LED Lighting for Vertical Gardens
LED lights are being used by hydroponic growers to optimize crop production. Typically we see a purplish type light that makes the plants look 'creepy'. Plants have green leaves that reflect the color green. This is because they have evolved not to use green light at all. Instead they use deep blue colors to create chlorophyll and red colors to create fruit. So hydroponic growers save money by leaving out the green which the plants can't use anyway.
This is all fine and good but for most vertical gardeners we want to offer a beautiful visual experience as well as give the plants what they need to grow. To understand this better let's have a look at a chart that shows the colors produced by different LED lights.
Spectral Power Distribution for Grower's LEDs
LUXEON SunPlus 20 LEDs are created specifically for growing plants. They offer a Royal Blue which is important for chlorophyll production that peaks at 450nm. Notice also how the Cool White LED also contains this crucial wavelength 450nm (blue) along with lesser amounts of green with some red wavelengths. The other colors are made available for production growers that need the Red colors to produce fruit. For display gardens the Cool White is all you'll need.
Full Spectrum White CREE LEDs
CREE LEDs are a type of LED that contains full spectrum and are quite common and affordable. They can be purchased in spot bulbs that work in standard track lighting fixtures.
Note that you'll need to specify 4000K at minimum to get adequate 450 nm for chlorophyll production. 5000K performs even better and grabs deeper into the UV spectrum.
CREE LEDs are a readily available light fixture and show a spectral peak at 450nm at 6000K Cool White or above. It's the closest you can get to outdoor light.
Ultra Violet Light
Many indoor fixtures take extra care to reduce the UV component to prevent fading of fabrics and art. This is a problem for plants because they require a UV component that boosts their immune systems to ward of disease.
Automotive fixtures are not bothered with light bleaching issues so they do not go to the extra expense to filter it out.
Automotive Spot Work Lights
Automotive Lights offer affordable high power CREE LEDs with spot focused beams. They operate at 12V and tend to have very high color temperatures which are good for vegetative growth.
12 Volt Transformer
High power transformers are also available on Ebay.
Euro Style Terminal Strips
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