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Thread: Stevehman's LED Buyer's Guide

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Diamond series is my preference. It really is a great unit.
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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Thanks for all the info here, this thread is priceless.

    I couldn't find anything but guesses regarding minimum canopy distance of the lights - anyone has any info on how close they can be put to the plants?
    Can i get much better penetration with several low watt units instead of a few higher ones? Was thinking of getting 2x300 or 4-5x100 from diamond series - if i can get closer with the 100ws.

    Or maybe individual LED power matters only, and each unit needs the same distance?

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Quote Originally Posted by invi View Post
    Thanks for all the info here, this thread is priceless.

    I couldn't find anything but guesses regarding minimum canopy distance of the lights - anyone has any info on how close they can be put to the plants?
    Can i get much better penetration with several low watt units instead of a few higher ones? Was thinking of getting 2x300 or 4-5x100 from diamond series - if i can get closer with the 100ws.

    Or maybe individual LED power matters only, and each unit needs the same distance?
    Much of this really depends on your style of grow. If you're going to grow 3 foot tall + big girls, LED's will have trouble with that much penetration from top to bottom.

    I have had my light at 15" to maybe 18-19" and gotten good results. I have also gone closer and gotten bleaching from the light, so I had to back it off a bit.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    I am trying to build my own LED light system, and am curious about the best spectrum ratio for the VEG room. I am looking at going around 600 w with 3w bulbs. I have seen alot of videos that only seem to use red with some minimal blue, but I have read that the more blue the better for the VEG

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Thanks Bassman!
    What wattage lamp(s) did you use - or that did not matter? I plan to decide on my next grow style based on what LEDs allow.
    Was thinking of a SOG with each plant topped once after the 4th node - as far as i heard this should result in 4 main cola / plant (Uncle Ben's Topping Technique).

    @DCollect:
    These are the wavelengths on the diamond unit - this works nice as i see from journals
    760nm, 740nm, 720nm, 660nm, 630nm, 615nm-480nm, 460nm, 440nm, 415nm, 380nm

    and this is what they say about ratio: red - blue is 9:1, and red (660) - infrared (730) ratio is 1.2:1.
    This is all i found in the specs. Once ill have a unit at hand ill try to count each LED type if possible.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    I used 600w in my grows. I had a unit take a dump on me and when I installed the new ballasts it drew 685w. My plant height was about 30-32" or so, I bent the hell out of them to keep them that low and the result was fairly decent penetration. Not all the way to the bottom great, but fairly deep running light about 16" or so, maybe 18" I didnt measure. I just looked for signs of bleaching based on previous experience.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassman59 View Post
    I have had my light at 15" to maybe 18-19" and gotten good results. I have also gone closer and gotten bleaching from the light, so I had to back it off a bit.
    Huhh thats more than i need to keep with my bare 400w HPS!
    Maybe ill just get several 100-200Ws and hang all around the plants then.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Keep in mind the intensity (driven watts) is going to make a difference. You can have all 3w diodes but only drive them at 1w and have blah intensity & penetration. Or you can drive them at 3w and have buttloads but be too damn hot for the led and burn it out very soon. Heat will be the issue. But it's heat at the diode, burning it out rather than heat at the plants. So keep in mind a really good heat sink and fans to cool off the diodes.

    Rough calculations for most of the good 3w lights suggest they are being driven at roughly 1.8-1.9 watts.

    The ballasts I received when my unit went kaput, have it showing at about 2.37w per led. Very intense, may cost it some life, but it's still under warranty, and I'm not going to fret over it. I consider it a bonus for my grows.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Wattage is a measurement of Voltage x Amperage = Watts... LED's are driven at a constant current. If you attempt to drive via a wattage pull or voltage you WILL have thermal runaway causing your LED's to overheat and burn out or cause your power supply to burn out/explode... yes they can and will explode. 1 Watt LEDs are driven at or about 200-350mA. 3 watt LEDs are driven between 600-750mA. The voltage pull depends on the chemical coating on the diode. Reds tend to be ran at a lower voltage thus have less "watt usage" than blues and whites. There are exceptions to this but that is the basics.


    I've said this before, it is MUCH cheaper to find one of these Chinese companies to produce the light with your spectra and much less chance of you injuring yourself/family/home. If you have all of the required knowledge to do the wavelengths, electrical engineering, thermal management, and construction... it's cheaper to buy them 100% of the time.

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Ahhh... good stuff Hose. Learn something every day right?

    So my "laymens" analysis of watts per led based on using a kill-a-watt meter is for naught or ok for simplicity sakes?

