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Ikea has a brand of hydrophonic start kits called vaxer. Part of their offering consists of lamps that aid in the cultivation of the plants (example1, example2 and example3). There are other companies offering lamps that should help plants grow. Here is an example on ali-express.

When I compare the lamps from ikea as well as others I find it hard to figure out what lamp may be preferable for my hobby projects at home. I recall seeing a documentary where it was suggested that plants prefer red and blue light because that is the colour they themselves do not emit back. This makes me wonder why the ikea lamps don't have these colors.

I'm new at this field but I may be interested in investing in some lights for some indoor hobbying. When considering this though, what are properties of these growth lights that are important as far as plant growth goes?

In my particular situation I am not concerned with heat but more the correct type of light and the costs of electricity.

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  • $\begingroup$ You might find more people with expertise in this area at Gardening.SE $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 3 '17 at 18:56
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I am not a biologist, but I have read up on this a little bit. I recommend that you do a bit of research online at your library or online because it can get somewhat technical. There are several variables to consider. You are correct that the bulbs emit different colors of light. Plants species may have different needs for different colors during their growth stage & their flowering /fruiting stage. You should investigate what your plant needs. The amount of the light emitted by the bulb is measured in a unit called lumens- this is usually on the package. More lumens= brighter light. For indoor hydroponic, there are expensive lighting systems using a variety of bulbs & lamps, like fluorescent, halide & sodium, each with specific uses & (dis)advantages. One recent development are LED grow lamps. The LED's advantage is that instead of having 1 large heavy & hot light bulb like with a halide or sodium lamp, you have many little LED light that can come in different colors, allowing flexibility in different life stages. The LED lamps also consume much less electricity & don't create a lot of heat- but they are more expensive. OK, good luck with your project. Also, if you like hydroponics, learn about aquaponics, an offshoot of hydroponics that incorporates an aquarium into the system. The water flowing through the plant's roots circulates down into the aquarium and back up again, so that the fish poop helps to nourish the plants and the plants' roots act as a filter for the aquarium water, creating a type of symbiotic ecosystem between the plants & fish.

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Vaxer is a total gimmick apparently. it's just cheap 1cents chinese LED's branded as IKEA grow lights at 15 euros... it's about 10w for 55w equivalent, 800 lumens,

Phillips currently sells 11w 100w equivalents for the same price. for 1520 lumens. Cree has a19 lamps which are less intense and which are 13w for 100w equivalent. in terms of money you can also buy red-blue 20w vac cob chips for 2.50USD and 50w vac cob chips for 3.00USD, to 50w dont last as long and are hotter.

Many home experiment comparisons have whites beating red/blue leds. There are no clear figures and research papers on the topic. it's all about efficiency for producing a PAR plant spectrum. Photosynthetically active radiation

You need penetrating LED's too, reflected PAR (Parabolic alu reflector) and unclouded diffuser to get best penetration into the plants.

Your best bet for efficiency is to get a white 120 lumens per watt light. Its a good way to achieve the PAR spectrum for plants. The plants may benefit from Green light for other pigments like Anthocyanin.

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