• Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • LED grow light?

    Did anyone ever use LED grow light? LED would be better than normal grow lights as it uses less energy and generate less heat. However, I am wondering if it is really effective or only a waste of money to buy this.


  • #2
    For the money, the light in the lick below is the best deal I've seen. It is high intensity, and plants respond well to the spectrum.

    Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

    “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison


    • #3
      I've used the same type of LED as the first link. Amazon had an awesome deal at the time so I bought two just to see how well it worked. I've been so used to CFL indoor growing that I most likely misused the LEDs.

      Problem #1: I hung the light about 18" over plants on a narrow shelf. I complained that light coverage was limited to a small 2'x2'. I also thought it had an overwhelmingly bright focal point at the middle while dropping off drastically mere inches away. I'm pretty sure I should have raised the light by 3-4 feet but I'm conditioned to CFLs.. I thought 3-4 feet was too high.

      Problem #2: I didn't realize how intense the light was. I bleached a poor nepenthes leaf. Again, I underestimated the height the bulb should be at.

      I've burnt nepenthes (lower light required plant) leaves with the LED bulbs but I've actually grown opuntia pads a lot faster under them without any issues. I'd love to experiment with those bulbs again if I had the space. If you have the money and/or it's on sale, I say go for it.
      Alma from Maryland 7b


      • #4
        Does the light of an LED bulb such as the one mentioned above have enough of what a tree fruiting requires to produces sweet, ripe fruit?


        • #5
          You can certainly grow plants under LED lights. The one in the OP puts out "3000 - 3600" lm. That's odd to give a range instead of a single number. It may be that you get 3600 lm at turn on then as it heats up it drops to 3000 lm. Very few manufacturers give realistic lm numbers, most overstate them significantly. From my experience if you assume the stated lm figure is accurate this would be fine to start a fig plant but as it gets more leaves 1 will not be enough.

          I'd estimate 1 light could start 4 plants but as they grew you'd need 5 lights to keep those 4 plants happy - 1 above and 1 shining on 2 plants from the outside of the square on all 4 sides. That might get you through the winter if you don't fertilize the plants. If you wanted to keep them inside after they got over 10 - 16" tall (or maybe up to 24" if the leaves are very small) you'd have to switch to HID or double the # of these LED lights.

          T8 and T5 tubes have proven to be more practical for me. Two 4' T8 shop lights, less than $12 each at Walmart per 4'x2' shelf will grow 34) 1 gallon pots to about 12 to 16" The set of shelves that's proven the best for me was at HD for about $50, 5 shelves per pack. If I wanted to grow taller plants I'd use 2 or 3 legs or a length of PVC pipe between shelves and 23 W CFLs between plants. The plants would have to be spaced further apart.

          If you're worried about the heat of a HID light you can get a tube, a fan and an air conduit. See




          and you'll need 3 of these - one at the fan intake for the screen, one at the fan output for the conduit/duct and one at the base end of the lamp tube for the conduit


          and this to be sure you're not sending small rocks hurtling toward your expensive bulb.


          That's the set up I use and I have over 144 sq' well illuminated to grow plants. The plant room is pleasantly warm and the tube points towards the rest of the house so it helps with the gas bill For comparison The HID bulbs range from 110,000 lm to 150,000 lm depending on which one you get.

          The 2500 lm stand light at HD linked above has fewer lumens for > 4x the price. If you want to go that way try


          which is cheaper and has more lumens. It will probably go back down to $79 eventually.
          Last edited by Harborseal; 11-08-2015, 03:27 PM.
          Bob C.
          Kansas City, MO Z6


          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            The '3000 - 3600' lumens is governed by the input voltage 'AC90 - 250V' of the power supply...
            I read a note recently, somewhere in my travels on the net...

        • #6
          Thanks for the advices really interesting. I was thinking of it for cuttings started during winter. I will search for tubes or LED and try to buy a simple setup.


          • #7
            I'm going to grow some under some "reef tank" LEDs. The coral reef fish tank world is really on the cutting edge of LED technology, coral takes tons of light to grow, so reef enthusiasts have been developing some pretty nice LED lighting solutions. They make be a little more expensive, but I garuntee if they grow coral, they'll grow awesome figs no problem!

            I don't know if this is relevant, but good luck!


            • #8
              I do both 250 watt frosted grow light and 250 watt led outdoor spotlight. Total cost with housing about $15.00. On a timer for 15 hr a day. Seem that led plants grow much faster but grow light still work too. When I start cuttings I use T5 unit.
              Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
              1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
              2) This weeks ebay auctions.