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosebomber View Post
    Wattage is a measurement of Voltage x Amperage = Watts... LED's are driven at a constant current. If you attempt to drive via a wattage pull or voltage you WILL have thermal runaway causing your LED's to overheat and burn out or cause your power supply to burn out/explode... yes they can and will explode. 1 Watt LEDs are driven at or about 200-350mA. 3 watt LEDs are driven between 600-750mA. The voltage pull depends on the chemical coating on the diode. Reds tend to be ran at a lower voltage thus have less "watt usage" than blues and whites. There are exceptions to this but that is the basics.

    I've said this before, it is MUCH cheaper to find one of these Chinese companies to produce the light with your spectra and much less chance of you injuring yourself/family/home. If you have all of the required knowledge to do the wavelengths, electrical engineering, thermal management, and construction... it's cheaper to buy them 100% of the time.
    So if I was to buy some 600w lights from China, what spectrums would I be looking for for my Veg and Flower rooms. I found a manufacturer who will make it to my specifications, and I currently am going with 8:1 r/b 3Wattx288 for flower, and 61 r/o/b 1w 576 for the Veg. 120 degree angle, thats about all I know

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Bass, for simplicity and what the end user needs... the kill-a-watt is fine. You want to know how much power you are using, how much it's costing you to run the light, and if it works. The exact breakdown for what each LED is being driven at and what voltage pull is SHOULD only be needed in the engineering phase. I say should because poor production and engineering can cause overheating issues, short lifespans, and failures of the power supply/converters.

    DD, Your question is very involved. I believe I mentioned it before in this thread and definitively within this forum, that you are not very likely to get the information you are asking for from anyone. Those of us that have actually done research and testing have put in hundreds to thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars (at least in my case) trying to figure out those questions. I personally am a firm believer in the full spectra complete interaction philosophy. While it's proven that red is required for flowering and blue helps with veg growth, there are so many interactions in the plant genome that we know little to nothing about. Chlorophyll F was just discovered a little over 2 years ago now and we have known about the Emerson effect for over 50 years. We now know that Chlorophyll F transfers far-red photo receptors to red at a chemical level and the reverse happens as well. They are still trying to figure out exactly why that happens and under what conditions.

    I will say that only doing one blue and one red wavelength is a very bad idea. Make sure you also include those spectra that will give you the Emerson effect. As for the angles, 120 degrees is the base Lambertian pattern that LEDs give off... that means you have no secondary lenses and you may lack penetration for plants over 18-24 inches in height. The smaller the angle the less coverage you get but higher penetration. This also means that with tighter angles you can bleach or burn the upper leaves and colas.

  14. #254
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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosebomber View Post
    As for the angles, 120 degrees is the base Lambertian pattern that LEDs give off... that means you have no secondary lenses and you may lack penetration for plants over 18-24 inches in height. The smaller the angle the less coverage you get but higher penetration. This also means that with tighter angles you can bleach or burn the upper leaves and colas.
    Do you have any preference regarding angle - considering how tightly LEDs are packed in these lights does it make sense to have them above 60 deg? Assuming the light is used for vegetative and productive phase too and plants are between 2-4 feet.
    When i wanted to order my light they asked me about what angle i prefer.. not sure what to tell them.

    Regarding useful spectra - here are some numbers (probably been posted already, just to make it easier)
    beta-Carotene 450nm & 480-485nm
    Chlorophyll a 430nm & 662nm
    Chlorophyll b 453nm & 642nm
    Chlorophyll d 710nm(*)
    Chlorophyll f 706nm(*)
    Phycoerythrin 590nm
    Phycocyanin 625nm
    Emerson effect 670nm & 700nm.

    (*) Not sure if needed for our girls

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    Re: Stevehman's LED buyer's guide

    Quote Originally Posted by invi View Post
    Regarding useful spectra - here are some numbers (probably been posted already, just to make it easier)
    beta-Carotene 450nm & 480-485nm
    Chlorophyll a 430nm & 662nm
    Chlorophyll b 453nm & 642nm
    Chlorophyll d 710nm(*)
    Chlorophyll f 706nm(*)
    Phycoerythrin 590nm
    Phycocyanin 625nm
    Emerson effect 670nm & 700nm.

    (*) Not sure if needed for our girls
    Not sure where you got those from but nearly all of them are off by 5-10nm (except for Chloro A and B).
    Chloro D is 401 455 and 696
    Chloro F is 720(ish)

    The org. Emerson study was using 650 and 730... there have been many other trials with wavelengths from 630 to 680 and 680-750. Generally speaking he got really lucky on the first shot.

    FYI: watch using Wikipedia as a resource for scholarly information... One of the chlorophyll d sources is to an article on Chlorophyll F. Which is probably where they got the wrong wavelengths from.

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