Sunday, 20 March 2016

Expansion

Well, running out of space in spring to start my seeds indoors has become a "thing". This winter I spent some time looking at LED lights to see if I could replace my florescence I currently use to start seeds.

To add space I found a $50 pantry on sale at Canadian Tire, its 60" high, has 4 shelves each of 2 foot - the exact size of a regular grow tray. I had bought a couple 2 foot florescent grow lights, but the power plug on the side made them not fit. I could have used a couple 23 watt compact florescence, I may try it as a compare still.

But like gardening, I could try learn something new. So I bought a few "full spectrum" LED's on ebay. With a few heat sinks and and drivers, I made my first LED lights. Overheated 2 days later and went funky. Now I am not very good soldering and creating electronics, but I had to try again. So I dropped the number of LEDs per heat sync and tried again. The LED's I am using are 3 watt, 3 per Heatsink making 27 watts per light (in theory). Wish I had a meter. Now I have always read that these things run cool, but the dont! They still way to hot, so I added a fan, but its still hot. fan should be good for the plants anyhow. The LED's themselves are pretty cheap, so lets see if this lasts.

Here are my 1 week old tomato seedlings in my new closet, and very pink lights. Not sure I should risk them, in this experiment, but there is only one way to test if they work. with 2 of these 27 watt LED's, on the 2 foot x 1 foot shelf, that is 27 watts theory per foot. plenty. But without knowing the actual watts its a bit harder be so certain.

Next ouple weeks I will make the other 3 shelves - maybe dropping it down to 2 LED's per heatsink... we will see if these last. In the mean time I have a small place, that takes as many trays (4) as my grow table and can be used to store the containers for the rest of the year. This may be the way to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment