Thread: LED Grow Light
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Old 02-22-17, 11:48 AM   #4
jeff5may
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This niche "LED grow light" market got supercharged a few years ago when Cree released the CXA line of Xlamp chip LED modules, then the CXB line. These modules pack a massive amount of light output into a very small package, rivaling HID light intensity and efficiency. As with many name brand products, they do the job well and ain't cheap. Other manufacturers are offering lots of "knockoff" products that attempt to rival the Cree modules at a discount. Cree has not sit idle, and has cross-licensed and invested in some of these rival companies to expand the industry as a whole. The Epistar/Epileds modules used in this build are a direct product of this strategic alliance. So much for the "Cheap Chinese junk" argument.

For growing seedlings, the light intensity should fall into a range mainly dictated by the plant being started. Spectrum is not as important in early stages of growth. The "purple/magenta" spectrum work 99% as good as the 3500K to 5000K "white" spectrum. Keeping the intensity where it needs to be for the seedling is WAAAY more important: not enough and you have spindly twigs, too much and you get bleached or scorched leaves. With these 10W chips, I imagine you could bleach and scorch seedlings pretty easily if you weren't careful.

I rigged up a single "warm white" 10W chip like this in my truck awhile ago to replace the burnt out dome light, and was amazed at just how much intensity actually comes out of it. I also figured out that the little regulator boards are dimmable. For a seedling shelf, it would be awesome to make a static mount for the lights and just dim or brighten them at will. Eliminating a chain or cable rig to raise and lower the lamp assemblies would take a whole lot of hassle out of the process.
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