Grow Lights Explained CFL LED and HPS easy and cheap to efficient and expensive

Grow Lights Explained CFL LED and HPS easy and cheap to efficient and expensive


hi I’m Steven with Alberta urban garden CA on today’s episode we’re going to go through different grow light technologies and really showcase what they’re all about and then at the end I’m going to make my selection on how I plan to grow this winter there are four classes of bulbs that produce visible light incandescent cfl high pressure sodium in LED for incandescent we’re really not going to spend a whole lot of time on them for a couple of reasons they’re by far the least efficient of the four options they don’t usually produce wavelengths that are appropriate for plant growth we’re going to go into CFL high-pressure sodium and LED light technology because they can all achieve great growth results so before we get into the technologies let’s quickly chat about what we need so plants produce energy through a process called photosynthesis so where they capture a weight different wavelengths of light can convert that into into organic energy they do that through the use of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b units within their cell now chlorophyll a and B absorb two different light spectra they absorb the red light spectra and the blue light spectrum now you’re asking why why don’t plants absorb all of the spectra well photosynthesis developed in the ocean what happens to those higher energy spectra as it hits water well it gets absorbed for about a billion years that was the only option available as blue-green algae that’s that’s where they hang out so what does this mean for your plants well the blue spectra is between 425 and 450 and the red spectra is between 600 and 700 nanometers if you’re to just give your plants those those spectra they would not know the difference you could eliminate everything else and your plants will grow absolutely perfectly so now let’s talk about the different lighting technologies and at the end I’ll let you know which one I’ve selected to use to grow in my house let’s start off with CFL bulbs originally invented in the 8th 90s the technology really took off in the 1970s when mass production began to allow them to become economically viable they consumed 1/3 to 1/5 of the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs and have a lifespan 8 to 15 times longer CFL have an energy efficiency about 7 to 10% in some cases it was reported as high as 15% most CFL bulbs emit a wavelength with spikes in both blue and red light spectrums which combine to make of the white light that you see the further from the plant you have the CFL bulb the less usable energy is hitting the plant hence decreasing their efficiency of benefit most CFL bulbs do not emit significant volumes of heat allowing you to have the plant in close proximity to the bulb to maximize efficiency CFL bulbs are commercially available at big-box stores and are the cheapest on initial investment of the lights we’re going to speak about today high pressure sodium lights were invented in the mid-1950s in terms of use for growing vegetables they are more flexible and producing higher volumes of wavelengths the plants can use as high pressure sodium lights have higher energy output you do not need to have your plants as in close of proximity as you do with CFL a special note there are low pressure options however they’re not suitable for growth as they only produce low energy yellow wavelengths and not the red and blue that your plants require high pressure sodium do have some characteristics that are typically not ideal for an indoor growing situation typically they emit heat on a level enough to require in most cases specialized venting to prevent overheating of the fixture and the room as you would assume with heat loss and higher energy output of these lights energy efficiency drops in comparison to other grow light systems the cost investment is generally higher than CFL bulbs and typically has a shorter lifespan as well light emitting diodes or LED this is the third category of lights we’re going to talk about and they work well for growing plants initially invented in the early 1900’s the visible light spectrum and hence wavelengths appropriate for growth were only developed in the 21st century and are fast becoming the light of choice for commercial growers LED lights are by far the most efficient of the three in comparison to CFL with maximum energy efficiency of 10 percent LED can typically achieve 21% efficiency with the recent development of an LED fixture by philips has a reported 67% efficiency the lifespan of LED in comparison to CFL is six to seven times greater and has nearly zero heat produced while running LED do not need to be in close proximity to the plants they are growing as the wavelengths not only are much more targeted to the exact wavelengths plants need but they’re much more efficient and do not lose as much as they travel LED unlike CFL and high-pressure sodium are able to emit exact wavelengths of light that target photosynthesis allowing them to specialise in plant growth often you will see lights emitting a purple light which is the combination of both the blue and red spectrums that chlorophyll a and B require for growth although perfect for plants you have to be careful when working around LEDs as a light they are emitting can be beneficial to plants but harmful to your eyes it is recommended to wear protective glasses while the lights are on one drawback for the home gardener is the initial investment required to purchase the lights the initial investment tends to be much more expensive generally in a commercial growing operation the savings in power over alternate technologies usually pays off the initial investment although available in big-box stores for household lighting these LEDs are typically emitting the wrong wavelengths and not quite optimized for plant growth this decreases any gains in efficiency realized by your plants my general rule of thumb to use when researching or purchasing Rolaids is that you want to get the correct wavelengths measured in Kelvin and higher watt bulbs that emit more light for your plants it is important to have the light that emits the wavelengths in the blue and red spectrum the plants use watts are defined by the amount of energy required to operate the lights Kelvin as a unit of measurement describes the spectrum of light being emitted Kelvin ratings of 6500 and 2100 hit the blue and red spectrums respectively this is handy when selecting the right light with the highest wattage possible often I’ll mix Kelvin ratings of 6500 and 2100 to ensure I have sufficient light for photosynthesis lumens are not the best indicator when purchasing lights for the purpose of growth lumens are measuring the amount of visible light hitting a square area visible light to humans is only a sliver the spectrum and does not hit the blue and red spectrums plants need I choose to grow with CFL bulbs you can find excellent ones in in hardware stores with the proper wavelengths for growth I mean we just picked these ones up the other data at a big hardware store this also means that you don’t need to go to the specialty lighting shop nor order online most places have easy access to hardware stores that will sell things that will will let you grow quite nicely the other thing is the fixtures are quite a bit cheaper I mean this entire setup behind us cost less than 50 dollars and I’ve been growing with it for a number of years it also allows you with individual light setups to only turn on what you need this optimizes the power consumption and really does make it a lot easier to just use what you need when you need it instead of having a large ballast further to the optimization of power usage because you have smaller watt bulbs and smaller fixtures you’re able to consume less power as you’re going now yes some these technologies such as LED is quite a bit more efficient per watt but they come in large fixtures and you really can’t select in most cases to turn one or two of the little areas off they all turn on or they all turn off with CFL fixtures just unplug one the rest will continue to work the other the addition there is in comparison to high pressure sodium these don’t put off a ton of heat so you can have this bulb quite a bit closer to the button it does need for CFL to be close to the plant because you don’t have to worry about it radiating Heat what this also means and as you scale up your growing operation you don’t need to worry about getting rid of that excess heat in your home because the CFL simply don’t produce it you are able to add as many light fixtures as you want to not really need to worry about cooking your plants another added benefit of CFL bulbs is seedlings some of the larger higher energy systems out there they really have a hard time with seedlings because they’re producing such a great amount of energy those seedlings really don’t need it and sometimes they can actually harm them so one of the drawbacks here now is if you like a good pound and a half tomato that’s your favorite tomato and you want to grow that inside CFLs just don’t have the the the energy output that can be converted into photosynthetic energy to do that smaller bodied or medium bodied tomatoes and peppers absolutely no problem I’ve grown them under these lights here not optimized for anything without a problem you do take a little bit less yield overall in comparison to their outdoor counterparts but you can you can still get tomatoes and peppers inside but those big honkin ones you’re just not going to be able to accommodate so if you’re just looking for some low-energy plants over the winter a little bit of a project or seed starting CFLs are definitely the way to go in my opinion if you want to create your your favorite tomato or your fate or grow some citrus indoors you probably want to go with one of the higher output uh lighting technology so that you can get enough energy to do that over this series of videos we’re going to go through the basics of growing indoors thank you for spending time with me today I appreciate it very much and I hope you have a fantastic day you


