Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Alfalex on Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:09 pm

Thanks for the advice, I won't put any lenses on the led and keep it high at first. I have no natural light in my office, my tree is now under two 6500k cfl and one cheap 21 watts led grow light mostly red spectrum...

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Alfalex on Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:57 pm

My diy led project is not finish but I take a pic to start somewhere.  My tree is very small, I will repot it this spring 6x8 inches bonsait pot and continue to experiment with it.  Not sure if it's gonna be a bonsai one day but I enjoy taking car of it.  The sacrifice branch start to ticken the trunk, will continue to let it grow for awhile then once I cut it I will put the tree in a diy grow box to grow some aerial roots.


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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:23 pm

That looks like a good start and a fun project, please, keep updating on its progress. Smile

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Alfalex on Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:40 pm

I've just install my new led light. Starting at 8 inches of the canopy and see how the tree react.  4 3w Cree Xte royal blue and 2 3w XTE warm white drive with a meanwell 35-700.  I'm keeping two 23w CFL because I don't find the led that bright.  I've pruned the tree to redirect energy to the sacrifice branch.




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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Alfalex on Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:33 pm

I've take some reading with a android lux meter app and the maximum reading at 8 inches is 8000 lux.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Jesse on Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:07 pm

Alfalex wrote:
Maybe it is just me but I think this plant should feel extremely loved...

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  coh on Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:25 pm

Kind of looks like an interrogation is about to begin!

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:58 pm

Alfalex wrote:I've just install my new led light. Starting at 8 inches of the canopy and see how the tree react.  4 3w Cree Xte royal blue and 2 3w XTE warm white drive with a meanwell 35-700.  I'm keeping two 23w CFL because I don't find the led that bright.  I've pruned the tree to redirect energy to the sacrifice branch.




Looks good, cool little light you have build! :)maybe use a reflector to catch the stray light from the LED, a simple way to up the efficiency of your setup.


Last edited by Dreamcast on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:02 pm

coh wrote:Kind of looks like an interrogation is about to begin!

First we had a scene from Dexter and now an interrogation scene..... what's really going on in IBC's LED thread Laughing

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Alfalex on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:44 pm

My fellow worker find me a little bit weird to take such a care of a little plant.

But my ficus seem to like the new led light as it back bud everywhere and don't seem to be bother by the extra light. Even that the new leaf are reddish in color and from my reseach it come from high lighting but are not corrugated as the first time I've put my cheap led grow light too close. How many time it take for led to bleach the leaf....I will wait a few more day before reducing the heigh of my new light.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  coh on Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:42 pm

Good thread, everyone! Thanks for sharing so much information.

Question for Ryan, how are things going with the new lights? I'm thinking about giving some LEDs a try because I'm having some less than satisfactory results with my current lighting set up (combination of metal halide and fluorescent). But I'm not willing to spend $1000 or more. I could upgrade to a better MH bulb but that would be like $100, and those bulbs need to be replaced regularly. Or I could spend a few hundred on a MARS or Onyx light that would last much longer and use less electricity.

Or I could just get rid of the tropicals, something that is definitely under consideration.

Chris

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Ryan on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:32 pm

coh wrote:Good thread, everyone! Thanks for sharing so much information.

Question for Ryan, how are things going with the new lights? I'm thinking about giving some LEDs a try because I'm having some less than satisfactory results with my current lighting set up (combination of metal halide and fluorescent). But I'm not willing to spend $1000 or more. I could upgrade to a better MH bulb but that would be like $100, and those bulbs need to be replaced regularly. Or I could spend a few hundred on a MARS or Onyx light that would last much longer and use less electricity.

Or I could just get rid of the tropicals, something that is definitely under consideration.

Chris

Honestly, I'm pretty pissed at the little amount of growth I'm getting. I'm actually hardly getting any growth. Maybe my lights are too close, maybe they're too far, I dunno. I'm beginning to think I should have just stuck with T5 lighting, as at least those lights gave off heat that helped to warm the room up. While these LEDs may be powerful, I'm just not getting my money's worth I don't think.

coh wrote:Or I could just get rid of the tropicals, something that is definitely under consideration.

If you do, let me know and I'll take those Ficus from Fred!

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  coh on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:39 pm

So not much improvement compared to the MARS light? If so, I might give that a try as a supplement, though I'm not sure I can live with the color.

