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AlienBait Tries LEDs, Part 2

Discussion in 'Grow Journals' started by AlienBait, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. Oct 6, 2007 #1

    AlienBait

    AlienBait

    AlienBait

    Enjoying the Hooka

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    As some of you know, I've been trying to do a decent grow with LEDs. So far I'm not impressed. The last time I tried, it was with a small plant in a 16 oz cup growing in soil and using 13 Watts worth of LEDs. The yield was about 2 grams. More info at this thread:

    http://www.marijuanapassion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10461

    Well, I'm at it again. This time, I'm using a 2 liter soda bottle with the top cut off. The medium is 50/50 perlite/vermiculite and I will be hand-watering with Hydro nutes. There will be 9 LED arrays this time for a total of 30 Watts. The manufacturer states that each array uses 5 watts, but when I measured the power draw, it came out to just over 3 watts per array (or bulb if you prefer).

    Last time, I started from seed, but this time I am using a clone. In fact, I am using a clone from the regenerated plant I used last time. I left a couple of buds on it and re-vegged to get some clones. It was so frosty that I didn't want to lose it.

    As a control, I will also be growing another clone using the same method and the only difference is that it will be under my 400 Watt HPS.

    Now, before anyone gets on my case, I already know that the HPS grow will blow the LEDs away. I just want to see by how much.

    Up to this point, I vegged the plants under a couple of 2 foot fluorescent tubes for about 3 or 4 weeks (I lost count) and started flowering under their respective lights about 12 days ago. The strain is White Satin from Mandala.

    I'll try to keep this thread updated every week or two. Comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome. Just be polite.

    The Pictures:

    1) The two plants side by side taken last week. The one on the left is being grown under the HPS and the one on the right is under the LEDs. Notice that the HPS plant is already a little bigger than the LED one.

    2) Close up of the HPS plant.

    3) Close up of the LED plant.

    4) The LED lights. Sorry about the blurry pic, the camera had a hard time focusing.

    5) The LED plant in its box.

    LEDs3.jpg

    WS-HPS.jpg

    WS-LED.jpg

    LEDs2.jpg

    LEDs1.jpg
     
  2. Oct 6, 2007 #2
    I wouldn't say that LEDs are blown away by anything. Focus on what perks growing with LEDs have to make your grow better... Certain forms of LST will work amazingly.

    I have been considering buying a bunch of LEDs more and more lately as the prices are really starting fall... as they should.

    GL man. I am anxiously looking forward to seeing your progress!
     
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  3. Oct 6, 2007 #3

    Pot Belly

    Pot Belly

    Pot Belly

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    Interesting concept AB. Have heard of LED grows, this one will be great since you have a control group.

    Does the LED have a lumen rating? Is there heat from the lights? What is the advantage of the LED's for growing?

    What strain do we have?

    Thanks

    PB:)
     
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  4. Oct 6, 2007 #4

    AlienBait

    AlienBait

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    You are right, I shouldn't be saying that. We'll see how this one goes.

    I thought about LST, but instead decided to use some of the lights for "side lighting" instead of having them all on top of the plant.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2007 #5

    AlienBait

    AlienBait

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    Did I not mention the strain? Sorry about that. It is White Satin. It is a clone from the re-vegged plant I used in the first 16oz cup grow thread.

    "Does the LED have a lumen rating?"
    From what I've seen, they don't measure the lights from LEDs with lumens. In fact, I'm not sure exactly how the measure the light output. I've seen a couple of different ways the manufacturers describe the amount of light put out by LEDs.

    Since lumens is a measurement of what they eye can see, a Yellow light would get a higher lumen rating than a Red or Blue light (even if they are putting out the same number of photons) because the eye has evolved to see better in that spectrum.
    "Is there heat from the lights?"
    Not really much heat at all. In fact, I am growing in a box that is 18" x 18" x 30" with no fans at all. Just a few holes near the bottom and a few holes near the top. The temps are staying around 75F.
    "What is the advantage of the LED's for growing?"
    1) Lower power consumption. Since the LEDs are monochromatic, you can choose which colors (or wavelenghts) you want to use. Plants absorb light in the red and blue spectrums, so you can get just the colors that the plant needs.
    2) Very little heat (see previous), so it doesn't hurt the plant if it touches the lights. You can get the lights right on the plants so that very few photons are wasted.

