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LED Light experiences (Help please)

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Wolf, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    I bought a LED light, is a CAT emergency portable light 10W 550LM to 1100LM, the light angle it's a bit too open for what I wanted it (As a light for my orchids) but even that I know some light is going to be wasted, at my current location, was the best idea I could come up with, it doesn't need to be plug in to work and is pretty light weight, besides 550LM seem good to me, I'm using it on the low intensity, the light is at barely 16" to 24" from them, but some of the orchids seem to be doing good with it, like Laelia, Oncidium and Rossioglossum (Richer color, tons of new growth) but some seem to be getting soft, Cattleya, Prostachea and Guarianthe, not the old leafs but the kind of recent ones (That grow in the last 6 months)
    This Guarianthe had in one of the lost new growth a flower sheath and it just turn soft and fall.
    I know is not all about the flowers, but I really wanted to see it bloom, only the flower sheath turn black and soft, while on the other branch (Can I call it branch?) it was all the branch, the flower sheath and the stalk.

    I put my hand for 5 to 10 minutes in from of the light and it didn't seem to heat, I also touched the orchids and other near surfaces and none was hot, yet I have this twisted idea on my mind that the light might be cooking the newer tissue that grow last year without a light, then after it being cook, it turns darker and soft.
    Have you cook spinach? Okay horrible example but just like that.
    The thing is that my plants worry me a lot (I even skip a few meals to afford this lamp).

    Please... Help me... They mean a lot to me.
     
  2. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Wolf, the problems are likely due to some factors other than light source unless it is the only light source. Are you sure it is really 550lm from 10W? It is worse efficacy than any known CFL bulbs (which don't have high efficacy in general). I'm not sure which light you are using, but when I search for "CAT emergency portable light", I don't see a one with 550lm specification. If it is really 550lm, and if it has a wide beam angle (e.g. 120 degree), you probably don't have enough light for Cattleya types. But I'm guessing that you have natural light as the main source and augmenting it with the artificial light.
     
  3. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    First off turn the light all the way. Second, move it closer to the plants. It isn't doing anything at 2 feet away. Third, Cattleya Alliance things are tough. They can take the light and they'll be happier for it.
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    Here is one I find online:
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SAm9MQz7...nu/cat-rechargeable-led-work-light-costco.jpg

    They have some natural light, but I feel is not enough... I'm very worried.
    Any good alternative if I would grow them 100% under artificial light?
    I might need to move again... And if I pick a cheaper place I'd surely want a good lamp :l
     
  5. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    [​IMG]
    Forgot the IMG tags.
     
  6. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    How close should it be? The light manual say it could get hot... But I guess it was telling lies :/ Since it is always cold to the touch. Should I move it gradually close?
     
  7. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I still haven't found the spec for it, but from the photo, you have a switch to go between the high (1100lm) and low (550lm) output, right? If it is really 10W, and putting out 1100lm, it has a fairly decent efficacy for this kind of products. So nothing wrong with it (other than high price).

    Since we don't know the beam angle, it is difficult for anyone to recommend the distance. Do you have a camera, and know how to look at EXIF data (i.e. aperture, shutter speed, and iso)? If so, you can use it to gauge the amount of light (check Ray's site here). But with the distance (16"-24"), you'll be using the high mode (unless it is a spot-light type).

    For the alternatives, if you don't care about the electricity cost, LED PAR38 bulbs would be much cheaper than this emergency light. Or you can find LED shop light. Since you are growing mainly higher light orchids, you might need quite a bit. I'm not sure how big your grow area is, but it could be cheaper to go with higher efficiency ones if your electricity isn't cheap. If you have a fairly large area (4'x2'), something like this will cover it:
    100 Watt Citizen CLU048 (2) COB Grow Light Kit
    This is preassembled, so all you have to do is hang them up.
     
  8. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    Yes! It is manual switching.
    I will ask a friend with a camera I no longer have mine.
    What does PAR38 makes for the orchids? I have seen many PAR something on stores.
    Electricity is very expensive in my area, so I would prefer to invest on low Wattage lights lol
    I'm moving maybe, so I really want to, but is most likely I would have to move with my orchids... More like move them with me and the room might have a very poor window, I want to be able to grow them still. So I guess is time to invest on a good light. Sharing expenses with a roommate should give me a range to spend lol

    Thanks for your replies both of you. This was driving me crazy.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    In this case the "PAR38" merely means the lamp is a Parabolic Aluminized Reflector lamp that is 38/8= 4.75" in nominal diameter. It has absolutely nothing to do with Photosynthetically Active Radiation, the amount of usable light the plant gets.

