LED for seedlings

niftynabber(z5 NY)March 17, 2011

I've read through most of the other threads about LED grow lights, but I still have a few questions, go figure! :)

I only want to grow seedlings for my outside garden. I'm not planning on growing tall, leafy, mature, fruit baring plants inside.

From what I've read here, Red light is for growing, Blue is for flowering/fruit baring. For seedlings, I should concentrate of getting a red LED fixture, or should I get the red/blue mix?

Also, from what I've read here, the longer I plan on growing a plant, (tall, leafy, mature, fruit baring) the better the fixture, hence, more expensive. But as I said, I'm just growing seedlings, can I get away with a cheaper fixture? I can get a 14w, 135 red 660nm, 30 blue 30nm, 30 orange 610nm, 30 white full spectrum (or so they say).

What do you think?

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1) You have the colors backwards - red is for blooming

2) A 14 watt panel will only cover a square foot, maybe 14" square

3) For half the cost of one LED panel, you can buy two shop lights and ~16 sq. ft. They will also do a better job.

4) To cover the same area (16 sq. ft.) will cost you about $8 per growing year (two months) more for electricity using shop lights. But buying six LED panels will set you back about $250.

If you are stuck on LEDs, look into something like a 125-watt panel that allows you to control the amount of red and blue. Or wait a couple of years until they are actually ready for prime time!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 6:28PM
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niftynabber(z5 NY)

Yeah, I'm set up with 4' flo's now, and will probably stay with them since I already got 'em.

But is my thinking correct? If you're only growing seedlings, wouldn't you want more blue than red LEDs?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 7:58PM
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Yes, way more. I tried an experiment a couple of years ago, growing basil under all red, all blue, and red and blue LEDs. The all red fell over - stems so weak and long they could not support a couple of leaves. The red/blue were okay, but rather leggy. The all blue were great.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 12:16AM
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My experience with a 14 watt panel is that it is all most useless. Not enough light. A 48 watt unit works for me if not too big an area, like a foot square and 6 inches above.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 2:06PM
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niftynabber(z5 NY)

I think I'm staying with my 4' fluor's. But I'm interested in the idea of blue light to promote leave growth. I noticed that the blue fluor. compacto mini-spiral bulbs (13w) aren't quite as brite, as the whiter light bulbs. Will the blue still be benefitional? They get pretty hot too!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 9:35AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

People on another forum have tried the actinic 10,000k bulbs and have stated they will burn plants being close enough to provide sufficient light. I'm not willing to test that theory.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:18AM
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