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Old May 5, 2018   #1
babsh
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Default Full spectrum LED lights

I have a tiny business selling seedlings from my home each spring. Someone on Craigs List asked if I wanted to barter some plants for a full spectrum LED grow light (wholesales price $176). I know nothing about them.

I've been doing this for 10 years and have always just used a few fluorescent bulbs in a workshop fixture. It works just fine, but my plants do not really get thick stalks like I see at the nurseries and depending on the weather here in Minnesota, they can get leggier than I like before the weather cooperates so I can begin to put them outside in my cheap greenhouse.

I know nothing about lighting and when i dug around a bit on the forums the conversations got far more technical than I could really follow.

So....can someone tell me, in simple terms, if this light would be beneficial to me, or is it total unnecessary overkill? Will it help with my thin stalks? Make my plants greener (they are always pretty light green).

Thanks in advance. Barb
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Old May 6, 2018   #2
Jetstar
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This is my first year growing from seed, my question to you is after 10yrs of success why do you want to change what has worked so well for you? My advice if it ain't broke don't fix it!
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Old May 6, 2018   #3
Hatgirl
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I love my LEDs. My room doesn't overheat and they're usually cheaper to run than fluorescents. But I probably would use them to replace bulbs after they blew rather than toss the fluorescents immediately
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Old May 6, 2018   #4
PhilaGardener
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Get the specs on that bulb. The spectral coverage of a "white" LED is based on a mix of red, green and blue LEDs to get a mixture perceived by the human eye as "white" (or any color, based on the balance - this is the principle of how your computer screen works). Plants only absorb the red and blue parts of the spectrum, so the most efficient lights for plants actually look purplish to the eye. That said, white LEDs come at much cheaper price points and are quite bright; I prefer "warmer" blends that have more red in their output for both my eyes and my plants.
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Old May 6, 2018   #5
babsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetstar View Post
This is my first year growing from seed, my question to you is after 10yrs of success why do you want to change what has worked so well for you? My advice if it ain't broke don't fix it!
One reason is my stems are thinner than I see at nurseries, so I was hoping they might help. Also, my plants are always a light green, rather than a deep dark green. Again, I'm wondering if it's the light. And lastly, I only have enough bulbs to handle them in seed trays. Once I pot up, I have to pray our weather cooperates and I can get them outside in greenhouse. We had a blizzard just 2 weeks ago, so it's been a bad year.

Lastly, he said one light would give me a 8' coverage, so I could get a lot of plants under them, as opposed to the fluourescents which have to be directly under the lights.

I just don't know enough about these lights to know if they would improve me plants or not?
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Old May 6, 2018   #6
babsh
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Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Get the specs on that bulb. The spectral coverage of a "white" LED is based on a mix of red, green and blue LEDs to get a mixture perceived by the human eye as "white" (or any color, based on the balance - this is the principle of how your computer screen works). Plants only absorb the red and blue parts of the spectrum, so the most efficient lights for plants actually look purplish to the eye. That said, white LEDs come at much cheaper price points and are quite bright; I prefer "warmer" blends that have more red in their output for both my eyes and my plants.
Will they do a better job them my fluorescents? make my stems thicker, leaves greener? And is it true the plants don't have to be right underneath, so I could put WAY more plants under a light?
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Old May 6, 2018   #7
Ricky Shaw
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Fluorescents are more than adequate to get tomato plants to 10" to 14" with thick stems and dark green foliage. To my thinking it has more to do with fertilization. These were 33days from being sown under 6500k T-8's, ProMixHp, Chemgro 4-18-38. FloraNova Grow does just as well, and Osmocote comes highly recommened although I've not used it personally.

Note the explosive new growth tips and sucker development on this young plant. Experiment over the winter, it's not a very big investment of materials because seedlings require very little potting mix and relative amount of fertilizer.
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Old May 6, 2018   #8
PhilaGardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babsh View Post
Will they do a better job them my fluorescents? make my stems thicker, leaves greener? And is it true the plants don't have to be right underneath, so I could put WAY more plants under a light?
+1 on light is only part of the mix. As for distance, look up the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific array and start from there. Would be great to see some pictures of how it works for you!
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Old May 6, 2018   #9
babsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Get the specs on that bulb. The spectral coverage of a "white" LED is based on a mix of red, green and blue LEDs to get a mixture perceived by the human eye as "white" (or any color, based on the balance - this is the principle of how your computer screen works). Plants only absorb the red and blue parts of the spectrum, so the most efficient lights for plants actually look purplish to the eye. That said, white LEDs come at much cheaper price points and are quite bright; I prefer "warmer" blends that have more red in their output for both my eyes and my plants.
I asked him for specs, he sent me this:

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47435

I'm guessing this isn't the information you are asking?
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Old May 6, 2018   #10
babsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
Fluorescents are more than adequate to get tomato plants to 10" to 14" with thick stems and dark green foliage. To my thinking it has more to do with fertilization. These were 33days from being sown under 6500k T-8's, ProMixHp, Chemgro 4-18-38. FloraNova Grow does just as well, and Osmocote comes highly recommened although I've not used it personally.

Note the explosive new growth tips and sucker development on this young plant. Experiment over the winter, it's not a very big investment of materials because seedlings require very little potting mix and relative amount of fertilizer.
Wow, nice!

I do not use any fertilizer until they are about 6" tall or so. I was told it wasn't necessary right away. Do you think that might be my problem?
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Old May 6, 2018   #11
babsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
+1 on light is only part of the mix. As for distance, look up the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific array and start from there. Would be great to see some pictures of how it works for you!
HEre is the video he sent me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD7F...ature=youtu.be
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Old May 6, 2018   #12
babsh
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Quote:
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I asked him for specs, he sent me this:

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47435

I'm guessing this isn't the information you are asking?
He sent more:
"300 watt lights", aluminum alloy, 100 epistar leds, 70 red, 20 blue, 8uv1, full spectrum, luminous flux -3233 lumins,
adjustable light source , comes with lens, the light source is more concentrated with 24 red, 6 bluelong leaves; 14 blue, 6 red, 2 white, 2 orange 2 green.top of the line private label lamps, retails for 750.00 must sell till gone 199.00

"150 watt lights" aluminum alloy, 50 beads, .50,000 hour lights, full spectrum top of the line, for private label, 1324 lumins,
epistar lamps 32 reds, 2 blur, 2 white, 2 yellow 2 orange,1 infrared, 1, UV, full spectrum, top of the line private label lights
retails for 700.00 must sell till gone 99.00
"
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Old May 6, 2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babsh View Post
Wow, nice!

I do not use any fertilizer until they are about 6" tall or so. I was told it wasn't necessary right away. Do you think that might be my problem?
I'm not him but yes that is your problem.
And try to get around 100 watts per square foot with the lights.
I put fertilizer on after the fist true leaves or even sooner.
I personally use 6500K 100 watt CFL lights every square foot in a grid.
Nobody makes this contraption you have to make it yourself.

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Old May 7, 2018   #14
GrowingCoastal
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As well,
After reading here on T'vl about using a fan for stronger plants with thicker stems I have been doing that; using a fan for a little while each day on seedlings. Seems to work.
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Old May 8, 2018   #15
Harry Cabluck
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This is worth a looksee for those interested in LEDs: https://fluence.science/blog/redefin...ewsletter-2018
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