              • #9
                Here is growth difference in lights. All started with no visible leafs. Led is shine in plastic bin
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                2) This weeks ebay auctions.


                • #10
                  I built a 200 watt LED with 2 -100 watt LED cool white chips, a 36v DC switcher a chunk of aluminum for heat dissipation. And a couple 36v fans.
                  The LED each run at 36v dc so I used thermal glue and screws to secure the LED to the AL. Solder wires to LED and connect them to the switcher
                  power up ,test and adjust mA draw to within specs of the led.
                  Always under power your led to make them run less hot and last longer.
                  I do not have able time to build more, but they are cheap. If you know how.
                  I got my info online, so it is all out there.
                  What you have to get past is all the pot growers who build their own led and have the info online.
                  Same lights grow figs with super thick stalks and fat white roots.

                  This year Im running on 70% solar power, so the electric bill is getting trimmed down.
                  Not sure I will run my 200 watt led.
                  I did buy 4 -25 watt LED chips to build a smaller led grow light some day.

                  Not sure it will help anybody, but if you search online, all the information you need to build your own LED grow light is out there.

                  Have fun


                  Last edited by SCfigFanatic; 11-10-2015, 11:07 AM. Reason: decided to add a pic from last year.


                  • #11
                    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.


                    • fitzski
                      fitzski commented
                      Editing a comment
                      now that's a fig room Thanks for sharing. If I only had the time to do this.


                    • CarbonFX
                      CarbonFX commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Nice! I always like the look of those grow lights. Driving past someone's house I saw they converted their living room to a grow room with these lights it was pretty amazing.

                  • #12
                    Soldering LEDs without killing them is the hard part. Some people use their toaster ovens to reflow solder but getting them on boards is easier. Your power supply has to be able to set current and let the voltage vary which is not the usual way.
                    Bob C.
                    Kansas City, MO Z6


                    • #13
                      There is a adjustment on the switcher to find the sweet spot for the LED.
                      Soldering is the easy part. If you have done it before.
                      Mount it to your heat sink, then solder.
                      It helps draw that second's worth of heat away from the LED.



                      • #14
                        Here is a better Picture of the 200 watt LED.
                        I'm not a electronic major, I am not recommending others do it this
                        way. People need to read for themselves what it takes to run a LED if they
                        want to build one.
                        I ran mine 14 hours a day every day for months last winter.
                        Fan cooled switcher is made to power up LED lights.
                        I just kept it simple.
                        Im not running my LED at their rated amps but the switcher keeps the voltage steady
                        right where the LED were designed to run.
                        I am no pro, just sharing what works for me.

                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.


                        • #15
                          That's pretty high up. Any idea of the lumens? How tall did the plants get before you had to switch to something else. It looks like a nice set up.
                          Bob C.
                          Kansas City, MO Z6


                          • #16
                            As I remember each 100 watt Led was at 10-12,000 lumens each.
                            I had the light set up that high to get light to the plumeria growing to the right.
                            The figs grew fat stalks and had more than enough light so no leggy growth at all
                            That light cost less than $100 to build.
                            No huge light bill either.



                            • #17
                              I'm trying 4 foot LED lights that fit in an old fluor fixture with the ballast removed. they are 2400 lumens each. still trying to figure out the right height
                              Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....


                              • don_sanders
                                don_sanders commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Are these 5000k or 6500k daylight LEDs? How do the plants seem to be responding?

                              • cjmach1973
                                cjmach1973 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                they are 6500 k. Since I set them up, I have read that I should mix a bulb in the mid 2000's with them, so that it something I am going to try next.

                            • #18
                              I use 2 x 4 foot Shop Light 2 bulb Daylight Florescent Bulbs.
                              I make them adjustable for height and keep them close to the cuttings. You can have 2 x 4' Shop Lights plus 4 bulbs for around $34.00. That will cover an area 4 foot x about 3 feet. You can grow many plants in one of these setups (I have 2 setups of this) The figs really respond well to it and I think that daylight bulbs are very good for fig growing (and inexpensive to buy).
                              I've been using this setup for years with great results.
                              The units are on a timer. Its low heat, long lasting bulbs and very inexpensive to run
                              Nothing fancy, it just works!


                              • #19
                                I forgot the needed resistor for the 100 watt led.

                                i understand why it sounding the "not normal way" to light led lights.



                                • Blackfoot12
                                  Blackfoot12 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Doug, if you have a driver for 100 watt why do you need a resistor? I thought that was one of the purpose of the driver.

