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The Basics Of Plant Lighting

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Graytail

Plant of the Year: 2014 - Plant of the Month: Dec 2014 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2015, Mar & Aug 2016, Dec 2017, Aug 2018, Jan 2019 - Nug of the Year: 2017 - Photo of the Month: June 2018
My first post here. I have been researching for awhile now trying to decide how to do my first grow. I just want to do 3 or 4 small autoflowering plants. There are a million lights to choose from, I honestly can't tell the good from the bad. Can someone please point me towards a decent light that will work for me in the 150.00 range, preferably on Ebay or Amazon? It doesn't matter to me a whole lot if it is HPS or LED or what, I can change my build to accommodate different types. I just don't want to buy junk. Thanks!
Mars-Hydro is a 420Mag sponsor and is currently offering a 170 watt LED reflector panel for $164.99. It has a switch for two modes - veg and bloom - and should easily support 4 sqft of canopy. They're also offering their older design 170 watt non-reflector panel for $104.99. Both designs have 6 spectrum bands. That's the lowest price I've found for a company that can be trusted. Their rep, Sara, has done a very good job of supporting 420Mag clients. :3:

Those price are under a dollar a watt, while other companies cost over two dollars a watt. The more expensive designs offer more spectrum bands and sometimes better quality, but if you're most concerned about a budget right now, Mars-Hydro can be trusted, in my experience. If you choose to buy from them, their lowest prices are usually on their own website, and Sara will gladly answer questions and help with ordering.

Mars-Hydro LED Grow Light Discussion

:thumb:
 

businessman

New Member
So i am planning on buying 6-8 platinum LED p1200. Mark the owner told me he can customize the lights for me. What i know knowing about light ranges and that non sense.

The lights are setup with a veg and flower mode. I assume the flower mode turns on red leds, not sure if it turns off any blue ones. Are the blues even beneficial to my plants in flower?

What i am thinking is having just flower LED for my flower tent Just veg LED for my veg tent. That way i can maximize ever watt possible. Any ideas or opinions on this?
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
So i am planning on buying 6-8 platinum LED p1200. Mark the owner told me he can customize the lights for me. What i know knowing about light ranges and that non sense.

The lights are setup with a veg and flower mode. I assume the flower mode turns on red leds, not sure if it turns off any blue ones. Are the blues even beneficial to my plants in flower?

What i am thinking is having just flower LED for my flower tent Just veg LED for my veg tent. That way i can maximize ever watt possible. Any ideas or opinions on this?
Well, yes. Your plants will benefit greatly by the use of the complete spectrum of light available. The savings in cost for not using the veg spectrum would pale compared the loss of harvest. Think this through and talk with Mark. He'll make sure you have what you need.
Just my 'for what it's worth'.
 

businessman

New Member
Well, yes. Your plants will benefit greatly by the use of the complete spectrum of light available. The savings in cost for not using the veg spectrum would pale compared the loss of harvest. Think this through and talk with Mark. He'll make sure you have what you need.
Just my 'for what it's worth'.

I dont understand how though. I have grown with HPS/MH. Each light has a different spectrum of light and color. My way of thinking was use a LED light with mainly blues for veg tent and use a LED light mainly red for flower?

So your opinion on this is that it would not work well?
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
Well at no point of the life of the plant stop benefiting from the full spectrum. I try a fucked up analogy. Just because your drink is cold, you don't want to take the ice out of the glass. ????? Lol. I don't know how to put it. There are lots of 2 band lights out there that run blue or red. Cheap too. But you WANT ant NEED all that light. That's what makes one better than any other. It's all in what you want to do with the lights, I suppose, but if you're really into making the most of your lights, buy a programmer and do the simulated sun raise and sunset and everything in between.
More 'for what it's worth'. Lol
 

businessman

New Member
Well at no point of the life of the plant stop benefiting from the full spectrum. I try a fucked up analogy. Just because your drink is cold, you don't want to take the ice out of the glass. ????? Lol. I don't know how to put it. There are lots of 2 band lights out there that run blue or red. Cheap too. But you WANT ant NEED all that light. That's what makes one better than any other. It's all in what you want to do with the lights, I suppose, but if you're really into making the most of your lights, buy a programmer and do the simulated sun raise and sunset and everything in between.
More 'for what it's worth'. Lol
ill take your word for it. I saw Kind led has the sunset sun raise options. Whats your take on UVB being supplemented
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
There a lot of reputable LED makers out there. My personal choice was PlatinumLED. I ended up with them for several reasons, but mostly the quality of the light and user feedback. And I did LOTS of reading. I don't want to sway you in any direction whatsoever .
Due diligence pays off, m8. Good luck. For better info on this, I would refer you to read back on this post a little or start a new one to get a better answer. :Namaste: Mr. Businessman :)
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
:thumb:
 

