the plant near a window and used the light as a supplement. My results are mixed. The plant survived and maintained flowers, but I don't know if the LED's helped a lot, some or none.
I'm experimenting with an AeroGarden currently and may add the LED bar to the side to see if I can see any difference. The lights in the AeroGarden are so bright that I think they are providing all the light needed however. Your site is interesting and I'd like to see you post your experiences here more frequently.

Life Light
01-17-2007, 12:19 AM
Hi all,

Time to lay to rest another myth.

You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma. The Sun makes plasma, HID lights make plasma, and that's about it. Other lights like LED's and fluorescents make light differently, and they basically are just glowing and burning phosphors, in essence.

No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum that plants need to make photosynthesis. If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth. LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

You can all research this from this basic bit of science and photobiology.

Cheers

NJGardener
01-17-2007, 11:10 AM
I thought that light energy is delivered a photons so regardless of the source, if photons of sufficient quality and quantity are reaching the plant leaves they effect growth. I'm not following the plasma issue. If as you say, fluorescent and incandescent (and I presume LED) lights are not generating "plasma" how do they contribute to the growth that we see when these are used as "sole source" lighting?
Modern high output LEDs are pretty darn bright. The question I see is just how bright are they effectively in the PAR spectrum? It's difficult for us to do a direct comparision so about the only thing we have to work with is the apparent effect on growth. Right now, one seems to need a LOT of LEDs and very close to the plant.

Life Light
01-17-2007, 09:37 PM
Plasma consists of a collection of free moving electrons and ions - atoms that have lost electrons. Energy is needed to strip electrons from atoms to make plasma. The energy can be of various origins: thermal, electrical, or light (ultraviolet light or intense visible light from a laser). With insufficient sustaining power, plasmas recombine into neutral gas. Plasma can be accelerated and steered by electric and magnetic fields, which allows it to be controlled and applied.

The results you see from the plants under LED's is just the plant making the best of what you're giving them. Plants are the most adaptable living things on the planet.

You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesnt have the energy that it needs to make PAR light. PAR light again, is visible light, the visible spectrum.

LED's have no amplitude, and can't penetrate beyond a linear plane. Weak light for weak results.

Steve F
02-07-2007, 10:56 PM
Whether they are adapting or not, I'm starting to see pretty good results from 100% LED lighting. What's real exciting is I have full size sweet pepper plants fruit setting and some peppers near ripe, all 100% LED grown (not even any Sun through a window). I don't agree that PLASMA has anything to do with it. PLASMA reaction is a great light source of course. However, it's the photon density that counts at the correct spectrum, not the physics of the source of the photons. I also disagree with saying 'the visible light spectrum' must be reproduced. Although the NM ranges I am using for grow and bloom are 'visible', there is no need of reproducing the entire visible spectrum (especially green and yellow). The photos and documentation of what I am doing are at www.greenpinelane.com. It is definately not 'finished' by any means, but good growth is happening so far. I'm also not claiming that they are better than other lighting. I'm just saying LEDs work, they are cheap (the ones I use anyway), and they are LOW on watts usage. Check out my site to see photos of what I'm saying...

Life Light
02-11-2007, 09:31 PM
All life has evolved to use the visible spectrum, the light that hits the earth. I think we can all agree to that. We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light, which they use. Plants do use green light, most of the time to make photosynthesis, to fire the pigments in the light harvesting complexes. I recommend reading a book called Photosynthesis by Hall and Rao, 6th edition. It's the book on photobiology, and shows current research.

Plants are very adaptive, and I'm sure they are adapting to your LED lighting. But what I said in my first post here stands true. It's science and physics. You have to have light with spectrum and amplitude, and be able to deliver that light. If i stand on a ladder, the sun is just as powerful as if i lay on the ground. That's amplitude of light. We can't replicate that indoors with LED's and lights that simply "glow". I realize that the idea of LED's are a novelty for plant growth, but let's be green with the energy that we are producing and get the most for our energy dollars.

Steve F
02-13-2007, 01:47 PM
I don't want to seem like this is an argument, but I guess I really don't know what you are leading to here. I know the real sun can never be reproduced indoors. All artificial lighting systems have basically the same penetration problem as light power decreases by the distance squared.

I think I have some decent growth at 3 watts per Cucumber plant right now with one Blue 3 watt light I'm testing on a couple of them. I keep the light real close to the leaves to address that amplitude problem or actually photon density you refer too. If I have to add a couple more 3 watts or so as it gets larger...so be it...

So, how does your statement of using the least power available to keep it green apply to LEDs and not other high power systems like HID or others like Fluorescents? None of these lights would pass the climb the ladder test either.

If I can someday grow a plant using let's say 10 watts instead of say 50watts, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Or are you saying that because my plants are adapting to different light (like not having green) that this is bad too because it's different than the sun? I've read lots of books that say green is not used. The number of biological study end-results is like flipping a coin. Keep reading articles until you find one that agrees with your view. This is why I'm actually trying it and not just talking and reading about it. All indoor lights are different than the sun...I think.

I know it's early in the LED technology stage for them to replace conventional grow lighting, especially in large growing and commercial situations. For smalltime hobbyists like myself, I believe it is feasible for a few plants and I'm trying to see if what I believe is so, not just reading about other people saying it isn't.

Also there's a little environmental side note to LEDs. They don't pollute the earth with heavy metals and other chemicals like the millions of other bulbs we are disposing of everyday. I think LEDs are a step in the 'keeping it green' direction.

Or are you simply saying that overall growing inside with any lights whatsoever is a bad thing and we should only use the sun? If this is the case, then I cannot grow plants in the early spring, late fall or winter at all as I live up North where the sun isn't strong enough to get the temperature above freezing because of the earth's tilt and distance, etc, etc....

Life Light
02-21-2007, 07:38 PM
Hello,

Ill try to answer all of the questions you posed. They were scattered a bit, but here we go.

LEDs are made up of precious metals like gold and platinum. If we empty Ft. Knox of gold, we can light the world with LEDs. In 100 years, theyll be mining these things up for the metals in them.

HIDs arent green when they operate at 60 HZ, those lights are for illumination, the human eye. Fluorescents are like LEDs in that they also just glow. Theyre diodes! HID lighting that operates at a 60HZ frequency are wasting light; you get 15 cents of peak efficiency for every energy dollar you spend.

Plants are very adaptive, and are survivors too. You can Google photosynthesis and read more about plants absorbing green light at different wavelengths to fire various pigments, or get a book on photobiology.

Go to our website, www.lifelighttec.com We offer systems that deliver more light with fewer watts using digital technologies, microprocessors, and state of the art lamps; and have the light delivery systems to actually deliver light to the plants.

The Sun delivers twice the energy plants need for photosynthesis, 1800 -2000 mols. We deliver half that with our gear, and offer full spectrum like the Sun.

If I missed something, sorry. Im on the fly right now, but will check back sometime soon.

Thanks

Unregistered
03-20-2007, 05:34 AM
yep there it is, "lifelight" is just another salesman trying to convince people his expensive product is better than a competing technology. you should have given yourself a different name, then when you placed your link it wouldn't have been as obvious that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

Code
04-01-2007, 09:13 PM
Steve, a homemade LED array should work just fine. I've run a similar setup very successfully. I actually have some incandescent lights on a thermostat just to keep the temperature up, but when it's 20+ (centigrade) they never come on, so I'm pretty sure they're not really needed. When I'm fruiting the plants, these incandescents are covered. If you're growing indoors this shouldn't be an issue.

I assume you don't really know what spectrum you're providing (the LEDs you got were unlabeled) but any mix of red and blue LEDs should provide plenty of usable light for most plants, as long as you have at least a few different types of each. I would not recommend using only a single type/model of LED as some are relatively narrow-spectrum, but it sounds like that's not what you have going.

Pure green LEDs or green-glass (not painted) incandescents are useful if you want to water and maintain your plants while you're enforcing a dark period for flowering/fruiting. As little as 10 minutes of "normal" light can disrupt the stress cycle that triggers flowering, but you have at least an hour with relatively dim green light.

Some plants (specifically tomatoes, I'm not sure what else) like some IR light, so placing a single 60-watt incandescent light nearby will help them out. If you could find a 20 to 40-watt "heat lamp" that would be perfect, but I've never seen such a thing.

Some people recommend using Halogen lights with the UV filters removed to simulate sunlight. While plants do make limited use of UV, this is a bad idea. It may "burn" the plants and will degrade any paint, plastic, etc. it shines on.

---

Thanks to LL, this thread is a cesspool of disinformation. At first I just chuckled :rolleyes:, but after reading more of this thread, I really have to reply to some of the more ridiculous points. :eek:

> You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma.

That's completely wrong. PAR and the (human) visible spectrum are not the same thing, and "plasma" has nothing to do with the "quality" of the photons emitted.

> No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum

Light doesn't have "amplitude." You're thinking of matter waves like sound. In matter waves, amplitude is the displacement of the matter. Electromagnetic waves/photons travel at a fixed speed and their "size" is determined solely by their wavelength.

Light waves/photons have only a few properties, or degrees of freedom. There is absolutely no way to tell the difference between a single photon of a particular wavelength that came from the Sun vs. one that came from an LED. The difference comes from the aggregate set of photons when considered as a group. The LED produces photons in only a short band of the EM spectrum, where the sun produces photons in an extremely wide band. Most of the Sun's energy, however, doesn't make it to the Earth's surface:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/741/800pxatmosphericelectrouc7.jpg

> If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth.

In order to be effective for plant growth, light has to be absorbed by the plant. Light that "penetrates" the plant is wasted. If you mean simply that it must be able to reach leaves below the upper-most level, then that has nothing to do with the type of light, but simply the direction(s) from which it comes.

> LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

An LED is approximately a point light source just like an incandescent, HID, HPS, CF or any other light bulb. If you have only one light source, much of the leaf surface will be in shadow, so obviously you want as many light sources from as many directions as possible. To do this, simple spread out your lights and don't put them too close to the leaves. LEDs actually make this easier because you need many LEDs for the same amount of light anyway. Sunlight accomplished this because it moves throughout the day, but you can actually do better with indoor lights.

> You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesn't have the energy that it needs to make PAR light.

An array of LED sources can produce light with as much or more PAR energy than direct sunlight, there's no inherent difference in the light itself.

> We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light

Plants look green because they reflect green light and absorb other spectra. Plants make little use of light in the 500nm to 550nm range. Significant photosynthesis only occurs on light in this range in red algae, not in green plants.

See this graph of absorbence by wavelength:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4724/chlorophyllabspectraza0.png

you can see that only a fraction of the light in the low 500nm range is absorbed, and only by one type of chlorophyll.

> LEDs are made up of precious metals like gold and platinum.

No, LEDs are made from semiconductors:

* aluminum gallium arsenide - red and infrared
* aluminum gallium phosphide - green
* aluminum gallium indium phosphide - high-brightness orange-red, orange, yellow, and green
* gallium arsenide phosphide - red, orange, and yellow
* gallium phosphide - red, yellow, green
* gallium nitride - green, pure green, and blue (also white with AlGaN Quantum Barrier)
* indium gallium nitride - near ultraviolet, blue-green and blue
* sapphire as substrate blue
* zinc selenide - blue
* diamond - ultraviolet
* aluminum nitride, aluminum gallium nitride - near/far ultraviolet (down to 210 nm)

Gold? No. Platinum? No. Silver even? No. You'll find "precious" crystals in that list, but they're all lab-grown.

> Go to our website...

Based on what I've read here, I would _never_ buy anything from LifeLight Inc..

> The Sun delivers twice the energy plants need for photosynthesis, 1800 -2000 mols

A mol rating is meaningless without area and time reference. Full sunlight is typically around 2000 micro-mols per square meter per second, or around 500W per square meter in PAR. Sunlight-loving plants will use all of this and more, this is only "twice what's needed" for shade plants.

Life Light
04-01-2007, 10:18 PM
I wasn't trying to hide that I was from Life Light, any more than Sunlight Supply does when they contribute to threads here.

Science is science, and fact is fact, and just because I work at Life Light doesn't mean that the properties of light change just for me.

I'd put up a Life Light system in a grow-off against anything in the marketplace, and I can show you the science and physics of it in action.

Dont be LED astray.

Cheers

Unregistered
04-14-2007, 11:30 AM
Ok I read this whole discussion and frankly most of it just went over my head.

I'm just getting started setting up a grow room. I'm experimenting with various lights. I have some lights that are just shop lights with plant/aquarium bulbs in them. Then I have one High Pressure sodium light that is on it's way to me. I also bought another flourescent style light but it came with 2 styles of lights, one for the growing stage and one for the fruit/flowering stages.

I just ordered another HPS light from someone that is 400 watts as well and am waiting for it's arrival.

I have a room that is roughly 12 feet wide and 20 feet long. Eventually, I want all the room to be lit up well enough to grow tons of stuff. It's frustrating to a lay person like me to see all these arguments going back and forth. All I want to know is what will really work!

And for the person using aero grow, I just set one up 2 weeks ago and things are coming a long quite nicely. Yes they are very bright. They are so much so I put them on a stand in my grow room even though I had wanted to keep them in my kitchen.

I guess what I want to know is what about the purple lights that are advertised on Ebay? There are ads on there that say they are good lights to compliment the HPS lights.

Suzi

Life Light
05-27-2007, 12:52 AM
Thanks to Code, this thread is a cesspool of disinformation. At first I just chuckled , but after reading more of this thread, I really have to reply to some of the more ridiculous points. My replies to Codes comments are in bold



Science is science and physics is physics, and you can cherrypick the data if you want, but it doesn’t make it true.

> You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma.

PAR and the (human) visible spectrum are not the same thing, and "plasma" has nothing to do with the "quality" of the photons emitted.

Sorry but this is wrong. Plants evolved with photosynthesis for millions of years, that’s the source of it. PAR light is visible light; the light that hits the Earth from the Sun, the visible spectrum.

> No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum

Light doesn't have "amplitude." You're thinking of matter waves like sound. In matter waves, amplitude is the displacement of the matter. Electromagnetic waves/photons travel at a fixed speed and their "size" is determined solely by their wavelength.

They show kids in junior high school nowadays with all the new technology out that light and sound have similar properties. The frequency, or amplitude of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers, making it 800-400KHZ. I recommend doing some research and let me know what questions you have.

Light waves/photons have only a few properties, or degrees of freedom. There is absolutely no way to tell the difference between a single photon of a particular wavelength that came from the Sun vs. one that came from an LED.

You can’t even begin to compare high frequency sunlight with a glowing LED, and there isnt enough time to go into all of the quantum physics.

The difference comes from the aggregate set of photons when considered as a group. The LED produces photons in only a short band of the EM spectrum, where the sun produces photons in an extremely wide band. Most of the Sun's energy, however, doesn't make it to the Earth's surface:

The visible spectrum is the visible spectrum is the visible spectrum.

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/741...electrouc7.jpg

> If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth.

