Diy Lighting

Alexp08

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So I know these lights are popular in the hobby as they allow many color customizations. But im wondering if anyone has had luck with them with growing plants. My plan is to purchase on that has 300 leds per 15ft and coil it around a 2ft pvc pipe. The nice thing is I can then dim it if that's too much light. But anyway the one im looking at has a pattern or RGB and cool white leds that alternate. And im wondering what shade I should set the RGB at, i was thinking some shade of red or blue.
Anyone have experice using these lights? Thanks



Im assuming the various shades are like those on the remotes per set but you can adjust them more finely

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StevenF

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Color changing LEDs output only 3 colors of ligt red, green, and blue. Further more color LEDs put out only a very narrow spectrum of light. by changing the ratio of these 3 colors you will see diffent colors of light.  However plants don't perceive color like we do.  Plant generally need wide bandwidth Red, yellow, orange, green, and blue light. Not the narrow bands of color LEDs provide.  Based on some experimenting I have done with orchids, not all plants will due well under red green blue light.  Some do well but you never know which ones.  When Using LEDs for growing plants the best result are often achieved with white LEDs that use a phosphor to covert the blue narrow band light (produced by the LED) to wide band colored light.   White LEDs with a color rendering index (CRI) of 80 or more will  typically have enough color bandwidth  to meet the needs of plants.  Unfortunately many manufactures don't list the CRI or even brightness information.  Unfortunately those that do list this information charge a lot more for the strips.   Color temperature information is frequently listed but that has no bearing on CRI or brightness (lumens or PAR)
 
Also while many are listed as waterproof.  many of the cheep ones are actually only water resistant.  Given time they will corrrode and fail. To protect the LEDs from moist air, place a solid acrylic cover over the tank and then put the LEDs on top of the acrylic on the dry side pointing down.  That will keep them dry and ensure a long life.  
 

don_kihotis

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StevenF said:
Color changing LEDs output only 3 colors of ligt red, green, and blue. Further more color LEDs put out only a very narrow spectrum of light. by changing the ratio of these 3 colors you will see diffent colors of light.  However plants don't perceive color like we do.  Plant generally need wide bandwidth Red, yellow, orange, green, and blue light. Not the narrow bands of color LEDs provide.  Based on some experimenting I have done with orchids, not all plants will due well under red green blue light.  Some do well but you never know which ones.  When Using LEDs for growing plants the best result are often achieved with white LEDs that use a phosphor to covert the blue narrow band light (produced by the LED) to wide band colored light.   White LEDs with a color rendering index (CRI) of 80 or more will  typically have enough color bandwidth  to meet the needs of plants.  Unfortunately many manufactures don't list the CRI or even brightness information.  Unfortunately those that do list this information charge a lot more for the strips.   Color temperature information is frequently listed but that has no bearing on CRI or brightness (lumens or PAR)
 
Also while many are listed as waterproof.  many of the cheep ones are actually only water resistant.  Given time they will corrrode and fail. To protect the LEDs from moist air, place a solid acrylic cover over the tank and then put the LEDs on top of the acrylic on the dry side pointing down.  That will keep them dry and ensure a long life.  
Well said. 
There are a few companies producing high quality LED lights for planted aquariums but when i see their prices i appreciate my T5 tubes even more 
  
 
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