It's funny, I have some trees (jaboticaba and brush cherry) that have been doing well under my lights. Nearly continuous growth through the winter (though it has slowed recently), leaf color and retention is good. But, the two willow leaf ficuses under the same lights are not doing nearly as well. Little growth, leaves look yellowish/blotchy and are slowly dropping (including newer leaves which has me baffled). There are no mites or scale. Plants were repotted during the summer, roots were OK...not as vigorous as I hoped, but healthy.

So at this point I don't know if it's the amount of light, type/quality of light, or something else (too much or too little of some fertilizer component, water/soil too acid or too alkaline, or some combination).

The Fred ficuses are actually stored away in my mudroom where they get little light and sit between 35-50 deg. They still look pretty good though obviously not growing. Maybe I should do the same with the willow leaf's.

Chris

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Indoors Bonsai under Lights

Post  Skyfowler on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:12 am

My T-5 bulbs are 6400k/54 watts and yes, will draw a lot more power than the LEDs that are out now.  I use the T-5 growing racks now for my orchids and a Ginger-root Ficus, some bromeliads and small Alocasias. I've learned with my indoor and outdoor bonsai, that good drainage is critical.  So, if I at some point decided to go hydroponic/aquaponic, then i'd need to make sure i do not swamp my seeds or seedlings. After being flooded, my research tells me that once i drain the water away, I'll still have a humid environment around any developing roots.  I'm thinking that in the longer term I may need to have a humidity probe to keep an eye on that humidity, so it is not so high that I might rot the developing roots.  I'd like to hear what others have had success with in their hydroponics. To gauge my light intensity, I use a bromeliad Cryptanthus 'Pink Starlite;' the more intense the light, the darker pink the plant becomes, if the plant loses a good pink color, then it might not be enough light. It's my growable light meter and seems to work well.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:03 am

Ryan wrote:
coh wrote:Good thread, everyone! Thanks for sharing so much information.

Question for Ryan, how are things going with the new lights? I'm thinking about giving some LEDs a try because I'm having some less than satisfactory results with my current lighting set up (combination of metal halide and fluorescent). But I'm not willing to spend $1000 or more. I could upgrade to a better MH bulb but that would be like $100, and those bulbs need to be replaced regularly. Or I could spend a few hundred on a MARS or Onyx light that would last much longer and use less electricity.

Or I could just get rid of the tropicals, something that is definitely under consideration.

Chris

Honestly, I'm pretty pissed at the little amount of growth I'm getting. I'm actually hardly getting any growth. Maybe my lights are too close, maybe they're too far, I dunno. I'm beginning to think I should have just stuck with T5 lighting, as at least those lights gave off heat that helped to warm the room up. While these LEDs may be powerful, I'm just not getting my money's worth I don't think.

coh wrote:Or I could just get rid of the tropicals, something that is definitely under consideration.

If you do, let me know and I'll take those Ficus from Fred!

Ryan, sad to hear you are not getting good growth, if any... i think you need to up the humidity and temperature around the trees.
I would be surprised if this lack of growth is due to the Onyx lights only, i mean you have one of the most "simple" LED units i know of, no "secret spectrum" its just a bunch of Cree LED chips delivering a high Kelvin white spectrum, just like any other white light source really, T5 included, the Onyx is just more efficient in delivering these photons to the plants.

The ApacheTech units are very very similar in terms of spectrum and they have worked great for me!

Another user on this forum 'JWT' is now also using high Kelvin white LEDs for his trees and seams happy with it.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t17034-led-spot-lights


Here is a picture he posted on the IBC's FaceBook page recently, hope he don't mind me sharing it here.. he has created one of the best looking Bonsai LED setups i have seen to date,  its kind of a spin on the "Yvonne type setup" i think, just what i was thinking of doing later on with nice terrariums/vivariums instead of the propagators, its just so clean looking, and extra pretty with the black background! Very Happy

OR, its particular the Cree XM-L2 chips 6500K that are not any good for plants, but like i said i really doubt it as its seams like people using them for other horticultural applications are having great results.

Would be very interesting to hear how its going for 'funckdren' with his Onyx lights, and also 'kensei' since he is using the same LED chips in his DIY light.

Really hope you get this sorted! Neutral

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  JWT on Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:14 pm

Of course I don't mind, thank you for sharing that Very Happy . I have two setups I should present, but I have been lazy. I also started new thread, that was probably not a good idea, because not all people here are interested in indoor growing. Perhaps its better to use this one?