In order to be effective for plant growth, light has to be absorbed by the plant. Light that "penetrates" the plant is wasted. If you mean simply that it must be able to reach leaves below the upper-most level, then that has nothing to do with the type of light, but simply the direction(s) from which it comes.

I meant penetrate into the canopy of the plant growth, not the leaf surface in this sentence. LED light has no amplitude.

> LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

An LED is approximately a point light source just like an incandescent, HID, HPS, CF or any other light bulb. If you have only one light source, much of the leaf surface will be in shadow, so obviously you want as many light sources from as many directions as possible. To do this, simple spread out your lights and don't put them too close to the leaves. LEDs actually make this easier because you need many LEDs for the same amount of light anyway. Sunlight accomplished this because it moves throughout the day, but you can actually do better with indoor lights.

You’re still talking about using a linear reflector to distribute the LED light. That linear fixture can only deliver a linear plane of light. How will it penetrate through the canopy to achieve any useful plant growth?

> You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesn't have the energy that it needs to make PAR light.

An array of LED sources can produce light with as much or more PAR energy than direct sunlight, there's no inherent difference in the light itself.

Again, that may be fine for the human eye, but this is a forum about growing plants; fruits and vegetables and such.

> We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light

Plants look green because they reflect green light and absorb other spectra. Plants make little use of light in the 500nm to 550nm range. Significant photosynthesis only occurs on light in this range in red algae, not in green plants.

I recommend reading more on photobiology. Plants use all the colors at different wavelengths to produce various pigments to make photosynthesis. Plants do absorb green light, go research a little, the datas available in Wikpedia.

See this graph of absorbence by wavelength:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/472...spectraza0.png

you can see that only a fraction of the light in the low 500nm range is absorbed, and only by one type of chlorophyll.

> LED’s are made up of precious metals like gold and platinum.

No, LEDs are made from semiconductors:

* aluminum gallium arsenide - red and infrared
* aluminum gallium phosphide - green
* aluminum gallium indium phosphide - high-brightness orange-red, orange, yellow, and green
* gallium arsenide phosphide - red, orange, and yellow
* gallium phosphide - red, yellow, green
* gallium nitride - green, pure green, and blue (also white with AlGaN Quantum Barrier)
* indium gallium nitride - near ultraviolet, blue-green and blue
* sapphire as substrate — blue
* zinc selenide - blue
* diamond - ultraviolet
* aluminum nitride, aluminum gallium nitride - near/far ultraviolet (down to 210 nm)

Gold? No. Platinum? No. Silver even? No. You'll find "precious" crystals in that list, but they're all lab-grown.

THINK AGAIN! Understand how LED’s are made, in the die attach process, for example, they use gold in the wirebinding process. Now just one company that makes LED’s can produce 2.5 billion die in ONE MONTH. You think that’s really Green? How about the Chinese labor building those LED’s for you? The ocean freighters who ship it in, and the recycling nightmare ahead? You obviously once again are really poorly informed and making a fool of yourself. You listed the components of one particular LED, which kind was it? Where was it manufactured? What components went into it? Where did they get their wafers? Where were they made and assembled? Is the factory ISO certified? DO the manufacturers use automated or hand assembly? There's more too the process of manufacturing LED's than the raw elements that you think. Same with a light bulb, it has a host of ingredients that make up what comes to be the entire lamp, that is, the entire processing of it.
> Go to our website...

Based on what I've read here, I would _never_ buy anything from LifeLight Inc..

You can hang onto your cassettes and typewriters for as long as you like. Some people really love those things.

> The Sun delivers twice the energy plants need for photosynthesis, 1800 -2000 mols

A mol rating is meaningless without area and time reference. Full sunlight is typically around 2000 micro-mols per square meter per second, or around 500W per square meter in PAR. Sunlight-loving plants will use all of this and more, this is only "twice what's needed" for shade plants.

Sunlight is Sunlight is Sunlight. Plants don’t need all the Sun’s energy for photosynthesis, go read up on your photobiology.

Please go do research before making comments that create true confusion and disinformation.

Unregistered
05-30-2007, 09:30 PM
Most of this went over my head too. I do know this much as fact. The reason something looks red is because all of the light except the red spectrum is absorbed and the red light is reflected back. The same holds true with blue and green. The color of an object is determined by the light reflected from it, hence, green plants absorb all of the light except green. I will clarify this by saying that variations of colors are made by absorbing some lights and reflecting others (i.e. something that is an aqua color os reflecting both green and blue light. If all of the light is absorbed then the color is black and if none is absorbed (all light reflected) then the color becomes white. Chances are that the plants under the red leds have a black appearance if no other light source is being used. This is because black is all of the light is absorbed and none being reflected.

That I know as fact about colors and light. Taking this into consideration, green light (or some parts of that spectrum) are not used by a plant because they are reflected.

The bottom line is this. There are some positive results using the LEDs and the proof is in the pudding. Regardless of what you know or how smart you are, you can not say they will not work if they are actually working in some instance. With an attitude like that, we would still be using candles or fire as our only artificial light source.

One thing that I seriously question about life light is this. He claims that even flourescent tubes will not work for plant growth and we all have seen them work in real life. Regardless of what books you read or what websites you look at (even Wikipedia), if a lightsource works and we have witnessed it for ourselves then no words can change that.

Lifelight, good luck with your new technology and the systems you create but just as you are using a new technology (chips, processors etc.) doesn't mean that other new technologies will not work either. There was a day when science said that even your method would not work and that too was considered fact by those with closed minds. It took someone like you to develope a new technology and someone else will discover even newer technologies. Perhaps these LEDs are something even newer than what Lifelight is doing. It sure sounds like it would be a "greener" technology in that is uses much less electricity to operate.

I posted earlier today something that I am fixing to try. It should be able to be viewed tomorrow I guess. I found some lights at a store called sunlight bulbs that are the same type of bulb as these new compact fluorescent bulbs that fit into an incandescent light socket. These 75 watt bulbs only require 20 watts to operate. I am thinking along those same lines as discussed here, an array of these bulbs could be better placed to reach all parts of a plant much better than a single strong light could. If they work then I will use them, regardless of what books say they wont or cant work or regardless of who says they will not work. I sure would never align myself with saying it will never work or it cant work if there is someone already doing it with success. I especially wouldnt want to tie my business to such foolishness.

I am sure everything that Lifelight says can be backed up in a book somewhere and he does talk good. To an uninformed customer or for someone who just wants something that works and is not concerned about the cost of the item or the cost of operation, it will work just fine.

Unregistered
06-06-2007, 04:35 AM
This is an interesting thread. I like the arguments on both sides. Led vs Incandescent light. I think that led light will definitely be useful in the process of growing plants indoors. I also know from personal experience that various forms of incandescent and flourescent light produce reasonably good plant growth depending on wattage. A factor with all indoor lighting is to be able to get good coverage. Using aluminum foil diffuse reflection helps to redirect light that would normally escape, back to other areas of the plants being grown. Led light does grow plants indoors, as does incandescent light. The growth rate of the plants is going to be determined by species and the photo-intensity and usable wavelengths that reach each growing plant. Fruiting will be influenced by such factors as wavelength and light duration. Lets keep this thread "alive".

Unregistered
07-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Code: thanks for trying to clear up some of the confusion here.

I have absolutely nothing to do with hydroponics, but I came across this thread on a search and I'm a little bit shocked that an administrator hasn't intervened to shut this 'Life Light' guy down. Reading one book about biology doesn't make you a biologist, no more than putting gas in your own car will make you a mechanic. Drop the pseudoscience and get lost.

I should preface my comments by introducing myself a little bit. I'm in my last year as a student at a major US research university, where I'm majoring in molecular and cellular biology with a focus in plant physiology. This by no account makes me an expert, but I'm definitely in a position to know more about the gritty details of photosynthesis at the molecular level than most people would ever want to. As tempting as it is to start throwing around the names of specific enzymes and detailed accounts of the paths an electron might take after striking a leaf, that's definitely not the best way to remedy confusion.

I'll address a few key points and claims, one at a time:

'PAR light is visible light'
PAR, or 'photosynthetically-active radiation', is the light that can be most effectively used by green plants to generate reduction potential and capture CO2 for the production of sugars. A very elementary fact about photosynthesis is that plants operate best in wavelengths that are very different than the ones that human eyes work best in. This graph illustrates that:
http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/plantled/images/EyePlantChart.gif

As you can see, just because a light source appears brighter doesn't mean it's providing more usable light to plants. While there is a lot of overlap, much of the light that's most photosynthetically-active is actually deep in the red (left-hand) side of the spectrum, even falling outside the range that human eyes can see. If you need more evidence of this, do some research on green (532nm) lasers; you'll find that green is where the human eye is most sensitive. Plants appear green to us; that's because they're reflecting the vast majority of the yellow-green light that they receive from the sun. The colors plants use are the colors that the plants aren't.


'Plasma is necessary to produce PAR'

This flat-out doesn't make any sense. All that defines the color of a light is the wavelength of its photons. It doesn't matter what's producing those photons, the colors stay the same, for all intents and photosynthetic purposes. LEDs produce emission spectra just like any other type of light source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:White_LED.png
(Fluorescent lighting does use plasma, fyi, even though it's not the primary source of the emitted photons.)


'No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum that plants need to make photosynthesis. If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth. LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.'

Power? Try staring into a high-output T8 or T5 fluorescent or LED.
Proper spectrum? We already went over this.
Penetration? Virtually all of the chloroplasts that capture light in a plant leaf are located in the upper 'palisade' region of the plant's mesophyll, which is only one to two cells thick. Again, you're just dead wrong about the physiology involved.
Deliver light to a linear plane? Now you're just making shite up.

The light's apparent 'amplitude' (brightness) is irrelevant. You contradict yourself by saying that you can make an LED look bright to the eye, but it's still not bright to the plant. Earlier, you said PAR light was visible light. If this was true, then wouldn't the brightest visible LED also make the most PAR light?

What's really important is how much light of the most useful wavelengths is delivered, not visible brightness.


'We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light, which they use. Plants do use green light, most of the time to make photosynthesis, to fire the pigments in the light harvesting complexes.'

Wrong, wrong, wrong. We can cherrypick the spectrum, because the PAR falls within relatively narrow bands of it. Plants do use a little bit of green and yellow light, owing to the presence of accessory pigments such as carotein, but it's a tiny percent compared to the light they use in the blue and red parts of the spectrum (again, look at the PAR graph above).

Most accessory pigments in plants, including anthocyanin and xanthophylls, are designed to act like 'sunscreen' for the plant and soak up excess green light, to prevent damage to the plant.


'Get the most for our energy dollars'

Then use LEDs! They're by far the most photosynthetically-efficient per unit of energy use. T8 and T5 fluorescents aren't half-bad, either. Steve F made a whole bunch of good points on the enviro-friendliness of LEDs.


Additionally:
'full spectrum like the sun' is never most efficient for photosynthesis.
'LEDs are made of precious metals': all electronics are made using various metals and semiconductors. LEDs can also last ~100,000 hours, which beats the competition hands-down.

'The frequency, or amplitude of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers'

BULLSHIT. Frequency and amplitude are two completely different things. Frequency is the inverse of wavelength ('the nanometers', as you so intelligently put it), amplitude is a wave's magnitude of oscillation.

'You cant even begin to compare high frequency sunlight with a glowing LED, and there isnt enough time to go into all of the quantum physics.'

A photon is a photon is a photon for these purposes, chief. If you don't understand basic physics and biology, there's a snowball's chance in heck you would even know where to start with quantum physics. It all comes back to WAVELENGTH, get it straight.

'The visible spectrum is the visible spectrum is the visible spectrum.'

Wrong again, but we've already hit the differences between PAR and visible spectrum. Code is correct on this.

'penetrate into the canopy of the plant... linear plane of light...'
That's why you have multiple bays of LEDs with diffusers built into the LEDs themselves to produce a cone of light, set a certain distance apart above the plants. LEDs aren't lasers, kids, and HID or fluorescent lamps with diffusers aren't going to do any better.


I also like how you end with one final contradiction:
'Sunlight is Sunlight is Sunlight. Plants dont need all the Suns energy for photosynthesis, go read up on your photobiology'



Man, you're a pretty awful salesman, that's for sure.

Didn't you know it was only a matter of time before people who actually know things would find that thread?

-BC

roboanalogtom
07-10-2007, 07:32 PM
Life Light, you're so wrong on so many levels it's hard to take you seriously. It's painfully obvious that you have a basic misunderstanding of science.

LED's have no amplitude? Time to take a basic course in electronics (hint: LED's can be amplitude modulated).

LED's made of gold and platinum? Only microscopic amounts (gold bonding wires).

Fluorescents are like LEDs in that they also just glow. Theyre diodes!??? Not even close. Go to wikipedia for a description of diodes.


PAR= Photosynthetically active radiation, that would be the light that's useful to plants. Not all light if useful to plants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthetically_active_radiation

BTW, plants are green because they reflect most of the green light that hits them. Very little green and yellow light is actually used by plants.

You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma Plants can only work with a plasma light source? I think NASA research would beg to differ! To funny!

The results you see from the plants under LED's is just the plant making the best of what you're giving them. No, LED's at the correct wavelength are giving plants the optimal light frequency for photosynthetic activity. They're not adapting or making the best of what you're giving them.

You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesnt have the energy that it needs to make PAR light Years of research shows that statement to be completely false. Steve's own light set up shows your statement to be false. Sigh....

You have to have light with spectrum and amplitude By definition all light has a frequency and amplitude. Statements like this once again show that you have a fundemental misunderstanding of physics.

The frequency, or amplitude of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers, making it 800-400KHZ. Uh, Life Light, 800-400KHz is on the wrong end of the electromagnetic spetrum (800-400KHz is in the AM radio band) further more, amplitude and frequency are two seperate things, they have nothing to do with each other once again showing that you have a fundemental misunderstanding of physics. Just plain wrong!

I can go on but I think my point is made: Life Light, you're giving completely bogus information and would really benefit from a basic course in physics. Taking a trig course will help you understand the difference between frequency and amplitude.

(as a matter of fact, I am a professional engineer!)

Life Light
07-12-2007, 12:03 AM
Roboamalgamation,

OK ,,Pay attention

LED’s have no amplitude for growing living things like evolution has provided them for millions of years. You can’t compare HID light, with LED light, they’re not even close to being the same.

If one LED has a bit of gold, how much is that X 1 billion a month produced by one manufacturer? LED’s are also petroleum based, how smart is it to invest in more petroleum based goods?

A light emitting diode and fluorescent light are both weak forms of light energy, you can mince words, but that simple fact remains. Neither form of light is behaving like sunlight, which is what living things need and want. This is a grow forum remember?

If you don’t know plants require green light to make pigments for photosynthesis, then you don’t know much about photobiology.

You can grow with artificial lights, and plants will adapt, but it can never behave like sunlight, which is what all plants have evolved with. You do believe in evolution right?

You can’t compare plants grown under LED’s with what’s grown out doors. Period.

I’m aware amplitude and frequency are two different things. But the fact remains the frequency of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers. THE LIGHT THAT HITS THE EARTH!

I suggest you learn some photobiology. If your only defending science is wikpedia, you might want to research a little harder.

If you need more raw data you’re welcome to call. Just remember, this is all about growing the best plants possible.

roboanalogtom
07-20-2007, 07:47 AM
LEDs have no amplitude for growing living things like evolution has provided them for millions of years. You cant compare HID light, with LED light, theyre not even close to being the same.


Your statement doesn't even make sense. There are numerous examples on the web showing that LED's have the amplitude for growing living things. Patently false statements like this destroy your credibility.

If one LED has a bit of gold, how much is that X 1 billion a month produced by one manufacturer? LEDs are also petroleum based, how smart is it to invest in more petroleum based goods?


So let's see, you're a sales manger for a grow shop, the lights you sell run off electricity, most electricity worldwide is petroleum generated. Hmmm...see a gaping hole in your argument? I assume you sell metal halide bulbs. Any mercury vapor in those bulbs? BTW, gold is also used in the bonding wire in microcontrollers and numerous other electronics...

A light emitting diode and fluorescent light are both weak forms of light energy, you can mince words, but that simple fact remains. Neither form of light is behaving like sunlight, which is what living things need and want. This is a grow forum remember?


I haven't minced words. The fact also remains that HPS and halide lights don't behave like the sun either (HPS spectral peak is 589nm, is the sun's peak also 589nm?). LED's offer another way to grow living things. This is a grow forum, remember?

If you dont know plants require green light to make pigments for photosynthesis, then you dont know much about photobiology.


If you don't know that healthy plants have been grown without green light then you're not up on the latest plant lighting research. I'm well aware of photobiology and do in fact experiment with green and other color LED's but mainly 400nm, 460nm, 660nm and 735nm (Pfr to Pr conversion).

You can grow with artificial lights, and plants will adapt, but it can never behave like sunlight, which is what all plants have evolved with. You do believe in evolution right?


I've never said artificial lights behave like sunlight. What I've said is that properly selected LED's provide the most efficient lighting spectrum for growing plants. The goal is to mimick the sun's lighting spectrum.

You cant compare plants grown under LEDs with whats grown out doors. Period.

I've never claimed this.

Im aware amplitude and frequency are two different things. But the fact remains the frequency of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers. THE LIGHT THAT HITS THE EARTH!


The way you use frequency and amplitude would suggest that you do not understand the difference. Frequency, BTW, can be expressed in wavelength (nanometers, meters etc) or period (oscillations per second) if it hits the earth or not. Once again a course in trig would help you.

I suggest you learn some photobiology. If your only defending science is wikpedia, you might want to research a little harder.

I'm well aware of photobiology. It's because I understand photobiology that I'm able to use different wavelength LED's to study the effects of such things as auxin and giberellin production in plant tissue. Wikipedia certainly is not my only defending science. Most of the research I do originally comes from Nasa and published Nasa SBIR contract results.

If you need more raw data youre welcome to call. Just remember, this is all about growing the best plants possible

I agree, it's all about growing the best plants possible, however, based on you posts in this thread, you are most definitely not a credible source information.

Btw, contradicting yourself is the fastest way to destroy your own credibility. Early in this thread you stated that plants need light developed from a plasma (just wrong!) yet you also claims the flourscence tubes are poor for plant lighting (what about lettuce?). You do realize that flourescence lighting is also plasma based don't you? Although my 600 watt HPS light isn't going to be replaced by flouresence, compact flourescence tubes work well for very small indoor gardens (I use and experiment in many types of lighting).

I don't mean these posts to be personal attacks, I do however get frustrated however when I see bad information being posted by someone who acts as an authority on a subject yet also has a fundemental basic misunderstanding of lighting and science.

Life Light
07-20-2007, 10:13 AM
1 photon of LED light isn’t the same as 1 photon of real sunlight. How many electron volts per photon does your LED have? The Sun puts approx. 1.5-4.0 eV/photon in the various colors that strike the earth in the visible spectrum. Your LED’s can’t produce that, it’s not the Sun. The Sun also shines on the Earth at 400-800 KHZ. LED’s don’t have the proper frequency or amplitude to behave like real Sunlight.

I’m not a sales manager for a grow shop, and I don’t sell crappy MH lights, or the even worse HPS light. There’s no gaping hole in the argument that LED’s are bad for the environment.

If you're aware of photobiology you know that plants need all the colors of the spectrum. Its called photosystem 1 and photosystem 2, and you need green light to make carotenoids, and xanthophylls in the light harvesting complexes of the thylakoid membranes. It's the difference between getting 20% photosynthesis and 100%, which can be measured by a floral meter.


This is a simple grow forum, I’m not trying to confuse everyone else. I’m aware of frequency and amplitude, more than you know. This is also actual plant science, and growing real plants for real results.


There’s your problem!!!!!! You’re reading outdated, antiquated research from NASA. They stopped receiving any real funding on plants over a decade ago. I know because I know the former lead plant scientist for NASA. They skewed and cherrypicked data like it was going out of style. They also abandoned LED’s as impractical for effective plant growth in the early 1990’s.

Tri-phosphors in the tube are heating up and glowing. In a fluorescent bulb, high-energy ultraviolet light from within the tube is absorbed by the phosphor, which then re-radiates the energy by emitting two or three lower-energy light waves.

YOURE RIGHT when you say fluorescents do make plasma. But what I failed to express well was that it's not first reflection plasma, its filtered through gels and coatings to produce this shifted form of plasma which doesn't behave like Sunlight does, it is and it isn't plasma in its true form. Because of the weak energy traveling along the linear tube, it can never generate the levels of plasma that plants would need, and can't because of the gels and triphosphor coatings. Fluorescents are bound by their linearity, and the lack of amplitude requires growers to keep their fixtures super close to the plants.

LED's, at this stage of their development can never behave like an HID light, and that's why you dont' see them lighting streetlights and stadiums. Until the technology has developed to a point where it can produce 100+lumens per sq. ft or more, its going to be inefficient for growing plants. It's also still bound by its own limitations of being stronger when theres lots of them, but weak when theres one of them, or small groups.

When you see stadiums being lit with LED's and Streetlights, we should all come together in this forum and talk about it. Do we really want to perpetuate an untested light source to growers who depend on the results and yields to be a certain amount? You won't feed the world with LED's, and being efficient with energy is important nowadays.

My apologies if I've offended, but yield is everything in this forum, and we must be vigilant to keep the hobbyists on track. They live in the world of this plus this equals that, be careful recommending something that can't produce for them the way THEY want it to.

I invite you to use LED's., but mark my words, your plants will never be all they can be.

ggrowman
07-25-2007, 10:27 PM
What about led grow lights like fuzzlights
http://www.fuzzlight.com

Life Light
07-30-2007, 07:56 PM
Hey,

I saw the Fuzz Light, and I would refer you back to all we've been talking about through out the thread. LED's still behave the way they behave. Maybe one day LED's will be what we want them to be, but its just not there yet.

Regards

Unregistered
08-02-2007, 11:03 PM
I just gotta chime in....

Life Light, you're talking shite.

If the photons produced by LEDs are insufficient for growing plants somebody had better tell NASA... all those LED rigs they're putting together for growing food in space are going to go to waste...

The benefits of low temperature and low power use alone warrant serious investigation into the use of LEDs for growing, but I can see how LEDs could threaten a major income stream for HID lighting sellers - replacement bulbs aren't really necessary when your light lasts 7-10 years - so you have my sympathies there, Life Light. Maybe you should start stocking LEDs?

willard3
08-08-2007, 11:09 AM
LED has and is coming a long way.

Cree has a white led operating at 131 lumens/watt....significantly higher than HID sources, the lamps last longer and they don't require ballasting. It's only a matter of time to get the right colors for plants

http://www.cree.com/press/press_detail.asp?i=1150834953712

Life Light
08-08-2007, 09:09 PM
I don't know what research you're looking at, but NASA abandoned LED's in the mid-1990's. They can't grow plants in space effectively, or cost effectively.

Unregistered,,,,HID isn't going anywhere. If you think that anyone controls that decision besides GE, Philips and Sylvania, you're mistaken. If you can read through this entire thread, you wouldn't be making that comment.

I don't know why everyone is still talking about lumens, which are a measurement for the human eye anyway. What's up with that?

roboanalogtom
08-12-2007, 10:32 PM
Life Light,

You'd have a shred of credibility if you'd stop making mistakes such as claiming that sun shines on the earth at 400-800 KHz. As I pointed out correctly before, 400-800 KHz is in the lower end of the AM radio band. The sun does however put out a lot of light at 400-800 THz (but hey, you're only 6 orders of magnitude off....).

Would you care to point out where LED's can not put out 1.5-4 electron volts per photon? A photon at 700nm (NO MATTER WHAT THE SOURCE OF THE PHOTON) for example has 1.77 eV while a photon at 400nm has 3.1 eV. Yet again you have demonstrated that you simply have no clue what you are talking about. We're talking 1st year physics stuff here. Remember how I keep bringing up credibility?

The photosystem 1 and 2 can be powered by any photon with a wavelength of 680-700nm of shorter. I dug out one of my old biology books to confirm this (Biology, 4th edition, Dr. Nelson Campbell, page 192-193). Peak absortion for photosystem 1 is 700nm, for photosystem 2 it's 680nm. We're talking 1st year biology here (and why it's also called the P680 and P700 system).

Beyond responding to the rest of your complete ignorant nonsense, you only have to look at Steve's LED set up that EMPIRICALLY shows that plants can thrive with only blue and red photons (blue photons can power any plant process with the possible exception of Pfr to Pr conversion, I have personally grown plants using only blue LED's. It's not that efficient using only blue LEDs however due to the fact the blue photons will supress auxins and gibberellins. That's why there tends to be a ratio of 3-7 red LEDs for every blue one.) The inefficiency of blue LEDs will manifest itself in, for example, a carotenoid molecule absorbing a blue photon and the excess energy being given off as heat (eg. the carotenoid molecule radiates off a longer wavelength photon).

BTW, some carotenoids can accept energy from chlorophyll. This is known as photoprotection (page 190 of the book mentioned above).

Keep in mind that one can use LEDs beyond blue and red if one wishes to target the carotenoid molecule to maximum efficiency.

You really need to get an education and have a clue what you're talking about before attempting these online debates. You are making naive mistakes that a 2nd year science student wouldn't make.

I seriously doubt that you know any NASA plant scientist. You did made a BS assertion when you implied in an earlier post when you mentioned that you didn't want to get into the quantum mechanical effects of why one needs a photon from a plasma source. By making such an assertion you in fact lied by implying that you having knowledge about quantum mechanics when you lack the scientific understanding of a 1st year science student. It's that whole credibility thing.

Care to elaborate this about "linear" concept in terms of LEDs and flourescent lighting. We're taught in 1st year physics that lights falls off portional to the square of the distance.

Yes, I and others do want to try untested techniques. It's called science.

You certainly haven't offended me. Amused yes, offended no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credibility

roboanalogtom
08-12-2007, 11:01 PM
Oops,

I need to qualify that the P680 and P700 process can be powered by any PAR photon and not just any photon. Also, 10 tears ago NASA was using LEDs that were much less efficient than what's avaliable today.

Additionally, NASA is also using LED technology developed for plants to help heal wounds. There's your science for you, Life Light.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/multimedia/photos/2003/photos03-199.html

http://www.onyxmedical.com/html/NASA.html

Here's an example of how NASA is still pursuing research in LED lights for growing plants in space despite Life Light's (yet once again) incorrect assertion.

http://asgsb.indstate.edu/programs/2005/2.html

roboanalogtom
08-13-2007, 12:05 AM
Sorry Life Light,

I said above that you were 6 orders of magnitude off when you claimed that the sun gave off light in the 400-800 KHz range. In fact you were 9 orders of magnitude off. Sorry about that!!! (heck, what's 3 orders of magnitude when you're so far off base to begin with!)

And the obvious spelling mistakes (10 tears/10 years) etc.

roboanalogtom
08-13-2007, 01:43 AM
Yeah! I know what Life Light means by a "linear". It just means a long flourescent tube as opposed to circular of compact. As an electrician they were just "4 foot tubes". As an electronics engineer they're just things that electricians use to light up the lab space :D Really, Life Light is correct on this terminology and I learned something new!

Unregistered
08-13-2007, 02:44 AM
yeah Life Light, you are absolutely right that I didn't read through everything you said,,, simply because I didn't have to in order to know that you are talking out of your HID-selling ass. You had me at the "plasma necessary for photon" shite.

When I did cast an eye back through your erudite proclamations I did indeed see that many others had taken you to task (with greater patience and research than I have time for) on the many pseudo-scientific points you have made, so please accept my apology.

Thanks Roboanalogtom for the NASA links and data. Life Light, you might want to have a look at that, champ.

I was just looking at a test grow using a new (pre-market) 125watt LED array. Plants flowered and completely finished on LED alone. Opinion of the grower was that it the 125watt array was roughly equivalent to a 400watt HPS, minus the heat.

I'm absolutely certain that these could be devastating to the HID industry. So little heat... so little electricity... and the technology maturing daily... lovely.

Unregistered
08-18-2007, 07:27 PM
This thread on LED lighting is interesting, and I have enjoyed the back and forth. Life Light took a beating and came back swinging -- ah, the joy of online forums! I agree Life Light's theories sound a little far-fetched, but in the end I think all that science or pseudo-science doesn't matter as much as THIS

WHAT IS THE YIELD PER WATT FOR YOUR CROP? Do you get more or less tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. for a watt of energy invested with LEDs vs. other grow lights? Grams of output per watt of electricity input. Don't take your eye off the ball.

Also, what changes in growing technique may be needed in order to maximize the benefit of these lights? Interesting articles are available that describe how the lights are used (some horizontally between or beside plants, others from the top). Do we need cultivation differences, such as bending or supercropping your plants to expose more of the leaves to the light? Is it helpful to run CO2? etc etc etc

I'm anxious to learn how people are actually USING LED grow lights, and what steps they are taking to test and/or improve the quality of their results.

Keep up the dialog. It's helpful for all of us.

Unregistered
09-17-2007, 02:34 PM
My degrees are in Physics, and rather than get into fine details which will go even farther over the heads of those who have not yet studied the subject and post a point by point rebuttal, I will simply state that most of what Code said is true, and a considerable proportion of what Light Life said is bogus bafflegab. I recommend you weight your faith in what they say accordingly.

Unregistered
10-10-2007, 10:22 PM
I started this thread and others on different forums and they always end up the same way...arguments that don't make a lot of sense and get nothing accomplished.

Arguing with someone like LifeLight is a complete waste of time.

