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

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Old March 27, 2018   #1
mobiledynamics
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Default LIGHTS - how close is too close

I'm using LED lights. They're pretty powerful compared to my old grow CFL's. For the 1st week to 10 days, I literally got dizzy/nauseous when I got close to the lights. I turned off the lights before heading into the boiler room

I think it's not due to to the brightness but *brain confusion*, as the LED lights gives off a array of colors, blue, red, white, ir, uv etc.

Anyhow, for the most part, I've had my LED's about 12 inches or so away from the tops of the seedlings. I've tinkered with the dimmer settings (it has 3 modes, seedling, veg and bloom). Since it's sprouted, I've had the seedling on 100% and Veg as well on 50%. Sometimes I'll crank it up more, just to vary the light output. Manuf. recommend height during vegetative state is 24-30 inches. . That seemed awefully far away --- well compared to the mere inches CFL setup....Granted, there is no universal rule when it comes to gardening, and or height/relative to light output/relative to plant response.

Anyhow, what's the rule of lights / seedlings. Just crank them as high as long as it doesn't burn ?

I've got the same lights on my seeded annuals and I have them on FULL blast and they are loving it.

Not sure what the rule of thumb is with 'matoe.

Last edited by mobiledynamics; March 27, 2018 at 09:14 PM.
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Old March 28, 2018   #2
ginger2778
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Just crank em as high as long as it doesn't burn.
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Old March 28, 2018   #3
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Try a few inches and watch closely.
I actually got sun scald on a few leaves last year as the plants were touching the lights, I use Fluor and Led bulbs.

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Old March 28, 2018   #4
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You can buy all the lamps you can lay your hands on, they will be less powerful than a bright sunlight. The only limits are the emitted heat reaching the seedlings and your financial means...
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Old March 28, 2018   #5
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Very interesting. So the only thing that can ~hurt~ them is just burn.

Literally, the LEDS make me dizzy/nauseous for the initial 10 days. It needed a ~acclimation~ period for my eyes/sensory brain to adjust.

I just was not sure aside from heat - literally, can too much light or too intense light be a bad thing
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Old March 28, 2018   #6
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You'd be hard pressed to get too much or too intense light from anything that is not the sun.

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Old March 28, 2018   #7
mobiledynamics
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Thx all. Anybody else on this forum running similar high powered LED plant lights that is being discussed. Doing a quick cut n paste on the manuf. on how many LEDS :

2pc 100w COB + 140pcs 5w single chips and C850 is 6pcs 100w COB + 100pcs 5w single chips
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Old March 28, 2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger2778 View Post
Just crank em as high as long as it doesn't burn.
I second this. Just keep an eye on them. Don't crank it up and go away for the weekend. Do it when you can check in on them every 12 hours.
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Old March 28, 2018   #9
mobiledynamics
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LOL. The wife is at home. I have these on a timer plug.

I'm sure my CFL's were made overseas but it's a much simpler light.
These LED lamps have heatsinks, fans, etc.
I turn them off when we are away from the house for more than 45 minutes. Anything just short of a errand run, the lights are turned off. Too scared they will burn my house down ;-0
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Old March 28, 2018   #10
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On the lowest sets of leaves, they are wilting. Only the lowest leaves. I did transplant them from seedling to packs.

Should I lower the intensity or let the lower sets of leaves wilt of thrive ? I don't want to dial back the lights and then have them stretching for light.
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Old March 28, 2018   #11
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MD, if they were transplanted within the past couple of days, it could be just transplant shock. I'm not sure why dialing back the lights would help.

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Old March 28, 2018   #12
mobiledynamics
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I don't know if I'm ~stressing~ out the small leaves. Not burning, but stressing them out....


Hard to explain, other than the 1st 2-3 sentences of the original post. Not that plants have eyes or brain. But the LED driven lamps are just very different compared to good 'old CFL. Even now , not that my eyes have gotten accustomed to the color sensation my brain gets----I actually dial down the lights so only primarily the white/blues are on so it won't make me feel a tinge nauseous.
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Old March 28, 2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
On the lowest sets of leaves, they are wilting. Only the lowest leaves. I did transplant them from seedling to packs.

Should I lower the intensity or let the lower sets of leaves wilt of thrive ? I don't want to dial back the lights and then have them stretching for light.
Normal for a new transplant. In 3 or 4 days they won't be wilted anymore. Too intense light would be damaging the top leaves closest to the light. Be patient.

White and blue range are the best light for tomatoes anyways.
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Old March 28, 2018   #14
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Thx ginger. I have no idea how to read the chart but this is the spec on light intensity/specturm
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Old March 28, 2018   #15
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
Thx ginger. I have no idea how to read the chart but this is the spec on light intensity/specturm
This is telling you the blue range is what's used most for all 3 stages. Also telling you that the closer the light is, the more intense the light is. No brainer there, lol!
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