    One big disadvantage is the price. The lights I am using cost around $130 and I am using them on only one plant. For that price, I could buy a 400W HPS and fill a whole closet with plants. The prices are coming down, like DLToker mentioned, but they need to come down a whole lot more to replace a HPS.
    Hope that helps. :)
     
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  6. Oct 6, 2007 #6

    Pot Belly

    Pot Belly

    Pot Belly

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    Good write-up on the LED. Thank you for your time on the subject.

    You did mention the strain, but I looked 2 times at first and didn't see it originally. My bad, bro...... It looked like a "White" strain to me. The leaves seem to have 'sharper' serrations on the whites.

    PB:)
     
  7. Oct 7, 2007 #7

    Runbyhemp

    Runbyhemp

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    Would love to give leds a go .. very pricey for a decent array though
     
  8. Oct 12, 2007 #8

    mastersativa

    mastersativa

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    I am digging the side by side run. I am sure most of us have been thinking about the leds, just because you can get them in blue and red. I will be watching this grow pretty close. Keep up the good work AB, and keep em green!


    Oh yeah another thing, I always hear that black lights are useless for growin, but doesn't it look like the red and blue led mix are emitting purple light, just like a black light? Maybe it's just my eyes, but looks the same to me.
     
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  9. Oct 12, 2007 #9
    Congrats on the controlled grow, AlienBait.

    The "stealth" capability of LED's with their very low power consumption and their usable light per/watt and low heat are the distinct advantages.

    When the cost for a high quality, high grow spectrum, prebuilt panels come down to a comparable price with HPS, I'll be buying some with no doubt.

    The price has been coming down nicely. It's about half what it was last year and it seems that growers are on the minds of those who supply LED's now.

    The interest and purchase of Marijuana growers is a real part of the market for lights now. All of the manufacturers are aiming their products directly at us.

    After all, nobody grows an inside vegetable garden on a large scale. Lot's play with it, but the Marijuana grows that are inside have gained the International attention of light makers.

    The next few years of new lighting products and improved lighting products will show lower prices and more availability of real, high tech, low energy usage LED grow lights.

    As soon as possible, I'll be buying enough for a 3.5 x 5.5 grow area.

    I have lots of experiments to perform...

    All of them involve smoking the results...

    Good luck to you man!!!!
     
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  10. Oct 14, 2007 #10

    AlienBait

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    Well, it's been a couple of weeks, so I figure it is time for an update.

    I had some nute/PH issues with the HPS plant. Don't know why because I've been using the exact same nutes and ratios with both plants and they are clones.... In any case, it's under control now.

    The buds are growing on both plants, but the HPS buds are much bigger, however, the LED plant is bushier and has more and bigger leaves. Hmmmm...

    As of today we are 2.5 weeks into flowering.

    The Pictures:

    1) Both Plants: HPS on the left, LED on the right.
    2) Top view of the HPS plant
    3) Top view of the LED plant.
    4) HPS plant
    5) LED plant
    6) HPS
    7) LED

    WSHPSLED.jpg

    WSHPS1.jpg

    WSLED1.jpg

    WSHPS2a.jpg

    WSLED2.jpg

    WSHPS3.jpg

    WSLED3.jpg
     
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  11. Oct 14, 2007 #11

    AlienBait

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    They are not the same. Black lights emit most of their energy in the UV spectrum. The only reason they look purple is that some of the light spectrum emitted is in the visible range, so the manufacturers coat the glass with a coating that tries to block out the visible spectrum. Since they can't block ALL of it or it would block the UV, they figure a little visible violet light getting out is o.k. It's only a little, and like I said, MOST of the energy coming out of the "Black" light is in the UV range.

    With the Red and Blue LEDs, all the energy being emitted is in the Visible red and visible blue spectrums. When they mix, the color is actually Magenta, not purple.
     
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  12. Oct 15, 2007 #12

    md.apothecary

    md.apothecary

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    So far to me... it looks as though the LED lighting is staying pretty close to an HPS, and for a small grower like myself, I wonder with all my ventilation problems and the HPS in the closet getting over 95 degrees... I think it might be time for me to reconsider an LED grow.