I've successfully grown tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers using 100% LED lighting, both T1 type and 1-3 Watt high powers using ratios of red/blue in the 470/630 range. I'm not saying that LEDs are better than any other lighting including the Sun. LEDs do work and they are getting better quickly. Visit my site where I have photos of all this. Go back through my grow diaries and see the tomatoes/peppers/cucumbers for yourself. I'm still improving things everyday and still a lot of new things and ideas to try. Link = http://www.greenpinelane.com

Unregistered
10-23-2007, 07:47 AM
I have been reading hydroponics forums and info on LED and HID and so on for a while now, and this is the funniest thread on topic I have ever read.

The one thing I have picked up here that is beyond doubt is that this Life Light character is so stuck on old technology that it appears they can't just keep it to themselves but they must try and prevent everyone else from adopting it. It's almost like their 'LIFE' depends on people refusing to adopt to new ideas.

Ever heard of the internet Life Light? I bet that was a bad idea too and people should have stuck to fax machines or even gone back to pencil and paper ... heck we all know the Abacus really was far better then the Calculator. Ya know, I actually used to prefer writing letters taking a trip down to the post office to send them and waiting a month for a reply ... this email stuff and instant replies is just a waste of time completely. Better to just prevent technological advancement completely.

rken
11-14-2007, 11:41 PM
We have been using LEDs with great success for the veg cycle. We are getting good growth and tight internodes using lights from WWW.solutionsgrowlights.com, at 1 1/2 blue bulb (409lumens 12watts) per sq ft. They are 110volt and screw into a regular light base. ($1.50ea) We built a movable rack out of one x two's (wood) and mounted the bases to the rack. The bases are the type that mount on a the power cord. Home Depot has them.

We are still experimenting with the grow cycle to get the proper amount of light and color mixture for optimum growth. But it looks promising at 25 lights on a 4x4 mixed 1/2 red and 1/2 blue. By the way you can get red bulbs in the 640 to 650 spectrum which greatly increase the usability of the light.

In the mean time we are saving 80% on our electric bills. We tried building our own also and found that for $30 a bulb it was not worth the time and energy and expense. aloha questions [email protected]

rken
11-14-2007, 11:58 PM
here, here

Unregistered
11-29-2007, 11:00 AM
Hi,

I am starting an aeroponics system in my garage. I am building a 5' x 6' room for growing.

My question is I see a lot of LED lights out there, and I was wondering what the best lights to use are. I have been looking at the 12" x 12" LED panels that have both red and blue lights. Are these the way to go, or is it better to have the seperate color (blue/red) panels, or are panels not the way to go?

Any advice would be apreciated.

BTW I intend to grow peppers, tomatoes and herbs like celantro etc.

Thanks

Ken.

Unregistered
12-11-2007, 12:58 AM
Just thought I'd join the chorus. Stupid people make me angry - especially stupid people that pretend to be/think they are smart and try to impress their "immense knowledge" onto others.

All the fallacies in LL's dribble that need to be addressed have been (by people far wiser than he) so I need not add anything more than the simple (and obvious) suggestion to avoid him at all costs before his caustic ignorance destroys any more poor brain cells.

Don't trust sellers unless they have the research to back up their claims and are able to explain it in a way that is simple enough for anyone to understand (and it still makes logical sense). Otherwise you can be sure that they are trying to impress you with their "intelligence" by using fancy words they know (or at least hope) you won't understand. The strongest sign of intelligence is being able to explain a complex subect simply, without relying on intimidating, specialized language.

Unregistered
12-28-2007, 11:30 AM
THANK GOD... that guy was spewing the most nonsensical BS I have ever heard of... I'm not a fan of LEDs because of their efficiency, but I am expecting more as technology improves and they can pinpoint efficient PAR frequencies... Cheers


yep there it is, "lifelight" is just another salesman trying to convince people his expensive product is better than a competing technology. you should have given yourself a different name, then when you placed your link it wouldn't have been as obvious that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

Unregistered
12-31-2007, 12:08 PM
There are pro's and con's to all light sources. Bickering about any of it seems inconsequential and useless as far as moving forward to a bountiful hydroponic garden. It seems to me that the best light source (without actual sunlight) is the one that the hydro gardener can best afford, be it cheap or expensive to purchase and turn on. I'm decided on using LED's for a small garden because (in my mind) i see a slightly higher primary cost with a little elbow grease and solder, but with most excellent longevity and very low power consumption. I plan on having an array using mostly reds and blues with some near infrareds, yellows, greens and near ultraviolets to give the plant as much of the spectrum that the LED's will allow.

On another note, using super high powered plasma arch technology does release huge amounts of photon energy across the spectrum and also consumes huge amounts of power to do so. However, all life forms on planet earth perform negatively with too much infrared or ultraviolet light. Thus, care should be taken when using high powered light sources to be sure you're not actually cooking your fruit before it has time to ripen. 8-)

Unregistered
01-02-2008, 01:44 PM
NASA has been working on this for a while as a viable means of long term growing in space and in colonies. They have much patents and money tied in this. If it was bunk, I believe they would have abandoned it long ago. LEDs are the future.

Unregistered
01-04-2008, 09:52 AM
No, you're wrong, There are NOT pros to every lighting source. LEDs are BAD for plants, period. Not one positive thing about them.

LEDs are NOT efficient. They are worse than Halogen/Incandescent lighting sources putting out under 30 lumens per watt!!! Any arc discharge lighting source is at least 80 lumens per watt.

I don't think you know anything about lighting, Lighting sources have a certain amount of efficiency, Light per watt. LEDS put out very little if ANY useable light, in a very monochromatic fashion, there is a reason they are rated at one spectral ditsribution.

Here is a "white LED"

http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/sixth/fl62006.gif

Here is a blue:

http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/eleventh/atablu2.gif

Notice how they peak and have incredibly useless frequencies?

Now check out a 10,000k Metal Halide...

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/images/aug2004/fig13-sunaq10k_small.gif

Chrlorophylls use different frequencies, but you will NOT I repeat NOT be able to hit those points with LEDs. LEDs have very specific pointy output in one color. You are NOT going to be able to reproduce the correct spectral plot.

LEDs are a waste of energy, they are EXTREMELY INEFFICIENT.

What in the world are you talking about this hippy mumbo jumbo arc discharge tubes spewing nonsense??? DUDE... are you psychotic? There is nothing radiating out of any of these lighting sources but UVA through Infrared 200nm to 1000nm electromagnetic frequencies... no ghosts, mystical spirits or hocus pocus... Just light... grow up or get out.

Unregistered
01-08-2008, 09:13 PM
This reminds me of the time the window salesman tried to convince me that krypton was not a window backfill, but Superman's allergen. It's on the periodic chart!

Unregistered
02-13-2008, 05:52 PM
I agree with both sides of what is being said to an extent. Manufactured light cannot replicate the sun and plants assuredly use the full spectrum of light provided by the sun, but to what extent, and who cares as long as a healthy plant can be grown indoors in a hothouse situation. if LED lighting or flourescents or any other low energy light can be used indoors that is the greenest of farming because the crops can be grown and sold on a local basis. Hothouses rely on the sun, but the additional light provided by low energy sources can increase the rapidity of harvest time and that, coupled with the decrease in transportation by Mack Trucks is Green indeed. Now if we can only buy domestically manufactured led's and eliminate the trans Pacific shipping.

Unregistered
03-10-2008, 02:09 PM
wow to the guy who said leds are bad for plants, its sad that there are people like you who are ignorant enough post stupid comments, do some research, you ever hear of spectrum? and maybe with the right spectrum you dont need as many watts

Unregistered
03-15-2008, 03:17 AM
Anyhow, I read a bunch of technical jargin earlier, and just want to say I have been actually growing plants and building hydroponic indoor growrooms for a nearly twenty years now, and I have some points to make. For one I know what works and what doesn't, 1000watt hps lights work best for most indoor gardens, unless your pressed for space, money or any number of other reasons any HID light would probably suit you better than a flouro, or led. However floro's have there place, there thin don't create much heat and are spread out.(great for a closet gardener with limited vertical space). In the same manner life lights desighns for moving hid lights is a great idea. just like light rails were when they first came out. I cant attest to his (or mine for that matter) grahmar or overall knowledge of light and its use on plants, but if his product moves a stationary light it seems to me that all the other light movers I ever used worked great. And as far as led lights go, I would say yeah thay "can" work but aren't quite enough for optimal plant growth from atleast most light loving plants. So if you want to know what an experienced grower is using, then I will tell you, right now I would prefer all air cooled reflectors with hortilux bulbs, 1000 watt lumatek electronic ballast with a light mover of some kind, circular or linear. But most importantly its the combination of everything together, lights, co2, nutrients, and environment as well as strain and the genetics involved with your plant. Good luck to all and happy growing. PS: Give led light about ten more years and I think they will have something reasonably priced with great efficiency overall, maybe even surpassing electronic ballasted HID for horticultural uses, who knows.

Unregistered
04-10-2008, 10:53 AM
Does anyone know if using LEDs with a combination of other lights (CFLs) is a bad idea?
I just started growing a some pot and the they just came out of the ground yesterday. I have both CFL and LED lighting just wondering what would be the best thing to do here.

The Knight
04-12-2008, 07:32 PM
LED Lighting works, so does Hydroponics! LED lighting can seem exspensive but look at the cost of the LED. $0.50 and up.
So what would you charge to put 400 or 500 LED together? ..whith power supply...everything needed.
Ultra LED Lights are bright and priced right.
I have been on several forums and I also have seen plants grown under LED Lighting. So it does work!!
:eek: Can you believe it!!! The big subject seems to be WATTAGE.
Google: "WHAT IS WATTAGE IN LIGHING" Wattage is the amount of work done.
Look for Lumens Now when it comes to lumens there is another problem, LED read different than HPS, or other type lighting with a light meter. There again Google " Conversion MCD to Lumens http://led.linear1.org/lumen.wiz

Lumens and Spectrums is what you should be looking for, wattage can have a little play but not as much as you think.

Look at your electric bill, WATTS is how they measure your usage.
Is this not an item we are trying to save on as long as it gets the job done?

willard3
04-17-2008, 02:26 PM
This whole thread is the blind leading the blind...........

Unregistered
05-10-2008, 09:03 PM
I can only express my laughter in one word Life Light, POWNED. Quite the interesting discussion however.

Unregistered
05-12-2008, 11:39 AM
Hi all,

Time to lay to rest another myth.

You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma. The Sun makes plasma, HID lights make plasma, and that's about it. Other lights like LED's and fluorescents make light differently, and they basically are just glowing and burning phosphors, in essence.

No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum that plants need to make photosynthesis. If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth. LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

You can all research this from this basic bit of science and photobiology.

Cheers

Dude...Huh??? Then why do they work?? I have grown many veggies with 100% LED lights and you are here telling people that they don't work? Have you bothered to try it yourself? No. I just ate a handful of cherry tomatoes that I grew with LED lights and I'm sure I wasn't dreaming. I choose to research by doing, not just reading about it. Plasma has nothing to do with it. You need to read more about light and it's properties. Cheers

grower
05-16-2008, 12:17 PM
Hi,

I have been real skeptical but in the short time I have used Led lighting I have seen better photosynthesis in my plants. They are greener and bigger than my HID garden and way out preform my florecent lighting. You say what you want but light is plasma and LEDs produce a more usable PAR spectrum. LEDs deffinetly work better for me.

Unregistered
05-26-2008, 12:55 PM
I think what Life Light was saying about amplitude and penetrating power was correct. It's a pretty simple concept really ... tell me if I have this all wrong without chopping my head off.

Ok as far as I understand for waves of energy the shorter the wavelength the more penetrating power said wave has. I.E. the higher the frequency the more penetrating a waveform can be. This is why microwaves (think cell phones) can reach you inside buildings and through other barriers ... with the exception of a Faraday cage.

The highest frequency wave we know of, I think, is gamma light which has so much penetrating power the only way we can measure it is by first slowing the wave down using a Compton scatter'er. If we did not do this the penetrating power of these waves would simply pass straight through any type of measurement device we can presently create.

Ok so I think I've established the fact that waves of energy have different penetrating power regardless of amplitude.

Now to discuss how amplitude affects the penetrating power of energy waves. If you applied some of the logic ppl here have used to usurp Life Light's arguments you would think that amplitude has no effect on the penetrating power of waves of energy. This is totally and fundamentally wrong.

I imagine everyone here has been to a large concert before. You realize they HAVE to use amplifiers to boost the strength of the waveforms they are producing so that everyone can hear right? Increasing the amplitude in turn increases penetrating power. A better example are FM towers that use huge gnarly amplifiers in order to penetrate a longer distance ... this is why towers are rated in watts and stations brag about having a 100,000 watt tower ... as in we can reach you anywhere! FM towers unlike AM signals are directional, not that it matters in this discussion. Final example are cell phone towers which are also amplified so that they can reach all of their customers. The whole concept behind the Cingular ad campaign of "More bars in more places" is fundamentally based on the idea that they either have more cell towers or they have spent more money to amplify the crap out of their signals.

So now I think I have shown that both wavelength and amplitude contribute to an energy wave's penetrating power.

How does this relate to LEDs? I have no idea, lol. I can guess that you would need an equivalent wattage light in similar wavelengths in order to have the same penetrating power. How the light is produced me thinks makes very little difference in comparison to which wavelengths are being created and at what amplitude. A wavelength is a wavelength regardless of how it is created but amplitude of said wavelength will have a direct impact on how much penetrating power it has.

Just to wrap things up I was at a club recently and I walked past a LED light that I thought was going to blind me! Easily as bright as a 250-400 watt HPS/MH. Club equipment has really taken off with this technology and is possibly the industry to watch in regards to advancing this tech. They have huge output LED lights that are hella expensive. LEDs depending on color are expensive, but they last for so long that the upfront cost is minimal in the long run.

Still imho, and I could be wrong, amplitude is amplitude so you'll need to find a LED with a similar wattage rating to HPS/MH lights for a similar effect. It is better that LEDs last longer and can be more specific to which wavelengths they produce.

Unregistered
06-02-2008, 12:19 AM
Life Lite: get it straight. Brawndo is what plants crave! Until evolutionary nanometers are inverted into photonic dimethyl-cell emitters, we'd better rely on BRAWNDO! WHAT PLANTS CRAVE!! Your ideas about plasmatorical potonically discharging HID illumination are interesting except for you overlooked one MAJOR fact DUMDUM!!! Lack of BRAWNDO!!! Read about WHAT PLANTS CRAVE and get it straight!

Unregistered
06-13-2008, 12:23 AM
Hey there, I was the first person to bring in the 300 watt super LED light that is made from the same guys as the UFO. I had 60 of the UFO LEDS. They are for sure the brightest LEDs on the market. Do they work? Yes. Do they work as good as they say? No. Lie and fairy tales. This Life light guy is for sure on to something. I have tested the 90 and 300 and I am testing the 300 right now. I have been testing it against a 600 gavita on a digital ballast. Nothing beats a gavita, and get the real thing the other stuff is crap. Anyways, you can grow some nice plants with this red and blue light but the HPS blows it away. Thats the facts. The HPS gives a much larger spread and at least 30% more growth at 18 inches above the tops. Look the the UFO lights some say 80,000 hours, some say 50,000. Whats the deal? Save your money and get HPS.

