Grow LEDs? Full Spectrum or Red Blue?

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power911
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Grow LEDs? Full Spectrum or Red Blue?

Hey guys, wanted to ask if anyone here is familiar with grow lights.

I just started a tank and wanted it to grow some algae for the artemias to feed on. Apparently a grow light is needed if I wanted to keep my tank indoors.

I always knew HID and incandescent used for oldschool grow light but I discovered they have these “Full Spectrum” or “Calibrated Purple Grow LEDs” that uses Red and Blue. Is full spectrum basically photo grade LEDs like the nichia 219c or sst20? What makes them different? Purple LED grow light seemed to be highly recommended but they looked ugly like some weird RGB gaming setup done wrong.

I have a quad nichia 219c 5000k CRI95 from my Astrolux S41. Wonder if I could even use them as a grow LED by driving it off a 5v1a led driver to grow some life

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Robin Dobbie
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Here’s what I know, or think I know.

Purple is bullshit. One problem with purple is that it’s difficult to diagnose what you’re growing when you don’t know what it even looks like because of the purple light. What matters is high-efficiency (high lumen/watt) and then tuning deep red or deep blue output depending on what you’re growing(and at what stage it is in its development) and how you want it to grow. This is different for a lot of plants. I don’t know anything about algae, but with a lot of plants, an abundance of deep red will make the plant think it’s in the shade(regardless of how much light is absorbed). When the plant thinks it’s in shade, the plant will attempt to grow in height at sometimes comically and sometimes suicidally high rates. Deep blue tells the plant it has direct sun and growth in the vertical will be less.

The most common, possibly even all? purple emitters are cheap, low-efficiency emitters. The cost of operation will be higher in the long run, and potentially not even that much less up-front because of the higher heat generation and the required sinking to go along with that.

What I built for growing plants were using high-CRI 3000K “white” emitters. While I’m now of the understanding that the high-CRI was completely unnecessary and I could have used much more efficient LEDs, what’s happening is quite satisfactory, at least as far as I can tell. Still more efficient than fluorescent. I’m growing the largest tomato plants I’ve ever seen in person. They’ve just flowered, so I don’t know what the fruit will be like, yet.

I can say where water and light are allowed to interact(in my case undesired) I am getting significant algae growth.

Look up Bruce Bugbee on youtube. His angle is that he’s selling light meters, but I don’t think this “colors” his talks. He’s been sponsored by NASA for decades and he’s also a professor at Utah State University.

power911
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hey Robin Dobbie. Thanks for the fast reply.
I’m glad that you answered some of my doubts. Was a bit skeptical with those purple LEDs and they’re ugly haha.
So you’re saying purple only works when it’s programmable red/blue based on the plant conditions and that pretty much sums up how most cheap grow purple LED’s should not work eh? I’ll keep that in mind.

Bruce Bugbee on youtube eh? I’ll give his channel a try when I’m back from work. Looks like some classroom recording hmmm.

Thanks again for your insights.

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“Normal humans don’t go around killing people and burning towns!”
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Robin Dobbie
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Just about anything “works”, technically. Life, uh, finds a way. Honestly for what you’re doing I might still just go with high-CRI at whatever color temp suits your fancy. I’m only running about 300 watts right now(330 at the wall). That’s 5 COBs getting 60 watts. I dont’ know how large your tank* is. For me, if I’d gone with low-CRI/high-efficiency, I’d be getting 32% more lumens for the same amount of power. I didn’t calculate how much money I’d save by going with the same amount of lumens since I don’t have the required tools or info. But I will say the high-CRI is probably still worth it for my situation because the whole getup’s in the living room and it just looks so nice. 36,000 lumens of high-CRI 3000K is just beautiful.

SunLike
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“Full spectrum” it is f##ing marketing! They try to f##k your mind!

For aquarium just use cold white 5000-5700k leds, because also you need real color of your fishs and another citizens of the your personal little water world.

my lamps also for aquarium — http://sunlikelamp.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=67_108

review in BLF here — https://budgetlightforum.com/node/74980

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Quadrupel
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HI CRI is good for everything, but expencive, all other alternatives are made to reduce cost.

SunLike
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Quadrupel wrote:
HI CRI is good for everything, but expencive, all other alternatives are made to reduce cost.

yes

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