Experiments in Light
Doing the same exact thing over and over again gets boring. And so no mouse trap is ever good enough.
My friend Brad Cooper suggested the use of "full spectrum" diodes to get a better PAR reading. I intentionally don't measure PAR because the effect I'm going for is an overall light quality that is nice to look at, even if it doesn't grow some plants as well as PAR optimized light sources.
All of my experiments in light have shown that the best PAR readings tend to come from light sources that are not the best for human eyes. I want to build lights for show tanks, not plant nurseries. I already know that my lights grow plants about as fast as most people need them to.
However, some people are willing to deal with light that might not look perfectly natural. Early on I did experiment with the "full spectrum" diodes that produce a pinkish colored light. I quickly rejected that option. U_G_L_Y light.
But Brad convinced me to give it a shot again, so I have been playing around with 10w diodes used in combination with 6500k "white" diodes right next to them. The overall effect is still slightly pink, but its not so annoying that its game over.
In the title pic for this post you can see a diode arrangement that I'm now experimenting with here over the top of a couple of vivariums.
I'm not offering this for sale at the moment, but if you're interested in testing out this arrangement, drop me an email and we'll figure something out. So far my experiments don't show any noticeable differences in plant growth or color, but I need to get more testing going under different conditions.
These are 10w diodes only at the moment. Larger ones turn the entire tank way too pink. If you have a tall tank that requires a 20 or 30w diode, then adding a full spectrum 10w diode is also an option.