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  • 1 Post By SchoenorchisLover
  • 5 Post By -Nicola-
  • 4 Post By raybark

LED Light Strips

This is a discussion on LED Light Strips within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello! Does anyone have experience adding LED light strips to their fluorescent light fixture to ...

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  1. #1
    SchoenorchisLover is offline Junior Member
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    Default LED Light Strips

    Hello!

    Does anyone have experience adding LED light strips to their fluorescent light fixture to add additional lighting?

    The ones I am interested in have a 6000K temperature, and produce around 550 lumens/foot. I have T5HO light fixture that I'd like to wrap the lights around the inside perimeter. My existing florescent fixture produces 2000 lm, has a 6500K color temperature and is 2 feet long. I'd adhere the strips to the bottom edge so that the strips aren't too close to the fluorescent lamp. I probably won't need an additional 2000lm of light from these strips, so I'm also buying a dimmer.

    Is this a good or bad idea? Also, should I purchase strips with a warmer color temperature to balance the cool temperature of my current fluorescent (6500k) fixture? Let me know what you guys think!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
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    I dont grow under lights. . I am sure someone will chip in with inputs

  3. #3
    -Nicola-'s Avatar
    -Nicola- is offline Senior Member
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    Hi.
    I use LED light for my plants.
    I had a couple of T5HO but I dropped them because of excessive heat in my area.
    A dimmer, depending on the type, could produce flickering or change of Kelvin.
    A mixture of warm and cold light is generally recommended to produce a wider spectrum.
    If you think the light is too strong, you can increase the distance from the plants, which also increases the coverage area.
    ciao Nicola

  4. #4
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    Default

    In incandescent lights, the color temperature is indicative of the spectrum. In both fluorescent and LED lamps, it is not. In fact, what is given is a "correlated-" or "corrected color temperature", meaning that it has been adjusted to simulate the appearance - to the human eye - of an incandescent lamp at that temperature. The human eye and the light-receptive chemicals in plants "receive" light totally differently, and are most sensitive to totally different parts of the spectrum. The eye picks up green the best, and that's where white LEDs emit the strongest, hence the apparent brightness, while plants are most sensitive to the red and blue parts of the spectrum.

    If your T5 lamp is light a plant grow light, the phosphors have been selected to at least try to stimulate those chemicals, but if it is not - and to the best of my knowledge, nobody has matched those phosphors to white LEDs yet - it is designed for human consumption.

    As to "warm" and "cool" or "cold" white LEDs, I used to have plant lights custom-made for me to resell, and my initial dismay was that the amount of red in them varies very little, so choosing one over the others was basically meaningless to the plants. I compensated for that specifically adding red chips to the boards.

    From an energy efficiency standpoint, lumens per watt, "warmer white" chips tend to be better, so I would recommend going in that direction, but not to worry too much about it. Lumens is the key, and as Nicola stated, the more the better, as you can always increase the lamp-plant distance.

  5. #5
    SchoenorchisLover is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    In incandescent lights, the color temperature is indicative of the spectrum. In both fluorescent and LED lamps, it is not. In fact, what is given is a "correlated-" or "corrected color temperature", meaning that it has been adjusted to simulate the appearance - to the human eye - of an incandescent lamp at that temperature. The human eye and the light-receptive chemicals in plants "receive" light totally differently, and are most sensitive to totally different parts of the spectrum. The eye picks up green the best, and that's where white LEDs emit the strongest, hence the apparent brightness, while plants are most sensitive to the red and blue parts of the spectrum.

    If your T5 lamp is light a plant grow light, the phosphors have been selected to at least try to stimulate those chemicals, but if it is not - and to the best of my knowledge, nobody has matched those phosphors to white LEDs yet - it is designed for human consumption.

    As to "warm" and "cool" or "cold" white LEDs, I used to have plant lights custom-made for me to resell, and my initial dismay was that the amount of red in them varies very little, so choosing one over the others was basically meaningless to the plants. I compensated for that specifically adding red chips to the boards.

    From an energy efficiency standpoint, lumens per watt, "warmer white" chips tend to be better, so I would recommend going in that direction, but not to worry too much about it. Lumens is the key, and as Nicola stated, the more the better, as you can always increase the lamp-plant distance.
    Thank you for your responses!

    The T5 I have is specifically designed for agricultural purposes, it is meant to start seedlings.

    If the LEDs are produced as to appear a certain color temperature, how will I know that the lights are actually getting the red and blue spectrums that they need? For additional information, the strips I'm interested in have 15 lumens per chip, 600 chips, the strip is 16.5 feet long (I'm cutting it, of course) and the whole thing produces 72 watts.

    If you have a better solution, let me know! I cannot put another T5, as the lamp sits in my window, which is only 4 inches deep.

    Thanks for everyone who responded. If the LED strips are made to mimic what appears to be a certain color spectrum, is there any way for me to know that the LED strips are in fact getting the right spectrum needed for my plants? I don't want to buy the strip to have it not contribute anything to the orchids? (Or, am I worrying too much)

  6. #6
    kelchm is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    I'd actually go even warmer than that and use either 3000K or 4000K. Check out the Samsung LM561C led light strips.

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