Counterbalancing Cold Color Temperature (K) in LED lights
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  #1  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:24 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Counterbalancing Cold Color Temperature (K) in LED lights Female
Default Counterbalancing Cold Color Temperature (K) in LED lights

Hello All,

I recently expanded my space for my orchid collection, and I now have orchids in a windowsill in my kitchen. I purchased an aquarium plant light.

Here's the light I purchased:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Now, I know that aquarium lights usually aren't bright enough or aren't the right color temperature. The specifications online indicate that the light produces 4800 lumens and has 6500k white lights WITH added blue lights. I decided to get this less than ideal light since I need something that is powerful yet compact enough to fit in my windowsill. My windowsill does get some nice light during the day but it's probably not enough for phalaenopsis to grow.

Now, I knew that the light might have a bluish tint because of the already cold(er) 6500k lights and added blue lights. When I plugged the light in, my suspicions were correct. The light appears to have more of a 7000k (maybe 7500K) color temperature. To counter-balance this, I thought to get some LED tape that has a warm color temperature or is red in color. I'd just stick the LED tape to the existing light. Here's what I got:

Commercial Electric 12 in. (30 cm) Linkable RGBW Indoor LED Flexible Tape Light Kit (4-Strip Pack)-17898 - The Home Depot

The white lights are 4000K color temperature. It doesn't indicate lumens for the white light colored option. When I plugged in the light it isn't as bright as the aquarium fixture and it doesn't do much to counterbalance the cold color. When I use the white lights it does add a bit more brightness (about 200fc). It doesn't visually appear to counterbalance the cold color temperature. The red light option isn't nearly bright enough to observe a difference. Therefore, I suspect it is useless.

Long story short, my question here is: Is the natural sunlight I get from my window enough to counterbalance the cool color from my LED lights? If not, despite a negligible visual difference in color temperature with the light strips shining red, are they still beneficial? Perhaps the naked eye cannot observe the difference that may be beneficial? OR am I fine doing nothing at all?

Thanks for reading everything! I appreciate your help.
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2019, 05:50 AM
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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Counterbalancing Cold Color Temperature (K) in LED lights Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesignerofBeauty View Post
Hello All,

I recently expanded my space for my orchid collection, and I now have orchids in a windowsill in my kitchen. I purchased an aquarium plant light.

Here's the light I purchased:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Now, I know that aquarium lights usually aren't bright enough or aren't the right color temperature. The specifications online indicate that the light produces 4800 lumens and has 6500k white lights WITH added blue lights. I decided to get this less than ideal light since I need something that is powerful yet compact enough to fit in my windowsill. My windowsill does get some nice light during the day but it's probably not enough for phalaenopsis to grow.

Now, I knew that the light might have a bluish tint because of the already cold(er) 6500k lights and added blue lights. When I plugged the light in, my suspicions were correct. The light appears to have more of a 7000k (maybe 7500K) color temperature. To counter-balance this, I thought to get some LED tape that has a warm color temperature or is red in color. I'd just stick the LED tape to the existing light. Here's what I got:

Commercial Electric 12 in. (30 cm) Linkable RGBW Indoor LED Flexible Tape Light Kit (4-Strip Pack)-17898 - The Home Depot

The white lights are 4000K color temperature. It doesn't indicate lumens for the white light colored option. When I plugged in the light it isn't as bright as the aquarium fixture and it doesn't do much to counterbalance the cold color. When I use the white lights it does add a bit more brightness (about 200fc). It doesn't visually appear to counterbalance the cold color temperature. The red light option isn't nearly bright enough to observe a difference. Therefore, I suspect it is useless.

Long story short, my question here is: Is the natural sunlight I get from my window enough to counterbalance the cool color from my LED lights? If not, despite a negligible visual difference in color temperature with the light strips shining red, are they still beneficial? Perhaps the naked eye cannot observe the difference that may be beneficial? OR am I fine doing nothing at all?

Thanks for reading everything! I appreciate your help.
Be careful about what you think you know. I winter the vast majority of my orchids under lights I obtained while running an aquarium maintenance company. Sunlight at sea level is about 6750°K. As light passes through water, different wavelengths are filtered out unequally. At approximately 20' of depth, the color temp is about 20,000°K If you go down much past 60' the color red no longer exists since it's filtered out first. As light appears more and more blue, the K value rises and the light is considered "cooler" than sunlight. At the other end, when you start removing blue from the spectrum the K value starts deceasing, and the redder light is considered "warm". This setup is illuminated by 2 LED panels that run 10,000°K white emitters and 20,000°K actinic blue emitters. Plants flower all winter long under them.
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Last edited by Subrosa; 06-28-2019 at 05:59 AM..
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2019, 06:21 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Interesting, good to know that it can be done!
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:34 AM
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The color temperature is really only a minor concern. What's important is the volume of photons between 400 and 700 nm wavelength that reaches the plants over the course of a day.

Yes, where in that range the photons are makes a difference, but unless they're really skewed to one end or the other of that range, it's unlikely to be an issue.

Two things to keep in mind: in fluorescent lamps and LEDs, the color temperature does not represent the true spectrum, but represents the appearance of that spectrum to the human eye. Secondly, the human eye is most sensitive to the green wavelengths, so that's where white LED lamps are most intense, giving us a false sense of brightness.

I guess that the bottom line is that white LEDs will all work fine for our plants. The "warmer" colors tend to have more far red, which is good for blooming, but it's notcritical.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2019, 09:17 AM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The color temperature is really only a minor concern. What's important is the volume of photons between 400 and 700 nm wavelength that reaches the plants over the course of a day.

Yes, where in that range the photons are makes a difference, but unless they're really skewed to one end or the other of that range, it's unlikely to be an issue.

Two things to keep in mind: in fluorescent lamps and LEDs, the color temperature does not represent the true spectrum, but represents the appearance of that spectrum to the human eye. Secondly, the human eye is most sensitive to the green wavelengths, so that's where white LED lamps are most intense, giving us a false sense of brightness.

I guess that the bottom line is that white LEDs will all work fine for our plants. The "warmer" colors tend to have more far red, which is good for blooming, but it's notcritical.
Thank you for your help! I understand what you are stating regarding how in LED and fluorescent lamps, the indicated color temperature isn't indicative of the true spectrum. That being said, I did find another fixture that is very similar to the one I have. It may be an improvement. It states the wavelengths of red, blue and green lights. Now, I know the green lights aren't helpful since they aren't at the tail end of the 400-700nm spectrum. My existing lamp only has blue lights. Of course, I want something that helps with blooms too.

Here's the product:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LFF07I8..._ue2fDb1X8DCB5

Here's the excerpt that I found relevant: "Fixture is pre-installed with 10000K, Actinic 460nm, Red 620nm, and Green 520nm spectrum LEDs. "

What initially drew me away from this one is the 10000K white lights. I now know that this isn't relevant. Can we trust the wavelength information with LEDs?

This product has slightly less lumens. However, I suspect it may be a better product. What are your thoughts on this Ray? Is it worth me returning my current lamp for the above one?

Thanks as always!

Last edited by DesignerofBeauty; 06-29-2019 at 09:20 AM..
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