    I'll make an editorial comment here: growing orchids is not the cheapest obsession we can have; if you're going to grow them, be prepared to give them what they want, and sometimes that can be costly.
     
    Dave The Scientist likes this.
  10. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    I'll happily do it, as soon as I get a job again... But meanwhile, well, there's credit cards for that...
     
  11. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    LEDs do NOT put out enough energy.
    They are very bright, but they are not capable of producing enough energy for a plant (because plants obsorb photo energy and produce an electron flow (kind of like a solar panel)).
    Floressent tube lights work the best.
     
  12. carl

    carl Active Member

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    My seedlings will be quite surprised to hear that...

    They're currently growing very well under LEDs.

    I think Naoki's plants will be very disappointed to find that out, too.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    As will mine - their only light source after selling my greenhouse was LEDs, and they are doing just fine.
     
  14. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    It maybe okay for seedlings and lowlight plants, but for stuff like Catleyas, it's not enough.
     
  15. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, Ray and Carl and a few others on this forum, are extremely knowledgeable (experts) in this field. It's time to listen instead of argue.
     
  16. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    I am very sorry for shuving my opinon down your throut's.
    I sincerly apolagize for any missleading info I may have put out there.

    I meerly said that because my plants get long and skiny, pale, and little growth.
    I just do not want anybody else to have my awful luck.

    Maybe I have not gotten the right type of LED lighting.
    I will try again.
     
  17. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Edit: oops, I guess you posted while I was eating lunch. Just in case you want to know, I'll leave the following here.

    Tong, your statements are a little too vague to be right or wrong. You are correct that 1x 1W LED won't have enough light for most plants. Obviously, if you put enough wattage (or energy), any light source (including incandescent light bulbs) can produce enough photons to saturate photosynthesis of any plants on earth. Well, if you use thousands of candles, you probably needs a good reflectors, and it would be tough to get enough from fireflies. LEDs can provide 10x the light intensity of sun if you use enough of it. Indeed, many people grow full-sun plants like Cannabis, Lettuce, Tomatoes, or carnivorous plants with LEDs.

    Photosynthesis is more of a quantum process, so the number of photons are more important than the energy of photons. In other words, the number of photons is more important than the energy level of each photon (i.e. a bluish photon with lower wavelengths has a higher energy level).

    It works ok, but if you care about the efficiency (and I do), I wouldn't use fluorescent lights any more. T8 (and T5HO) has about 0.84 micromol/J (in terms of photosynthetically active radiation, PAR). This value is the rate of number of photon produced for a given watt of electricity (i.e. efficiency). The cheap LEDs are pretty similar to T8/T5HO efficiency. Expensive commercial LED grow light (e.g., Fluence or Phlips green power, which Ray uses) can achieve around 2.2 micro mol/J. With DIY, the ones which Carl and I use give around 2.0 micromol/J for Phillips XF-3535L and 2.6 micromol/J for Samsung H series at a fraction of the cost (COB LEDs can achieve similar levels).

    So compared to T8/T5HO, I can give the same amount of photosynthetic relevant light with 1/2 of electricity cost of T8/T5HO. Some cheap LEDs like those LED strips which you can cut into length aren't any better than T8/T5HO.

    You can take a look at the Table 3 of this paper: Economic Analysis of Greenhouse Lighting: Light Emitting Diodes vs. High Intensity Discharge Fixtures
    Note that lots of these LEDs in the paper are pretty old.[/URL]
     
  18. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    Thank you for this info.
    I was using completly the wrong type.
    I am very sorry for all this.
    Sometimes I am such an idiot:p.
     
    JustPaul likes this.
  19. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    I care about the efficiency very much.

    LEDs are the best light bulb, I have several plants growing very nicly, I don't know why I said what I said.
    The plant that I had trouble had cheap batt. powered LEDs.
    I am sorry everybody.

    Must be the other personality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  20. tong tsu shi

    tong tsu shi my first word was Masdevallia

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    Thanks Naoki.
    Again, sorry for arguing.

    Hope we can be freinds.