Added by on 2017-03-02

Wondering if LED lights can perform as well as T5 fluorescent grow lights? This three part series will chronicle my vertical hydroponics lettuce production trials. I am using Phillips Green Power LED Production Module Deep Red / Blue 120. This is a stacked system that is testing two different type of hydroponic growing. Floating raft and Wide channel NFT. Related PostsLED vs T5 NFT Hydroponic System Trial Update by The Lettuce PeopleNFT Hydroponic System by The Lettuce PeoplePi Wall Vertical Hydroponic Grow System Living WallsIndoor Hydroponic Lettuce Farm, The Lettuce PeopleVertical Hydroponic Lettuce Experiment – Week 6 – HydroVert FarmsGrow your own lettuce in a vertical hydroponic system

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16 Comments

  • sally king 5 months ago

    HI Katie
    i love your experiments and i am a manufacturer of grow tents and see a lot of negative and positive on LEDS. Okay i done a ton of research and i can give you some benefit of this. firstly theT5HO are going to do quite well for lettuce BUT i have a suggestion that you change the globes not the fixture in one of your next grows and try some Econolux brand T5HO and buy some different spectrums for these. I think you will find you will get some interesting results. get some blue ones i think it will be a big difference to your existing ones.
    I think taste test is also important, i think LED will have some nice flavor but this can be also be tried with the Econolux as they use different phosphors to get different growing, i think this is really good thinking as we all know that the flavor is also important like the running costs.
    Also a grow light can die two ways slowly by loss of output and quickly like BANG and dead. LEDs die the slowly. the output of the light drops significantly in the second year of operation so the maths on savings is not always so obvious. I am not pro either i just get some feedback from different sources.
    Only time will really tell. I think LED still got a long way to go but getting there. The new COB designs are interesting, these are a step forward to.
    The nice think about the T5HO compared to the HPS / HID lighting is that its runs so much cooler and can be placed lower. HPS is just to hot as you have already found out i am sure, its expensive to run and has a short lifespan, its good for red output and should be used as a supplemental light in conjunction with other lighting.
    Its not really a case of either/or its a little bit more true that mixing different types of lights at the right time for the best results, each light has its benefits. You could start out with T5HO and then add the HPS later in growth for short time to get really good results.
    I am so glad though that you are doing a power comparison test and looking for the most cost effective result because unlike the many using this to grow medical plants the point of all this is that ultimately it has to be cost effective for edible plants as well to become more mainstream. I am with you all the way Katie keep up the good work.
    We have a lot of mouths to feed on this planet and its work like this by you that will have an effect on that. we have 7 million now and by 2050 9 billion (35 years!) if we do not look for ways to feed all those extra mouths it will cause a lot of problems. Hydroponics is the future.

  • W4lkst4r 5 months ago

    Its all about the watt, what is the watt on the LEDs?

  • Led Growlights 5 months ago

    led grow tubes and strips are widely used in vertical growing, we're experienced in this field

  • el gay de adolfo 5 months ago

    Hey!,do you remember how much did the phillips GPL costed? i was unable to find that out.

  • Jason Nech 5 months ago

    leds are now cheap, watt for watt…
    Really for this to be a proper comparison, you need to list the number of leds, what current they are running @, What spectrum ect…what type of led, 1 watt, 3 watt or what ever..

  • Mary R. Jensen 5 months ago

    The drawback to hydroponics is that you have to buy "plant food" or nutrition and supplements which can be more costly. Aquaponics includes the best components of Hydroponics And Aquaculture so minimize pricing and enhance productivity
    Look at below website for more information:
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  • Margaret Johnson 5 months ago

    Thanks for sharing. I will be following. Great work.

  • mountfujiave 5 months ago

    what you are calling T5 is actually T5HO which is High Output T5. A regular T5 has much less power, I believe 34 Watts. Great work thought.

  • wwwcomthis 5 months ago

    You should be using a blue,blue/white spectrum LED for early growth and veg. Looks like your using red LED's which are mainly used for flowering and end stage. Its all about lumes and spectrum with LEDs. You may need to build different stages, but I really like what you have built. keep it up.

  • katie phibbs 5 months ago

    Thank you! The T5 chamber is running 4-6 degrees warmer than the LEDs that goes for the air and water temperature.
    The lights are from a company called HortAmericas check them out online for pricing and info.

  • Rotorzilla 5 months ago

    looks like a nice setup. I am interested to switch to LED's on my system. to reduce heat and less elec. how much are the LED strips? Thanks

  • katie phibbs 5 months ago

    actually on second though its probably my design because I think the manufacturer designed them to have a gutter under them and then it wouldn't matter if they leaked.

  • katie phibbs 5 months ago

    Im really hoping that the LED's work better. I am really trying to cut down on energy costs.
    I do still have and run the A frame. I would have built it out of better wood. I used scraps I had laying around and it left some of the channels uneven. I would also use 4-400 watt metal halide grow lights. Again I used what I had on hand and it was 2-400 watt and 1-1000 watt. I think it just might be that the manufacturer designed them to be sealed. Im not sure though.

  • katie phibbs 5 months ago

    You are correct about the pay off time. They are still about three times the cost of the T5 but they use 1/3 of the energy and they last longer.

  • artur khachatryan 5 months ago

    Great videos. Have you calculated the cost factor of the LEDs? I did the math on this some time back, and if I remember correctly, it would more than 2 years to pay for itself. LEDs are just too expensive.

  • katie phibbs 5 months ago

    Thanks for the suggestions. Good thinking! I will tape those wires today.
    Unfortunately, I don't think I can change the lighting layout because the lights are 4' and my channel is 10'.