Unregistered
06-21-2008, 08:14 AM
Can I use LED lights to grow TickleMe Plants. I am showing how plants move their branches and leaves at the 4H fair. Any help would be appreciated. How far away should the lights be and how long do TickleMe Plants need light exposure each day

furcifer
07-16-2008, 09:03 PM
Ok, to squash all the mis-information on LED's, I would like to submit a study that was conducted by 4 Universities, 1 of which was Harvard. The grants for the study came from the USDA. The stipulations were quite strict and all schools used the same exact equipment, built by University of Iowa. Then Harvard published the study.

If you read this, and all of this, you will understand that LED's DO WORK AND DO WORK GOOD. However please keep in mind that these fixtures were very expensive to make, about $900 per fixture.

THE STUDY: Published by Harvard...

We report on a high-power solid-state lighting facility (fixture) for cultivation of greenhouse vegetables and on the results of the study of control of photosynthetic activity and growth morphology of radish and lettuce imposed by variation of the spectral composition of illumination. Experimental lighting modules (useful area of 0.22 m2) were designed based on 4 types of high-power light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with emission peaked in red at the wavelengths of 660 nm and 640 nm (predominantly absorbed by chlorophyll a and b for photosynthesis, respectively), in blue at 455 nm (phototropic function), and in far-red at 735 nm (important for photomorphology). Morphological characteristics, chlorophyll and phytohormone concentrations in radish and lettuce grown in phytotron chambers under lighting with different spectral composition of the LED-based illuminator and under illumination by high pressure sodium lamps with an equivalent photosynthetic photon flux density were compared. A well-balanced solid-state lighting was found to enhance production of green mass and to ensure healthy morphogenesis of plants compared to those grown using conventional lighting. We observed that the plant morphology and concentrations of morphologically active phytohormones is strongly affected by the spectral composition of light in the red region. Commercial application of the LED-based illumination for large-scale plant cultivation is discussed. This technology is favorable from the point of view of energy consumption, controllable growth, and food safety but is hindered by high cost of the LEDs. Large scale manufacturing of high-power red AlInGaP-based LEDs emitting at 650 nm and a further decrease of the photon price for the LEDs emitting in the vicinity of the absorption peak of chlorophylls have to be achieved to promote horticulture applications.

Unregistered
08-22-2008, 11:59 PM
All life has evolved to use the visible spectrum, the light that hits the earth. I think we can all agree to that. We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light, which they use. Plants do use green light, most of the time to make photosynthesis, to fire the pigments in the light harvesting complexes. I recommend reading a book called Photosynthesis by Hall and Rao, 6th edition. It's the book on photobiology, and shows current research.

Plants are very adaptive, and I'm sure they are adapting to your LED lighting. But what I said in my first post here stands true. It's science and physics. You have to have light with spectrum and amplitude, and be able to deliver that light. If i stand on a ladder, the sun is just as powerful as if i lay on the ground. That's amplitude of light. We can't replicate that indoors with LED's and lights that simply "glow". I realize that the idea of LED's are a novelty for plant growth, but let's be green with the energy that we are producing and get the most for our energy dollars.

If you're speaking about physical punch of light, as you are refering to amplitude, you could not be more incorrect about LEDs versus HID.

HID is rather popular as a lower wattage high brightness source in comparison to incandescent. It uses less wattage for the same bright effect. LEDs are similar in that regard. Now, can you get an LED with the same amount of intensity that you could with lets say a 45 watt Metal Halide? Absolutely. But not in one Diode. That is in essence why LEDs are designed in arrays, strips and clusters. To provide that amount of punch. As an additional note - LEDs also cover the visible spectrum ( color mixing to over 7 billion colors) and ultraviolet and infrared.

Its unfair that you're throwing around the term PAR in comparison, because the main punch of a PAR lamp is provided in the reflector ( in fact thats what PAR refers to, Parabolic Aluminized Reflector.) LEDs can also have optical reflectors added to them to increase the punch of the outputted light. Dont believe me? check any major LED fixture manufacturer's website, you'll find a good selection of high intensity fixtures.

Your Sun analogy is irrelevant, as the distance between you laying on the ground, and you standing on a ladder is vastly tiny in regards to the distance the actual light has to travel from its source (A star at the center of our solar system.) to you. If you were to translate that comparison to a light fixture you had on your desk "Standing on a ladder" and "laying on the ground" would be about an atoms worth of distance.

As for The hydroponic LED technology now, i'm a little curious how you can on one hand say the plants are adapting, and on the other say the technology works. If the plants can adapt to it - it Works.

Is there currently an LED product that trumps conventional hydroponic lighting in every way? No. Not to my knowledge - which from a lighting background is fairly shallow, i'm only here looking for a solution to a side project.

However is it "a matter of science and physics" that an LED cannot perform that task? Absolutely and positvely not.

Unregistered
09-27-2008, 08:06 PM
This Life Light guy really does spew out the nonsense, riddled with just enough truth to lure the uninformed or those unwilling to do their own research, doesn't he? I think it may have backfired in this case, as no one reading this thread would buy from him.

Anyway, I have been very interested in the use of LEDs for indoor growing for some time now. I'm planning on doing some of my own tests using home-built LED arrays (though I'm having a little trouble finding all the components I need ... specifically LEDs that output light around the absorption peaks of Chlorophyll A and B. I've found some great blue LEDs, but the reds are a little short.

For anyone skeptical about LEDs as grow lights, or for anyone looking for a little research, check out the following links:
http://www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=440_20
http://www.actahort.org/books/578/578_17.htm
http://www.springerlink.com/content/w728588017q9w473/
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/habit/2005/00000010/00000002/art00001
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994PhDT........53T
http://www.actahort.org/books/418/418_30.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V3S-4K7FJMH-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=aaa0da2f1bf592fd8634f909fdd18bfc

There's much more out there! I also did a little research into NASAs use of LEDs and while there didn't seem to be much, what I did find seemed to clearly indicate that LEDs had demonstrated their ability to grow plants.


For reference, I studied environmental science at UCR (Bach of science degree) and have since worked as an analytical chemist at an environmental testing firm in N. Cal (http://www.curtisandtompkins.com/), as well as a programmer.

Unregistered
11-07-2008, 03:02 AM
I think what Life Light was saying about amplitude and penetrating power was correct. It's a pretty simple concept really ... tell me if I have this all wrong without chopping my head off.

Ok as far as I understand for waves of energy the shorter the wavelength the more penetrating power said wave has. I.E. the higher the frequency the more penetrating a waveform can be. This is why microwaves (think cell phones) can reach you inside buildings and through other barriers ... with the exception of a Faraday cage.

The highest frequency wave we know of, I think, is gamma light which has so much penetrating power the only way we can measure it is by first slowing the wave down using a Compton scatter'er. If we did not do this the penetrating power of these waves would simply pass straight through any type of measurement device we can presently create.

Ok so I think I've established the fact that waves of energy have different penetrating power regardless of amplitude.

Now to discuss how amplitude affects the penetrating power of energy waves. If you applied some of the logic ppl here have used to usurp Life Light's arguments you would think that amplitude has no effect on the penetrating power of waves of energy. This is totally and fundamentally wrong.

Sorry, but you are completely uninformed. The basic fundamental that eludes both you and lifelite is that EM radiation is quantized. Each photon is a fixed packet of energy, and that amount of energy is 100% related to the frequency/wavelength. There is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE between a 500 nm photon from the sun, a 500 nm photon from a HID bulb, and a 500 nm photon from an LED. Absolutely none whatsoever. Anyone claiming otherwise has to completely disprove all understanding of electromagnetics since Maxwell. The "penetrating power" is also dependent on both the frequency(and thus wavelength and energy since they are 100% related to each other) and the material it is penetrating. You cannot take a 500 nm photon and make it stronger or penetrate more. If you did, it would change the frequency/wavelength.

You (and lifelight) are confusing amplitude with the total energy delivered. They are not at all similar. The reason why cell and radio towers output so much energy is that the energy dissipates as it moves out and you need a certain signal-to-noise ratio to be able to send and transmit a signal. (and AM signals could directional if they wanted. It is not necessary since AM transmissions are done on a much larger wavelength and have less attenuation losses as a result).

So, the argument put forth by lifelight (and supported by you) is a complete joke, as indicated by anyone with education in the subject. He doesn't even know the basic terminology. The basic argument for LEDs is not that they are the most efficient lumens per watt source, but that due to the unique properties of LEDs, you can target the frequencies needed for photosynthesis and not waste energy on frequencies the plant doesn't need or utilize effectively.

Unregistered
11-10-2008, 11:43 AM
guys all make point one way or another.
i did my grow with LED's and they work, but not as good as i wanted too.
but then again, they were cheap crap!
i did an extencive search and found a tread about what really should be done to make them work.
that guy is the most deducated i've ever come across.
since i'm not allowed to post any links but u can google
LR2 LED/CF guide - LED light instructions
that tread has almost hundreed pages and u'll be glad u read it, trust me!

Unregistered
11-30-2008, 02:45 PM
Below is a great website and not a post from a led or hid salesman, just facts on light, proving they use very little of the yellow and green (only for carotene production)-mostly red and blue. Why wouldn't it make sense to use led-get the light you need and much lower operating costs.

http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookPS.html#Chlorophyll

Also, I have a blue led panel on the side and HID above and my plants lean toward the blue, not stretch to the hid above, telling me the prefer that light because they can use more of it. The foliage looks awesome and think thus far, that leds work. Nor did I pay much for them so I am not sure what all this high cost talk is about. Although, I have a small grow space. Since you have to keep them within 6" of plants, they could get expense if you have a large room. The panel I have is only 12x12.

Anyway, enough from me. Good luck!

Mr sickofhighpricehids
12-04-2008, 06:04 AM
Has anyone noticed that since Lifelight disappeared some new unregistered guest has been supporting him. Coincidence, or are they the same person.

anyway, my question is this: can i use any high-power LED or must i use special plant-grow ones???

Unregistered
12-20-2008, 10:31 AM
Hi Mr sickofhighpricehids, the leds have to be in the right wavelength.

B.L. Zebub
01-23-2009, 05:54 PM
I've enjoyed much of this thread and would like to thank many of the contributors. I'm getting back into indoor growing and have been considering LED as an option. I had a similar conversation with a local retailer who held many of the views LL did.

LL isn't the only disjointed person here. Some of the "hey I tried LEDs and they work" posts I've seen verbatim in other forums, so 'ware both sides of the fence.

I'll be doing a lot of reading and some designing in the next couple of weeks. Incidentally, if people do post original articles, please included the citation so I can grab the whole thing,.

Unregistered
01-23-2009, 06:19 PM
I probably should have quoted this guys original BS post but we'll use this one since it clearly demonstrates we are dealing with someone who has an ample amount of half information that is used as a sales pitch.

He's using sort of truths to weave his web of lies.

Light is light, how it's produce effects lots of things, and there is much truth to what he is saying about light penetration, but when he threw in the "plasma" bullshit that should have been the give away.

It's true that the best way to make a massive amount of full spectrum lighting with the best wave lengths for deep penetration is with plasma. But hey if you are the sun you aren't to worried about power consumption.

While it varies slightly depending on the plant it self and more on what stage of development the plant is in. Plants use only part of the light spectrum, and the wavelengths that drop out in "glowing (cute guy)" lights are the ones you don't want tons of UV.

Again half truths. His sales pitch is very true when it comes to Flos since this light doesn't travel as far as a "PLASMA" or "BURNING (dickwad)" light and when you consider this and lumens per watt of PAR LIGHT!!! you get really are better of going with HPS and MH lights, just pay up front. UNLESS heat is an issue, they really have put out some great flos in the last 2 years and they are getting better.

NOW this lumens per watt stuff vanishes with LEDs since they are not only so damn cheap they also are really putting out a ton of light.

Anyone who has actually done any growing of "high energy" crops, dick boy clearly hasn't knows that you mix your spectrums and lean one way or the other depending on stage.

Plants always use red blue and orange light, since most LEDs do not tell you the color temp just a reference color I won't go into temp detail.

If you just grow under blue LED and bloom under red you will have an inferior product.

ALL red should be mixed with some orange. Again it depends on crop but you always want some blue light in the mix.

With a pro grow you will see basically Blue dominant mix. For blue you want your red/orange dominant mix.

Basically the issue with LEDs is that they are generally (not true with white but we stay away from these) a very tight spectrum.

Do it go build some LED lights it's cheap and they work, just remember 5 key things.

1) Never listen to anyone who wants to sell you anything they are ALL LIARS without exception.

2) Never use one spectrum always mix some blue and some orange into your red dominant, always mix some red and orange into your blue dominant.

3) Well just call red and orange red so when you are making your red you want 20% orange in there.

4) Use ONLY really high output LEDs, the tiny baby ones aren't worth it.

5) Remember penetration is an issue so the key to using LEDs and frankly flos as well is to get the lights close close close and to fill light from the side.

I use cylinders with strips on the side and a huge bank on top, they are adjustable and I keep them as close to the plants as possible.

It took me over a year to find the best way to mix LED light and a big chunk of that was studying BOTANY ASSHOLE.

Plasma haha go lick my left nut boy.

My yields are up, yes up. No it's not because LEDs are better it's because I have put in vast amounts of effort into perfecting spectrum balance while dick boy put his efforts into other holes.

Yes penetration is an issue, one that can be over come with proximity, intensity and spectral balance. LEDs DO WORK GREAT, and guess what, after switching 3 HID lights out and really working on spectrum not only is my yield up my energy cost per month is down almost 90 bucks, and since I make less heat I could technically drop my CFM counts on the fans. (I live in a warm climate so heat was always an issue).

Take a look at the spectrums of the best bulbs out there. Horilux Growlux and Son Argo (Argo Son depending on the country) HPS bulbs ALL have blue spectrum added to them, ALL OF THEM.


orange/red makes the plants stretch, blue stubbies them and makes them bushy, if you want the best yield you want both of these qualities added to your plant right.

Next time a sales man gives you advice tell him you appreciate his input but you prefer truth to sales pitches. I am biting my tongue here because I really want to rip into this liar.


Light is Light what matters is intensity and wavelength and these can be made.

Plasma or Glow are terms we engineers like to call catch words. They are true but only to a point. There is a real technical difference between them and intensity/watt is it, penetration is not just intensity it's wave length (in wavelength has more to do with it).

No I will not build or sell you a light. I don't do that for a living, but I will call out a liar. This guy has way to much information to know he is not lying. Put this guy and his company on your list of people to NEVER do business with.

What really pisses me off is this line of BS is infesting forums and stores and peoples minds and in the end it blows away the truth and keeps us from advancing. Stuck in the past because of a salesman's lies. Go die in a hole and let the rest of us move into another century.

PS: one note about commercially built LED grow lights. Everyone I have looked at to date sucks total balls. Build one or buy and HID, now way is an LED bank worth more than an HID. Part of the point is LEDs are cheap as hell, but it's labor intensive to build banks by hand, making a HID light is easy. Of course when you are dealing with really big banks you will eventually pay more simply because of the number of LEDs

PPS: Rule one in making LED lights is to use the highest output LEDs you can get for all of the LEDs. Example if the highest lumens output of blue is lower than the red and orange then get the highest blue and then match the red and orange to that. LEDs let you fine tune the spectrum per crop.




Hello,

Ill try to answer all of the questions you posed. They were scattered a bit, but here we go.

LEDs are made up of precious metals like gold and platinum. If we empty Ft. Knox of gold, we can light the world with LEDs. In 100 years, theyll be mining these things up for the metals in them.

HIDs arent green when they operate at 60 HZ, those lights are for illumination, the human eye. Fluorescents are like LEDs in that they also just glow. Theyre diodes! HID lighting that operates at a 60HZ frequency are wasting light; you get 15 cents of peak efficiency for every energy dollar you spend.

Plants are very adaptive, and are survivors too. You can Google photosynthesis and read more about plants absorbing green light at different wavelengths to fire various pigments, or get a book on photobiology.

Go to our website, www.lifelighttec.com We offer systems that deliver more light with fewer watts using digital technologies, microprocessors, and state of the art lamps; and have the light delivery systems to actually deliver light to the plants.

The Sun delivers twice the energy plants need for photosynthesis, 1800 -2000 mols. We deliver half that with our gear, and offer full spectrum like the Sun.

If I missed something, sorry. Im on the fly right now, but will check back sometime soon.

Thanks

Unregistered
01-23-2009, 06:24 PM
Science is science and physics is physics, and you can cherrypick the data if you want, but it doesnt make it true.

> You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma.


OMG okay the gloves are off, did you actually say that Mr. Cheery picker? Fuck you.

That is exactly what you are doing here liar. Read what he says you can ONLY MAKE PAR WITH PLASMA. PAR is visible light. QED you can not see the light coming off your flos or LEDs that's just your mind playing tricks on you. Wow did you really must think we are all stupid.

Clearly you know way better than this boy. You are seriously one full of shit piece of shit.

IF YOU CAN SEE IT IT IS PAR LIGHT OK holy shit. PAR = visible spectrum right guy?






Thanks to Code, this thread is a cesspool of disinformation. At first I just chuckled , but after reading more of this thread, I really have to reply to some of the more ridiculous points. My replies to Codes comments are in bold



Science is science and physics is physics, and you can cherrypick the data if you want, but it doesnt make it true.

> You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma.

PAR and the (human) visible spectrum are not the same thing, and "plasma" has nothing to do with the "quality" of the photons emitted.

Sorry but this is wrong. Plants evolved with photosynthesis for millions of years, thats the source of it. PAR light is visible light; the light that hits the Earth from the Sun, the visible spectrum.

> No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum

Light doesn't have "amplitude." You're thinking of matter waves like sound. In matter waves, amplitude is the displacement of the matter. Electromagnetic waves/photons travel at a fixed speed and their "size" is determined solely by their wavelength.

They show kids in junior high school nowadays with all the new technology out that light and sound have similar properties. The frequency, or amplitude of the visible spectrum is inverse of the nanometers, making it 800-400KHZ. I recommend doing some research and let me know what questions you have.

Light waves/photons have only a few properties, or degrees of freedom. There is absolutely no way to tell the difference between a single photon of a particular wavelength that came from the Sun vs. one that came from an LED.

You cant even begin to compare high frequency sunlight with a glowing LED, and there isnt enough time to go into all of the quantum physics.

The difference comes from the aggregate set of photons when considered as a group. The LED produces photons in only a short band of the EM spectrum, where the sun produces photons in an extremely wide band. Most of the Sun's energy, however, doesn't make it to the Earth's surface:

The visible spectrum is the visible spectrum is the visible spectrum.

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/741...electrouc7.jpg

> If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth.

In order to be effective for plant growth, light has to be absorbed by the plant. Light that "penetrates" the plant is wasted. If you mean simply that it must be able to reach leaves below the upper-most level, then that has nothing to do with the type of light, but simply the direction(s) from which it comes.

I meant penetrate into the canopy of the plant growth, not the leaf surface in this sentence. LED light has no amplitude.

> LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

An LED is approximately a point light source just like an incandescent, HID, HPS, CF or any other light bulb. If you have only one light source, much of the leaf surface will be in shadow, so obviously you want as many light sources from as many directions as possible. To do this, simple spread out your lights and don't put them too close to the leaves. LEDs actually make this easier because you need many LEDs for the same amount of light anyway. Sunlight accomplished this because it moves throughout the day, but you can actually do better with indoor lights.

Youre still talking about using a linear reflector to distribute the LED light. That linear fixture can only deliver a linear plane of light. How will it penetrate through the canopy to achieve any useful plant growth?

> You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesn't have the energy that it needs to make PAR light.

An array of LED sources can produce light with as much or more PAR energy than direct sunlight, there's no inherent difference in the light itself.

Again, that may be fine for the human eye, but this is a forum about growing plants; fruits and vegetables and such.

> We can't cherrypick the spectrum and say plants don't need green or yellow light

Plants look green because they reflect green light and absorb other spectra. Plants make little use of light in the 500nm to 550nm range. Significant photosynthesis only occurs on light in this range in red algae, not in green plants.

I recommend reading more on photobiology. Plants use all the colors at different wavelengths to produce various pigments to make photosynthesis. Plants do absorb green light, go research a little, the datas available in Wikpedia.

See this graph of absorbence by wavelength:

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/472...spectraza0.png

you can see that only a fraction of the light in the low 500nm range is absorbed, and only by one type of chlorophyll.

> LEDs are made up of precious metals like gold and platinum.

No, LEDs are made from semiconductors:

* aluminum gallium arsenide - red and infrared
* aluminum gallium phosphide - green
* aluminum gallium indium phosphide - high-brightness orange-red, orange, yellow, and green
* gallium arsenide phosphide - red, orange, and yellow
* gallium phosphide - red, yellow, green
* gallium nitride - green, pure green, and blue (also white with AlGaN Quantum Barrier)
* indium gallium nitride - near ultraviolet, blue-green and blue
* sapphire as substrate blue
* zinc selenide - blue
* diamond - ultraviolet
* aluminum nitride, aluminum gallium nitride - near/far ultraviolet (down to 210 nm)

Gold? No. Platinum? No. Silver even? No. You'll find "precious" crystals in that list, but they're all lab-grown.

THINK AGAIN! Understand how LEDs are made, in the die attach process, for example, they use gold in the wirebinding process. Now just one company that makes LEDs can produce 2.5 billion die in ONE MONTH. You think thats really Green? How about the Chinese labor building those LEDs for you? The ocean freighters who ship it in, and the recycling nightmare ahead? You obviously once again are really poorly informed and making a fool of yourself. You listed the components of one particular LED, which kind was it? Where was it manufactured? What components went into it? Where did they get their wafers? Where were they made and assembled? Is the factory ISO certified? DO the manufacturers use automated or hand assembly? There's more too the process of manufacturing LED's than the raw elements that you think. Same with a light bulb, it has a host of ingredients that make up what comes to be the entire lamp, that is, the entire processing of it.
> Go to our website...

Based on what I've read here, I would _never_ buy anything from LifeLight Inc..

You can hang onto your cassettes and typewriters for as long as you like. Some people really love those things.

> The Sun delivers twice the energy plants need for photosynthesis, 1800 -2000 mols

A mol rating is meaningless without area and time reference. Full sunlight is typically around 2000 micro-mols per square meter per second, or around 500W per square meter in PAR. Sunlight-loving plants will use all of this and more, this is only "twice what's needed" for shade plants.

Sunlight is Sunlight is Sunlight. Plants dont need all the Suns energy for photosynthesis, go read up on your photobiology.

Please go do research before making comments that create true confusion and disinformation.

Gary
02-14-2009, 06:14 AM
that looks great do you have any pics of how plant get one under it ?

Unregistered
02-24-2009, 02:30 PM
light, go research a little, the datas available in Wikpedia.




im sorry man, but if you have not been in college for awhile, then i suggest you refrain from using wikipedia as a reference. Professors instantly fail any paper that cites wikipedia as a source. Anybody including you can write what ever they want for wikipedia. for all we know the information you are quoting you put on there yourself.

Unregistered
03-09-2009, 05:49 AM
Hello mate,

Good bit of writing there, that guy clearly only cares about his sales figures

I've been seriously considering moving over to LED'S for a few months now, I've read as much as I can find on the web regarding this, Would it be safe to use the guide lines you laid out? I'm just asking before I order a shed load of LEDS and blow the dust off of my soldering iron

Cheers Dude

Ben

EvDog
03-31-2009, 10:26 AM
So, I have been wanting to use artificial UV light to grow my plants for a while, then I started reading up on LED growing. Im glad that Steve posted this thread. However, I cant believe I had to read through so much bullshit!!! Where are the admins? This Life Light guy is a complete dumbass. He just filled two pages of threads with nonsense. Did he actually think nobody was going to call him out on his sales pitch? Anyway, STEVE, THANK YOU!!! I live in Seattle where it is too gray and cold most of the year to get a good flowering plant going. You have sold me on LED growing. I will post on my progress...

PS. F*** OFF LIFE LIGHT!!! YOU POISON GOOD THREADS WITH POOP!!!

aerogarden
04-01-2009, 02:36 PM
I agree that grow light (http://www.aero-garden.us/grow-lights) is quite expensive. But you can see the result, we can design the garden wherever we want especially if our place is poor of sunlight.
And for those who extremely want less effort for their garden, maybe aerogarden (http://www.aero-garden.us/aerogarden) could be the answer....
We pay and we got. When we choose, we decide.

Unregistered
04-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Let see the pic of word best led grow lamp

67pete
04-23-2009, 08:22 PM
all i really want to know can you grow dope with LEDS. i've looked throught a couple of pages and aint any clearer on this topic,so please yes or no.:confused:

mjdtexan
04-28-2009, 11:33 AM
So, if I am understanding the original poster correctly, the only light he had in his vegetable garden was LEDs and that he actually got his peppers to fruit. Is that correct?

Unregistered
05-05-2009, 11:22 PM
Waiting until I'll be able to buy Luxim's Plasma Light Bulbs for grow lights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTGsM9pplUs
Looks like these could be the best of both worlds, less energy and a good source of close to the sun spectrum. Until then I'll just keep using my plasma tv to grow with : )

Unregistered
05-14-2009, 08:43 PM
I just purchased two Supernova 270W LED Enhanced Spectrum lights and they are working great. They are in a 10 by 10 tent with 7 plants under each. There is no heat from these lights so I no longer need long cumbersome cooling systems. The Supernova's replaced 2 1000hps lights and they are working just as well. I am using an aeroflo 36 and I am getting heavy, dense fruits. I think that if you can afford them then you should. My power bill has gone down nearly 60 percent. People are not going to accept these lights until they can afford them and see the results for themselves

alexhate
06-01-2009, 11:03 AM
shoot those are pricey but with a 60% drop in pg&g bill would not take long to make it up.

Unregistered
06-10-2009, 01:23 PM
I'm not sure if this was addressed yet, as I got to page 3 of this thread and couldn't stand reading the comments by "Life Light" anymore. "Life Light", is the name of a brand of grow light, and that user is, obviously, a salesperson - peddling BS. There are already tests, experiment grows, studies etc. that show the effect (poor to great) of LED lights. Some are great. Check out "greenpinelane.com", check out "prosourceworldwide".

Cheers

Unregistered
06-14-2009, 07:49 AM
Yes they do work; there are some issues though.seedlings STRETCH IF THE LIGHT IS TO FAR OR TO CLOSE IT HAS TO BE THE PERFECT DISTANCE TO WHERE THE RED AND BLUE SPECTRUMS BLEND IVE ALSO NOTICED IF YOU BUY CHEAP LED SYSTEMS YOULL NEED MORE LED'S. WHEN COMBINED WITH REGULAR LIGHT THE RESULTS ARE EVEN BETTER BUT NOT PLAUSIBLE FOR ENERGY CONSUMPTION.AND WE ALL KNOW WHY YOU REALLY WANT LED'S THERES THESE TWO GUYS ON THE NET DOWN PLAYING THE LED'S SAYING THEY BLOW. THEM DUDES ARE FULL OF NAZI PROPAGANDA TALKIN ABOUT THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM, JUST CAUSE YOU CANT SEE THE SPECTRUM DOESNT MEAN IT DONT EXIST YOU CANT SEE AIR BUT ITS THERE. DON'T KNOCK IT TILL YOU TRY IT FOR GODS SAKE MAN NASA USES THEM ON THE SPACE STATIONS TO KEEP OUR ASTROUNAUTS SANE AND GUESS WHAT THEY USE THEM FOR (GROWING PLANTS) IVE SEEN LED GARDENS WITH ROPE LIGHTS OF RED AND BLU COMBOS
WRAPPED AROUND THE WALLS AND PVC HANGING IN THE GARDEN FOR INNER PENATRATION.
THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS IM NO ROCKET SCIENTIST BUT ONE THING I DO KNOW IS YOU GET RESULTS .TO YOU GUYS SPREADIN THE PROPAGANDA QUIT ACTING LIKE BITCHES YOUR JUST PISSY CAUSE PEOPLE ARE'NT BUYING YOUR LIGHTING SYSTEMS FROM YOUR COMPANYS. OH YEAH !I LIKE HOW YOU TRYED TWIST SCIENTIFIC FACT AS A SALES PITCH. JUST TAKE THE TIME AND MONEY PROVE YOUR REAL SCIENTIST (EXPERIMENT!) BE OPTAMISTIC! PLANTS RESPOND TO POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE STIMULUS EVERYTHING ON OUR PLANET IS CONNECTED THROUGH ENERGY YOU DIE YOUR ENERGY IS RECYCLED THROUH OUT!

benjamin
07-26-2009, 08:01 PM
Hi,
The cool thing is, plasma is now here. It's not a fantacy any more.

The old Sulphur Plasma dinosaurs with all the moving parts and magnetrons are extinct, not we have a new pardigm in lighting.

I am please to announce that a solid state (no moving parts) plasma light is now available in a beta testing version.

It IS by far the most enegy efficient high intensity light ever created at over 150 lumens per watt input. The efficiency has just been increased again by design. The effective PAR rating is over 65%. Every day the design seems to yeild more efficiency and by this time next year there will be a 700watt version that will put out more usable light energy than 2; 1000 watt HPS. I'm not kidding...We are putting the finishing touches on the 250 watt version which is PERFECT for a full Veg/ clone area. It put's out 162 lumens per watt, with a full spectrum output. The 700 watt version is being aimed at the fruiting stage with more RED in the outcome. So if you are interested in the 250 watt (better than a 400 watt MH!) Solid State PLS (plasma Light Source). They are available by special request. This IS the BEST GROW LIGHT EVER! BAR NONE!!!! The best Bud light will be here this time next year. This statement is quantifiable and indeniable! Put up or shut up! Leave your replies and I'll contact you here.