I have added a fan inside the terrariums, and now glasses are foggy all the time. Earlier glasses were free of fog in the morning. So its not as nice as in the picture you shared.  

I have now switched to 4000K bulbs (previously 6500K). I can not say which one is better, but growth seems to be a little better. Not a big difference anyways. Certainly Cree 6500K spots work too, I have those too.

I presented this setup in my blog, in English for a change, so here you are: LINK

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:01 pm

JWT wrote:Of course I don't mind, thank you for sharing that Very Happy . I have two setups I should present, but I have been lazy. I also started new thread, that was probably not a good idea, because not all people here are interested in indoor growing. Perhaps its better to use this one?

I have added a fan inside the terrariums, and now glasses are foggy all the time. Earlier glasses were free of fog in the morning. So its not as nice as in the picture you shared.  

I have now switched to 4000K bulbs (previously 6500K). I can not say which one is better, but growth seems to be a little better. Not a big difference anyways. Certainly Cree 6500K spots work too, I have those too.

I presented this setup in my blog, in English for a change, so here you are: LINK

You are more then welcome to use this thread! its just good that we collect everything LED (indoor growing) related under one roof so to speak. Smile

Great post on your blog! Please, explain more on how you have modified the terrariums, you mentioned drainage holes in the bottom, where dose it run of to since you have everything on shelf's?
Do you use waterproof PC fans inside the terrariums?
Detailed pictures to show how everything works would be lovely. Smile

How often do you have to water the trees in these new setups?
Do you have a link to the terrariums/vivariums you use or have you built them your self? i have a hard time finding anything with full covering glass doors in Sweden.

I'll say it again, best looking setup so far! the black backgrounds makes all the difference IMO. Smile

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:50 pm

coh wrote:So not much improvement compared to the MARS light? If so, I might give that a try as a supplement, though I'm not sure I can live with the color.

It's funny, I have some trees (jaboticaba and brush cherry) that have been doing well under my lights. Nearly continuous growth through the winter (though it has slowed recently), leaf color and retention is good. But, the two willow leaf ficuses under the same lights are not doing nearly as well. Little growth, leaves look yellowish/blotchy and are slowly dropping (including newer leaves which has me baffled). There are no mites or scale. Plants were repotted during the summer, roots were OK...not as vigorous as I hoped, but healthy.

So at this point I don't know if it's the amount of light, type/quality of light, or something else (too much or too little of some fertilizer component, water/soil too acid or too alkaline, or some combination).

The Fred ficuses are actually stored away in my mudroom where they get little light and sit between 35-50 deg. They still look pretty good though obviously not growing. Maybe I should do the same with the willow leaf's.

Chris

Don't get a MARS light, its poor designed units with inferior parts for a to high asking price! they also have a habit of breaking.
I would instead suggest trying to see what happens if you up the humidity round your ficus trees before thinking about investing in new lights, also since you are using all white light sources a simple cheap LUX meter will tell you if the current lights are to close or to far away, light is probably not the main reason why your ficus trees are struggling right now, my guess is temperature and humidity. Smile


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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  JWT on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:54 pm

I had these terrariums made for me. I have built aquariums, and this is easier, because I don't want them to be waterproof. But after 20+ years of fooling around growing trees I decided I will finally have something that looks nice too. So I had them made. Any good reptile selling shop should be able to tell where to find these locally. Differences to the common terrariums are few. I wanted glass doors to slide and be as big as possible. I wanted to have black aluminium frames. And I wanted them to leak Very Happy.

Terrariums have holes in the bottom, in both ends. When there is water, light and fertilizers, there will be huge amounts on smelling and unsightly algae (I know u know..). Shelves are not really shelves, they are 3 independent units, one on top of the other. They are kind of boxes open end to the viewer, painted black inside. Bottom has 2cm sides and rubber lining, the kind they use for garden ponds. PVC will shrink. Shelves are waterproof. There is some moler clay in the shelves.

Time will tell will I get algae under the terrariums. If so, I have planned to use matte black ceramic tiles in the bottom. That is going to be a background too, I dont like the reflection from the back glass.

I dont know how often I will have to water. I know not before soil is rather dry, but how long can I wait after that. Trees are now in 100% humidity, and Yvonne said rather dry soil and 100% humidity is the way to go. As always with bonsai, one must not water when soil is wet. If you do, you will get algae instead of moss. I have now watered at perhaps 2-4 days interval, depending on the tree.

