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LED Gardening Answered

I heard somewhere that you can use LED lights to grow plants. is this a substitute for the sun?
does it work well?

(i know, dumb question =P )



8 years ago

Yes- and it can be as simple as a few regular LEDs in a cardboard tube.  Red and blue LEDs are the usual choice because as }{itch mentions, plants are green because they reflect green light and absorb other colours.

"Does it work well"- only you can answer that question.  It probably depends on what you are trying to grow.  If you have access to the parts why not try it?


8 years ago

I'm an electrical engineer experienced with lighting and high-brightness LED applications.

For good results, specific wavelengths of light are needed, using high-brightness LEDs drawing 1 watt or more, with proper heat-sinks.

This is a good reference:
US Patent 6921182

The biggest advantages of LED grow lights are that they will reduce by several fold the electric power consumption, and reduce the waste heat produced. The size will be similar to a CFL setup. The biggest disadvantage is that it will cost at least 5 times more money for the lamp, and this is only if you build it yourself (free labor) with a good set of free plans, and a preassembled parts kit.

I have a nearly completed design that I'd like to make available.
I could probably make a parts kits available on ebay for about $80. Or I could just provide the circuit board for $5 plus shipping. This design would put out nearly 8 watts of radiant light, and use about 26 watts of electrical power. I estimate it would roughly compare to a 54 watt CFL. This is a much bigger investment than an equivalent florescent lamp costing only $10 or $20. However, the savings in electricity would pay for the LED lamp in just 2 or 3 years, depending on your electric rate and how many hours/day the lamp is on. The higher these are, the faster it will pay for itself.

Do you think I should make an 'ible on this project?
Would anybody be interested in building one of these?


8 years ago

oh. okay...well i've already scoured the internet for awhile. i couldn't find anything. thats why i posted this question =\


Reply 8 years ago

that didn't really answer my question =\

also: does it have to be a special grow light?


Reply 8 years ago

. I was not trying to answer your question, only point you in the right direction.