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  #1  
Unread 01-09-2013, 05:55 AM
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Default X3 LED lighting for greenhouses

Hi everybody,

I am planning some major changes to my greenhouse set-up next year (layout, and refresh of glazing, etc.). The lack of light in the winter has been a cause of trouble for me in two ways: a) I can't get some of my fav plants to flower as I don't get enough sun in the winter, b) the dark and dull weather can cause health problems. My issue is probably worse than that for most, as my garden is overshadowed by buildings which means that I have NO direct sunlight from the 1st week of November to about mid February.

With LED lights becoming a really good (and economic) option for grow lights, I am seriously considering maybe some X3 LED interlighting and/or headlights. They are also interesting, as the LEDs just emit light at frequencies, which the plants actually need for photosynthesis.

I was wondering, whether anybody has any experience with these. I looked at a number of options, but don't seem to be able to find a good solution for hobbyists: there are a lot of solutions in hydroponics shops, but all the solutions there have no IP rating (and appear to have open fans), which is not something I want to risk. Or, there are solutions for commercial growers, but it is unclear how expensive and whether it is possible at all to get these in a small set-up.

Has anybody investigated artifical LED lights for their set-up? Experiences are welcome

Lars
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  #2  
Unread 01-09-2013, 10:18 AM
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I am using 200 watts (input power) of LEDs as supplemental lighting in my greenhouse but I build my own and even building your own, expect to spend at least $2.00 / watt (input power).
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  #3  
Unread 01-09-2013, 11:52 PM
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Firstrays has some LED lights you can use, I've bought some from eBay pretty inexpensively and they're working really well too.
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  #4  
Unread 01-10-2013, 10:51 AM
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I use a lot of LEDs in a (sort of) commercial scale indoor greenhouse. Well, hobby business scale... There are several good commercial options for your situation, you might want to start by checking into the many various flavors of 90W UFO style lights. Since you are supplementing natural light, don't get bogged down in the quad, penta, hexa- god knows how many different 'bands'. You will be fine with a simple red and blue, don't worry about all those other colors.

They work. Some are more durable than others. I have not yet built my own systems. It seems like every week there is a new product to play with and while I keep meaning to build some LED systems, I get easily distracted by new toys...

I sell some, but I won't clutter up the forum with that. PM me if you want more info.
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  #5  
Unread 01-10-2013, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Kurth View Post
...
I looked at a number of options, but don't seem to be able to find a good solution for hobbyists: there are a lot of solutions in hydroponics shops, but all the solutions there have no IP rating (and appear to have open fans), which is not something I want to risk.
Water resistance is one reason that I built my own. Mine are passively cooled and for on/off I use an Insteon power line signal controlled switch inside a watertight electrical box that is mounted on the fixture.
Buy INSTEON-Compatible Home Automation Products at Smarthome
The power supplies I used are rated at least IP66 so they are mounted exposed.

Another thing about the hobby quality lights is that they don't specify beam spread. I am using lenses with either a 12 degree or 22 degree beam spread so that I can mount the fixtures high above the plants. The commercial hobby quality fixtures look like they would have a very wide beam spread comparable to fluorescent lamp fixtures and thus need to be mounted close above the plants.
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  #6  
Unread 01-10-2013, 06:04 PM
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Yes, I worry about the water too... Although after running some of mine for over a year in a pretty humid environment, I haven't noticed a problem. I've installed a couple in friends' greenhouses, and so far no complaints after a similar time scale. So at least anecdotally water resistant, but I certainly wouldn't want to use them where I'd be spraying water right on them. How they will hold up after two, three or more years, I don't know. I like the water resistant build, it is a great idea.

Beam angle: I suspect it varies based on the fixture, but I've had pretty good results with plants up to 5 feet beneath my lights. I've bloomed multifloral paphs and foliage (and one oncidium intergeneric that I misplaced) at that height. I haven't tried any farther away, just based on the way I have my benches set up I don't really have the opportunity. And I've used them as close as 2 feet away. Mine do have a pretty wide beam angle, since even at 2 feet it appears that I have coverage out to at least a four square foot area.

I really would like to build some of my own someday, and I probably will. Although not being an electronics genius (I muddle through), it can be a bit intimidating to try and figure out a good design. That has never stopped me with anything else. David, do you have a few favorite reference sites on building lights? Or a write-up of your build?

Rob
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  #7  
Unread 01-10-2013, 07:22 PM
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Here is a description of the LED modules that I have built. I mount those in various combinations along a metal bar to get the final fixture configuration.

Here are 2 photos of the modules in completed configurations.
Attached Thumbnails
X3 LED lighting for greenhouses-ledfixtures-001small.jpg   X3 LED lighting for greenhouses-ledfixtures-002small.jpg  
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Last edited by DavidCampen; 01-10-2013 at 07:28 PM..
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  #8  
Unread 01-10-2013, 08:26 PM
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Thank you for the tips: I am not sure I will be able to do a self build. I found a setup that looks promising. Don't want to post a link and vendor, but it comes up when searching for "5000 lm ip67 led grow lights" on google. Not sure whether I will be able to get this in the UK though. 4-6 of these in the greenhouse should do, I guess.
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  #9  
Unread 01-11-2013, 09:28 AM
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Hello, in Europe we have a good company that makes special leds for growing plants, has several models some of them specific to plant walls, orchids, bonsai trees, etc..

Here are the web: http://floraled.fr/

Here you have the online store. Eclairage horticole Grow LED - FloraLED - Système d'éclairage GROW LED

Not for you if the aesthetic aspect is important, as this company has several product lines, one of which is a special spectrum lights to see the green leaves, this spectrum was put all the foci where "VISUA" in their specifications and the "GreenVisuaLED".

You can contact them and you can advise.

I have a single light bulb connected as a mini greenhouse, for over a year and I have all kinds of orchids bloomed from Phalaenopsis, Phragmipedium, Masdevallia etc.

I hope you will help.

A greeting.
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  #10  
Unread 01-11-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Kurth View Post
... Don't want to post a link and vendor, but it comes up when searching for "5000 lm ip67 led grow lights" on google. Not sure whether I will be able to get this in the UK though. 4-6 of these in the greenhouse should do, I guess.
You should post the link. If it is what I found through that search:
IP67 high lumens 5000Lm waterproof led grow light,View waterproof led grow light,TL Product Details from Twilight Group Co., Limited on Alibaba.com

Then I am skeptical. For example, they claim it is IP67 yet then they say:
"Caution:
1)Indoor used only
2)Don't use in dripping water or drippi ng irrigation place to avoid light damage."
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Last edited by DavidCampen; 01-11-2013 at 05:17 PM..
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