Author Topic: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?  (Read 8305 times)

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:08:45 PM »
Im no expert on indoor lighting what types give the best bang for the buck is everything going to led type , im using flurisent now but seems like it will be phased out in a few years, im mainly looking for growing avocado trees indoors or in green house to extend daylight hours perhaps and im looking for best type of lighting thats good for fast growth im not after lighting thats suited to make the tree flower.

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3162
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 04:15:33 PM »
We were just talking about this on citrus forum a week or two ago:  http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=33652.0

I believe current best is the LED lights available on amazon similar to this:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QY16YRD/

I just got one a month or so ago and it seems to be working quite well.

From my brief research, the evidence for the distinction between growth and flowering lighting is weak.

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 04:52:08 PM »
Thanks for the link i will go read it.

Mistozy

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • North San Diego County
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 05:06:45 PM »
I'm a big fan of these 315w ceramic metal halide lights.

https://www.amazon.com/TopoGrow-Horizontal-120V-240V-Enclosed-Reflector/dp/B075KJ1W4G

Great for vegetative growth and low power draw.

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2019, 05:47:39 PM »
What is the life of the bulb and the cost of bulb itself ?

Mistozy

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12
    • North San Diego County
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 06:22:58 PM »
Ceramic metal halides last quite a long time. Not like an led of course, but they should last 20,000 hours or so before they start to dim a bit.

The Amazon link comes with the bulb, but bulbs typically are 50-65 dollars.

nullzero

  • Zone 10a
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3741
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2019, 07:43:11 PM »
I tried a lot of the LED lights. The COB Led lights are good but you have to get the decent Cree ones. I like the Mars Hydro lights as well.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

spaugh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4983
    • San Diego County California
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2019, 08:22:22 PM »
COBs or CMH are the best lamps.  The blurple lamps are really hard on the eyes.
Brad Spaugh

SeaWalnut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1397
    • Romania zone 6
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2019, 08:27:51 PM »
I like HID lamps.They give same high quality of light as MH but they consume electric power like LEDs( light per watts consumed) .
The problem with HIDs is that they are the most expensive and even if they are as economical as LEDs ,they need the bulbs replaced just like the normal mefal halides wich adds to the cost.

Even if HIDs are expensive ,you can still get cheaper with cheap ,made in china HID used for automobiles lights.
The bulbs will last @6-8 months .
In order to make them work,you need a 12V strong power supply wich its expensive but you can get it from old computers scrap .
The lower the K of the HID ,the more light it makes so a really low K Hid can give light output 10 times more than a normal bulb.
30 wats Hid= 3000 lumens like 300 watts incandescent bulb and same as the best LEDs just the HID beats LED anytime regarding the quality of the light( it has somme UV in it unlike the Leds wich are made of plastic and have zero UV because if they had UV it would damage the plastic fast).

With 20 dollars on Ebay you can get 2 HIDs each of 30 watts that will give you the light output of 600watts incandescent lamp.

Another nice thing about HIDs for cars its that they are waterproof ( can be submerged in water and still work).
The downside its the ballast wich has too manny volts and in case you get shocked by it feels like your being tasered but its not dangerous thogh requires somme care.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 08:44:53 PM by SeaWalnut »

SeaWalnut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1397
    • Romania zone 6
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 10:35:32 PM »
This is a lamp i designed and build that uses 2 car HID bulbs ( xenon lamps) and also has 1200 blue LEDs.
Because its a compact lamp ,it has a fan for cooling .A Noctua fan wich is a brand that makes the quietest fans in the world.

Its not a common type of lighting but its relatively cheap if bought from China,has the same efficiency economically and low consumption as LEDs but gives the highest quality of light ,probably better even than MH.
Ive used this lamp to grow photosynthetic corals and i quit because the chinese HID bulbs with blue light were inconsistent in color spectrum ( sometimes had too much green,sometimes too much red,etc).
But for growing plants we need red light mostly and the chinese bulbs are better at making such low K light than blue to the point that inconsistency of the spectrum colors should not be a problem for plant grow lights.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 10:40:48 PM by SeaWalnut »

FMfruitforest

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 383
  • Tropical Fruit
    • USA, FL,zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 04:59:47 AM »
Also Checkout Kind Full spectrum Led lights.

simon_grow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6672
  • USA, San Diego, CA, Zone 10a
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2019, 08:26:27 AM »
I would go with CREE COB LEDs and make sure you get a good warranty on your light. Don’t worry about the lumen output. Instead, focus on the PAR value and PPFD. This is the part of the light spectrum that the plants can actually use.