                                • Harborseal
                                  Harborseal commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I meant the power supply for LEDs is not the usual power supply for other things. Most power supplies are constant voltage but a supply for the LEDs is supposed to be constant current. Although you may have done it differently. However you did it it's a fine lighting set up. If you do it again you might want to include the photo red from ledengin. It puts out light in a narrow, far red band that stimulates the growth of chloroplasts.

                                • Harborseal
                                  Harborseal commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I meant the power supply for LEDs is not the usual power supply for other things. Most power supplies are constant voltage but a supply for the LEDs is supposed to be constant current. You may have done it differently. However you did it it's a fine lighting set up and totally worthy of imitation. For others who do this you might want to include some 660 and 730 nm LEDs. Those wavelengths are especially good for photosynthesis together and not well represented in white LEDs. They stimulate the growth of chloroplasts and increase the efficiency of photosynthesis.

                              • #20
                                I performed a similar search comparing cost effective lights to propagate fig cuttings and LED grow light fixtures were actually eliminated early in the search due primarily to high purchase costs, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...g-fig-cuttings

                                The usual recommendations were florescent lights for plant propagation and vegetative growth with the readily available full spectrum 6500K bulbs, surprisingly they're even recommended by many hydroponic suppliers for the propagation stages. The initial purchase costs are much less and the operating costs are only slightly more than LED's. Two 4 foot long two bulb fixtures with four 6500K bulbs can cost as little as $40.00, the proposed LED bulb in the OP also requires an electrical fixture. Four T8 bulbs will provide ~ 10,000 lumens or ~ 1,200 Foot Candles (lumens/square ft) for a 2 ft by 4 ft grow area and use ~ 120 watts of electricity. There are many available manufactured light stands, and here's a simple DIY tabletop light stand https://extension.umd.edu/print/3745

                                A terminology that's used in the lighting industry which I found very useful when doing actual cost comparisons is (Luminous / Lamp) efficacy or Lumens / Watt (amount of light provided per consumed watt of energy). It can be used to do 'apple to apple" comparisons of seemingly disparate fixtures. Other than their long life expectancy, the LED lamps and fixtures did not provide a large enough advantage to warrant their consideration for seasonal propagation grow lights when their lamp efficacy was compared to the T8 lamps and fixtures. Good Luck
                                Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


                                • SCfigFanatic
                                  SCfigFanatic commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Working with the zone your in, any light is beneficial.
                                  My 2 LED draw 188 watts and put out 20,000 lumens minimum. Or 106 lumen per watt.
                                  Florescent lighting is very low lumens per watt.

                                  if you have a android phone you can get apps to check lumens of what lights you use..
                                  Book numbers mean very little.

                                  Last edited by SCfigFanatic; 12-06-2015, 12:31 PM.

                                • SCfigFanatic
                                  SCfigFanatic commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  " Four T8 bulbs will provide ~ 10,000 lumens or ~ 1,200 Foot Candles (lumens/square ft) for a 2 ft by 4 ft grow area and use ~ 120 watts of electricity."
                                  And only provides 83 lumen per watt.

                                  That is, if the florescent really peak at their max lumen that they advertise. Which they usually do not, but they do degrade
                                  and drop even more lumens over a couple years use. Then you need more florescent tubes again to regain
                                  the lighting you had when they were new.
                                  I had florescent lighting years ago.
                                  Huge difference.

                                  Last edited by SCfigFanatic; 12-06-2015, 01:31 PM.

                                • SCfigFanatic
                                  SCfigFanatic commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Why not just explain that warm white florescent puts out the yellow orange spectrum for leaf growth,
                                  and cool white florescent bulbs put out the more blue end of the color spectrum to induce flowering?
                                  Keep it simple. Grow light fluorescent just combine the 2.
                                  Old timers used to use 3 warm white and 1 cool white bulb to duplicate the suns color spectrum.

                                  Then came led's. Great big ones. Now they are getting cheap, but only from china so far.

