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This is a discussion on Led Car Lights within the Talk Car forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi...I hope I am alright putting this question on the forum ...I live right down the south of New Zealand


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Old 10-13-2015, 03:35 PM   #1
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Hi...I hope I am alright putting this question on the forum ...I live right down the south of New Zealand and I have just built a 12 ft x 16ft greenhouse primarily to grow Tomatoes....I am trying to think of a way to provide light to them and I suddenly thought "could I use 4 vehicle LED Headlights??" ....

I have a friend in the scrap metal / car wrecking business and he would look out for any that happened to appear ....

So I wonder if anybody could give me an opinion...am I crazy .....and would it work...? and I have some questions like if I could get headlights would it be just a simple job of wiring them up to a 12V power supply....and are car lights available that produce light across a wide frequency ...I often see vehicles that have a blueish tinge on some lights and I often wondered about this....

Thanks Mk
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:44 PM   #2
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Actually there is a company here in the US that has produced LED headlight bulbs to replace the standard halogen bulbs. They use either a small fan mounted to the bulb or a braided heatsink to expel the heat generated by the bulbs.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:04 AM   #3
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Many white LEDs are actually blue LEDs with a phosphor layer that re-emits light of a longer wavelength, the combination of which we see as a whitish light.

Conversely, plants photosynthesize best under light that's both bluish and reddish. Therefore, while plants will grow under a standard white LED headlight they won't grow most efficiently under it. What you need is a special battery of LED grow lights that produce the wavelengths most used by the plants you are trying to grow.






Light Absorption for Photosynthesis
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:02 PM   #4
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My bad...I saw "headlights" and totally missed the "greenhouse"...
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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I have seen 'grow' LEDs. I guess it depends on what kind of power you have available as to whether you use 12V or other. You may be able to use a solar panel arrangement to charge the batteries to power the LEDs.
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:22 AM   #6
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Hi..Thankyou for your replies ...they are very much appreciated....My wondering about headlights was because I think I could perhaps get some for very little cost ..and I presume some light is better than no light..... I am trying to understand what I really need but at my age its just too tough especially when there is warnings about some of the commercial grow lights available on Ebay from Asia...My seedlings have been transplanted into a large stainless inner lined freezer and I have hung some CFL's to help them get too the stage when I can put them outside in my greenhouse.....
I am interested in some videos on YouTube where grow light arrays are actually made ....and I wonder if TechSupport has a forum for such ...I presume it could come under Do it Yourself ?

Regards Mk ..
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:43 AM   #7
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You could create your own plant grow light array by looking up the emission spectra of various LEDs and then choosing those which most closely matched the absorption spectra for the plants you are growing. However, it probably would be much more simple to just purchase a grow light.

Note that if you want maximum production you can manipulate various aspects of plant growth with different light colors, intensities and photoperiods.

Surexi Horticulture LEDs | Illumitex

Or you can just use car lights, as they produce some of the wavelengths that plants use. The plants just won't grow as fast because much of the longer "red" wavelengths are missing. The main thing you have to look out for when growing to transplant is that your plants stay short and robust versus tall and spindly.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:18 AM   #8
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""The main thing you have to look out for when growing to transplant is that your plants stay short and robust versus tall and spindly.""

Hi..Yes you are absolutely correct....My tomato seedlings are very spindly so I planted them deep when transplanting from the propagator ?? Hopefully this may strengthen them before they are transplanted out into the greenhouse ...I noticed last year how short and strong were the commercially available plants were from a local nursery... I will just learn from this and invest in growlights for my seeds next season....Thanks Mk
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:03 AM   #9
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If you missed my reply to your other thread, I've looked at the emission spectra from both LED and incandescent headlamps and compared it to the absorption spectra of plants. If you use both types of headlamps you will come close to having all the wavelengths you need for optimal plant growth.

https://www.techsupportforum.com/foru...ml#post6690170
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:10 AM   #10
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Pretty serious business........when do you plan on setting them outside??

I've never used grow lights on any of my seedlings and had a rather healthy batch of tomato plants this year. I start them in my kitchen which has a patio door facing the morning sun.......a piece of white poster board for a backdrop to reflect some sunlight from behind. As soon as freezing temps are no longer a danger I move the plants to the back porch......has a roof to protect the plants from frost. When no frost is expected I move the plants to the deck which is not covered.

This year's tomato plants were something to be proud of.......they looked just as healthy and sturdy as anything found in garden centers........ But......I made one small mistake by not fencing my garden this year. 40+ tomato plants were eaten by deer........

All I can do is try again next year......we've already had temps below freezing and the season is over. Your season is just getting started......good luck.

Let us know how you're getting along with your tomatoes.....https://www.techsupportforum.com/foru...-a-939690.html

**I have a few Kiwi cousins....... My uncle stayed in NZ after WWII ended (he was stationed on a ship in the Pacific) and only came back to the states for a visit. He married, raised a family, and is buried there.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPR View Post
If you missed my reply to your other thread, I've looked at the emission spectra from both LED and incandescent headlamps and compared it to the absorption spectra of plants. If you use both types of headlamps you will come close to having all the wavelengths you need for optimal plant growth.

https://www.techsupportforum.com/foru...ml#post6690170
Hi...This is really great news ....I will get my friend in the scrap metal yard to look out for some good headlights although apparantly LED lights are only on the very modern cars and these only appear when written off........REgards Mk
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:50 AM   #12
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Sabl..Great to see your response.....I have been waiting for the winds to die down (apparantly its El Nino ?) so as I can put my covering on my redesigned greenhouse ....I expect to get them outside in 2 - 3 weeks so the greenhouse has to be finished by then with self watering etc...I must have Scottish blood in me cause everything I do is from recycled products EG My greenhouse frame is built from recycled steel bed frames ...I actually bought my 40 cell self watering propagator and it sits in a small fridge that on its back ..It has no door on it and of course motor is gone but it only cost $1 ...then inside the fridge is a stainless clothes dryer drum ($5)..no ends so can open and close..See attached photos.. .. .there are two bulb holders that come in from the fridge ends....each has a ceramic heat bulb which are controled by a STC-1000 thermostat at the bottom and under the propagator which sits on an oven tray on rails attached to the side of the fridge ... and I have an LED light (from my bedroom??) on a timer supplementing the light supply..and thats my problem...I should have a grow light or at least two CFL bulbs one normal and the other Warm ...
This sits in my front living room (I am a 72 year old bachelor?) and beside it is a Stainless lined big freezer ($2) and thats fitted with ceramic heatbulbs and thats where the first transplants go into...at present I am using CFL bulbs but may change to 5 feet T8 tubes if I can get them at a wholesale price...until I can sort out grow lights...
I now realise my efforts have not been in vain and that the freezer unit will take 8 fully grown plants which hopefully will provide me with a winter crop of fruit...after my greenhouse fruit have gone....

Its great to know you have relatives over here ...I get frustrated sometimes trying to get things but overall I know we are blessed in NZ ....and of course where I live we have the best oysters in the world ...but very expensive ($36 for 12 lightly cooked in batter)

I will keep in touch with some photos etc of my Tomatoes ....Regards MK

PS..I have a couple of alloy oven trays sitting inside at each end to reflect the light....I only got a 40% success with the seeds but I do not think it had anything to do with my system..just bad seeds..
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Old 10-20-2015, 01:10 PM   #13
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Looks like a pretty serious endeavor.......but it's worth it for good tomatoes...... The stuff they sell in grocery stores were bred for shelf life and appearance. I rarely buy "store bought" tomatoes.....nothing to 'em and tasteless.

I got back into gardening in '12 after a long hiatus of ~25 years. The days of canning and freezing are pretty much behind me with the exception of freezing corn and green beans. When I was a young man with a growing family I raised a decent amount of produce that I processed for winter storage......my kids (5) were fed plenty of veggies from the garden. One of my sons can cook "from scratch" and made a few pumpkin pies last week after buying a few pie pumpkins........nothing came from a can. Pie crust was also made by him.......I think he was trying to impress his lady-friend......

I have a grow light and a nice 4' X 5' closet in the basement.......I'm just not going to burn 1,000 watts of power when nature provides ample light for what I need. I've learned to make do with half my kitchen table and a few chairs turned towards the 6' glass sliding door......when just getting started I drape a black trash bag over the back of the chair to collect heat and replace the bag with white poster board to reflect the sun's rays after the plants emerge. Taking a chance on moving the seedlings outside asap worked really good this year.......the deer were most pleased with what I planted. Next season I will have a fence......0% return on $150 invested doesn't set too well with me.

No photos of this year's garden.....nothing to show for my effort. Last year's was OK but the rain took a toll on the 'maters...... https://www.techsupportforum.com/foru...ml#post5446522 . I do have a 100' X 100' fenced yard but it's for my dogs......I'd still have to fence a garden to keep the dogs from trampling it.

**My uncle was aboard the USS Vestal (repair ship) when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He had a front row seat and survived the attack.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:36 PM   #14
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OK...I am back ...after a terrible summer and my tomato plants got diseased and mal nourished which makes me keener than ever to set up a headlight lighting system...
Hopefully MPR or anybody can offer me an answer re a PSU...for running my sets of headlights....


On Ebay I see 240V to 12V 60A PSU ..... AC110V 220V to DC12V 1A 2A 3A 5A 10A 15A 20A 30A 40A 50A 60A Switch Power Supply | eBay

Like this one...They state for LED Lights but would the 60A one run a few car headlights ....A PSU is all I require now.... Thanks MK
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