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Nuggrocket88

New to LED's Best color spectrums?

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Hi Everybody, I'm not new to the show, I'm just new to using LED's. Here's the question. I have an LED with 3 light switches to control the Blue, Red & White color spectrums. I can basically choose the color combinations. From what I've researched it's "better" to use a "fuller" spectrum when in Veg, or Flower. Meaning I can add white, and/or red to the main color "Blue" when I'm in Veg. And the same for flower...I can mix the white & Blue to the main red. My question is...What is the best color combinations for Veg, and what is the best color combos for Flower? Would a "FULL" spectrum work best for Veg, and flower? My guess is...I don't know lol...Thanks...standing by fore the great info that I expect from CC readers. Hi Marc! I'm so glad that you are home!!! You and I spent a whole afternoon on Hastings awhile back talking about surfactants of all things...Be blessed Buddy

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Hi Nuggrocket. :cool:

 

Think about 2 concepts - the action spectrum and the absorption spectrum.  The action spectrum is the typical graph you've seen with peaks in chlorophyll synthesis and chloroplast production in the blue region and then again in the red region.  The absorption spectrum is the other graph you've seen that represents photosynthetic response and has a minor peak in the blue region, a valley in the green wavelengths, then a steadily rising trend throughout the yellow-orange region, followed by a major peak in the red wavelengths.  Seedlings and young plants respond best to the action spectrum.  Once established, the absorption spectrum begins to really kick in.  So, blue + red for seedlings/young plants/cut rooting, and blue + red + white for fully vegging plants thru harvest. 

 

For whatever it's worth, I stay with the action spectrum until the plants have 5 - 6 fully developed nodes, then I switch to absorption spectrum.

I have 9 band LED arrays that provide light from uv through ir wavelengths.  A little pricey, and worth it.

 

The graph below illustrates the action spectrum with the light green, green, and tan lines, and the absorption spectrum as the bold line that changes color according to the wavelengths represented.

absorption-and-action-spect_med.jpeg

 

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Right on! I'm actually a Toxicology Scientist. Light is a bit out of my "spectrum" I know lame right? haha...Thanks again...

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1 minute ago, Nuggrocket88 said:

Right on! I'm actually a Toxicology Scientist. Light is a bit out of my "spectrum" I know lame right? haha...Thanks again...

"God doesn't roll the dice with the universe" Albert Einstein

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I'm a pediatric nurse, an appreciation for puns and cheesy jokes is sort of an occupational necessity.

How do you make a hankie dance?  Put a little boogie in it.

Why do mermaids wear sea shells as bras?  Because B shells are too small.

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I heard lots of people say that blue is best for veg stage and red is best for flowering. But then nothing compares to sun light and that's why we're in need of full-spectrum. Based on this, then I guess full-spectrum probably is the best overall.

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Hi EmilyTaylor :cool:.  Only consider full spectrum arrays in your lineup, and keep in mind that you get what you pay for.  That is, there is something to be said for well respected brands....which usually cost more.

4 hours ago, EmilyTaylor said:

I heard lots of people say that blue is best for veg stage and red is best for flowering. But then nothing compares to sun light and that's why we're in need of full-spectrum. Based on this, then I guess full-spectrum probably is the best overall.

Many of the lower quality, and all of the higher quality LED grow arrays have "veg" and "bloom" switches on them.  The "Veg" switch activates bluer light which corresponds to what is known as the action spectrum, and when both "Veg" and "Bloom" are on, the output corresponds to the absorption spectrum.  The action spectrum refers to the chlorophyll synthesis curve, with a major peak in the blue-violet region, and a minor peak in the red region.  The absorption spectrum is the entire visible spectrum.  Seedlings and rooted cuttings that are establishing themselves..."young" plants respond best to the action spectrum, and established plants..."adolescents" or "adults" respond best to the absorption spectrum.  

 

In this graph, the light green, green, and tan lines correspond to the action spectrum, and the bold line that changes color according to where it lies in the spectrum corresponds to the absorption spectrum.

absorption-and-action-spect_med.jpeg

 

The McCree curve illustrates that the plant uses the entire visible spectrum, and is in a state of high energy (70-90%) throughout the green-yellow-orange-red spectrum. 

par_light_mccree_curve.jpg

 

I personally run my LEDs in the "Veg" mode until seedlings have 5 - 6 developed nodes, then I add the "bloom" spectrum to the mix.  They stay in that configuration til harvest.  

 

Two Platinum LED P300 arrays, ~ 3ft x 3ft space.

IMG_3134.thumb.jpg.cfa0171b1120d0852dbcd662a55665da.jpg

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I got to say right off that frmrgrl has tonnes of my respect as a grower and educated person when it comes to all things pot!