                              • #21
                                And a comparison of the purchase costs for the commercially available fixtures and lights mentioned in this thread (Topic) yields some surprising results... The LEDs mentioned by Art, cjmach1973 is the overall winner for lumens / watt and operating costs @ 34 Watts

                                LED... http://www.banggood.com/50W-E27-Gard...-p-994425.html
                                ... 70 lumens / watt & $0.0063 / lumen (3,500 lumens, 50 watts @ $22.00 bulb only, no fixture or wiring)

                                LED... http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-5-f...-24W/203455015
                                ... 75 lumens / watt & $0.040 / lumen (2,500 lumens, 33 watts @ $100.00)

                                LED... http://www.lowes.com/pd_433457-43921...ed+work+lights ...
                                ... 75 lumens / watt & $0.0263 / lumen (3,000 lumens, 40 watts @ $79.00)

                                T8 LED... http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-4...6608/206278132
                                ... 123 lumens / watt & $.0095 / lumen (4,200 lumens, 34 watts @ $40.00 T8 fixture & 2 LED bulbs)

                                T8... http://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-4...1823/205477897
                                ... 87 lumens / watt & $0.0055 / lumen (5,400 lumens, 60 watts @ $30.00 T8 fixture & 2 Florescent bulbs)
                                Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


                                • SCfigFanatic
                                  SCfigFanatic commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  And a comparison of the purchase costs for the commercially available fixtures and lights mentioned in this thread (Topic)

                                  huh? I can read. Topic says Led grow lights, nothing about comparisons.

                                  Just because you promote florescent lighting does not (by far) make it the best choice.
                                  Everybody is switching to LED grow lights that have tried it, huge indoor growing facilities ect.
                                  Do more reading, and copy/pasting pete.

                                • AscPete
                                  AscPete commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I'll be picking up 2 T8 LED's today to test against the T8 Florescent. The T8 fixture from W*mart and the LED bulbs will cost a total of $34.00 including Tax.

                                  For plant propagation and vegetative growth any 6500K florescent bulb (Daylight) is recommended, they provide more of the Blue spectrum required for vegetative growth.... The 5000K LED should work, if they stock the 6500K LED that would be my first choice.

                                  The Grow light LED fixtures are usually made with Blue and Red LED's because that light spectrum is what the plants utilize most for chlorophyll production. Blues for vegetative growth and Red for flowering. The more expensive LED grow light fixtures are made with some 'broad spectrum' LED's (ROY G BIV).

                                • AscPete
                                  AscPete commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  H*D was all sold out of the T8 Daylight LEDs...
                                  An internet search for T8 LED ... Led to some available 6500K LED bulbs/fixture but they're only available in lots, http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-LED-In...Ejs3dsYddvpOnw

                                  And some 50 Watt 6500K LED fixtures similar to those recommended in this post, 5,000 lumens 50 Watts @ $22.00 free shipping.

                                  BTW, two 50W led flood light fixtures could probably provide enough lumens for a 2ft by 4 ft propagation area.
                                  Last edited by AscPete; 12-08-2015, 10:07 AM. Reason: added BTW

                              • #22
                                This helps it explain the useful portion of the light spectrum

                                another good link
                                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.


                                • #23
                                  Here is a do it yourself kit. For those handy with a few hand tools.



                                  Last edited by SCfigFanatic; 12-07-2015, 01:11 PM.


                                  • #24
                                    To address the question as to whether the 6500K and 3000K LEDs can be used as plant grow lights there is this manufacturer, http://www.wickedgrowlights.com/ selling their base LED grow light fixtures fabricated with soft white and warm white LED bulbs (6500K and 3000K). http://www.ebay.com/itm/26-125-WATT-...0AAOSwHnFV44I-
                                    Click image for larger version

Name:	s-l1600.jpg
Views:	213
Size:	56.7 KB
ID:	53947
                                    The caveat is that they also furnish LEDs that are specifically designed as grow bulbs...

                                    The inexpensive spotlights, http://www.ebay.com/itm/50W-LED-Floo...3D151015708053 have LEDs with similar specs. (spectrum) as those offered by the Light fixture manufacturer, http://www.wickedlightstore.com/#!gu...ht-bulbs/c1dpe

                                    and as a comparison...
                                    LED... http://www.ebay.com/itm/50W-LED-Floo...3D151015708053
                                    ... 104 lumens / watt & $0.0042 / lumen (5,200 lumens, 50 watts @ $22.00)

                                    For the comparable 8 sq ft ( 2 ft by 4 ft) cutting propagation area a minimum of two 50 Watt LED spot light fixtures (100 Watts - 10,400 lumens - 1300 Foot Candles ) would exceed the Foot Candles of four T8 Florescent Lamps and 120 Watts and cost less than the T8 fixtures.... $44.00 free shipping.
                                    Last edited by AscPete; 12-08-2015, 04:28 PM. Reason: added bold text...
                                    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


