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ledlights for shaded veggies out doors

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm
by manaquin
Hi all
I am about to grown veggies such as carrots, kale, courgette, sweet potato, onions in planter boxes. The planter boxes will be directly above each other in a tiered effect to make good use of limited space.

My question is:
- do I necessarily need grow lights? My out door area is east facing with not much direct sun. Also in Uk so may have answered my own question:)
- what sort of kit would I need?

Any advice is appreciated.

Re: ledlights for shaded veggies out doors

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:41 pm
by SisterMaryElephant
Welcome to the forums!

In the UK with eastern indirect lighting you're definitely limited. The problem is how much area you need to light and the cost. It's often cheaper just to buy the veggies than growing them indoors. Now if cost isn't an issue then you can go with either fluorescent or LED lighting but that's a trade off between cost and quality too. The cheapest solution to lighting tiered planter boxes would be fluorescents mounted above each box.


Re: ledlights for shaded veggies out doors

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:42 am
by puggy

I'm from the uk (belfast) so i know what the lighting can be like. With an east facing direction you will get half a days worth of good light and half a day shaded light, so you won't get as good growing as a south facing or open area however you don't need growlights.

You could if you want to however add them and turn them on during the evening to boost the light the plants get. Seeing as it's out doors i would suggest water proof strip lights. Get the more powerful 5050 type and ideally 60 led's per metre (you can get the 5 metre strips on ebay for about £12-15 and the power pack for them for about £5. Cheap wall plug timers can be bought locallly for a few quid). You can buy the 5 metre strip's and cut them up (there are cut lines on the strips to help with that), just make sure you water proof the area you solder new wires to. Also be careful of large amounts of water as while the strips say they are waterproof, they are in fact only water resistant and if they sit in water they will start to corrode.

As for what to get, for most of the plants you have said you will want to have a 2:1 mix of blue and red, except for the corgettes, which are more tricky. Fruiting plants (ie those where the produce you want comes from flowers) you would want a reverse mix when the plants are big as high red content encourages flower development. You can start of with the 1:2 blue:red or change the mixture later in the year (may/june time).

Hope this helps

Re: ledlights for shaded veggies out doors

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:33 pm
by SisterMaryElephant
I would skip the LED strip lights, they're not made for growing and have very weak diodes. I'd just go for outdoor fluorescents instead. You can buy bulbs with more red or blue for those.