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970 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 254437 12-Aug-2019 11:13
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I would like to grow chillis indoors throughout the year. I am looking for grow lights which are suitable for a small number of plants (an area or 1x1m would be more than sufficient).

 

LED units range from dirt cheap (less than a month of power use for HPS), through to thousands of dollars each.

 

Cheap units seem to get poor results, so I am looking to avoid 'bad' lights but not spend excessively on lights that will be adequate for the job. From what I've read online, it appears I should be avoiding lights with multiple LED colours and look for full spectrum units.

 

Does anyone have specific recommendations for LED lights, or at least specific LED types or 'K' values?

 

I don't mind importing or sourcing locally.

 

I'm not looking for any smart features if they are a thing with lighting, the setup will be controlled and monitored using an old Raspberry Pi, water level/temperature/humidity sensors, MQTT and NodeRED.


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8754 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2306079 26-Aug-2019 11:37
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Does anyone have specific recommendations for LED lights, or at least specific LED types or 'K' values?

 

 

There seem to be many claims about perfect/ideal spectra from expensive lights, but history seems to show that over the years many different light sources have been used including on large commercial greenhouse vegetable growing.  Those different light sources have significantly different spectra, new technology probably moves faster than trials can keep up with - especially as there would be a lot of confounding variables.  I suspect that perhaps it's not as critical as suggested by folks selling expensive gear.  From a quick look, ordinary white (phosphor - not RGB) LED about 4000k do have spectral peaks, but those seem to coincide quite well with absorption spectra for chlorophyll / photosynthesis, and they would be cheap to buy and run, even if you don't get perfectly optimised results.

 

I guess chillies are related to tomatoes and like similar growing conditions.  For specific recommendations, perhaps google tomatoes, rather than the other obvious popular home/indoor crop that might best be googled via Duck Duck Go using incognito mode.


457 posts

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  # 2306088 26-Aug-2019 11:48
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Fred99:

 

For specific recommendations, perhaps google tomatoes, rather than the other obvious popular home/indoor crop that might best be googled via Duck Duck Go using incognito mode.

 

 

😂 😂 😂


 
 
 
 


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  # 2306089 26-Aug-2019 11:48
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I have a cheap ebay grow light which I wanted for seed starting. It has red and blue LEDs and it's really not very effective. Watching this thread with interest.

 

I have 3-4 year old jalapeno plants in a 4x2.5m greenhouse out the back of my shed, concrete floors and backing onto a concrete block shed wall, growing in containers. Two plants per 1m x 0.5m container, five containers. The plants are about 2.4m tall right now, and I have to trim them five times a year or they'd be much taller. Those plants produced about 20kg of jalepenos in the past year, peak obviously in summer, but they're still producing half a dozen ripe jalepenos per week in the middle of winter. I have and need no smart features, when I use my home made grow boxes which are self watering all I do is fill the water tanks twice a week in summer and once a fortnight in winter and spray for pests as required. Google "home made earth box" for more about that sort of technique. I can point you at a post I made somewhere about how I made mine if you're interested.

 

The keys to chillis seems to be sufficient light, not too cold (especially during germination), ventilation, and making sure pests don't get out of control. Companion planting has made a huge difference this year, putting a few flowers and some other vine type plant in the greenhouse keeps most of the pests away. Germinating chillis in a greenhouse in the middle of summer is easy, but in winter even with a small heat mat, small 20 x 30cm greenhouse in my shed, and my cheap grow light it's quite difficult. I think I need more heat and more light. Tomatoes I pretty much gave up on, they get fungus type diseases really easily and need too much work. When home grown tomatoes are at their peak they're cheap in the supermarket anyway.

 

I don't obfuscate searches. It's perfectly valid to grow vegetables year round, if anyone gets suspicious and calls someone to look they can go look at my greenhouse.


dt

525 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306094 26-Aug-2019 12:01
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check out spectrum king LED grow lights

 

There's a few other other considerations you will need to take into account when growing vegetables indoors such as air movement, temp control, humidity control, nutrients and co2 (co2 not a must but to more closely simulate what they would be doing outdoors) 

 

Would you be looking at building a little room or using something like a grow tent ?


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Uber Geek


  # 2306100 26-Aug-2019 12:12
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PolicyGuy:

 

Fred99:

 

For specific recommendations, perhaps google tomatoes, rather than the other obvious popular home/indoor crop that might best be googled via Duck Duck Go using incognito mode.

