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My DIY lights

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by orchid boy 01, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    What do you think about the screw in( incandescent replacement) compact CFLs that are 23 watt,"daylight" that put out 100 watt equivalent?
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Personally, I think CFLs are a lesser alternative. In the first place, their output is less than the equivalent T8 or T5 wattage fluorescents (or LEDs), and the spiral design traps a lot of the light inside of it.

    Wattage is wattage. "Equivalent" wattage is simply how it looks to the eye, compared to an incandescent bulb, not what its output is.
     
  3. westoh

    westoh New Member

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    A cheap alternative: LED floods (120+ Equivalents) https://www.1000bulbs.com/category/led-par38-lights/ in brooder fixtures http://www.ruralking.com/woods-broo...m_medium=cpc&gclid=CJjHrYuR_MkCFQ6OaQodWRkGdw. Not pretty, but fairly cheap and effective. If pretty is desired, there are nicer looking flood fixtures, but they may take a little electrical know-how. I agree with Ray, go with LEDs instead of CFLs, cooler and cheaper to run, plus better quality light IMO.

    I've also used some of the high-end, pre-configured LED light panels. Excellent light, but I've always ended up having issues with the internal fans (muffin/computer type) which forced me to replace fans, ditch the light or put-up with fan noise.

    I currently use a 3-tiered light cart (four 4'/T12s per tier) and 6-7 LED floods with brooder fixtures for over-wintering my orchids in a spare bedroom dedicated to them, where looks don't matter too much. I also have another area for a few small mounted orchids, there I'm over-hanging two 2'/2 light LED fixtures (four 2' LED lights total) that I stumbled across at a big box store last month. I had to do a little wiring myself for these units as far as attaching power cords, but it was pretty simple and straight forward. I'm happy with my current set-up and have no trouble blooming most standard types (phals, paphs, phrags, compact/mini catts, mini-vandas, dends, etc...)

    Good luck,

    Bob
     
  4. bob williams

    bob williams Member Supporting Member

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    before my greenhouse i was using a two foot 8 bulb t5 fixture above each 18" by 46" shelf. bob
     
  5. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    Thank you for the input. Since the last post, a friend of mine has given me 6- 1 foot white LED strips that came out of some kind of signage. When you look at them straight on they are incredibly bright but from the side not so much. Are all LEDs like this? I power them with a 12 volt wall converter. Do you think that they R worth trying out? Dave
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    If they are the plastic-encapsulated chips, the enclosure acts as a lens to direct the light out at a specific angle, but six strips placed in a parallel array ought to give decent coverage.

    LEDs mounted on a circuit board without a lens eradicate their light more broadly.
     
  7. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    Thank you. I'm going to give it a shot. I'll let you all know how it works out
     
  8. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    Hi, Dave here again. When you say red and blue spectrum lights, are they specific grow lights or are they just red and blue lights like as in Christmas lights are different colors?
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Photosynthesis occurs with light generally in the range of 400 to 700 nm wavelengths, with absorption peaks just inside those two ends. By selecting mono-color LEDS that match those red and blue peaks, you get a lot of "bang" for your lighting bucks. Of course, your plants will look alien, with no green light to reflect back to your eye...
     
  10. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    Hi, Dave here. I took your idea and went with it myself. I ordered online the reel of red and blue LEDs from China. I receive them and created my own rig. I was curious: how far away from the plants do you keep your lights and how close together do you keep the strands of LEDs?
     
  11. blestbeing

    blestbeing Member

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    Dave again, one other question please... What size amp Driver for how many wats do you use and how many chips is that pushing( approximately)?