DIY LED Grow Light Follow Up – Low Power LED VS CFL

DIY LED Grow Light Follow Up – Low Power LED VS CFL

Can you build a cheap grow light out of these LED strips that actually works? That is the question that many of you have had over the past few weeks since I released the initial grow light build video. I have been able to do some upgrades and testing and have some decent initial results to share.

I started 6 Roma tomato plants and planted them in similar pots all at the same time. I also planted another one and set it near a window. I set the three grow lights at the same height from the plants and all on the same timer. The details of the lights are as follows –

Grow light 1 – This is the light I built in the first video with one upgrade. I added a 6500k 7020 LED strip to this light to give it a bit more power. The two strips I used can be found here –

Toogod 5050 Grow light strip – http://amzn.to/1UkHosI
7020 bright white strip – http://amzn.to/1TGDgQI

Grow light 2 – This is an all “Cool white light” grow light using 5630 LED strips. I used two of these 5m strips for this light

5630 Cool White LED strip – http://amzn.to/26Mg62y

Grow light 3 – This is my old tested FCL grow light it uses 8 cfl bulbs at 6500k/23watts each.
CFL bulbs – http://amzn.to/1QOm1sn

Results –
Grow Light 1 – The growth from this light was mediocre at best. Although it was sufficient to keep my seedlings going without any trouble it did not perform better than the CFL light or my sunlight control.

Grow Light 2 – The worst growth of the three lights. This light did not have the power intensity or properly light spectrum to produce good growth. It did keep things rowing and alive but not very well at all.

Grow light 3 – This light performed above and beyond the other two and even had better growth than the plant I placed near the window. I couldn’t be happier with my old CFL lights and they have been running strong for over two years.

This was just an initial test to satisfy those who have been asking about them. I am going to build more LED light fixtures with different LED strips and then do a final test to see if I can get better growth from the LED strips for less power consumption and up front cost. If not, it will be back the CFLs!

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50 Comments

  1. DrSpooglemon on May 22, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    You need to do multiple plants of the same variety under each condition to discount the possibility of individual differences in the plants themselves.

  2. TeePeeB on May 22, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Have you considered replacing your CFL light bulbs with inexpensive daylight LED light bulbs? I’m interested in growing lettuce, spinach, and herbs. Praise Jesus!

  3. Stagmike on May 22, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Can I put led strip white to bonsai ficus plant?

  4. Sean Huffstickler on May 22, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Hello. I’m curious as to what app you are using?

  5. Mz C.D. on May 22, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    Wrap up your shelves using a solar blanket to reflect more light onto the plants. I get them at the dollar store : ) It also keeps out drafts and a consistent growing temperature.

  6. Ashley N Cameron on May 22, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Hello! Thanks for the great video. Wondered if you connected the white LED strips and the RGB to the same power adapter or separate? If connected, what kind of connector(s)? Thanks!

  7. Juliete Boomkin on May 22, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    What App is this on your phone? Thanks.

  8. ken2400 on May 22, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    lights need to be closer to plants.

  9. shoaib ahmad on May 22, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Hi.
    This is such an amazing video.
    Can you please tell how did you measure spectrum of light?

  10. Dragonite Advanture on May 22, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    you read spektum power wrongly

  11. Check for Fleas on May 22, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I am old school. And this seems like a science project. I would rather grow under the cfl. I just bought a big ho fluorescent. If it is not brighter or better than my led or fluorescent shop light. It’s going back. I will go back to cfl. I can’t stand the silliness between the led and fluorescent. We’ve been doing it for years. I’m not going to cry over a 2% yield lol. I don’t even buy that shit. I want to see living ass proof like this. Led is just more contained. U have to spend an ass load of monies for absolutely no reason. Anything can flower under these lights. Period. U have to know what u are doing.

  12. DIBYAJYOTI PATRO on May 22, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    So do u recommend CFL over LED?

  13. Taz Mahomed on May 22, 2022 at 8:19 pm

    Really good information here thank you

  14. Kevin Mu on May 22, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    SO the no any LED stip in the market that us good for growing to keping the house plant alive?

  15. Beluga Whale on May 22, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    Led strips gtfoh with that dumb shit.

  16. Mark Regan on May 22, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    You could just remove some CFLs to do a power comparison. Would be a cheep way to test what is the most efficient at approximately the same power level.

  17. Genghis Khan (PUREBLOOD) on May 22, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    You cannot hv just daylight it must be mixed min 30% warm white (3500k)

  18. Michael Robb on May 22, 2022 at 8:24 pm

    where can i get the big aluminum reflectors?

  19. Christopher Aaron on May 22, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    I use a combination of CFL and LED with my plants. I also found that CFL produced the best results.

  20. Forte on May 22, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    How about them cheap garage ceiling folding LED lights that claim 15 to 20,000 Lumens, so $40 for 2 = 30-40,000 Lumens?

  21. Jack Liu on May 22, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Nice video. It would be great to measure temperature, too. LED lights product less heat than CFL. It is possible the extra heat from CLF bulbs favoured plants growth. After all, still a great video. Thanks for all the effort and resources!

  22. ys6425 on May 22, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Could it be because the aluminum top is more reflective?