 

She knows way more than me about LEDs for sure.

 

Here comes the rub as they say.

 

IMO, that great looking batch of colas in the last pic would be looking even greater had they done their flowering under a 400 or 600W EYE Hortilux Super HPS bulb like the ones I've been using for the last 16 years.  In fact I have a 15 yo 400W EYE conversion bulb that gives me veg light off a flowering ballast.  Still vegs plants great ad cost me $125 new.  I think I got my money's worth out of that one!  30 yo magnetic ballasts as well.  Everything I've read over thousands of hours in forums tells me those older magnetics last a lot longer than do their digital equivalents as do the bulbs.

 

That being said, my grow room is underground and the warmest it gets in the basement in late summer is about 65F.  During the winter it can get close to freezing down there but I can never let it freeze as all the plumbing for the water that comes from our dugout and feeds our house is down there too.  If I switched to LEDs I would have to have my heater running to keep the temps up to 75F and electric heaters do not grow plants!  For me the hotter lights with way more intense light are a bonus.

 

HID lights are a lot warmer but not that much warmer than all the heat given off by enough LEDs to get the same yields than you get off HIDs.

 

Why else are all the comparisons of LED lights rated to HID lights?  Because HIDs are still the gold standard that all other indoor lighting systems are rated against.

 

There's a lot of hype out there about LEDs and some of the best LED systems are the newer LED COBs.  Right now there is a lot of DIY involved and a few commercial units coming out but they are very pricey so the DIY folks can save tonnes building their own

 

I shouldn't say this as it's verboten to direct members to other sites but I don't cotton to that.  There is a lack of good info here about what you need to know to grow better pot.  As my mission is to teach whoever asks how to grow better pot then it behooves me to step out of the regular bounds when I can't supply that info.

 

At RollItUp.Org they have lots of threads about LEDs etc as does 420magazine.com.  I have been a regular member on both those sites as long as I've been here tho I use a different nym on both.

 

If you do go over to check them out I sure hope you hang out here too and help grow our small but happy band of rebels. :circle:

 

:peace:

 

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Can you recommend some high-quality brands for LED Grow Lights? Based on reviews only. Do you know any LED I can get that has an affordable price? Many thanks!

Edited by LabRat
Basing on reviews should not just link to one maker of said lights or is considerd spam.

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8 hours ago, EmilyTaylor said:

Basing on reviews should not just link to one maker of said lights or is considered spam

and as your email address, Emily Talor, belongs to the same company as you are asking people to look at for suggestions I would certainly call it spamming.

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Hahaha...Shady aint so "shady"...so she asks for LED info...then posts a link, and says she'll stay with her companies LED's. Funny

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1 hour ago, Nuggrocket88 said:

Hahaha...Shady aint so "shady"

You got to watch these sneaky spammers they try all kinds of crap to sell their stuff.

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now she's copin' a plea like you're the creep! Emperor got no "G" string...If you see Marc Shady...tell him Rock from US says hello. we sat and talked surfactants n things all day on Hastings awhile back...best time!

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On 10/12/2017 at 11:06 PM, EmilyTaylor said:

Can you recommend some high-quality brands for LED Grow Lights? Based on reviews only. Do you know any LED I can get that has an affordable price? Many thanks!

Before we get into that, let me respond to the info LabRat laid on you.  Mostly - LEDs are compared to HIDs because HIDs are the gold standard to measure against -, which is absolutely true.  He also mentioned that the colas would look better had they been flowered under 400 - 600 watts of HID, and that is personal preference.

 

I used an EYE Hortilux 400W HPS for 15 yrs before switching to LED.  Some immediate observations:  growth during the veg cycle is more brisk, and foliage is more dense.  The flowers produced by the LEDs look smaller and possibly less developed than those produced under a 400W EYE Hortilux, but overall production as measured by weight is higher, and trichome coverage is more dense.  The quality of the crop is higher.

 

HIDs are comparatively cheap on the front end.  You can buy a primo 1kw ballast/reflector/bulb ~ $300.  And the ballast may last a lifetime.  My Sun Systems magnetic ballast from 1999 is still in use at a friend's house.  Says it has fired lamps flawlessly every day, and it's 18 yrs old.  The reflector should last a lifetime. 

But the bulb needs to be replaced at least every year.  And quality horticultural bulbs cost around $70.  So in a 7 year period you'll spend ~ $500 on light bulbs.

HIDs are hot (the inside of a 400W EYE Hortilux is ~ 650ºF), unless your grow space has an ambient temp in the 50s - 60s, you'll need cooling for the light.  An oscillating fan can do it, but a dedicated circuit that blows cool air over the lamp and pushes hot air outside the room is ideal.  My "300W" LED array is only warm to touch...but there are UV LEDs, so touching is not advised...