Gold

New Member
I grow 4 plans in a 3X2 grow room. I have best yields with the 400w H.P.S. and then I have one 125w"Daylight spectrum" CFL from Apollo lighting. I have the 400w H.P.S. about 14" from plant tops and the CFL mounted in center vertical in the middle of the grow room 6" off the floor. With these 2 bulbs I get the top's with the H.P.S. and lower part of the branches with the CFL. Twice the yield when I added the CFL during flowering. These two bulbs combine for every 4 plants, the spectrum is more of a Magenta Spectrum. Kicks ass on flowering. lower branches will have thick buds. I used other blue spectrum bulbs with H.P.S. and the plant always did better in flowering.
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
Von, I can't remember exactly what I read about eshine , but their warrentee was 3 years vs 5. I read feedback of difficulty contacting people for service. That kind of thing (for me at least) swayed me. Platinum feels strongly enough to give me a 5 year garontee on their product, I'll pay a little more up front. In my work in the trades industry, I've always told my customers, Happy with work, tell a friend. Unhappy, tell ME. Service means a lot to me, as well as reading feed backs!
That's it. :) Andy.
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
I was kicking around getting a Mars for my DWC room to use as a comparison. Same stains, different lights. Would be interesting to me.
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
Sweet! Nice buds there. What size light and what does it cover?
 

McCdive

Well-Known Member
I grow 4 plans in a 3X2 grow room. I have best yields with the 400w H.P.S. and then I have one 125w"Daylight spectrum" CFL from Apollo lighting. I have the 400w H.P.S. about 14" from plant tops and the CFL mounted in center vertical in the middle of the grow room 6" off the floor. With these 2 bulbs I get the top's with the H.P.S. and lower part of the branches with the CFL. Twice the yield when I added the CFL during flowering. These two bulbs combine for every 4 plants, the spectrum is more of a Magenta Spectrum. Kicks ass on flowering. lower branches will have thick buds. I used other blue spectrum bulbs with H.P.S. and the plant always did better in flowering.

I wonder if you would get the same results if you were using LED instead of HPS?
Thanks for the tip, Gold. :thumb:
 

Techhead

New Member
Now, I'm planning on building my own led panel, mainly for flowering. I've got 50 Red 610-630nm, 50 Red 650-660nm, 10 Royal Blue 445-455nm and 10 Blue 460-465nm. I selected them based on the photosynthesis peaks, is that enough? Btw, I'm not using all those 100 red leds, maybe 30 650-660 and 20 610-630. Also, I've got 4 infrared 800nm laying around here, from another project, are they usefull somehow for that Emerson effect? I didn't see any mention of that wavelength.
This is for Sambernoia.
If it was me, and it has been, I would do it more like this less 610-630, more 660, and 10 of 740 far red. Then it's about 3 or 4 to one red to blue as long as they cover each other, and the same count of warm white as any one color of blue. It's mostly the 660 that the plants really want so at lease 2 to 1 deep red to any other red. That's my best guess.
 

VonDankenhoek

On Vacation
Sweet! Nice buds there. What size light and what does it cover?

That lamp uses 3w chips it was advertised as 900w (11band) it pulls 500-525 watts. its not really perfectly matched to my space which is 2' x 4' but it does effectively light the whole area. I purchased it on ebay 2013 from LEDGROWLIGHTMANUFACTURER which was same as Marshydro.

"Twice the yield when I added the CFL during flowering" Damn thats crazy. So you put like a 5500k down low and buds are double? I have a few of those that i use for veg. I gotta drop one in the flower room.
 

Graytail

Plant of the Year: 2014 - Plant of the Month: Dec 2014 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2015, Mar & Aug 2016, Dec 2017, Aug 2018, Jan 2019 - Nug of the Year: 2017 - Photo of the Month: June 2018
Over the past few months I've been casually researching LED panels. I've owned an Intelliigent-Gro 540W for almost a year and I've been able to compare it to the 600W hps I used to run. The I-Gro is sorta wiz-bang, with a bunch of leading-edge goodies, including 3-channel timed programmability. You can set time and intensity for Blue, Red and Full. Unfortunately, I don't personally know of anyone whose panel didn't fail. From what I can determine, there are various flaws in the build, one of which is the power supply/driver design. I had two panels fail in less than a year with two different symptoms.

But I wonder what's so hard about designing a robust switchable driver with a decent power supply? Can some of you tech types explain what's so hard about splitting the circuitry so you can time and control 3-4 sets of LEDs? For instance, Far Red is nice to have, but a waste to run all day. Why not split it off to run for an hour at sunrise? Why do I have to run the same Blue intensity throughout my entire bloom? Or even Red? Why can't I custom blend my ratios?

I get that it's expensive and messy to try to run a circuit to each diode, but sheesh, how much more could it cost to split up a couple hundred diodes into 3-4 circuits? And these weak drivers? How much more cost are we talking about? $10? $20?

I dunno. When I see that you can buy standard old-tech panels from a reliable company for less than 60 cents a watt, and new-tech companies are getting $2-3 a watt, I wonder why there isn't room in the budget for smarter drivers.

How much more should it cost to split the circuitry and use robust programmable smart drivers? It's nice to have built-in 730s and/or a 315, but that's not really expensive to add. I've looked at a lot of PAR charts and coverage claims and I don't really see a lot of difference between panels on a PAR/watt basis - some, yes, but not enough to explain the cost. So if they have that much difference in headroom on their manufacturing costs, what's so spendy about programmability?

That would be a huge step, well worth paying 3-4 times as much. And how 'bout WiFi with an app ... maybe a camera in the panel ... :3: I'd be a lot more interested in that than whatever the latest perfect spectrum might be.

:Namaste:
 
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