  23. 420 soulja on May 22, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    The led fixtures should have been placed much nearer to the canopy imo. Also I always grow with lamps around 3k – 3.5k as that’s more typical for a full spectrum grow in my experience. During veg the cfl will be better with all that blue but during flower themred spectrum led’s should perform better

  24. Mischelle on May 22, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    Well I am thinking the CFL is more productive. I actually want my plants plentiful when I harvest them. I don’t believe I want to trade money in an electric bill for that growth. I’ve seen some serious side by sides. Think I might go with the CFL.

  25. Bebi Ramsarran on May 22, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    What is correct time to set seed. Is it march 1ft or ending of march?

  26. Big Island Chickens on May 22, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    I’m just researching led grow lights for my aviary garden, the growth doesnt have to be the best. It just needs to keep them alive.

  27. q w on May 22, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Helpful

  28. mindauguij on May 22, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    What is the app you are using to measure?

  29. Guy Eshel on May 22, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Weren’t the lights too far from the seedlings?

  30. Quentin B on May 22, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    hahaha led smd is 10cm to plant for hard grow no 30cm is not compare possible lumens is best value for compare

  31. Robin on May 22, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    I recommend 3500k good balance of red to blue light and watch for a good CRI rating (color reproduction index)

  32. Adee Ade on May 22, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    The ladybug at 2:26 at right corner down was like: ,,oh no, he will see me!” xD

  33. J.Lee. V on May 22, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    hey, do you like cottage cheese?

  34. Santiago SU on May 22, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    i thought this video was about weed =(

  35. Muhammad Syafiq on May 22, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Just start this hobbies due to the covid 19. I’ve one question, is the CFL light is the same as the conventional light or it is specifically built to grow?

  36. Kory on May 22, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Change cfl bulbs to 2700 bulbs and test light

  37. Wyqid on May 22, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    First, you have a cottage cheese addiction and should seek help. 🙂 I figured CFLs would do best because they put out stronger UV like natural sunlight. LEDs suck as grow lights IMO. CFLs use more power, but obviously the difference is significant.

  38. Nitrocell928 on May 22, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    love watching people who don’t know about LED trying to do controlled testing. you need blue spectrum LED to compare against your blue spectrum CFL. the red is great for flower not vegetative growth. I only wish this test was performed correctly.

  39. No Thanks on May 22, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    You ruined the test by not considering the light output and intensity differences.

  40. Mark Regan on May 22, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    You read your graphs wrong. Look at the figures. It is the colour at the top of the graphic that is the highest. Lower colours are displayed in the foreground or you would not see them. CFL shows a lot of green. Could you try lowering your led lights to get more light to the seedlings?

  41. Justin Hodson on May 22, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    anyone out there

  42. Clive Francis on May 22, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Looks like you are trying to compare chalk and cheese, how can you compare lights with large differences in light levels?

  43. Potent Chronic on May 22, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    Love the video and the content. Keep growing them ladies to the sky. I’m new to YouTube and channel creation/content. Id love if you stopped by and help GROW our Cannabis community. Much love and respect from Canada.

  44. eric townsend on May 22, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    you might try some full spectrum led lights.

  45. Shane Fowkes on May 22, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    I will be updating my T8 1 foot duel bar for a quad bar fairly soon, hoping for good results,manufature dose state min of 50W per meter squared but putting that bit extra should give a slight advantage but using blue/red and normal sunlight, will this be any good or should I just go with spending more to get good results

  46. Eddie spagetti on May 22, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    What’s the yeild averages or per Light ?? I’m used to old school 1000 watt Halide and sodium. We got close to 2 pounds per light in sealed room systym using coca as medium . Simple systym and we thought 1.8 pound per 1000 watt was a good yeild ?

  47. CMaPD on May 22, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Everywhere I look says to keep the seedlings 2 inches from the light and to keep that distance as they mature. Why are the seedlings so far from the lights?

  48. barracuda40 on May 22, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    how many lumens does the led white strip produce per meter?

  49. Quack Moo Meow on May 22, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you so, so much for this. I am growing ornamental/indoor plants on a north facing outdoor balcony (in a tropical country) and was wondering what type of lights that I can use.
    Seeing as I am a newbie, I decided to just buy some cheap T5 LEDs to try out – and my dormant plants started sprouting new leaves, stems, gotten taller within A WEEK of 8-10 hours exposure to the lights.

    Seeing these results, I thought perhaps I should dabble into grow lights but they’re so much more expensive and I didn’t know if it was worth it. After scouring the internet, there’s just SO MUCH CONFLICTING information.

    Your video & experiment (despite being close to 6 years old), is proof that I needed that my success was not a fluke and I’ll be definitely purchasing CFLs for my other set ups which is a fraction of the cost. Besides, I’m not growing for fruits and yield, thus I think normal CFL would be more than enough to keep my plants happy-ish.

    I’m unsure if you’ll see or answer my question, but do you think it would benefit my plants by keeping the lights contain or directed? i.e. having a mesh cover over the shelves?

    Also, thank you so much for doing this experiment and making this video!!!

  50. all things electric on May 22, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    what is that light meter you are using and does it require additional sensors? great video. thankyou.

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