 

LEDs are going to cost you more up front.  There's a lot of homework that goes with choosing an LED grow light.  The marketing is stoopidly misleading, so you have to be a well informed shopper.

Length of warranty - the longer the warranty the higher the quality.  If a manufacturer is willing to offer a 3 - 5 year warranty, it means they feel their product is going to outlive the warranty.

Actual electricity consumed - this is an extremely important number since efficiency is generally measured in terms of grams per watt...a "600W" LED panel that actually consumes 300W is not going to be as productive as a "600W" panel that actually consumes 360W.  If you can't know the actual electricity the panel consumes, move on to the next.

Spectrum - if it's "full spectrum", how is that achieved?  Are there LEDs of specific wavelengths, or are there a bunch of "white" LEDs, that are way less productive than those of specific wavelengths?  Typically, this will be listed as a number of "bands".  The more the better.  Look for a spectral distribution graph.  If the array doesn't have one, move on the the next.  High quality LED arrays will cover the spectrum from UV to IR.

 

Mars hydro and KIND LED make decent LED grow lights.  Platinum LED Grow Lights, and Black Dog LED make damn good LED grow lights with long warranties.  Platinum LED shows a video on their site comparing theirs with other leading brands as measured by PAR output, actual electricity consumed, and actual spectral output.  Never seen Black Dog LEDs in a comparison.  Their 400W HID "replacement" array is $1,000+, and that's too rich for me.

 

***I have the wattages for LED arrays in quotes because the marketing is very misleading.  A "600W" LED array contains LEDs totaling 600 watts if powered at full power, but no one does that because the life span of the lamp would be too short.  Resistors are inline to limit the amount of electricity that drives the lamp(s).  This actual consumption number can be as much as 50% of the rated capacity, so it's important to know how much electricity the unit is actually using to get a real idea of what you can expect it to produce in terms of grams per watt.***

 

 

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I scored some cheap 9W LED bulbs and am making a cheapo light fixture for vegging plants with some vanity fixtures I got cheap at the thrift store years ago.  Will join the fixtures with aluminum flat bar I found at the dump many years back where the black lines are and put hooks at the corners where the black dots are.

 

LEDsetup19101701.jpg

 

The globes pop off easy enough with some heat gun action to be able to get a flat screw driver in there and with a little twist off they come.

 

LEDbulb03.jpg

 

Looking forward to seeing this thing veg some plants. :)

 

:peace:

 

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3 hours ago, LabRat said:

 

I scored some cheap 9W LED bulbs and am making a cheapo light fixture for vegging plants with some vanity fixtures I got cheap at the thrift store years ago.  Will join the fixtures with aluminum flat bar I found at the dump many years back where the black lines are and put hooks at the corners where the black dots are.

The globes pop off easy enough with some heat gun action to be able to get a flat screw driver in there and with a little twist off they come.

 

LEDbulb03.jpg

 

 

Lmao, mine never had a big nug of weed in when I took them off, Canadian Tire must have ripped me off. I picked up some more this week at Canadian Tire $2 each 12 watt got another 7 of 5000K and 7 of 3000K, the lights I built last week are working well. Just watch that terminal sticking up I got 2 shocks this week accidentally touching my arm on them reaching under. Argo uses liquid electrical tape to make them safe I bought some yesterday 12$ Canadian tire. I was thinking of building another like yours square instead of long and narrow. I have about another 20 light receptacles I can use. Or I might just do a big square with a hole in it that will fit round my Chinese Full spectrum LED light.

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Yeah, what the hell are those little spikes for?  I got some of that liquid electrical tape too so if it doesn't hurt anything I'll dab up mine once I got them all prepped.  For 9W those puppies are bright as hell.

 

I'm going to use 1 2700K for every 2 5000K like I do with my T-12s.  Don't know if it makes that much of a difference but never seen no harm.

 

:peace:

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1 hour ago, LabRat said:

Yeah, what the hell are those little spikes for?

Plug it in and put your tongue on it :) check to see if any current runs through it. Mine has just lumps of solder and the end of the wire for the positive and negative terminals. I will be covering mine tomorrow as well. You could probably cut those ends of to stop them snagging on things. Once those diffusers come off they are really bright and they have a good angle of spread for the light as well you can spread them out a foot apart if you wanted and still have a strong light. I put mine too close together at 5 inches but man its bright. Surprisingly raised the temp of the tent about 7 degrees on average this week for 10 lights. The plants have gone crazy but I have reduced the RH dramatically this week between 60-65% as they went on 12/12 last Sunday. So they are sucking a lot of water and nutes up through the roots, plus I put a new batch of wine on and all the CO2 from that is going in the tent, so its hard to say if its just the lights but I am pleased with whats happening atm.

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