Toga

LED Lighting

2 posts in this topic

Hi all,

LED Lighting for indoor aquaponics is becoming more popular every year, as the prices drop and the efficiency increases.

I recently replied to a fellow members thread about his selection of LED lighting, you can read it Here.

A quick search of the APN Forum for "LED Lighting" returns a number of member discussions, you can read them Here.

Though I am no expert in led lighting, I feel I have a reasonable grasp of the physics of light.
My personal most significant experiences with led's was for lighting highly planted show aquariums and coral reef aquariums.
I have not needed to use led's for growing food indoors, my climate is great for outdoor systems.

Doing a quick internet search, most people see vast rows of LED's being used in commercial grows, tightly stacked on top of each other with the LED lights being only 6-12 inches above the plants.

For those really keen DIY people, or those that simply want to read more about "Lighting"... there are many dedicated LED Lighting Forums.
I am not a member of any, but a quick search and glance found these two;
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?91-LED

http://ledbuilder.org/index.php

To sum up;
Artificial lighting is a complex matter.
It can be (is) expensive to install enough light, of the most suitable spectrum's for your intended crop.
It can be (is) expensive to power for 16-18 hours per day.

Without sounding harsh or discouraging...
The many small home hobby scale attempts that I have seen, end up producing 8-10 low quality, half size, leggy lettuce that end up costing $20ea to grow.

You need HEAPS of artificial light to successfully grow food indoors.
Instead of paying top dollar at the food store, this cost is offset by paying top dollar on your power bill.

Cheers
Joe

Philips-Urban-Garden-2.jpg

ande, bigdaddy and Moses like this

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Hi Toga,

I am interested in learning about this.

My current situation has greatly encouraged me to make use of my old 500 litre fish tanks in my garage( a project for later on :) ) as they are too big in diameter to take down to the back yard.

Some of my concerns are the cost of lighting, running costs and initial outlay, and weather I think it is worth growing the food indoors or not. Metal Halide lamps have been the choice for indoor growers for a long time but they are expensive to run. With the new "FULL SPECTRUM" LED lights available on the market today with the reduced costs compared to before. I'm wondering if they will be worth it.

I understand lighting is whole new "science" to me and I have lots and lots to learn so I appreciate your informative posts, I also am learning every day.

Cheers.

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