LED lighting

Kevster

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I have seen a few things mentioned about indoor LED lighting but I haven't seen where anyone has used them.
I will be setting up a winter grow room in my basement before the cold weather hits for my tropicals and with how much electric is these days I want the most cost efficient system I can get. Does any have a set up or suggestions?
 

treebeard55

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I've never tried LED lights, but I believe Jerry Meislik has checked them out. Check his website, www.bonsaihunk.us. If I recall correctly, he concluded that they give no advantage over regular fluorescents.

I use 40-watt fluorescents, with the foliage as close to the bulbs as possible. (Remember the inverse-square law of EM radiation.) As long as I remember to change out the bulbs in mid-winter, the trees do fine. If I do neglect to replace the bulbs, by spring the internodes are getting longer and individual leaves are bigger.

Sooner or later I want to try the T-5 HO bulbs. Their output is significantly higher, but they take a special fixture -- can't use a shoplight from a DIY store!
 

Kevster

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I use ho compact fluorescents on my salt water tank. I chose them over the t-5 because they put out more wattage (768 watts in a 72"x 24" area). Still the 72" fixture was over $1,000 and uses a lot of electricity.
My curiosity to the LED grow lights started because they now have LED fixtures for salt water tanks. I know the wattage for indoor growing and light spectrum isn't the same for bonsai as they would be for a reef tank and I'm sure the lights for my tank would burn normal plants. I guess my main question is what do bonsai need?
 

Kevster

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Oh and I will check out the link you posted. I don't know why I didn't think to check his site earlier since he is a tropical genius.
Thanks
 

Bill S

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LEDs are still too expensive, and put out almost as much heat as incandescents.

2 x 4 fixture or 2 x 4 fixtures can be rigged easilly to put up around your trees. Less cost up front for sure.
 

Thomas J.

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I just stumbled upon this thread and would like to put my 2 cents worth in here. The closest thing you can get to true sunlighting is with a full spectrum light bulb. They are fluorescent but have a CRI of 91 which is as close as you can get to artificial sunlight. Regular fluorescent bulbs don't have this high of a CRI. I have an African Grey parrot that in the winter time when she's indoors all the time needs this kind of lighting to help her produce vitamin D3 which is very essential to these birds. These birds come from the Congo region of Africa where the sunlight is plentiful and keeps them healthy. They are low wattage but put out a good white light. Kind of expensive for one bulb, around $19 plus shipping. You can also get a 27in. unit with bulb for around $47 plus shipping. Don't look for these at Home Depot or such places, you'll have to go online. Most pet stores sell something close but they're made for reptiles which don't need as high a CRI and are a bit warmer since the reptiles need heat also.

Just thought anyone interested in artificial lighting might want to know.:D
 
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