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I'm looking at modifying some built in shelving that I have in my house with some LED strips to help my succulents and indoor plants. Due to the fixed nature of the shelves and the relatively narrow spacing between the shelves (about 12"), I don't want anything too bulky or that generates too much heat or that would otherwise blow the plants away.

To meet these requirement, I've been looking at purchasing some LED strip tapes. On the surface this seems like a good fit - low power, low profile, customizable, etc.

The additional thing that I've been looking at is which spectrum of lighting to go with. At first I thought I would be best to go with Red/Blue tape (like the top in the below), but the more I read into it, the more it seems like having a hyper-focused spectrum light like this isn't necessarily good. I'm actually happy about this as it, the shelves are in my living room and I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of having this color of lighting running.

Fast forward, and I've been trying to find some LED tape that is more of a Full Spectrum Sunlight replacement whilst still targeting the blue and red spectrum (similar to the bottom in the below), BUT I can't seem to find a tape version of this. All the ones that I have found are t5's or built into fixtures.

Hence I'm wondering if anyone knows what might be a viable solution for my case and/or if there is a tape that would get me close to what I'm after.

Red/Blue LED Tape Full spectrum led light

  • anthonyv you give us the length, but how much width are you working with. How much clearance room do you have between the top of the shelf and the top of the plants. I see what you mean about not finding full spectrum tape lights online, so I am trying to come up with a work around. I believe the problem is a full spectrum light is going to create too much heat to be mounted on to tape. That without a heat sink you can not get away with it. – GardenGems Dec 6 '19 at 18:50
  • have you contacted a LED strip light manufacturer about whether this is possible? I'm not talking about those 'Grow Light' sellers on Amazon. A regular LED manufacturer that makes strip lighting. Maybe you could run multiple strip. One of cool white, natural white light & warm light. None of these are going to keep your plants happy all the time. Without enough light output, that equals summers sunlight, you will need to occasionally, like in the summer, move your succulents outdoors. Otherwise they will stretch and lack the colour you desire. 'Blurple' will do the same. – GardenGems Dec 6 '19 at 19:03
  • @GardenGems So the distance between the plant and the lights will vary, depending on the height of the plants - anything between 10" and actually touching if it's a very leafy plant. As for width, the shelfs are 9" wide. Based on what you have said, you don't think there is any LED strip tape that I can get that will not need a heat sink? I was hoping that given how close the plants will be to the lights source, that I wouldn't need anything super high powered and hence wouldn't need cooling. As for contacting LED manufactures, any that you would recommend trying? – anthonyv Dec 6 '19 at 23:35
  • Why not start with contacting the strip light companies that are offering the red/blue, see if you can find out a reason they don't make them full spectrum white light. If you do not want anything fancy, but you want something to grow lights under. Then buy a roll of warm light, a roll of white light. The combination of these two should get you closer to what you are looking for. My expensive grow light is a mix of these two w/a few red lights. What shine is what appears to be daylight. This is the Mars Hydro 600W. Probably don't need the red, but you can buy them. Those are cheap. – GardenGems Dec 7 '19 at 9:28
  • So it would be amazing if they made a lower powered tape version of something like this - mars-hydro.com/hpcall/new-arrivel-hp/…. – anthonyv Dec 7 '19 at 15:49
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These are 48" long, so may be too large: Lee Valley LED Tape kits. This company has a wide range of LED lighting, so you may want to poke about on their website if these don't work for you. I can recommend the company but I have no experience with their lighting

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  • So I've found plenty of LED Tape kits out there but none that I can see that specifically targets the color spectrum like the bottom chart i referenced (I think typically this is achieved by mixing different LED colors in specific patterns on the tape - like this) – anthonyv Dec 6 '19 at 17:43
  • @anthonyv You might be over thinking it a bit. I would just grab a white light (full spectrum) LED strip and run with it. I have seen people grow plants well with Christmas lights so some full spectrum white LED's will probably do just fine. I would be more concerned with the 12in of vertical space... they are going to have to be rather small plants. – Rob Dec 6 '19 at 20:31
  • To @Rob's point, I use shoplights to start and grow on my seedlings in the spring (most plants only see this "sun" for 12 weeks max, so spectrum isn't a big deal to me). Everything does well, but the again I keep the lights about 2-3 inches above the plants. – Jurp Dec 6 '19 at 21:47
  • Did you look further on the Lee Valley site? This product is specifically meant for growing plants: leevalley.com/en-us/shop/hardware/lighting/led-tape-lighting/… – Jurp Dec 7 '19 at 14:59
  • @Jurp I'm specifically looking for the full spectrum grow lights that don't just target red/blue... lights that roughly meet the spectrum graph I included in the post. – anthonyv Dec 7 '19 at 15:38
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Sounds like you need a quantum board!

Not all quantum boards are equal as they use varying qualities of actual LEDs Check out the LED manufacturers for agricultural purposes you will find that it's a two horse race.

The best thing about quantum boards is that they are very thin! And when the voltage is turned down by the dimmer it's cool to the touch

You can easily grow cactus and succulents under a quantum board at 50w! If you know what you are doing. You will have to compensate the lower rate of photons with time You will also need some sort of ventilation You may need temperature regulation to bring the temps up!

These days they are getting cheaper but quantum boards are still at the top of the technology tree so expect to pay real money if your receiving a fully assembled system.

It's cheaper to DIY a custom quantum board system then it would be to buy a ready made one given you dont need a massive system.

A quantum board system would look like this: only an example not recommending this brand

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