Chimera African Violets Grown Under LED Chip Lights

For years African violets have been successfully grown under florescent tube lighting.  For the last 5 years I have been growing some of my plants under LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.  The bulbs (lamps) have been historically very expensive costing as much as $100 per bulb.  Recently I saw a demo with a LED chip lamp.  What was so striking was the significant electricity savings possible even when you add in the total cost of the new bulbs (lamps) and fixtures.  I worked up a spread sheet so the variables can be accounted for and anyone currently using a florescent set-up can do a simple comparison on the linked spreadsheet by just adding what they have and what they want.  It will calculate the potential savings, how long before you break-even after you purchased the new equipment and what amount of savings over seven years can be expected.  Feel free to download the spreadsheet if you wish or just use it here on site.———–>Electricity Calculator

I have attached some digital images below of what the LED Chip Lamp looks like  and a close up of the tiny little chip that essentially converts the current into light at a >85% efficiency rate.  This means it only loses less than 15% in heat.

This is the LED Chip lamp.  About the size of a standard appliance bulb.  It consumes 4 watts per Hr.


Looking into the lamp to see the yellow LED chip that is the source of the light.


A magnified view of the yellow chip inside the LED lamp.  Note the 6 tiny diodes in the center,   this is the  source of the light that will be emitted when the power is turned on (double click on image to enlarge).

Below is a nice video I found on youtube that gives a brief discussion about the chip tech LED. The actual discussion starts about 18 seconds into the video.
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

5 Comments

  1. Mark Weston
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I say your article in the new AVM and found it interesting. I have played with led lighting for a few years and found it expensive in purchase price. I have looked on the web and found LED tubes as replacements for flourescent lighting. your cut out the ballast to use. Have you had any experience in use LED tubes to grow African violets? I would think it would be more even lighting a shelf.

  2. admin
    Posted May 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Mark: Thank you. I agree with you. I believe a tube LED would produce much more even lighting end-to end. I have not tried or experimented yet with either the conversion of the fixture or use of the LED tubes. It is something I would like to do soon. The Chips caught my interest because they are so bright using only 3 watts and covered such a large area. I have been able to grow violets from tiny explants to flowering plants. I am now comfortable all the wavelengths are there in the right proportion for normal plant formation. Let me know if you convert a fixture to accommodate an LED tube. I would be interested in your experience with it.

  3. Geary Smith
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m very interested in the Chip Tech LED’s but can’t find a seller for these. Do you mind sharing a source?

    Thanks,

    Geary

  4. admin
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The source I originally purchased from charges $30.00 per lamp. That source is http://www.orchidweb.com/detail.aspx?ID=2428. I feel the price is too expensive and have been actively looking for a cheaper source. I did find another source and they are selling the bulbs for $15.95. I have never purchased from them so I cannot vouch for the product or service. But I will be ordering from them in a few weeks. The source is “Growers Supplies” at http://www.growersSupply.com Their phone number is 1-800-476-9715 The item number is 111095 Infinity LED ultra Spot Bulb. I continue to have wonderful success with them growing succulents, African violets and now a few orchids. But I must admit the start-up costs in my book are still too high. Good luck and let me know what success you are having with the bulbs.

  5. Geary Smith
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate the information. That’s a substantial difference in price. I’ve purchased from Growers Supply in the past with no complaints. These lamps seem like a no-brainer given the low wattage and stated bulb life. I’ll definitely give them a try for both African violets and phalaenopsis orchids.

    Thanks again,

    Geary

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