100 thoughts on “Grow Lights Explained CFL LED and HPS easy and cheap to efficient and expensive

  1. So I was wondering can I just use the regular fluorescent light bulbs that you use in a lamp or do I have to go out and buy the special grow light?

  2. If I replace my regular lightbulb with a grow light will that help a little? I'm just wanting to add some brightness and benefit my plants at the same time.

  3. that is not a high pressure sodium bulb it is a metal halide you should have someone check your facts before you release a video

  4. There is now a 5th type of light. Check out Ceramic Metal Halide(or LEC). It is the closest to the sun you can get as far as the spectrum of light it produces. It was a private technology that was just recently released to the public. It uses half the wattage of HPS and half the heat. They are also called LED killers because people who bought a LED ended up selling them to get a CMH. CMH's are also a lot cheaper than LED's. Also, people are starting to catch on to what a purple light is. So, people are switching to avoid security problems. CMH lights are white. Noone will know it 's a grow light. Bulbs are cheaper and smaller than HPS. I have two in a 6'x4' area and it's like having the sun in your house. CFL's are ok for a beginner. They work, but not as good as a CMH. CMH can be used for veg and flower modes. So, you don't have to buy a Metal Halide for veg and a HPS for flower anymore. Save your money and buy one as soon as you can afford it.

  5. This is a crap video full of BS. You cannot compare LED to HPS because LED for growing sucks so bad. LED is for growing in a hidden compartment, or closet, and to try to hide the cost of running the light(s). If you live with your moms, maybe that is important.

  6. Can someone recommend a good CFL bulb that's tried and tested? There are so many out there…just don't know which one to purchase.

  7. I bought a full spectrum led from Amazon for 24.99 …it works great im using it to grow my kratom plants in the winter …so u can find them for decent prices …hands down there are better ones than the one i bought but if u are balling on a budget its great.