If you live in a cold climate, ceramic metal halides are good because they produce more heat than LEDs, they are also less efficient. There are bad LEDs out there also so be careful when shopping. If you find a good LED, it will generate last 50,000 hours or more and last about 3-5 years so you will save some money over the years compared to ceramic metal halides.

Simon

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2019, 12:43:02 PM »
Wow such a hugh amount of info to digest i didnt realize so many choices, i guess one has to decide if high performance is worth it to pay extra cost, lights that put off decent heat would be a plus in the winter time, as long as im not burning the plants, dont i get more advantage for the plant getting lights as close as possible ?

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2019, 12:45:37 PM »
What is a blurple lamp ? Hard on the eyes because they so bright ?

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3162
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2019, 12:47:18 PM »
"blurple" is the perfect description of the LED type I posted here.... it is painfully bright and a blue-violet color that is hard to look at.  I keep a pair of sunglasses next to mine.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 12:53:01 PM by brian »

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3162
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 12:57:30 PM »
Ultimately, plants only need so much light intensity so closer isn't always better... without a PAR meter I don't know how you'd tell though.  Grow lights usual have guidelines saying what PAR to expect from various distances from the light so you can make best use of it.

If you are growing indoors you probably don't need or want the excess heat created by halide or sodium lamps as I assume your home is around 70F.  If you are growing outdoors or in a cool place that benefits from extra heat you have to have to consider if it would make more sense to use gas or fuel heat rather than electric and LEDs or fluorescent lights to produce light.  This only matters at a certain scale.

At small scale, inside your house, I suggest using LED or fluorescent because you're less likely to burn your plants, or burn your house down :)

EDIT - looks like metal-halide aren't as hot as I thought and are reasonably efficient... 300 watts might be okay if you have a cage around it to reduce fire hazard.  I think the high pressure sodium ones can be like 1,000watts.   I'm no expert in any of this, I just tried getting lights for the first time this year.  I've been looking at it on and off since before LEDs were commonplace.  Those Cree COB lights look pretty cool, didn't even know about them
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 01:11:13 PM by brian »

SeaWalnut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1397
    • Romania zone 6
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 02:33:44 PM »
Cree leds and all the bigger leds are not as efficient as smaller led diodes like the ones that i soldered 1200 of them on my lamp.
The smaller the leds are the more efficient and those super efficient leds presented in scientific reports are soo low in light and soo small that they are actually non usable for lighting .
From 100 watts cree leds lanp youl get same ammount of heat ( heat means lost energy) as you get from xenon HID lamps and same light output just that HID light its better than any LED.
T5HO,HID and the bigger leds have same efficiency watts per light produced just that T5HO and HIDs have a lot better spectrum with real UV included.
But blue red ,led grow lights have a very narrow spectrum of only 2 colors while the HID and T5 can have green and yellow and otther colors that plants dont need so they consume electric power for nothing .
In the end you get more PAR with just red and blue leds than with the same wattage HID or T5HO but the Leds also lack the real UV . You could get a tan near HID and T5HO bulbs while with leds this will never happen.

spaugh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4983
    • San Diego County California
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 03:26:25 PM »
What is a blurple lamp ? Hard on the eyes because they so bright ?

The blurple lights are terrible to look at.  They are made of small leds of 7 or 8 different wavelengths to make up the color specteum.  Its not just blue and red.

 The COBs have 250 micro leds of varying wavelengths and produce white light like the sun.  The spectrum on them is tuned for growing plants.  And they can be driven at different current and are very efficient if not overdriven.  Crees you run at 50w and vero29s at 75-100w.

