IKEA Vaxer grow lights

For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents.
Forum rules
For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.

Please respect all forum members opinions and if you can't make a civil reply, don't reply!
Post Reply
Stevium
Registered Guest
Posts: 19
Joined: 09 Sep 2018
Branch: GLASGOW
Country: United Kingdom
Role within the BCSS: Member

IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by Stevium » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:46 pm

Hello,

I live in Scotland where we don't get a lot of light this time of year. I'm trying to maintain my indoor collection of succulents and cacti over this season and an starting to notice a little etiolation in some plants. Most are doing fine in a south facing window over winter, but others could use a boost of light.

Husband and I bought the Vaxer LED grow light from IKEA today along with a plant stand. Although the main purpose of this is to help seedlings grow in the spring, I'm wondering whether the light would also be beneficial for my succulents in these winter months? Is it bright enough? I've so far filled it with my Aloes, Crassulas, cotyledons, and a couple of other winter growers.

The light in question is here: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/ind ... -40333455/

I do own a light meter but I've been told it's difficult to measure the LUX output of LEDs (if anyone could explain why in layman's terms I'd be appreciative!) - and besides I don't really know what figure to be looking for. Any advice or thoughts appreciated - don't know much about grow lights. Thanks!
User avatar
iann
BCSS Member
Posts: 12713
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: MACCLESFIELD & EAST CHESHIRE
Country: UK

Re: IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by iann » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:42 pm

I do own a light meter but I've been told it's difficult to measure the LUX output of LEDs (if anyone could explain why in layman's terms I'd be appreciative!)
The main reason "they" don't want you to is that LEDs produce surprisingly little light, although they tend to look very bright to the eye. Measure away, its a good place to start. Purpley-pink LEDs measure particularly low in lux because lux is heavily weighted towards green colours to match the way the human eye sees things. Meters that measure more closely to the way a plant reacts are available, but not easy to find and not cheap. Perhaps there is an app that can do it?

For example, your grow light probably looks impressively bright. It actually produces less light than an old-style 60W bulb, although its sellers would have you believe that the spectrum makes it far more powerful. Much depends on how much of that light gets onto the plants, and how small an area it is concentrated on. That's where your lux meter will give you an idea. If it lights up your room nicely then it probably isn't lighting up the plants very well. If the plants look like an intensely bright spot in a darkened room then that's better.

Watch out with the winter growers, you might make things worse using the light. Trying to find the coolest spot for them, especially at night, will help more. Also, make sure you don't block natural light with the growlight. A spot in a south-facing window is brighter than you might expect, even in winter. Have a play with your lux meter and see where the brightest spots are.
Cheshire, UK
Rich45s
BCSS Member
Posts: 61
Joined: 11 Mar 2017
Branch: None
Country: U.K.

Re: IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by Rich45s » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:31 am

I use one of these partly for my plants and partly to light my dark hallway as I’ve not fixed the ceiling light yet!

Looks like the galvanised coating has started to peel so might be complaining about that and I think the cost of bulbs are overpriced but I’m assumimg that’s due to it being white light rather than the reddy bluey light of normal grow lights

All in all, great idea. Not 100% sure the execution has worked but granted I’m like you and not using for intended purpose
BCSS Member 52305
User avatar
Kees
Registered Guest
Posts: 84
Joined: 19 May 2018
Branch: None
Country: Germany

Re: IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by Kees » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:44 am

I have an Ikea Växer and think it works really well. I had an etiolated argan tree seedling that I cut down to the non-etiolated stem. Under the Växer it has developed nice shiny dark green leaves on a short stem. So it seems to be doing a good thing.
peter831shaw
Registered Guest
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Branch: None
Country: USA

Re: IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by peter831shaw » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:26 pm

I am not sure there is a layman's explanation for this but I will give it a try.

Most light meters measure high in the wavelengths most perceptible by the human eye, green. Foot candles for example or lux. Unlike LED lights, most other light sources have some energy in all spectrums so they show up reading higher, though they might not be the most efficient ones for driving maximum photosynthesis. A very popular light is the sodium vapor light, and you can see in a foggy evening how much yellow and orange they generate.

These meters are very poor at measuring light out on the edges of the reds and the blues, which is why if you measure them with a lux meter they will not register an accurate amount of energy.

LED lights, at least those that are "pink", have only 1 or 2 different diodes, and the manufacturer picks them based on cost and hopefully PAR efficiency.

Don't get me wrong here, plants need all wavelengths to grow best, and its not just photosynthesis thats important, just trying to say why people use them.

Iann is correct that its important to know how much light is actually hitting the plants, and not what the output of the light is. Closer to the plants, more light.

For a detailed explanation, take a look at the videos here

https://www.apogeeinstruments.com/quantum/

We grow food crops under various spectra, Red:blue ratios in a sole-source vertical farm, and other food crops under red:blue ratios as supplemental lighting in a greenhouse.

Pink lights mess with my eyes, you can get some special glasses to wear if you are working under them for longer than a few minutes.

If you choose a "white" LED fixture you will be able to see your plants better but they will be less efficient in driving photosynthesis.

Maybe too much information, and no, I don't sell lights. :lol:
Peter Shaw
User avatar
el48tel
BCSS Member
Posts: 779
Joined: 04 Aug 2018
Branch: LEEDS
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: IKEA Vaxer grow lights

Post by el48tel » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:17 pm

peter831shaw wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:26 pm
I am not sure there is a layman's explanation for this but I will give it a try.

Most light meters measure high in the wavelengths most perceptible by the human eye, green. Foot candles for example or lux. Unlike LED lights, most other light sources have some energy in all spectrums so they show up reading higher, though they might not be the most efficient ones for driving maximum photosynthesis. A very popular light is the sodium vapor light, and you can see in a foggy evening how much yellow and orange they generate.

These meters are very poor at measuring light out on the edges of the reds and the blues, which is why if you measure them with a lux meter they will not register an accurate amount of energy.

LED lights, at least those that are "pink", have only 1 or 2 different diodes, and the manufacturer picks them based on cost and hopefully PAR efficiency.

Don't get me wrong here, plants need all wavelengths to grow best, and its not just photosynthesis thats important, just trying to say why people use them.

Iann is correct that its important to know how much light is actually hitting the plants, and not what the output of the light is. Closer to the plants, more light.

For a detailed explanation, take a look at the videos here

https://www.apogeeinstruments.com/quantum/

We grow food crops under various spectra, Red:blue ratios in a sole-source vertical farm, and other food crops under red:blue ratios as supplemental lighting in a greenhouse.

Pink lights mess with my eyes, you can get some special glasses to wear if you are working under them for longer than a few minutes.

If you choose a "white" LED fixture you will be able to see your plants better but they will be less efficient in driving photosynthesis.

Maybe too much information, and no, I don't sell lights. :lol:
Just the right amount of info .... pity you don't sell the lights because you very nearly sold me some!
Continuing a journey of discovery as I grow cactus seeds and offsets, and discover all kinds of wonderful plants in Cactus Nurseries. Just love Echinopsis, Lithops, Aeoniums and Gymnocalycium .... and....and .... now discovering Rebutia (thought I'd never bother having lost one a winter ago) and Sulcorebutia and Aylostera .... from where did those Echinocereus plants arrive?
Post Reply