Grow Lights Traditional vs. LED, White vs Colors

hort_lvr_4lifeMarch 31, 2009

I was just on looking at grow lights. I have the traditional tube grow lights; mine are 24" lights - three on one fixture. I think they have a light red spectrum, but I can't remember for sure.

I have some questions, however.

Which is better? Traditional or LED? Colored light or white light? What does blue light do as opposed to white and red? I had no idea there was such a selection of grow lights. I am just used to going to Wal-Mart and buying off the shelf. Where have I been?

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

buy a 4-foot shop light and use 2 cool white tubes.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:37PM
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I'm not in the market to buy one right now. I was actually searching for tube bulb sizes because I forgot how long mine are and didn't want to look for them to measure them. We just moved and it's still crazy. I'm just confused as to why there are so many options. What do each of these have to offer?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:54AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The blue (cool) end of the spectrum promotes foliage growth while the red (warm) end tends to produce more blooms.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:14AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I would second jean001. Got to WalMart, perhaps Home Depot, and buy four foot shop lights and their least expensive cool white tubes.

Then go lurk at the Growing under Lights forum for a year or two before doing anything more expensive.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:22PM
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Didn't even know of such a forum (didn't think to look either). Thanks so much! I already have some grow lights I've had for years so I'm not in the market to buy anymore at the moment (at least I think not, but I just bought an indoor greenhouse too). I'll head over to the Growing Under Lights forum...gotta get a better hang on those footcandles before I buy more Orchids!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Mr. Crockett from Victory Gardens suggested one white cool and one white warm. They work fine..

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:17PM
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The color all depends on what you're growing. As Al said, blue/cool white lamps promote foliage, and the red/warm white lamps promote more flowering. For orchids, I agree with of each. Keep in mind though, what you think is bright, isn't necessarily bright. 2 lamps isn't very much light, especially if you have a T12 fixture. You must be pretty much right on top of the plants with a 2 lamp fixture, because fluorescent light intensity drops off VERY fast. As I said in other posts, if I were to start growing under lights again, I would replace my 400w metal halide I used to use, which worked awesome, with a 4 or 6 lamp T5 highbay fixture.


P.S. Buying the cheapy shop lights from big box stores will cost you more in the long run. They are inefficient, and they don't actually contain real ballasts, in turn burning up lamps faster then a normal ballast fixture.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 7:07PM
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Color specific LEDs generate more specific spectrum than any traditional light source. However, what they have in specificity, lack in intensity; therefore making them a âÂÂless than idealâ candidate for a large grow area.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:32AM
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