Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 1, 2018   #1
R2rusmc
Tomatovillian™
 
R2rusmc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 7
Default LED lighting question

For the first time (successfully), last year I did my own starters. Don’t beat on me, I used my Aerogardens then transplanted to soil put under LED grow lights. Due to last years success I’m doing even more starters this year. So I need more grow lights but don’t want to invest in more large lights that I don’t have room to off season store.

That being said I’m looking at some of the LED flexible strip lighting.

Precisely how much wattage do you need for LED grow lights??
R2rusmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2, 2018   #2
Tiny Tim
Tomatovillian™
 
Tiny Tim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Near Albany,NY
Posts: 67
Default

I think you may want to research that a bit. Hate to see someone waste their time and money. This youtube video shows you why they really don't work well. Good luck and Happy gardening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BBsZdmRTM0
Tiny Tim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2, 2018   #3
shatbox
Tomatovillian™
 
shatbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
Posts: 203
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny Tim View Post
I think you may want to research that a bit. Hate to see someone waste their time and money. This youtube video shows you why they really don't work well. Good luck and Happy gardening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BBsZdmRTM0
Yeah, the strips are not quite there yet, but prices have come way down and CRI has gone up. Its possible get way more stips butted up against each other than what he had in the video. Shoot for the most light output per meter you can find/afford and the stips will say how much watts/meter the LEDs will use; use this to size your power supply/"driver".
shatbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2, 2018   #4
oakley
Tomatovillian™
 
oakley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: NewYork 5a
Posts: 2,027
Default

Might try a LED shop light. This is my second, maybe third year.
Cheap at Costco.
(don't forget about the 'search' button up top)

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ht=shop+lights

The video...I would listen to a guy growing Roma's, , 3 feet away from the lights.
oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2, 2018   #5
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 652
Default

I decided to give LED's a try:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These are replacement bulbs, and do require the re-wiring of the fixture to bypass the ballast. There is a "before and after" wiring diagram on the web page that shows how it is done. These are rated at 2360 lumens at 6000k. There is a lot of light from these. Arguably more light that my 2860 lumen T8's florescence at 6500k. (The average lux was about 500 more than from the T8's, according to my phone.)

Anyway, I'll see how they do with my plants.

-GG
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2, 2018   #6
asaump
Tomatovillian™
 
asaump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Maine, 4b
Posts: 37
Default

I am starting for the first time this year. Just a few tomatoes and peppers. I bought these LED lights. No idea how well they will work but will update once I put them to use.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
__________________
Ken
asaump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29, 2018   #7
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 652
Default

As fate would have it, one of my T8 fluorescent fixtures blew a capacitor in the electronic ballast. Since I had an extra pair of the Amazon LED replacement bulbs, I re-wired the fixture for the new bulbs. This fixture is one of the compact T8 two-bulb "shop light" varieties. The ballast was split so that there were two circuit boards to save space (one part under each end cap). It was definitely tedious to re-wire! So I'll also see how the plants do. I have about 60 small seedlings under them right now, so should be a good test. It's 6500K, so hopefully they will do well.

-Greatgardens
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29, 2018   #8
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 8,126
Default

I still like CFL for seedlings more than LED. Building your own fixtures is easy. If off-season storage is an issue, just put the reflectors together with screws and disassemble to store.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29, 2018   #9
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 652
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I still like CFL for seedlings more than LED. Building your own fixtures is easy. If off-season storage is an issue, just put the reflectors together with screws and disassemble to store.
Hi-

I've thought about CFL, but have never given it much serious consideration. First, they seem to concentrate the light instead of spreading it out, as do tubes. Second, although they are pretty cheap (and the little fixtures are really cheap), they don't last very long in my experience. The heat seems to kill the ballasts or cause leaks. Full-size 60 watt equiv. seem to last the longest, and it goes down hill as you go to higher watts. You can get extended life bulbs, but they are usually quite expensive. Third, I don't have a lot of head room on my 4-shelf plant stand. (Made it in '73 to start my Burpee Pixie plants.) T-8 (and earlier T-12) fixtures fit this stand quite well.