  8. He had me at "One and a half pounds"…until he said "tomatoes". Great video though! I'm using CFL on my "Green Tomatoes" 😉

  9. To think most of this technology and ideas started off as something used in illegal activities. Now it's being used by people who genuinely want to grow plants, like vegetables and herbs (the legal kind), indoors. Times changed, man.

  10. Hey if i was growing one plant would i need one light? Also what watt would i need for cfl & led bulbs? Thank you !

  11. the 1890s? lmao think you mean the 1980s. They were just barely getting the very first light bulbs into homes in 1890 lol. Cfls would have blown their minds.

  12. HPS lights in my opinion are great if you live in a cold area or wet area. I used to go sit in my grow room when it was rainy for days or weeks. You will feel really good and it's good for the plants you breath out co2 which the plants need.
    You will need to cut a hole in the celling about 4 to 6 inches for the vent. Have a great day!

  13. You delivered like a real expert Steve, Now I know something about lighting and especially about the CFL bulbs. Great Job Buddy Ken From Houston Texas .

  14. my god.  people, you do realise, that really bright thing in the sky, generally between the hours of 0600 to 2000 is a sun right?  and it's been growing plants of all types of species, since the beginning of time…. right?  and that's not even the BEST part here people… wait for it……………..ITS FREE.lol.  Talk about $$$

  15. OK Stop LYING about there being these "Billions" of years nobody can FACTUALLY PROVE. 6000 Yrs since GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE can not be DEBUNKED to this day unless you LIE.

  16. In the video, you mention 2100K and 6500K CFLs. Based on your recommendations, I am planning to purchase a 4-light CFL tube shop-light to setup in our basement. I have found multiple options for the fixture and the 6500k bulbs in 4' lengths, both T5 or T8. However, the closest to 2100k in either T5 or T8 seems to be 2700k. Is 2700k close enough to be useful? Do you have a source/recommendation for 2100k bulbs? I am glad to use a referral link if that helps you. I have seen a bunch of grow lights sold online that just use the 6500k bulbs. Your information definitely seems to explain why both are important, but why do those (nominally successful) units only use the one? Thanks for the videos and all your help!

  17. Nice video, I appreaciate your insight…. I'm currently trying to put together a small cupboard garden to grow some micro veg…Something about small baby carrots and tomatoes just intrigues lol

    I was looking around and came across Reptile bulbs / sun lamps
    http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/sunray_bulb.php

    Here's one of them but they have a whole range.

    The tempreture in my planned growing space currently is 10*c so I'm thinking I'd probably benefit from the added heat factor. What are your thoughts, I have yet to come across anyone else testing or using them :/ Am I just crazy or are these E27 bulbs a viable option ? ? ?

  18. I'm new at growing "tomatoes" and are on 3-4 th node ..I'm using one grow light and 2 LED bulbs ..what is cheapish and best to use?

  19. This is specs on product. 50-60hz… ..166red/34blue… lumens 1500lm.. 24w and. Will this work outdoors on small experimenting patch of Bermuda that struggle in shade.

  20. so can i swap out my bathroom bulbs for those bulbs to grow plants in my bathroom? i just want to grow houseplants…

  21. This whole red and blue light thing is a scam. It’s misunderstood data from nasa. Plants require full spectrum light. No matter what you are growing full spectrum light will always give you better results. The statement that plants only use certain light is completely incorrect and a serious misunderstanding of how plants function.

  22. All I have is a small LED grow bulb, just a couple watts so I put it 6" from some small succulents. Will this be enough provided that I leave it on long enough?

  23. Thanks a bunch for this video. I just want to do leafy greens. I have tomatoes outside that took over my small outdoor garden

  24. You overlooked one…the normal LED lightbulbs (Not those big specialized LED plant grow lights). Those would actually be a better choice that what you concluded to with the CFL.

  25. Thank you for explaining how different 💡 lightbulb work now it’s so much easier make my plants grow

  26. One cfl equivalent to 100watt incandescent pulls .39 amps on average. Combine enough and you will trip a 15 amp breaker. Be carefull!! A real good t5 fixture is the next step and safer,then on to the big boys…..

  27. Nowadays its just LEDs as self build COD lights are cheap and good, you dont want CFL anymore replace your CFL tubes with philips LED tubes if you want to reuse your fixtures

  28. Glad he clarified it was tomatoes and peppers, I wasn't sure if it was that all plants only required those 2 spectra or just weed.

  29. Since he said it repeatedly he obviously is somewhat uninformed. He showed and was using a metal halide not a high pressure sodium. He should be calling them hid's . High intensity discharge. Metal halides' blue spectrum. High pressure sodiums red.

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