Dude Man
07-31-2009, 05:19 PM
http://www.led-grow-master.com/gardeningproducts.html

These are the same brand they use on the space station...

I wish BGH sold them i am loyal to them but, i want LED!!!!

at 8watts a light their great on power and can be ran off solor or wind power...

so far it's working...

if all goes good i will be building a green house and using these lights...

right now i am growing 100% led,,,

guess what it works!!

i will right back when it's done to tell you how it went...

hopefully they will make good Cali "tomatos".

EarthBoy
08-04-2009, 01:58 AM
Plasma! WOW! :eek:

I'm sure I could never afford it. :(

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David G.
08-06-2009, 05:31 PM
Dudeman,

You stated the the LED's are working "so far". BGH has been testing LED's for years. Some of them actually seemed to be producing the most compact growth I had ever seen under artificial light. However, in every instance, the end result was always inferior to what we could produce with standard HID's.

I remember one instance a while back where we setup a test system with bell peppers. The plants were growing incredibly; the internode spacing was incredibly close (they looked like bonsai pepper plants) and there were flowers everywhere - the plants looked beautiful. One morning we came in and were shocked to find that every flower had dropped off the plants - almost overnight. We figured that as amazing as the plants initially looked, none of our customers could deal with having their flowers fall off prematurely!

So please, let me know how the finished product compares with your other grows. And I'm assuming that this isn't your first or second grow, as you can't make a valid assessment unless you have a control crop growing in the same room under the exact same real-time conditions (except the lighting system) or you are a very experienced grower. If you fall into one of those two categories, I'll be anxious to hear how things turn out.

Dude Man
08-18-2009, 02:42 PM
You are right,, they looked great but than leafs started to drop off??

it did not kill the plant, what thas left looked healthy!

My conclusion is HID's are still needed.

I am still useing the led's with HID, with HID's runing 1\4 the day..

Fireing up 4 hours during the middle of the day...

we will see how that works.

justlearning
08-25-2009, 01:07 PM
i've been using a UFO LED for a while now. First round in a DWC setup was mainly herbs... things grew, but very slowly at first. (could have been from my first attempt at hydro)

second setup is soy beans. they appear to be absolutely loving the UFO light. These have even grown taller and faster than my garden soy.

I should be eating edamame this weekend!


interesting note...soybeans typically have lots of fuzzy hairs on the outside of the shell http://katynally.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/soybean.jpg

Indoors, some of the beans have much stronger/thicker hair on the beans.

Unregistered
09-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Plasma consists of a collection of free moving electrons and ions - atoms that have lost electrons. Energy is needed to strip electrons from atoms to make plasma. The energy can be of various origins: thermal, electrical, or light (ultraviolet light or intense visible light from a laser). With insufficient sustaining power, plasmas recombine into neutral gas. Plasma can be accelerated and steered by electric and magnetic fields, which allows it to be controlled and applied.

The results you see from the plants under LED's is just the plant making the best of what you're giving them. Plants are the most adaptable living things on the planet.

You can make an LED bright to the human eye, but to the plant it doesnt have the energy that it needs to make PAR light. PAR light again, is visible light, the visible spectrum.

LED's have no amplitude, and can't penetrate beyond a linear plane. Weak light for weak results.




i have been growing my cuttings and vege my plants under led panels and I can tell you with out bias leds are good for cutting and first vege development stages granted they are not as good as the more industrial lights but the power saved is very good. I have been growing under flor / metal halide and hps for 15 years. So due to the high prices of elec i thought i would just try these leds out and was quite happy with the results. I have grown a plant on the window sill and another plant in a cupboard same pot size germinated the same time same soil medium same amount of food etc. and the cupboard plant is as good as the window sill if not greener granted due to the daylight reducing out side the cupboard plant has been kept to a longer light cycle. I believe that leds still have some way to gow for flowering but vege not to bad and cutting i believe is where they excel due to there low heat so use for cuttings then when they get bigger change to a more powerful light system hps or halide what ever.

Unregistered
10-04-2009, 08:52 AM
I am glad to see someone else using some basic science skillz. I have this friend who is constantly talking smack on my 2X 400w (dual arc) setup saying I waste power and how he is getting some 500$ LED setup. He won't listen to a word I say "they say they are just as good" of course they do ....they want u to buy them...anyways thanks for reinforcing my argument.


Hi all,

Time to lay to rest another myth.

You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma. The Sun makes plasma, HID lights make plasma, and that's about it. Other lights like LED's and fluorescents make light differently, and they basically are just glowing and burning phosphors, in essence.

No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum that plants need to make photosynthesis. If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth. LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

You can all research this from this basic bit of science and photobiology.

Cheers

refine
11-04-2009, 07:02 PM
Life Lights comments are ludicrous and should not be taken as scientifically based by any means

I didn't read through the whole thing but it is incorrect that you need to reproduce the full spectrum of sunlight for plants to flourish. The reason LED grow lights only use red and blue lights is because plants do not absorb green light. Thats why they appear green to the human eye, because they are reflecting the full green spectrum back and absorbing the full blue and red spectrums (or much of it anyway)

Many LED lights on ebay only focus on two specific wavelengths of red and blue lights.

If you want an LED light that does truly work to grow plants, it will need to consist of a broader spectrum. Some better lights on the market have many different red and blue LEDs in them, some which will not even appear to be emitting light because they are giving off a wavelength that plants absorb and use, but that our eyes can't see.

Anyways... Here is what I gathered about LEDs overall:

Some are cheap and won't work
Some are more expensive and will work

don't let anybody use "science" to dissuade you from trying them, but make sure you do your own research and dont just listen to the people selling them

randallagordon
12-07-2009, 11:24 PM
In the interest of full disclosure, although I am not in business yet, I am in the beginning stages of research for starting a niche LED lighting businessretail to start as a way to provide funding for proper R&D so I can move into engineering fixtures. I'm a geek by hobby and tradesoftware engineering, web development and design, specifically. I've been following LEDs closely for more than a decade, saying that they would eventually become one of the predominant forms of general purpose lighting ever since I first laid eyes on what was once the holy graila blue LED! Until recently, that had been my focus, now I've seen that LEDs already have application in niche markets, so I'm looking at what I'm able to provide for the photographic and, the reason I'm here, horticultural lighting markets. Now, on to the business at hand.

True, Life Light should not be trusted, the information he or she is quoting is almost entirely pseudoscience with a sprinkle of facts here and there. It looks like Life Light is driving a FUD campaign in an attempt to sell more HID lighting equipment. The worst part is that Life Light seems to truly believe he or she is indeed correct.

That being said, I can understand why Life Light believes what they do. I think this person is confused on two points. That plasma is the only source of broad/full spectrum light, and that broad spectrum light is a requirement for plant growth.

To note, there's nothing wrong with HID, it is a great solution in today's market! So please don't think I'm just the other side of the argument, fighting for LED. As I said, I'm researchingI want to engineer lights which are more efficient. RF based plasma lights like EarthBoy posted the video of are another tech I'm looking into, I'm not just an LED snob. Being a photographer, I simply have a thing for light...

Plasma gets used liberally to refer to many different types of light sources (scientifically proper, yet confusing to consumers). In broad termsmercury vapor, LPS, HPS, fluorescent, HIDs, etc. Note that fluorescent is in that list, while Life Light infers that these lamps do not use plasma. They do! This alone blows Life Light out of the water! The difference is that fluorescents also harness phosphors in order to "correct" the light spectrum the lamps put out. Simply being a plasma light source in no way guarantees full spectrum lightthat is dependent upon the specific gas(es) used to make the plasma.

On the second point, the Calvin cycle is simply not dependent upon a broad spectrum. There are two main bands of the spectrum which are responsible for delivering the majority of the energy required. I think it has been posted here before, but I will do it again, here's a graph showing the absorbtion rates versus wavelength:

(Sorry, you'll have to copy & paste, I don't have 5 posts yet, this is my first here!)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Par_action_spectrum.gif

Although, I believe that it is premature to conclude that two narrow bands are the most effective solutionmost likely that is false. Raw data is required here to provide the truth. There are some NASA studies which I intend to investigate further that could provide some decent answers there. I'd assume that the most effective spectrum even varies between species, it should be linked to the ratio of the chemical constituents which drive the two photosystems, which I would assume varies from species to species to some degree, I'm still trying to track down data on that, too.

What I do know is early LED fixtures were prone to use very narrow spectrum LEDs, often a single spectrum, leading to even more confusion at the consumer level. There is damn good reason to be dubious of many products on the market right now. Do your research before buying.

Want proof that LED lighting works? Here's some "sole source" goodness right here:

(Sorry, gotta C&P once again...hey BGH, I'm sure you're limiting this to avoid spammers, but this is a huge handicap...)

picasaweb.google.com/randallagordon/DIYHydroponics

This is my own setup, and worth note that this is my first experience with hydroponics, so yeah, you'll see lot's of issues throughout the photoset. I've got a lot left to learn about hydro itself! You'll also note a fluorescent fixture, this I added as an auxiliary source for photographs, to tone down the purple hue from the LED fixtures, and it was not being run with the rest of the lights until just a couple weeks ago (when I got tired of turning it on and off and just hooked it up to the same X10 switch I'm using for timinganother word of advice, don't use X10 for timing).

dUDE mAN
12-15-2009, 06:03 PM
I do think that LED used with HID showed overall growth improvement.

How much better is hard to say??

Unregistered
12-17-2009, 04:37 PM
You guys can stop replying to LifeLite. He's busy setting up his new business mining garbage dumps for the massive amounts of gold and platinum in thrown away LEDs :D

azul007
01-13-2010, 07:15 PM
Hi all,

Time to lay to rest another myth.

You can only create light that plants can use, PAR light, AKA the visible spectrum, when the light has plasma. The Sun makes plasma, HID lights make plasma, and that's about it. Other lights like LED's and fluorescents make light differently, and they basically are just glowing and burning phosphors, in essence.

No plasma means no effective light that can have any power, amplitude or proper spectrum that plants need to make photosynthesis. If the light can't penetrate, its ineffective for overall plant growth. LED's deliver light to a linear plane, and can't penetrate.

You can all research this from this basic bit of science and photobiology.

Cheers

I dont think this is the science.
Look,just light is enough.the other you are talking is not the truth.certain Spectrum is enough

Unregistered
03-30-2010, 04:15 AM
You both make very good points, Im on the market for a 600w LED lamp at a cost of around 600 pounds, and the appeal is the lower electrical cost to standard M/H or sodium over its 50,000 hour lifespan. However l am unsure after reading your posts if the work or not. Any new info would be appreciated. Thanks

Unregistered
03-30-2010, 05:01 AM
I propogate and grow a variety of plants in my cellar using just 2 x 38w flourescent tubes by GrowLux.

My plants don't seem to complain and they all have strong root structures, deep green leaves and i also get fruits from them.

Simple.

Unregistered
05-10-2010, 04:21 AM
I'm not going to plug anything, I'm just going to say the fun stuff as it is. I work for both medical and food industry in the horticultural fields. Right now, we have multiple ways of beating HID lamps, and I'm actually in the process of developing a new super-efficient HID based on some rather old principles to see if, just for fun, I can't make HID more viable. As it stands, however, I've had impressive results with simply using LED by itself. I've also had stunning results using specialized T5HO lighting that only had red or blue tubes (each tube was either red or blue, not both making a purple glow,) almost tripling my pepper yield from a 216w T5HO unit. I've even made a 460+660 CCFL light panel, ran only 36 watts, grew the most amazing rosemary and was probably the best cloning light I ever had. Early Girl Tomatoes rooting in five days without hormones or rapid rooter plugs in a bubbler system, versus typical two weeks under 216w 6500K T5HO. The fact is, a photon is a photon is a photon. As long as you provide the right wavelengths of photons at the right amounts, you will see the benefits of targeted-spectrum lighting solutions. As a fair warning, under my LED experiments, THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH LIGHT. I put 120w inside of a busted NAS case, with just barely a 1.75 square foot footprint, and even from a height of 3 feet with great airflow, I light-bleached the African basil inside. Temps were fine, nutrient solution was fine, pH was proper, I just ablated the plant to near-death with photons.

LEDs are here and viable - don't use bottom-bin components or get the uber-cheap panels (as they're using what would now be considered bottom-bin diodes.) And don't be fooled by a lumens rating, it's still weighted in green and tells you nothing about your other wavelength outputs.

Out here in Southern California, my LEDs beat the sun for a same-time veg period. Even if it were used just for a vegetative and transition-to-flower light, the results and savings are worth the cost. Well, at least with those specifications. I made those lights to outperform most other typical LED panels, and I'm quite sure there are other panels out there more customized than mine that would beat mine. I don't care, I'm happy with my panels, enough to have thrown out my HPS and traded my T5HO units, I'm using just a tiny bit over half the power and getting better results all the way around when properly applied (some are wall-mounted for the taller tomato vines, others are hung low for strawberries and peppers, all depends upon application.)

Targeted lighting is here and it's BIG. I know it's big, I've got everyone from Australia to Canada calling me. I'm on the phone right now with a huge commercial NFT greenhouse in Holland discussing how best to light their setup for winter production. It's 3AM and I'm still getting calls. I get maybe four hours of sleep a night, that's how big this is and how well it works.

It's well worth the sleepless nights when you take a revitalizing bite out of a fat juicy tomato and realize you've got what everybody else wishes they had.

slippery surgeon
05-22-2010, 08:29 AM
Can you give more information on your LED setup or contact information?

Nine
05-25-2010, 11:52 AM
Life Light- Having less intensity as the distance increases from a light source is not unique to LEDs. All light sources follow the inverse square law of light- HID, fluorescent, and even the sun to some extent. This means light intensity decreases as the square of the distance from the light. Because the distance to the sun is so great- you wouldn't perceive this intensity change from the ladder to the floor but it is there. LEDs are the best way to be green with our energy dollars. Steve- you are on the right track A couple things... If the red and blues you are using fall within the peak absorbed wavelengths for photosynthesis- putting them too close may actually damage your plants. One definite use for green in an LED array despite the debate of whether plants need it or not- the green dilates the pupil so when you are working under the LEDs you don't get a headache.
Cheers.

Growtasim
05-25-2010, 09:09 PM
I'm new to hydroponics. I built three small Aeroponic units and am working on a drip system. Seeing how my garden is

in my home office, I started experimenting with LED lighting. I'm using Red and Blue lights I scrounged from ebay, govt surplus, etc.

They seem to be working great! I have three 2 foot tall Tiny Tim plants with many small tomatoes now. I have lots of Bell pepper flowers

(no fruits yet but close). I also just started a cucumber patch a few days ago and have sprouts about three inches tall.

LED = low power use (to light all the above 8 square feet uses about 120 watts and nice to the eyes and no heat.)

I was just wondering if anyone else has any experience with LED lighting good or bad and wants to share experiences and experiments with

me. I have many pictures but do not know how to post them here.