    I've found a site that will sell standard bulb screw in LEDs in 3w bulbs in both red spectrum and blue spectrum. Obviously blue would be the veg, and red for flower. But because the light source can be ultra close to the plant, it would make it easier in a grow cabinet as well with a lot less light penetration to worry about.

    Again from me looking at this I see advantages. I've never grown with LED's so this is not a biased opinion, just my pesronal opinion.

    1) LOT less heat.
    2) Much less power consumption.
    3) HPS bulbs put off a wider spread of light, but it's only about 10% light output and 90% heat.
    4) HPS and other HID lights requiring ballasts (unless digital) put off noise, and MORE heat.

    Obviously, heat is an issue with me... :) But compared to your awesome pics, it looks like I might just have to sell my 400w HPS and get some LED's.

    just found this...

    http://www.ledgrow.eu/
    start at the bottom of the page and read UPwards...
     
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  13. Oct 15, 2007 #13

    J_Rizzle

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    Thank you for your time and effort to conduct an experiment like this. Im personally putting my money on the LED being the better smoke.

    You are truly a pioneer in the underground culture of indoor cultivation.
    Best of luck to you my friend.

    The LED plant isnt as tall, but it does look bushier and a bit "heavier" (seems like the best word).
     
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  14. Oct 16, 2007 #14

    md.apothecary

    md.apothecary

    md.apothecary

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    maybe it's just me, but the LED plant looks a deeper green, and to me, that means healthier. Most likely due to the heat difference.... :)
     
  15. Oct 16, 2007 #15

    AlienBait

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    Yeah, the LED plant does looks greener and bushier, but the buds are bigger on the HPS plant. I don't think it is because of any heat issues. The LED plant is staying around 75 degrees and the HPS is around 80, so there isn't really that much difference.

    Like I said in the earlier post, the HPS plant had some PH issues, but that is now under control, so it might green-up a bit.

    I was talking to another LED grower and he suggested that I reduce the blue light. I couldn't really do that because the red and blue LEDs are on the same light, but I did notice that some of the lights had a fainter red color. On closer inspection, it looks like some of the lights have cheaper and dimmer red LEDs than others, so I moved the lights around and took out some of the bluer lights so that the LED plant has more red on it. That SHOULD make the buds grow better. I guess we will see.
     
  16. Oct 16, 2007 #16

    dj_destroyer

    dj_destroyer

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    Alien, LEDs, plants.... awesome! im gonna watch this one for sure. keep the updates coming ; )
     
  17. Oct 16, 2007 #17

    dj_destroyer

    dj_destroyer

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    hahahaha.

    "You are truly a pioneer in the underground culture of indoor cultivation."
     
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  18. Oct 16, 2007 #18

    upinarms

    upinarms

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    Seems like with enough LED lights, even at the high cost has the potential to pay for itself over, and over. when you think about it, that lower utility bill each month is enough to make me go out and buy some. Thanks , who needs NASA when we got AB
     
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  19. Oct 16, 2007 #19

    AlienBait

    AlienBait

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    I don't know about pioneer. There are quite a few other growers out there who have been growing with LEDs long before I came along. I'm still learning. :)

    Now, my Cold Cathode grow; That one might be a first. I haven't seen any one try to grow with those yet. :hubba:
     
  20. Oct 16, 2007 #20

    md.apothecary

    md.apothecary

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    I am going to be getting some of these lamps myself. i wanted some help real fast though from someone who understands them a little better.

    These will be my FLOWERING lamps... and they look EXACTLY like yours.. they may even BE yours, I see you have 8 lamps, and this auction is for 8 lamps same configuration.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220159559442

    However, I had a question about the "BLUE" in the bulbs. You mentioned removing them... were you able to do this successfully? Or if not, are they TOO hot to wrap the blue led's with say electrical tape?

    My next question was... these 8 lamps are supposed to cover 32sq. ft. My main decision I guess comes down to picking the best product...

    Here are the contenders....

    8 LAMPS FROM EBAY
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220159559442

    OR 3 LAMPS FROM GROWWITHLEDS.COM
    http://www.growwithleds.com/ledkitsbulbs.htm
    (XB 100 LED Starter Kit - for lighting 2 to 3 sq. ft.)

    I am leaning more towards the ebay ones... for the amount of watts, sq. ft, and it's more economical.... I can build the hanger myself. BUT i want to remove the blue LED factors.
     

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