 

 

😂 😂 😂

 

 

As well as incognito mode, having an earthquake resistant growing area could be a good move.  This - not believed to be chillies or tomatoes - from Chch in 2011:

 




970 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306109 26-Aug-2019 12:29
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dt:

 

There's a few other other considerations you will need to take into account when growing vegetables indoors such as air movement, temp control, humidity control, nutrients and co2 (co2 not a must but to more closely simulate what they would be doing outdoors) 

 

Would you be looking at building a little room or using something like a grow tent ?

 

 

I have been considering a number of options, but I've pretty much settled on using a grow tent within an shed. The shed is water tight, but still has air gaps.

 

Chillies produce a lot of fruit, and I powder most of it, so I don't think there would be a need to expand the setup in the near future. I could easily insulate the shed with rockwool if I needed more room going forward.


601 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306146 26-Aug-2019 13:07
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I bought a 75w UFO looking grow light from Ali-express a few years back. Used to to grow chillis from seeds in a cupboard. Worked very well, never had so many plants successfully grow. Doesn't look like the one I got is still available though.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2306171 26-Aug-2019 14:06
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

Chillies produce a lot of fruit, and I powder most of it, so I don't think there would be a need to expand the setup in the near future. I could easily insulate the shed with rockwool if I needed more room going forward.

 

 

Do you dry the fruit and make a chilli seasoning? That might be another way to use some chillis up. I smoke then dry chillis but it takes a fair bit of manual effort.


dt

525 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306175 26-Aug-2019 14:11
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

dt:

 

There's a few other other considerations you will need to take into account when growing vegetables indoors such as air movement, temp control, humidity control, nutrients and co2 (co2 not a must but to more closely simulate what they would be doing outdoors) 

 

Would you be looking at building a little room or using something like a grow tent ?

 

 

I have been considering a number of options, but I've pretty much settled on using a grow tent within an shed. The shed is water tight, but still has air gaps.

 

Chillies produce a lot of fruit, and I powder most of it, so I don't think there would be a need to expand the setup in the near future. I could easily insulate the shed with rockwool if I needed more room going forward.

 

 

 

 

Grow tents are great, pick one that has reflective material inside of it so it bounces unused light back onto your plants.

 

A small oscillating fan mounted at the top of your tent will simulate air movement strengthening your plants and will help reduce the risk of mold and pests wanting to settle in on them.

 

depending on the size of light you end up with you'll most likely need to find a way to extract the heat produced by the ballast, some have fans on them, some require an inline fan to be hooked up to them and vented outside of your room, some produce very little heat and you wont need to worry

 

It's a very fun process to go through, you can grow some incredibly healthy produce in a "perfect" environment 


dt

525 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 2306176 26-Aug-2019 14:13
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timmmay:

 

I smoke then dry chillis but it takes a fair bit of manual effort.

 

 

 

 

hey, hey, hey we are talking about chillis here ;-)




970 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306181 26-Aug-2019 14:19
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timmmay:

 

Do you dry the fruit and make a chilli seasoning? That might be another way to use some chillis up. I smoke then dry chillis but it takes a fair bit of manual effort.

 

 

I just cut, dehydrate and powder the chillies as-is. I will probably look at growing more mild varieties to make seasoning. Currently I use supermarket chilli powder and/or seasoning to achieve a level of heat the family will eat, and a little bit of the good powder for the flavour.


4212 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2306185 26-Aug-2019 14:26
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Keen to see recommendations for lights. Currently planning out a little greenhouse, but imagine even if that will get too cold in the winter for chillies so thinking a small indoor area would be a great option too.

 

I want to grow some hot varieties that like the warmth a bit more.

 

I think I'm having more fun mucking around with the electronics than anything haha!


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Uber Geek


  # 2306187 26-Aug-2019 14:28
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throbb:

 

I bought a 75w UFO looking grow light from Ali-express a few years back. Used to to grow chillis from seeds in a cupboard. Worked very well, never had so many plants successfully grow. Doesn't look like the one I got is still available though.

 

 

Throw a picture of it up perhaps?




970 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306201 26-Aug-2019 14:32
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chevrolux:

 

I think I'm having more fun mucking around with the electronics than anything haha!

 

 

Electronics scare me a little, but I am going down the DIY route with simple relays and i2c sensors. I am in the process of writing an MQTT 5 client library. This will be the first (or second?) project for developing/testing it.


749 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2306233 26-Aug-2019 15:06
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

Does anyone have specific recommendations for LED lights, or at least specific LED types or 'K' values?

 

 

Yes. https://www.sanlight.com/en/ are professional lights. I personally use two models for chili growing since 4 years and can fully recommend them. The fanless lights aren't by far not as 'pinky' as the chinese ones and very efficient. Not cheap but worth it's price.





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