There are a few LED Grow light sellers out there, but very expensive. The lights I've put together are way cheaper than buying

conventional MH or HPS

Opinions/Experience appreciated

Thanks,
Steve

I recently bought some LED grow lights (I'm not growing vegetables with them however :) from Guru Grow Lights. One 120W LED grow light

is growing substantially better than my previous 400W HPS. On their website they have a grow test between a 60W LED grow light and a

150W HPS grow light. The results are quite surprising. You can check it out here <a href="http://www.gurugrowlights.com/grow_test.php">LED grow light versus HPS grow light test</a>.

Nine
06-11-2010, 06:46 PM
Gibberish. I would like to see the research. This patent on an LED grow light seems to prove you wrong. (US Patent # U.S. Patent Number 6,921,182).

Unregistered
09-15-2010, 05:21 PM
I run a 100W LED setup for a small grow cab (1'x1') and have had excellent results. A friend of mine grows in the same space with a 150w HPS and is constantly battling temps, watering every day and in the end it doesn't even come close to my harvest.
I don't give a hoot about all of the science behind all of this while I have actual results. So the plant is just 'adapting' to the non-PAR light - well I would say it 'adapted' pretty darn well. I use considerably less electricity of the typical HID setup of the same size(even less if you take AC to into account) and get better growth.
Most people that bash LED grow lighting either haven't tried it or bought a UFO or some other cheaply made over priced light and had horrible results or is not familiar with the current tech. I probably would bash LED's too if I just spent a couple of hundred bucks and got plants that wouldn't make it through flower.
If you think LED lights are your choice, do some research first and don't buy the first thing you run across claiming to outperform a 600w HPS. Better yet build your own and spend just as much as your application requires.
This is truly an excellent option for the hobby-est/small scale grower and the technology is only getting better. Heck when I was a kid we only had LED's in 3 colors and they were only bright enough to use as status indicators on electronics, now they use them for freakin' street lamps.
My 2 cents.

sfgj
01-10-2011, 01:37 PM
sunshine systems glowpanel 45 led panelss are decent little passive panels great for veg/clones/supplemental lighting from my experience

covering a 2'x4' area vegetating i have a haight solid state ppf-400 lamp, it uses 6 watt leds, it's about 10" from the canopy, it's only been installed for a week but so far the plants are really digging it, i am digging the heat reduction and not needing venting and whatnot, it's so quiet when i go in there now! i don't dig working under that lamp, the hps was just fine to work under, if i'm under the ppf-400 for a few minutes i feel weird, kind of light headed and queasy, that part i really don't like

slimmy42033
01-19-2011, 12:58 PM
everyone knows there isnt a HO bulb no matter how exact the nm, like the 3 watt cree ho bulbs they didnt seem HO to me. if ur gunna use these colorful things use em as supplemental lighting i have heard good things that away...

Unregistered
01-28-2011, 06:17 AM
LED grow lights are lighter in weight and this is incredibly useful because if you are growing indoor plants then there is a need for you to frequently remove a light when you watering or doing anything with wet hands.They produce less heat and they are energy efficient.

Unregistered
02-09-2011, 08:39 AM
My experience w/ LEDs was disappointing.

My Blue UFO 90 watts caused premature flowering in adolescent plants that I was trying to veg. Tried adding a 150 watt HPS, but that didn't help.

Red UFO 90 watts made adult plant stalks noticeably red and reduced yield significantly.

Has this happened to anyone else?

David G.
02-11-2011, 02:03 PM
Folks, there's a reason BGH doesn't sell LED's... :)

pates32
03-21-2011, 01:07 AM
LED lamps are available in visible and ultraviolet too,in various different colors, depending on type of grow lamp it is.These are necessary to provide the plants with the energy and warmth that they need in order to properly grow and process nutrients and create energy and LED lamps can do this job better.

sfgj
03-27-2011, 12:48 PM
Folks, there's a reason BGH doesn't sell LED's... :)

i have just had 2 fully led grown plants harvested, they spent their flowering life under a lumigrow es 165 with 2 sunshine systems glowpanel 45s as side lighting

i can tell you that so far i am getting about 1/2 as much weight as i was under a 250 watt hps. please keep in mind i am very new at all of this so there is a real possibility that user error on my part has been a contributor to the low yields.

i do want to point out, that 1 of the plants in particular, which i have grown several times over at this point under 250 and 400 watt hps, does have much smaller flower production so far, but the aroma is out of this world and incredibly strong, i have never smelled that particular plant have such a strong smell while it was still growing, generally it would be very light in smell until it had fully dried and cured for at least 2 weeks. again, i am very new, this is the first of this particular blue smelling plant that i have grown fully under led, maybe i just sucked growing it under hps, but it does seem to be 10x more fragrant with 1/2 or so the yield

just my newbie observations from real life experience thus far

...i'll be popping by later to get a 400 watt lumatek bulb btw, i've got 2 flowering tents setup right now, 1 with a 400 watt hps and the other with the lumigrow es 165 by itself, goin' head to head

sfgj
03-27-2011, 12:54 PM
sunshine systems glowpanel 45 led panelss are decent little passive panels great for veg/clones/supplemental lighting from my experience

covering a 2'x4' area vegetating i have a haight solid state ppf-400 lamp, it uses 6 watt leds, it's about 10" from the canopy, it's only been installed for a week but so far the plants are really digging it, i am digging the heat reduction and not needing venting and whatnot, it's so quiet when i go in there now! i don't dig working under that lamp, the hps was just fine to work under, if i'm under the ppf-400 for a few minutes i feel weird, kind of light headed and queasy, that part i really don't like

update on this, the haight solid state ppf-400 is okay, but just not enough. i wound up combining 4 sunshine systems glowpanel 45 panels together with the haight solid state ppf-400, all 5 of these panels together are kicking butt. that is a lot of panel for not a whole lot of coverage though, let's see, $110 average for each glowpanel, $165 for the used haight solid state, 202 watts of led that cost a total of $605 and it's doing about as good as my old 250 watt hps, i am saving a little bit on electricity but honestly, when i add up all that was spent on these leds the savings don't make much sense, even with bulb replacements every 6 months it sure takes a long time for the electricity savings to add up enough to off set it

brendonashmore
05-16-2011, 03:23 AM
hey steve, seems like you have good knowledge about hydroponics can u please provide me with some solution other than using LED lights.

pates32
06-10-2011, 02:34 AM
Yeah.The main advantage is that they can be easily attached and detached from any spot if you feel that the placement of the lighting is not proper for your garden. Check this article,might help you.

Types of Lighting System (http://hubpages.com/hub/Types-of-hydroponic-Lighting-System)

pates32
06-10-2011, 02:36 AM
Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Medicinalcultivation
07-12-2011, 03:16 PM
I build LED Grow Lights and know they work. Most Manufacturers from china have grown fond to using shades of red and blue that are not optimal for Photosynthesis. In Most cases if its not a ufo, your taking less chances of it not working.

Freebird11
08-23-2011, 01:51 AM
One of the most attractive features of LED grow lights is the very low cost in terms of buying accessories, because theres barely any need too. With the older methods, it was imposable to get any results without the use of reflectors, heat removal systems, ballasts, etc. From full spectrum led grow lights, you might want to get a modest fan, and even then its not totally required depending on the plant type.

Unregistered
09-01-2011, 12:52 PM
Maybe it is something BGH should look into. Don't be afraid of change.

I use LEDs, and have used HPS. As well as fluoros. I like LEDs (the quality ones, not the cheap Chinese ones) the best, the true savings in electricity is in the heat management.


Folks, there's a reason BGH doesn't sell LED's... :)

generalhydroponics1
09-06-2011, 12:51 PM
The 126W Penetrator would do just fine in a small scrog like you are talking about. It uses 1W LEDs but they are 60 degree beams on them . . . great intensity from a little light. These are built to go from seed to flower. Personally, I like using smaller lights anyway, even if it means I use more of them as they are more versatile than the big lights.

I only use LED, though with a small space like that, you use CFLs. Problem is that you would probably need to put in a solid 200W or so which would run you about $150 with a hood/reflector. They run hotter than LED so you may need to worry about cooling or venting. Yield would be about even with the LED in this case but you would have to worry about buying new bulbs that cost about $70 each . . .

Let me know if you need more help!

Rose Matt

Unregistered
09-25-2011, 08:38 PM
I think what Life Light was saying about amplitude and penetrating power was correct. It's a pretty simple concept really ... tell me if I have this all wrong without chopping my head off.

Ok as far as I understand for waves of energy the shorter the wavelength the more penetrating power said wave has. I.E. the higher the frequency the more penetrating a waveform can be. This is why microwaves (think cell phones) can reach you inside buildings and through other barriers ... with the exception of a Faraday cage.

The highest frequency wave we know of, I think, is gamma light which has so much penetrating power the only way we can measure it is by first slowing the wave down using a Compton scatter'er. If we did not do this the penetrating power of these waves would simply pass straight through any type of measurement device we can presently create.

Ok so I think I've established the fact that waves of energy have different penetrating power regardless of amplitude.

Now to discuss how amplitude affects the penetrating power of energy waves. If you applied some of the logic ppl here have used to usurp Life Light's arguments you would think that amplitude has no effect on the penetrating power of waves of energy. This is totally and fundamentally wrong.

I imagine everyone here has been to a large concert before. You realize they HAVE to use amplifiers to boost the strength of the waveforms they are producing so that everyone can hear right? Increasing the amplitude in turn increases penetrating power. A better example are FM towers that use huge gnarly amplifiers in order to penetrate a longer distance ... this is why towers are rated in watts and stations brag about having a 100,000 watt tower ... as in we can reach you anywhere! FM towers unlike AM signals are directional, not that it matters in this discussion. Final example are cell phone towers which are also amplified so that they can reach all of their customers. The whole concept behind the Cingular ad campaign of "More bars in more places" is fundamentally based on the idea that they either have more cell towers or they have spent more money to amplify the crap out of their signals.

So now I think I have shown that both wavelength and amplitude contribute to an energy wave's penetrating power.

How does this relate to LEDs? I have no idea, lol. I can guess that you would need an equivalent wattage light in similar wavelengths in order to have the same penetrating power. How the light is produced me thinks makes very little difference in comparison to which wavelengths are being created and at what amplitude. A wavelength is a wavelength regardless of how it is created but amplitude of said wavelength will have a direct impact on how much penetrating power it has.

Just to wrap things up I was at a club recently and I walked past a LED light that I thought was going to blind me! Easily as bright as a 250-400 watt HPS/MH. Club equipment has really taken off with this technology and is possibly the industry to watch in regards to advancing this tech. They have huge output LED lights that are hella expensive. LEDs depending on color are expensive, but they last for so long that the upfront cost is minimal in the long run.

Still imho, and I could be wrong, amplitude is amplitude so you'll need to find a LED with a similar wattage rating to HPS/MH lights for a similar effect. It is better that LEDs last longer and can be more specific to which wavelengths they produce.

There's some confusion I think about what the amplitude of a light wave is. Light Life's information is pretty much 100% wrong. In quantum mechanics, when you treat light as discrete photons, or packets of energy, amplitude is not a consideration. In classical mechanics, when you treat light as a wave, light the interaction between an electric field and a perpendicular magnetic field. Light does have amplitude in classical mechanics, but the amplitude is determined by the number of photons in the wave. The amplitude of a wave is proportional to the square root of the number of photons in it, or in classical terms, the strength of the electric and magnetic fields. Each photon of light at a specific frequency has exactly the same amount of energy (the electron-volts Light Life was talking about) regardless of source, and a light wave of X number of photons at a specific frequency from a LED will have identical properties to a light wave of the same frequency and number of photons from any other source.

As far as the environmental issues, the bulbs, chips, etc that the Light Life system is made from don't grow on trees, so bashing LEDs for being unfriendly to the environment is kind of silly. Also, integrated circuits are far more damaging to the environment to produce than LEDs. More importantly, the energy used by the system over its lifetime is a far bigger contributor to environmental damage than the manufacturing process, so if the LED systems produce comparable results with less energy consumed, they are more environmentally friendly.

The amplification of cellphone towers and broadcast towers involves increasing the electric field, which generates more photons of the same wavelength as the un-amplified signal (with some noise thrown in). This has the effect of increasing the amplitude of the signal/increasing the number of photons generated. FM and AM and all other electromagnetic propagation are directional, but AM appears to be less so because it is of sufficiently long wavelength that it bounces off of buildings, the ground, the atmosphere, etc, and gets sent off in other directions.

A "compton scatterer" is any kind of matter. All matter produces the Compton effect, which reduces the wavelength of x-rays or gamma rays that pass through it. Both gamma rays and x-rays can be detected by exposing substances that fluoresce under radiation, and both can be blocked with metal shielding.

Garibaldi
10-24-2011, 11:10 AM
Everybody should always remember when discussing the toxicity of any given materials, that the environmental impacts are always social choices, not some attribute of the material that is impossible to control.

Bashing LED's is a red herring. You can certainly bash vendors of commercial LED (and plasma) lamps for the garbage science they use to try and fool people, but there is more than ample evidence to prove that LED's are a viable light source, even if they are more expensive at the moment than some other light sources, at least to build one that actually works, but then it's actually pretty close to cost effective in the long run, and with far more ability to control how plants grow.

brkieffner
11-03-2011, 07:39 AM
I purchased a LED grow light and started my test of it on October 18th. I am testing it out on my indoor Lisbon Lemon Tree. The setup is hardly perfect, sitting in a basement that maxes out it's temp at 65 degrees. The light is about 2-3 inches above the tree's highest leaves. The tree is on a chair with a mirror behind it to reflect some of the light but I'm sure most of the light is lost. The basement isn't even finished so it probably doesn't even have the best of air. Yet with all this, since I started the light, there has been new growth. Yes, it has been minimal at best but it had new growth regardless. I'm sure that under ideal temperatures, humidity and other conditions it would have a much faster growth rate. I end my test on November 18th. So far, I'm sold.

brkieffner
11-03-2011, 01:04 PM
I purchased an LED light back in early October. I am running a test to see if LEDs work. It is only suitable to grow one square foot, which is fine for what I wanted to do. It is being used to grow my Lisbon Lemon tree indoors throughout the winter. I'm ending the test on November 18th. As of now, I can say the light works. The growth rate is slow but I think that has to do with the fact the tree is in the basement, where it stays at about 65F. I think this coupled with stagnant air and the fact that the tree is just sitting on a chair with no reflection has a lot to do with the growth rate. I feel that if conditions were ideal, the tree would be growing much faster. I feel LEDs work. When I have better growing conditions, I can give a better conclusion.

Unregistered
02-08-2012, 12:11 PM
Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover taking time and actual effort to make a very good article but what can I say I procrastinate alot and certainly not seem to get one thing done.

VanqLEDs
05-23-2014, 12:02 PM
we're betting that LED grow lights are the future. they are efficient, long lasting and customizable for sprouting, growing and flowering.