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  #1  
Old 05-13-2018, 07:20 AM
dshallpost dshallpost is offline
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ActiveGrowLED ?  New product, would love to hear what you think
Default ActiveGrowLED ? New product, would love to hear what you think

Would welcome hearing what you think of ActiveGrowLED. They are new to the market. There is a video on their web site that was impressive (at least to me). The LED products appear to have a an excellent spectrum, CRI of 95, and high PAR. I would really like to hear what some of you think about these. They sell individual strips that are compatible with T5 fixtures and they also sell a 4 strip fixture in either full spectrum or red. Seriously considering these. Thoughts???
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2018, 12:27 PM
naoki naoki is offline
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Is this what you are talking about?
40W 4FT LED Propagation Luminaire | Active Grow

Did you find the actual spec? I found spec. for T8 LED bulb; 35micomol/S from 22W. The efficiency is 1.6micrmol/J (probably about 110lm/W). That's basically similar to whatever bulbs you can get from Lowes. So it might be cheaper to get the LED shoplight or bulbs from Lowes.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:05 PM
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I'm speaking as a cheapskate who has been in retail sales in the past.

New technology is sometimes a real improvement over older. LED offers that compared to other lighting technology. Now we are in the phase of newer and older LED technology.

Newer technology is often much more expensive than older technology. Then it becomes lower in price. LED lamps at hardware stores have come far down in price.

Commercial growers are often willing to step up and pay for the newest equipment, even if their old equipment isn't very old, if the new equipment offers even a small advantage. But recall commercial growers take care to optimize everything about their growing conditions. Unless a grower does this, small improvements in technology won't make much impact.

Most home growers have relatively poor growing conditions, compared to a carefully-controlled production greenhouse. Small improvements in lighting technology won't make much difference. (Big improvements will make a difference.)

Businesses selling to plant enthusiasts sell many fewer units than big-box hardware stores - fewer by several powers of ten. So lamps bought at specialty stores will tend to be very much more expensive than those bought at big-box stores.

The difference in price between a hypothetical very best LED lamp for plants and an OK lamp for plants will be very large. The difference in effect the two lamps will have on plants in a typical home will be fairly small unless growing conditions are excellent. Thus many home growers will get much more bang for the buck with off-the-shelf lamps.

If the data on lamp output and efficiency are available, as naoki alluded, you will also often find there is really not much difference between a lamp sold as a grow light and a standard shop light.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:01 PM
dshallpost dshallpost is offline
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The product I'm looking at is the "T5HO LED" light. It has 4 LED strips. On the Harris Seeds site the product number is 41697. It uses LED's that fit into a T5 ballast. It is about 48 inches by 13.5 inches wide.

---------- Post added at 01:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:48 PM ----------

Estacion, and Naomi, I appreciate having your input. I am new to all of this and trying to understand exactly what you were talking about, i.e. the added value for getting very good LED lights versus a less expensive alternative. These fixtures are priced at $229 for the fixture including the 4 strips. I am starting with no lights. This will be an enclosed windowless room about 9' x 12', where I can control temperature, humidity, air movement. I had been leaning toward T5HO until you mentioned heat. This data on this LED unit suggests it perform as good as or better than T5HO, with CRI of 95, and of course, less heat. I'm not thinking too much about the initial price, just accepting the "wisdom" that says LED will be less expensive than T5 over the long run considering replacement and energy costs. I would love it if you would look at the video in which Taylor (who owns the company) compares the LED and T5 units and let me know what you think.

---------- Post added at 02:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:58 PM ----------

I sure don't want to make the investment if you think that I would see only a nominal investment versus a shop light.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:14 PM
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Without even looking at the site or the video I can guarantee I would buy the shop lights.

Four tubes of shop lights will cost less than a quarter the four tubes of this fixture. The difference in fixture price and guesstimating the cost of electricity make me think there would never be a cost benefit to using the expensive fixture. The LED shop lights are well-liked by a lot of hobbyist growers.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:04 PM
fooferdoggie fooferdoggie is offline
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with all the legal pot light technology will improve fast. I jsut bought one of these the refurbished model the lowest I found was 135 at home depot Amazon.com: Feit Electric GLP14FS/HB/80W/LED 14 in. 80-Watt LED Full Spectrum High Bay Grow Light: Electronics
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2018, 08:31 PM
naoki naoki is offline
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Where are you located, and how much is electricity in your area?

To cover 108 sqft, even with the top end LEDs (e.g. DIY LEDs), you'll need >1000W. So you'll need quite a bit of initial investment (and lots of electricity; $500-$1000 per year).

If your electricity is cheap, then it is cheaper to get whatever cheap ones. If not, it is cheaper to get high-end. If you can't DIY, there are some high-end LEDs, but you have to pay lots of money: e.g., Fluence Bioengineering | Commercial LED Grow Lights

Unless you have T5HO fixture, getting T5HO LED bulbs doesn't make any sense. T5HO LED bulbs are more difficult (e.g. how to deal with heat), so they are generally lower efficiency than T8 LEDs. Also, it requires unneeded T5HO ballasts (which waste energy). They mention PPFD @18", but that isn't sufficient to gauge the quality.

Since you need lots of light for the space, one option is to get Sunritek T8 bulbs direct from China. You'll need 80 bulbs or more, so it is economical even if you consider the high shippng from China.

Prime time for T8 LED lighting?
T8 LED fixture

These are already older technologies, but they are still better than the typical cheap options in the US.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:06 AM
dshallpost dshallpost is offline
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Thank you Naoki Where I live the price is 0.14293 per KW. Expensive. I did some arithmetic and calculated that, running the lamps 15 hours a day I would recoup the higher price of the LED fixtures (versus T5HO) in saved electricity costs in about 2 1/2 years. So that, combined with the longer life of the bulbs, and less heat, is pushing to the LED's. The spec's on the unit I am look at compare well to T5.
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2018, 02:13 PM
naoki naoki is offline
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That is moderately expensive, so it is probably cheaper to get efficient ones. Even with the low-end LEDs, you are right, there isn't a point of going with T5HO anymore.

Within LED fixtures, there are huge diferences in the efficiency. With high-end (efficiency of 2-2.5 micromol/J), you are probably ok with 8-11 W per square foot. Since you are planning long day hours (15h), you might be ok with lower wattage than that (I use 12-13h). But with the cheap ones (the efficiency is about 1/2 compared to the best ones: 1-1.2 micormol/J), you might need twice the wattage. So you can calculate the total cost of ownership (initial cost + electricity cost) for a given time (say 3 years) in the same way you compared LED vs T5HO.
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