12 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2017 6:14 AM by joed

    Lighting

    nima413

      Has anyone used the new lighting set?

        • Re: Lighting
          joed

          Hi nima413, Yes. I have... Did you have a specific question about it?

           

          -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

          • Re: Lighting
            nima413

            How do you like them?

            • Re: Lighting
              swyzga

              If you have a five high they are great - less cluttered, more adjustable, simpler to set up and use. Also I Am getting faster, darker growth.

              for a 7 High Tower the lights are short, so the top and/or bottom plants don’t get as much light as ideal, but they are still growing well. Since my lights are positioned close in, the diagonal distance from light to lowest plants is not really greater than the previous horizontal distance from bulb to plant of the t5s

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Lighting
                jillm

                Overall I love them, but they do have 2 big cons in my opinion.

                 

                What I love:

                • No need for cage, yeah!!! (easier access to plants and much easier when time to clean)
                • No more power cables at the bottom of the lights or cables coming unplugged (my T5 plugs were always loose and would sometimes fall out)
                • No more T5s
                  • that contain mercury (hazard if broken)
                  • that are a challenge to dispose of
                  • that dim over time
                  • that burn your lettuce when it reaches the bulb
                • No more cheap reflectors that get very spotted
                • LED lights
                  • Super bright (I was surprised how bright they are!)
                  • They say they won't dim
                  • They say they last several years
                  • My plants LOVE them and have grown extremely well
                • Very adjustable (up and down, closer for seedlings, move out as plant grows)
                • Only 1 power cable to deal with
                • Timer built in
                • Much easier to remove when time to clean tower

                 

                What I don't like:

                • Cost (over-priced especially once you add in tax and s/h)
                • LED bulbs are ONLY 3' in length!!! The website does not tell you this so I was shocked to find this out after buying 2 of them. This is a huge con if you have the tower extension as there is no way to give adequate light coverage to the top and bottom ports at the same time. I can't believe they went from 4' T5s to 3' LEDs. I have given feedback on this and from what I've been told, they agree and are working on making a light system with longer LED bulbs for those with the tower extension. I don't know when this would be available, but I won't buy another one until they make them longer. I'm hoping they make a 4.5' version, that would provide perfect coverage.

                 

                So if you don't have the extension and the cost isn't an issue, this will be perfect for you. If you do have the extension, plan on not getting enough light coverage for some of your ports. To make due for now I'm trying to grow some tall kale in the bottom ports and grow plants that will hang down at the very top, but until my kale is much more mature, my top ports are unused.

                 

                That's my 2 cents.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Lighting
                    hambrower

                    Awesome review, jillm....thank you!

                    • Re: Lighting
                      swyzga


                      Good review. I disagree on the over priced. LEDs are great but expensive. To get them at a cost less than the cage and T5s I thought was great!

                      I can now offer a fully equipped indoor tower for $790 (minus tax and shipping).

                      This was started 12/7. All the lettuce has already been harvested twice. The cilantro at the top (little light) has been doing the best yet in 3 years.

                      Yes a longer LED will be nice. We’ll have to see how good a price point they are able to achieve.


                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Lighting
                        joed

                        Hi jillm, Just a small nit... :-)

                         

                        "What I Love - LED Lights - They say they won't dim"

                         

                        Actually, LED light output does indeed degrade over their lifespan. They actually have industry testing standards that manufacturers can perform to rate their LED products against that shows the percentage drop over time.

                         

                        -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                          • Re: Lighting
                            jillm

                            Thanks joed! I was wondering if they really retained their brightness, which is why I said "they say". I was told by the reps that they won't dim over time like the T5s do. The T5s seem to lose quite a bit of brightness to the point it affects plant growth after about a year. How long will the LEDs retain their brightness? Thanks!

                              • Re: Lighting
                                joed

                                Hi jillm,

                                 

                                "How long will the LEDs retain their brightness?"

                                 

                                Unfortunately, JP+/TG has not provided enough of the product specifications to answer that question with any degree of accuracy.

                                 

                                You may find the following LED / T5 Fluorescent comparison somewhat helpful when making a guess:

                                 

                                T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights

                                 

                                The PAR output of T5 fluorescent bulbs depreciates over time. The main causes are photo-chemical degradation of the phosphor coating, the loss of gasses through the electrodes and the accumulation of light-absorbing particles within the lamp. Despite these reasons for PAR depreciation, T5 fluorescent bulbs are one of the more efficient lighting systems available to growers because their depreciation is relatively slow. T5 fluorescent grow light bulbs are typically coated with rare earth phosphors, which means they will only lose 5-10% of their initial lumens after 20,000 hours of operation. If you are using T5 fluorescent grow light bulbs, plan to replace the bulbs every 18-24 months.

                                 

                                LED Grow Lights

                                 

                                PAR depreciation in LED grow lights depends on the way the bulbs are configured and the actual design of the lighting system. The primary cause of light reduction for LED grow lights is heat generated at the LED junction. Since LEDs do not emit heat as infrared radiation like other light sources, the heat must be removed via conduction or convection (FYI: The backside of the TG Grow Lights fixture is an aluminum extrusion that acts as a heat sink for the 77 little LED chips inside each fixture). If the design of the lighting system has inadequate heat sinking, the temperature of the unit will rise and the result will be diminished light output. The type of encapsulation used to cover the LED chips can also be a factor in diminished light output. A cloudy, epoxy encapsulation can significantly reduce the light output. High-quality LED lighting systems generally use silicone as the encapsulate to eliminate this problem. Operating LED chips at their full capacity will increase the rate of their depreciation, which is why so many horticultural LED lighting fixtures are rated by both the full-capacity wattage and the actual wattage draw. The full-capacity wattage is the full wattage the LED chip can handle. For example, an LED lighting system may contain multiple 5-Watt LED chips (FYI: This is just one small piece of the spec info not available for the TG LED kit). However, when that light system is operating, the LED chips may only draw 3 Watts each. Horticultural LED grow lights are designed this way to reduce the heat at the LED junction, which increases light energy efficiency and extends the longevity of the entire unit. The closer these two wattage ratings are to each other, the faster the system’s light energy will degrade over time. Life expectancy of an LED grow light system is approximately 50,000 hours. With a typical "high-quality" LED lighting system, you can expect to use it for 5-10 years before needing to replace it.

                                 

                                -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Lighting
                            revered

                            Yes I got the new LED lighting system with our Tower Garden order, and I must say they are awesome!  The timer is really high quality and allows adjusting to small increments (lots of little switches), and an override to turn it on.  The design is really top notch.  The plants are really happy after being planted yesterday!  I will not look back.  Blessings

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful