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Thread: Do LED grow lights really work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    1

    Angry Do LED grow lights really work?

    I am starting this thread because I typed the title of it ("Do LED grow lights really work?") into google hoping to find some useful discussion. Instead, what came up as the #2 result in Google for that phrase was the unfortunate thread called "LED Grow Light Opinions", in which some mouth-breather HID salesman named "Life Light" did an absolutely fantastic job of swamping out any and all useful discussion with a barrage of pseudoscientific misinformation.

    So LifeLight, and all your associated aliases and mysterious unregistered supporters who share your exact same silly opinions and typing nuances, please do not post on this thread. AT ALL.

    LEDs are undeniably the foreseeable future of lighting. They are already taking over and as the technology is developed further it will only accelerate the process. Nothing else compares to the efficiency at which they convert electrical energy into USEFUL light, and they just keep getting brighter, cheaper and more diverse.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that in a few years we will all be switching to LED lighting systems. I am not starting this thread to argue about WHETHER this is feasible or will happen, so anyone who disagrees may post their opinions on the "LED Grow Light Opinions" thread.

    The point of this thread is to discuss HOW we can make this happen, HOW currently-available technology can be effectively used to grow plants from LED light. Please DO NOT POST A REPLY TO THIS THREAD unless it is constructive to this goal. Also please do not post any replies to anyone who does so, it will only encourage them to post more. Just ignore them and they will go away.

    There are a number of LED grow light products on the market, and they do seem to be somewhat effective, though very primitive and expensive. Not as good as they could be, but not a bad start. Unfortunately the people selling them are just as full of BS as Mister Life Light, and overhype them to the point of completely making the technology look stupid.

    At this point I want to say BIG UPS to Steve F, the guy who started the "LED Grow Light Opinions" thread. In the true spirit of scientific research, Steve has taken it upon himself to design, pay for, and build several excellent experiments to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of a number of LED grow lights that are presently on the market. He also took the time to build a nice professional website to share in detail what he has done and learned: http://www.greenpinelane.com Unlike almost ALL other information on the internet about this subject, Steve's site is 100% unbiased information and he is not trying to sell anything.

    I, like Steve, am very excited about the potential of LED based growing. This technology, once matured, has the potential to decimate the cost and environmental impact of growing plants with artificial light. Combine that with high efficiency aeroponics and modern hydroponics techniques, as well as emerging solar and energy storage technologies, and all sorts of amazing things become possible. Not the least of which are combatting hunger and starvation across the world, and reducing our need to consume fossil fuels.

    It is an outrage that someone would try to stand in the way of this just to protect his own business interests, and it got me angry and motivated enough to start this new thread.

    I invite everyone who shares my interest and enthusiasm about making LED growing a feasible reality to post here with your constructive input.

    P.S.: No I am not the guy who posted "It's got what plants crave" on the other thread. However I got a great laugh from it (Idiocracy is one of my favorite movies) and decided that BRAWNDO would be a fitting moniker under which to pursue this interest.
    Last edited by BRAWNDO; 06-13-2008 at 11:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Las Vegas
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    31

    Default In many respects...

    Life light is right for many reasons and so are you. l.e.d. lights work... just not that well. where as hid lights have lots of proven succes . in side by side experiments we have done in my shop.The leds have alot of work to do
    I grow em' all, and know em' all. Later ya'll

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    5

    Default

    Ok, I have to add this little snipet. I just joined today and am seeing this and the large amount of MIS_INFORMATION that is being spread.


    LED's work, they also work good. I know, this because the college I went to, got a grant from the USDA to perform tests with LED's along with 4 other schools. University of Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Harvard, and 1 other I cannot remember at the moment.

    However with that being said, I would like to re-iterate, LED's work and work good. However, the LED's that you would need to use to get rid of a 400 watt HPS bulb is about $900.

    Here is what we came up with in our study, it was a collaboration between all schools who recieved the grant. The study was then 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.

  4. #4
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Seriously?

    Why don't I believe that Harvard would say that they work and work good?

    Link to the research paper please. If you provide a link to the abstract in a reasonably scientific journal it would be easier to believe you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    6

    Default

    From the snippet he provided, I don't think they drew any conclusions stating one is better than the other, only that the LEDs were able to grow plant matter. It also stated the obvious: the benefits of LEDs are low power consumption and heat generation but in order for them to work well they are still very expensive and the technology has not become refined and inexpensive enough yet to use in commercial applications for profit

    Thats what i gathered anyway.. the language they use is horribly difficult to interpret unless you're using the terminology every day

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    227

    Default

    HPS lamps in higher wattage provide 200 lumens/watt and the best LED's provide about 130 lumens/watt.

    LED lamps have longer life than HPS lamps.

    LED will, in time, become the predominant lighting source because of lower life-cycle costs, it's just not here yet.

    Go to Cree website for LED information.

    http://www.cree.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by furcifer View Post
    Ok, I have to add this little snipet. I just joined today and am seeing this and the large amount of MIS_INFORMATION that is being spread.


    LED's work, they also work good. I know, this because the college I went to, got a grant from the USDA to perform tests with LED's along with 4 other schools. University of Iowa, Southern Illinois University, Harvard, and 1 other I cannot remember at the moment.

    However with that being said, I would like to re-iterate, LED's work and work good. However, the LED's that you would need to use to get rid of a 400 watt HPS bulb is about $900.

    Here is what we came up with in our study, it was a collaboration between all schools who recieved the grant. The study was then 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.
    Sure...as long as we're talking about wheatgrass

  8. #8

    Default

    Hello BRAWNDO,

    yes i think that the leds really work, but you have to devote adequate time
    http://www.hydroponicsworld.info - Everything about hydroponics

  9. #9

    Default

    I looked at running LED lights on my marine fish tank, but the price more than anything was prohibitive. What you need to be careful of is the different types of LED's available. You can get High Output ones but they cost alot more. The advantage with LED lighting is the ability to make them at home.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Pardon my ignorance, as I'm not even sure as to exactly what part of the spectrum MH and HPS lamps give out, or don't give out, but I'm really concerned about these LED manufacturers claiming to produce the full spectrum of grow light, obviously a false claim when you consider how yellows and UV rays can affect a plant's growth in a desirable way, right? Or are these LED lamps really putting out a full spectrum?

    How about the MH and HPS lamps? Do they put out yellows and UV rays?

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