But this is my first foray into LED territory for plants, so this is basically a trial. If I can successfully get down to about 40 watts per shelf total + no Mercury, and maybe 8-10 years of service, I'll be a very happy camper.

How would you arrange the CFL's to cover a 4' X 1' shelf with one-foot of head room? How many would it take? Just curious as to how you would do it.

-Larry

Last edited by Greatgardens; March 29, 2018 at 03:20 PM.
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29, 2018   #10
Cole_Robbie
Tomatovillian™
 
Cole_Robbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Illinois, zone 6
Posts: 8,126
Default

Here's a thread about a big cheap light I made. It's basically the cost of the bulb. Ceramic sockets are about $1-2.

www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=35099

That light will cover one flat, which is 1'x2'. So two would do a shelf for you. The bulb doesn't have to be that big. The bigger CFLs are getting harder to find. You can just put a splitter in the socket and screw in two 150 watt-equivalent bulbs if that is all you can find. I do spin the flats around every day or two so the plants on the outside don't lean inward too much.

Alternatively, you could do what Worth did and frame a lumber rack in the shape of your shelf. Untreated 2x2 pine is good for that. The sockets and lights are cheap. You can wire in as many as you desire.
Cole_Robbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30, 2018   #11
Worth1
Tomatovillian™
 
Worth1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bastrop Texas Lost Pines Forest.
Posts: 34,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
Hi-

I've thought about CFL, but have never given it much serious consideration. First, they seem to concentrate the light instead of spreading it out, as do tubes. Second, although they are pretty cheap (and the little fixtures are really cheap), they don't last very long in my experience. The heat seems to kill the ballasts or cause leaks. Full-size 60 watt equiv. seem to last the longest, and it goes down hill as you go to higher watts. You can get extended life bulbs, but they are usually quite expensive. Third, I don't have a lot of head room on my 4-shelf plant stand. (Made it in '73 to start my Burpee Pixie plants.) T-8 (and earlier T-12) fixtures fit this stand quite well.

But this is my first foray into LED territory for plants, so this is basically a trial. If I can successfully get down to about 40 watts per shelf total + no Mercury, and maybe 8-10 years of service, I'll be a very happy camper.

How would you arrange the CFL's to cover a 4' X 1' shelf with one-foot of head room? How many would it take? Just curious as to how you would do it.

-Larry
4 in a single row pointing down one per foot 100 watt CFL lamps 6500K will put you in a place you will love.
This will give you 100 watts per square foot.
Then if you wanted you could put splitters on them and have 200 watts per square foot.
40 watts per square foot is way too low.
A 100 watt CFL will draw about 27 watts that is nothing.
I used paper plates with holes in the middle for the lamp socket to go through for reflectors.
__________________
Home of Cactus Flats Botanical Gardens.
It ain't working, try harder.

Worth
Worth1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30, 2018   #12
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 652
Default

Thanks, Guys. I'll keep that CFL setup in mind for a possible test.

BTW, my 40 watts refers to 40 watts actual -- two 20 watt, 4 ft. LED's. Lots of light -- about 5000 lumens at 6500k.

Here is my setup to show my space issues for the plant shelves.

-GG
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Plant shelves.jpg (171.3 KB, 95 views)
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2018   #13
Harry Cabluck
Tomatovillian™
 
Harry Cabluck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 129
Default

This is interesting for those interested in LEDs: https://fluence.science/blog/redefin...ewsletter-2018
Harry Cabluck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2018   #14
asaump
Tomatovillian™
 
asaump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Maine, 4b
Posts: 37
Default

I had great success using the lights that I posted a link to in post number #6.

You can see pics of my results in the Photo Gallery

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47496
__________________
Ken
asaump is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:22 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★