The COB are a much nicer product trust me Ive owned tons of grow lamps.  Ive had metal hilide, sodium bulbs, blurples, COBs, florecent.  The COB lamps are the best for so many reasons.  The blurples are ok and have good efficiency but the color is really painful to be around for any amount of time.  It will give you a headache.  You can safely run cobs in a greenhouse too, they are basically waterproof.  Ive got 600watts of vero29s in my greenhouse and 400 watts of crees in my garage.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 03:29:31 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3162
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2019, 04:23:43 PM »
My "blurple" light is definitely unpleasant to be around, so if you are growing somewhere that you plan to be near another type would be better.

spaugh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4983
    • San Diego County California
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2019, 04:35:33 PM »
Best bang for the buck probably is a chinese blurple on amazon.  But I really hate the color.  Your bedroom or greenhouse or whatever glows blurple color too.  The sherrif would probably kick your door in, in Idaho if they think you are growing other stuff than avocado seeds.  Just another reason white light is better.  No one will notice it.  And when you want to see the color of your plants it isnt that possible with purple light.  You want to inspect your plants under white light.  The big drawback to COBs is the cost.  And yes they can be less efficient that blurples if you are running them hot.  But that you have control over, they are dimable.
Brad Spaugh

SeaWalnut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1397
    • Romania zone 6
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2019, 07:37:37 PM »
I have 10 watts COB  leds with pink light,the soo called grow leds.You can find them with pink light too .
They last long but they get dimmer in just a year ( off course i keep them on non stop day and night for maybe 4 years by now).
Thats why im not impreesed by leds-if i have to replace them then i prefer to have HID bulbs and replace those .
I couldnt use HID to grow algae in my set up because of the heat they generate that i can not divert it away from a closed space like i do with the COB leds.
I use heat pipes conected to a big aluminum aluminum heat sink and the COB leds heat goes through those heatpipes  to a distant heatsink.
When i made the heat pipe  leds it was the first time in the world somewhone used heatpipes in the cooling of leds( checked with Google).

Right now there are somme clip on removable COB leds so that when you replace them,you dont have to use solder.

Seanny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
    • Garden Grove, Orange County, California, 10B
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2019, 01:33:41 AM »
You guys don’t like Toggled grow light in a shop light fixture?

K-Rimes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1837
    • Santa Barbara
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2019, 01:37:45 AM »


From some recent “grow” forum trolling I came across HLG Quantum Board lights. They were very well reviewed getting more weight per watt. I bought one from HLG then did lots more reading and found the Alibaba link for the manufacturer. It was stupidly cheap. $154 for a 260w quantum board light, delivered. Shenzen lighting company.

Avoman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • Sanger,Ca.
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2019, 11:15:36 AM »
I dont think i will consider blurpie lights , it sounds like you cant work in same room when they are on, so the COB are best even though not very cheap what is a good model of COB and best place to order them from?  do they have to be hardwired or can i plug them into any house wall socket or heavy duty extention cord ?

Daintree

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1137
    • Boise, Idaho - zone 6, with a zone 12 greenhouse...
    • View Profile
Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2019, 11:30:17 AM »
I like plain old T8 shop lights with cool white bulbs.  They do the trick and are cheap to purchase and operate.  I have to count every amp in my greenhouse because I run on extension cords.
Most veggie and mature flowering plants that grow in full sun need about 25-30 lamp watts per square foot.  Fluorescent tubes provide 10 lamp watts per foot of length, so a 4-bulb fixture gives you up to 40 lamp watts per foot at 8-12 inches above the plants (Univ of Alaska Extension publication, and if anybody knows about gardening in low light, it is probably Alaska!).  Don't forget to take photoperiodism into account, as well as a lower light need (15-20 watts per sq ft) for seedlings...

I can hardly wait until the price of T5 fixtures drops and I can buy them at Home Depot.

Cheers,
Carolyn

PS - Avoman, next time you are in Boise, give me a shout if you want to see my greenhouse!  Didn't know there were any other Idaho folks on the forum...

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk