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Thread: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    My plants are doing very poor with the current florescent setup I have and I want to build a led setup. I'd prefer to use luxeon type leds instead of the 5mm. What wave lengths should I use? Any help is appreciated. Mods feel free to move this to the homemade forum if it's better suited there.
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

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    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    LED grow lights seem to be the new thing for the pot heads. They use just a fraction of the electricity of normal grow lights. If you do a search on google for LED grow lights you will find more info on them then you ever wanted.

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    Flashaholic* TORCH_BOY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    If you have lots of plants Metal Halide is the way to go

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    Flashaholic* nightshade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Grow lights,eh? He-Heeeee

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    T5HO is definately superior to MH. T5HO is definately superior to LEDs. High pressure Sodium can often be better than T5HO, but it comes down to thermal issues at that point.

    New LEDs can make the light needed, but the wavelegnths are crap for growing.

    I've been growing corals for years now, and I've tried every type of lighting available. I've found T5HO to be the absolute best for growth, power usage, coral coloring, bulb life, and thermal control.

    Remember, the advantage in T5HO all comes from the reflector shape. Most reflectors are garbage, so do not skimp on the reflector.

    I've tried many units and found the setups sold by the Ebay Seller "hightechgardensupply" to be the best units available at any cost. They are not super cheap, but I get higher PAR readings from the 4bulb units from Hightechgardensupply than I do with many other 8bulb units... Reflector material is of marginal importance, but reflector shape is critical. The units have the correct reflector shape.

    Best Wishes

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Thanks for the replys guys. Oh and no this isn't for growing weed.

    Edit: I just searched ebay and I couldn't find the seller mentioned and they seem kind of expensive.
    Last edited by lasercrazy; 02-18-2007 at 10:14 AM.
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Quote Originally Posted by lasercrazy
    My plants are doing very poor with the current florescent setup I have and I want to build a led setup... What wave lengths should I use?
    Chlorophyll has absorbtion peaks in the red and blue. It has no use for green.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_McE
    Chlorophyll has absorbtion peaks in the red and blue. It has no use for green.
    Thanks, what nm red and green is best if you know?
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* 2xTrinity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_McE
    Chlorophyll has absorbtion peaks in the red and blue. It has no use for green.
    Interesting. I know that red and blue are the most efficient colors for bare LEDs -- seems like the best bet may be to separte red and blue emitters rather than a "White" LEDs (lots of output in the green).

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Quote Originally Posted by gorn
    LED grow lights seem to be the new thing for the pot heads. They use just a fraction of the electricity of normal grow lights. If you do a search on google for LED grow lights you will find more info on them then you ever wanted.
    NASA and various ITs.. [Institute of Technology] has been trying to develop a lightsource for growing plants underground or in space using the necessary wavelengths of light and nothing else for higher operational efficience...
    This is a first for me to hear about LEDs being used to grow pot...

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Newbie knows about almost everything maybe he can help.
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Quote Originally Posted by lasercrazy
    Thanks, what nm red and green is best if you know?
    It varies some. I would suggest you aim for blue-to-violet and red-to-slightly-orange. I spoke too quicky when I said green is useless. The orange-yellow-green range can help a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTrinity
    Interesting. I know that red and blue are the most efficient colors for bare LEDs -- seems like the best bet may be to separte red and blue emitters
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTrinity
    rather than a "White" LED
    White LEDs are designed to work well with the human eye. Plants don't have eyes and so don't really care about white. White LEDs do have a lot of blue in their spectrum, but a plain blue LED is more efficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2xTrinity
    lots of output in the green.
    Plants look green because they bounce off most of the green light that strikes them. This is because they don't have much use for it, so they mostly just send it away unused. This is why they look green to us.
    Last edited by Ken_McE; 02-18-2007 at 10:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Should I use just plain red or red and amber or the red/orange leds? Should i use plain blue or cyan or even royal blue? Do the plants absorb uv or ir?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_McE
    It varies some. I would suggest you aim for blue-to-violet and red-to-slightly-orange. I spoke too quicky when I said green is useless. The orange-yellow-green range can help a little.

    Yes.

    White LEDs are designed to work well with the human eye. Plants don't have eyes and so don't really care about white. White LEDs do have a lot of blue in their spectrum, but a plain blue LED is more efficient.

    Plants look green because they bounce off most of the green light that strikes them. This is because they don't have much use for it, so they mostly just send it away unused. This is why they look green to us.
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

  14. #14

    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    All plants and algaes (not all cynobacterias) contain clor-A. Clor-A only cares about light between 415nm-430nm, and light right at 670nm. The 460nm we see from efficient blue LEDs will do nothing for them. Chlor-B is able to use 460nm, and 700nm, but this is much less common.

    In otherwords, your answer depends on the plants you are growing, however, white LEDs will be essentially useless for most growing needs. The "daylight" compact florecent bulbs sold commonly in stores are similarly useless for growing most photofeeders.

    My specialty is coral and not plants however, so keep in mind I am not a plant expert.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    I recently designed a small experimental LED growlight. I did some research and came up with the following:

    Chlorophyll a is the most abundant pigment. Its absorption spectrum peaks at 430 nm and 662 nm. There's also a small peak around 630 nm and a larger peak at 400nm.

    Carotenoids are believed to aid in the energy transfer and thus play an important role in photosynthesis. Almost all of them are active between 450 and 500 nm.

    more info and graphs here: http://darwin.nmsu.edu/~blyons/BCHE_...t_Pigments.htm
    http://www.lumitronixforum.de/viewtopic.php?t=1161

    A ratio of 20% blue and 80% red seemed to be ideal (NASA) but some German people did quite a few succesful experiments with only blue and white LEDs...

    http://www.lumitronixforum.de/viewto...=asc&start=200

    If you don't understand German, try babelfish and read the whole topic...very interesting information!

    My own array consists out of 100 5mm Red LEDs (660nm GaAlAs), 18 5mm Blue LEDs (465nm), 18 5mm Cyan LEDs (480nm) and 18 5mm violet LEDs (395nm). This should cover the whole absorption band.

    Total power should be about 4.5W (I know, that's not a lot, but we'll see what it does). The beam angle of all LEDs is 20-25°.

    Now I only have to find some pepper seeds to start the experiment


    Wim

    PS: will post some pics later.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed for building a LED grow light.

    Thank you for the info. I'm interested how your setup does. Wattage isn't an issue for me so I'll put as many leds as I need for the plants to grow like mad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wim Hertog
    I recently designed a small experimental LED growlight. I did some research and came up with the following:

    Chlorophyll a is the most abundant pigment. Its absorption spectrum peaks at 430 nm and 662 nm. There's also a small peak around 630 nm and a larger peak at 400nm.

    Carotenoids are believed to aid in the energy transfer and thus play an important role in photosynthesis. Almost all of them are active between 450 and 500 nm.

    more info and graphs here: http://darwin.nmsu.edu/~blyons/BCHE_...t_Pigments.htm
    http://www.lumitronixforum.de/viewtopic.php?t=1161

    A ratio of 20% blue and 80% red seemed to be ideal (NASA) but some German people did quite a few succesful experiments with only blue and white LEDs...

    http://www.lumitronixforum.de/viewto...=asc&start=200

    If you don't understand German, try babelfish and read the whole topic...very interesting information!

    My own array consists out of 100 5mm Red LEDs (660nm GaAlAs), 18 5mm Blue LEDs (465nm), 18 5mm Cyan LEDs (480nm) and 18 5mm violet LEDs (395nm). This should cover the whole absorption band.

    Total power should be about 4.5W (I know, that's not a lot, but we'll see what it does). The beam angle of all LEDs is 20-25°.

    Now I only have to find some pepper seeds to start the experiment


    Wim

    PS: will post some pics later.
    Favorite lights: XeRay 75W BarnBurner | Vec Twin 55W HID mod w/ LSD D pack | Amondotech Iluminator with 12D cell pack | Modded 2MCP vector | 2C ROP Low | 6D Quad Lux 3 Mod | 2C lux5 mod | Camo 3D red mod | 3D ssc Mod | Costco 2AA: R/B, Blue, Cyan, R/O | Aleph 19 UV | 193mw PGL 3 | Ssc Garrity hl mod

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