                                    • #25
                                      Attached are some photos of one of my newly acquired 50 Watt 6500K Cool White LED Flood Light next to a 2 bulb shop light fixture with 6500K bulbs, the light from the LED is much brighter and more intense. The second photo is a comparison of light from my 3000K and 6500K florescent bulbs. I will be measuring the actual Foot Candles and actual operating Watts of fixture and bulbs as a comparison once they're set up. LED flood lights are being used successfully as grow lights (3) and these will be used to grow fig cuttings starting next month.
                                      Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6934.jpg
Views:	215
Size:	97.9 KB
ID:	55922 Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6892.jpg
Views:	211
Size:	133.2 KB
ID:	55921

                                      The following is from an LED Grow Light Fixture manufacturer's website where they list a lot of info on their LED grow lights including the Red and Blue types. The LED info is important because they utilize standard commercially available White LED's.


                                      By photon count, 3000K contains the following percentages of colors:
                                      Blue (400 - 500nm): 11%
                                      Green (500 - 600nm): 37%
                                      Red (600 - 700nm): 46%
                                      Far Red (700 - 800nm): 6%

                                      By photon count, 4000K contains the following percentages of colors:
                                      Blue (400 - 500nm): 17%
                                      Green (500 - 600nm): 46%
                                      Red (600 - 700nm): 34%
                                      Far Red (700 - 800nm): 3%

                                      By photon count, 6500K contains the following percentages of colors:
                                      Blue (400 - 500nm): 28%
                                      Green (500 - 600nm): 48%
                                      Red (600 - 700nm): 22%
                                      Far Red (700 - 800nm): 2%
                                      After testing the output of the shipped 50 watt LED flood light fixtures, I will be replacing the LED Chips to increase their Luminous efficacy / Lumens per watt by increasing the size from 50 Watts to 100 watts but using the same 50 watt power supply / LED Driver (4). This method of "riding the performance curve" has been used by "Growers" to fabricate high output LED DIY light fixtures, selecting larger sized more efficient LEDs and under powering them to get increased efficiency (2). The new 100 watt chips for the fixture cost $4.00 each including shipping and should increase the output by at least 10% to 15% without increasing the power consumption.

                                      DIY Grow light Builds.
                                      1. https://www.thcfarmer.com/community/...e-grows.64252/
                                      2. http://www.rollitup.org/t/diy-led-gr...oolers.805681/

                                      DIY Grow light from 50 Watt Flood Lights from seeds to flowering.
                                      3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw33...NuY-Al&index=3

                                      Hack of 20W flood light with 50 watt light chip.
                                      4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o94Clh3ovnA
                                      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


                                      • AscPete
                                        AscPete commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Update 10-30-16.... WARNING....

                                        Although the LED Flood Lamp can be used as plant lights the actual light intensity and coverage for a typical 2' x 4' growing area is less than ideal. The florescent fixtures still provided better area coverage due to their actual size and light footprint.

                                        All the Outdoor Flood Lights trialed were under powered (under driven) when tested with a Kill A Watt meter. The 50 Watt Lamps were usually less than 30 Watts and a 140 Watt Lamp was only 100 Watts. This means that these Lamps are providing a proportionally reduced (usually 40%) quantity of light when compared to their claimed Lumens and Watt ratings. The Flood Lights, including the 140 Watt Lamp, also did not have enough light intensity (FC / Lux) to be placed further than one (1) foot from the leaves, placed any closer you would have increased light but decreased area coverage, only 1 to 2 sq ft.

                                        The COB chips in all the Outdoor Flood Lamps produced less than 1000 FC or 10,763 Lux at 12 inches away from the actual Chips, as measured by a Lux meter. At all distance from the center of the Chip),at a 12 inch radius the measured intensity, FC / Lux was less than half (< 1/2) of that measured directly above the Chip, so for most that had a 1000 FC at center 12 inches away from the Lamp, the measured intensity at one (1) foot radius was actually less than 500 FC. The Flood Lamps lived up to their names and provided a flood of light at very low intensity, just slightly more intensity than the Florescent Tube Lamps which only had 1000 FC or higher less than 3" from the bulbs.

                                        In a recent Topic, https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...ed-bulbs/page2 don_sanders mention the Great Value 9 watt 800 lumens A19 LEDs. I tested the bulbs at 6 inches apart ( on center) with the light diffusion globes removed and they have outperformed the Flood Lamps, LED COB Chips and Florescent Tubes when it comes to Light intensity as measured in FC and Lux at distances over 12 inches from the bulbs. With a spacing of 6 inches apart 20 bulbs can provide uniformly intense light over the 2' x 4' coverage area.