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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm trying to gather information on what an ideal LED array would be for our hobby. I'm talking with a friend and we are thinking of making a LED light fixture and we're wondering a few things.

If you could have any LED light fixture made, what would it include?
Internal timers? Programmable dawn/dusk features?

What would be your ideal kelvin temperature be? Im thinking between 5,000k and 7,000k
Would you benefit from an adjustable k temp? Vegetative blue-heavy light v.s. Flowering red-heavy light.

Wattage?

LED count?

P.A.R requirements?


Any information would be greatly appreciated and possibly utilized to make a specialized fixture for our community.
 

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I want one that lights an 8' x 30" area exactly. Or a 4' x 24" area. Nobody has round growing areas. Everything else is gravy to me.

I was even planning on building one someday.
 

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I have answered these exact questions multiple times in the past few weeks, try searching or checking my past posts

I am now offering custom LED design work or full builds. Everything from helping you design an appropriate system to custom building one for you. I'm still in the process of setting up my website but feel free to PM me for questions/details or email me directly.

I will gladly answer basic design questions via PM/etc at no charge :)



In very short:

-LEDS use FOCUS LENSES not REFLECTORS so their light area is much more directly controllable

-REDs aid flowering; BLUEs aid vegetation

-My designs are still in the works, but I am currently using a mix of color temps on multiple lines that dim/brighten throughout the day to properly simulate the colors of dawn/dusk. However, this is complicated and I would NOT recommend it for a "typical" build.

-A simple dimming system suffices for simulating dawn/dusk imo.

-AESTHETICALLY/VISUALLY (discounting all science) I find 6500K the most pleasant "viewing color" by far. This may simply be personal preference, but I *HATE* the warmer colors.

-Wattage is a bit of a vague value for determination here...depends on way too much

-Same with PAR readings, make sure to use good spectrum LEDs. Most modern LEDs with higher color temps actually have overly weak reds.

-LED Count? Not sure what you mean by this....it dpeends on how much power you run through your LEDs, what their max power output is, etc etc etc
 

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I find that 50% red and 50% blue is very visually appealing. Too blue and it's cold and sterile; too red and it looks like the fry bin at Burger King. 50/50 looks like real daylight to me.

The perfect combo for plants (aesthetics aside) tends to be heavier on the reds. But you'll presumably be leaving the reds on longer (to simulate sunrise and sunset) so it works out nicely.
 

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The main problem with led fixtures (or at least really high up on the short list) remains the cost. I do not fore see this issue resolving itself any too soon, but the actual tech is getting really interesting and available.

In an ideal world I'd absolutely LOVE something like the Maxxspect Mazarra reef fixtures at about 1/2 to 1/3 the current costs w/ all the goodies they've yet to fully roll out yet -i.e. full array of swappable emitter options.
 

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Although the costs of LED are still high, they are quickly approaching affordable.


Current mass-produced LED fixtures are far too expensive but I believe I can offer custom-built units on smaller scale for affordable prices.

THe upfront cost is still ~2-2.5x more than a good T5HO fixture will cost you, but the bulbs last an easy 7-11 years versus what 6 months each on the T5HOs?

And your power consumption goes down as well
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great info every one!

Thank you Evil for your custom work offer, but I am currently following my own production avenues.

In regards to cost, cost will continue to drop as the tech becomes standard practice but will likely take quite some time to compete with the diy fixtures that are commonplace around herps. Unless you cut quality, in that case you will get what you pay for, i.e. underperforming units that are still relitivly costly.


Keep the suggestions coming!

Thanks
TN




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