I will post some pictures one of these days.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  JWT on Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:19 pm

Dreamcast wrote:I think that terrariums without the lower front "glass lip" and full covering doors are called vivariums, but i could be wrong. Razz
From experience 100% humidity works great! i have not seen any fungus, mold or anything yet, and i have been running my setups for many months now, so the "Yvonne method" is very much validated, the key seam to be high temps, 25-30+ Celsius and things works great IMO. Smile

I have like Yvonne standing water in the bottom of the setup to up humidity, but from what i understand your setup completely eliminates this and the possible algae growth and smell that comes with it and still you mentain 100% humidity.
I am now very much interested to get more in to detail of your setup so i can possible implement some of these ideas to my own new and improved setup that is to come. Smile

Lets move here. I noticed water is not necessary in the (almost) closed environment, if there is enough plants. Evaporation will take care of humidity levels. Standing water is just a nuisance.

In my open setup I have 100% humidity several times a day (bathroom..), but not constantly. Metal halide spot lights. Growth in that environment is very good too. There is more than one way to do it, I suppose.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:51 pm

JWT, thanks so much for going more in to detail about how your system works, i think it sounds like a very though out setup, i am quite impressed and will probably "borrow" some of these ideas.

I totally agree with you that there are many ways to do this indoor Bonsai thing, and its getting more and more clear that one light or even light type do not fits everyone's needs, trees or wallets, this is IMO why we need this thread and people with experiences here to help those new to indoor Bonsai in making informed decisions when choosing lights. Smile

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  coh on Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:39 pm

Dreamcast wrote:
Don't get a MARS light, its poor designed units with inferior parts for a to high asking price! they also have a habit of breaking.
I would instead suggest trying to see what happens if you up the humidity round your ficus trees before thinking about investing in new lights, also since you are using all white light sources a simple cheap LUX meter will tell you if the current lights are to close or to far away, light is probably not the main reason why your ficus trees are struggling right now, my guess is temperature and humidity. Smile

Thanks for your thoughts. The only reason I was considering a MARS light is because I saw them on sale at a deep discount, so if it only lasted a couple of years not such a big deal. But I will probably avoid it.

I'm not sure what the problem is. A couple of years ago I built a plastic enclosed shelter (PVC frame) and kept the humidity up much higher around the trees, but the results weren't much different...so I scrapped that approach. Temperatures range from around 60 at night to upper 80s by day at the tops of the canopies (metal halides are HOT). I'm using a good aggregate-based soil. It's frustrating that some plants (jaboticaba and brush cherry) are doing so well while the willow leaf ficuses under the same conditions are struggling.

I may have to rethink this and consider a completely new set up next winter, perhaps an enclosed box or tent of some type where I can easily keep the humidity up...though I don't really think that is the main problem. Another option is to just give the ficuses a long, cool rest and not try to grow them during the winter...but that's not really the reason I (try to) grow tropicals.

Chris

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  Dreamcast on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:18 pm

Chris, i can imagine the frustration Mad i really hope you can find whats the problem.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  JWT on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:20 pm

coh wrote:Little growth, leaves look yellowish/blotchy and are slowly dropping (including newer leaves which has me baffled). There are no mites or scale. Plants were repotted during the summer, roots were OK...not as vigorous as I hoped, but healthy.
Chris

Two things come to my mind, first thing is thrips. Is there anything moving in the soil after watering? Second thing would be overwatering. Ficus hate continuous wet conditions. I dont know you, please dont get offended. I do not who I am talking to Smile.

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

Post  coh on Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:18 pm

JWT wrote:

Two things come to my mind, first thing is thrips. Is there anything moving in the soil after watering? Second thing would be overwatering. Ficus hate continuous wet conditions. I dont know you, please dont get offended. I do not who I am talking to Smile.

No prob, I don't know who I'm talking to either Wink

I haven't noticed any critters in the soil or on the foliage, and I've looked many times, with a magnifying glass. I've read that there are thrips that live inside the growing tips, so something like that is a possibility. I'll have to do more research. Really don't think I'm keeping them too wet, with the ficuses I make a conscious effort to let them dry out more than the other species. The strange thing is the yellowing/dropping of some of the newest leaves. Most of the time when there is a problem (with roots, for example), the oldest leaves will drop at the expense of the newer ones. This makes me think of a nutrient issue, as there are some that do show up in the newer foliage. But those are tough to diagnose, lots of overlap of symptoms between various deficiencies.

Thanks again,

Chris

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Re: Indoor Bonsai under LED lights.

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