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LED Growlights for your aquaponics system

Posted on August 8th, 2012

Lately I’m investigating what good LED Growlights are and why. If you know this it is easier to choose between professional suppliers and suppliers just lifting with the hype.
At Mediamatic Carlos Portella (an intern who works with me) is testing difference in spectra of LED grow lights samples. He is doing this with a DIY spectrometer, when using this it’s important to take your time for a proper calibration. We ordered the LED bars in Shenzhen (china). You can also order them in The Netherlands but you probably end up in a web shop that has his back orders in the same town. So if your planning to order bigger quantities it might be interesting to order directly an the source.

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Carlos taking a look at the change of frequency (blue)

When looking for grow lights think about what you want to grow and then look what colors work best with this type of plants.
Typically plants make good use of blue and red light for the photosynthesis. For blue 440nm is a wavelength you would be looking for and 660nm for the reds.
To know how much light you need to place above your plants look in the specs for the PAR (photosynthesis active radiation) you will find this in uMol/m2/s (micromol, square meter,second).
After doing some research we found the sun provides on a clear and warm day about 2000 uMol/m2/s. You probably do not need to create this amount of PAR for you plants, typically herb-like plants would have an optimal photosynthesis at 500 uMol/m2/s, after this point the plants will be oversaturated and this will very likely have a negative effect on growth.

To be continued…