Spectrum LED Grow Lights

HPS vs LED Grow Lights

HPS vs LED Grow Lights
Gain an insight on how to evaluate which lighting method will work for your situation.

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Light Quality and Plant Growth Explained

Light Quality and Plant Growth Explained
Gain an understanding of how light and the different quality of light s affect plant growth.

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Lupulin - Forget Pharmaceuticals! The next big thing for anxiety & insomnia

Lupulin - Forget Pharmaceuticals! The next big thing for anxiety & insomnia

Lupulin Extract? The Natural Insomnia Remedy!

 

Lupulin is the glandular powder that is separated from the strobiles of the Humulus lupulus (hops) plant.

It has sedative effects on the body and mind and stimulates sleep. This powder is separated by beating or rubbing the strobiles of hops, and then sifting to remove the unwanted vegetation. Roughly 10% of lupulin is obtained from the dried hops.

The powder is bright brownish-yellow and become resinous. Lupulin is chemically related to THC. LUPULIN EFFECTS Lupulin has the same sedative effects as hops but is much stronger due to the refining process used to seperate the powder initially.

This concentrate gives a mild high, promotes full body/mind relaxation and eases the nerves which provides a better sleep. It is a sedative belonging to the same category as valerian, skullcap and passion flower. The powder has also been used as  natural medicine for delirium tremens, wakefulness, anxiety and exhaustion.

PREPARING LUPULIN

Lupulin extract is a fine powder and can be utilized in many ways, our favorite though is chilling back with a cup of warm lupulin tea - mix 150 ml of hot water with 1 teaspoon of Lupulin (1/5 tea spoon is more than enough with our 100x strength) adding honey or whatever flavour floats your boat is recommended as although it has a beautiful aroma, its taste can be quite bitter.

Stir and let cool for bit while you sink back in your chair and enjoy the the smooth ride you are about to embark on. You can give 100x lupulin a try by clicking the link below,

delivery world wide is free.

 

https://herbals.co.nz/collections/herbs/products/lupulin-extract-100x-strength

Blue Lotus: The Ancient Egyptian Dream Flower

Continuing with our series on rare and exotic oneirogens, we take a look at Nelumbo Nucifera and it's potential to expand your awareness of the dream state

Blue Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) or blue lily is a flower that has had a majestic stretch of limelight back through thousands of years of history and across cultures as varied as the Egyptian, Mayan, Syrian and Thai.

It’s a flower of such beauty, intoxicating scent and inebriating effect that it has spread from culture to culture like a virtual wildfire.

And it has rightfully earned it place in the history books as one of the most wonderful and significant flowers we have access to.

Physically, it’s a small, round, blue, flowering species that floats atop lakes or other bodies of water. The flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days. When they're ready, they open in the morning around 9:30am and close in the early afternoon around 3:00pm

So in this article we’ll dive into everything you might want to know about this ancient sacrament and touch on how it can potentially aid our lucid dreaming practice.

What's the difference between Blue Lotus and Blue Lily?

 

 

First of all, there’s a really important note to make on the difference between blue lotus and blue lily.

There’s a lot of confusion on the web between Blue Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and the Blue Lily (Nymphaea caerulea). Some sites use the terms interchangeably, but they are quite different flowers in appearance and effect.

It’s double confusing, because in India they colloquially refer to what’s scientifically known as the Blue Lotus species as the Blue Lily!

And this "double nomenclature" has kind of spread throughout the world (I guess Lotus sounds a bit more catchy than Lily?).

So tell us about the history of Blue Lotus

The most famous of the ancient societies that revered the blue lotus was that of the ancient Egyptians.

It was basically the ‘party drug’ of Ancient Egypt. Imagine, if you will, secret temple gatherings of elite society - sharing sacred wines specially imbibed with blue lotus extract. These parties, much as the rest of Egyptian society, were sexually themed. The famed aphrodisiac qualities of the blue lotus led no doubt to religiously charged orgies.

You can see evidence of this in countless murals, papyrus and temples throughout Egypt.

Yet, the place of the flower in Egyptian society extended beyond its use as a high.

The typical woman in the street would wear beautiful blue lotus flowers in her hair or headdress as a fashion statement.

In fact, the significance of the flower is such that it is even cited in the Egyptian Book of The Dead – one of the most important historical artefacts that remains from the proud civilisation.

Ancient blue lotus flowers were also found scattered over Tutankhamun’s body, when he was un-casked in 1922.

And to top off the list, blue Lotus was exported by the ancient Greeks when they stumbled across it (wouldn’t you?) - it’s actually thought to be mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey itself!

Blue Lotus Effects

The Blue Lotus is a subtle plant and the effects are not as heavy as you might expect from such a legendary substance.

Although you can quite imagine that soaked with some good wine, it would certainly have given a kick to those old Egyptian parties!

The blue lotus high provides a mild sense of tranquillity and euphoria, along with an altered sense of awareness. Its effects famously combine very well with wine, which illuminate the social and euphoric aspect. Or, you can take the blue lotus alone and concentrate on its ability to enhance meditative and introspective practices.

Some users also report a pleasant feeling of warmth around the head and upper body and a dream like feeling – as if the life itself were a waking dream.

Let’s take a look at a couple of trip reports from erowid.org

After that, I had ordered a potent resin extract of the Nymphea caerulea plant. I proceeded to smoke the material and found that it produced an Opium-like high. The euphoria from this method was more pronounced and enjoyable being by myself at the time. I made the rest of the resin into a tea when I got home, and I spent the rest of the night admiring the mild psychedelic effects which I would characterize as a cross between the dream state of Opium and the mild visual effects of Cannabis.

With most Nelumbo nucifera products, I have found the effects to start after about 15-20min., and are immensely pleasurable. The euphoria isn't unlike that produced from opiates, but it isn't quite like it either. It reminds me more of the state of mind produced from MDMA with a sedative effect similar to that of the benzodiazepines. There are wonderful effects in the area of sensuality and the erotic. Not to be too descriptive, but the first time I was involved with my current girlfriend in a passionate way was under its influence. I was enjoying licking the absolute oil from her body. So, the plant is certainly an aphrodisiac.

To summarize the effects that I experience from blue lotus:

  • mildly sedative
  • relaxing and calming
  • nervine
  • mild analgesic
  • mild mood lift/euphoria
  • enhancement of tactile sensations
  • enhancement of dream states
  • pleasant synergy with most substances, especially marijuana, alcohol and psychedelics

- I find there is no comedown, after effects, or psychological/physiological dependency to speak of, making blue lotus one of the safest and most pleasant plants that I know of.

The first effects were felt about 15 minutes drinking all of the tea. I felt distinctively more relaxed, but not tired.

I was watching meditation nature videos (which I have done many times before) and I noticed how the colours were especially beautiful. There were brief moments when I felt as though I was somewhat part of the nature pictures in the video, but was very much in touch with the reality that I was sitting in my basement.

About 15 minutes later, I went upstairs with my wife. I was unusually talkative and felt more affectionate toward her. I had the desire to stroke her hair and noticed (more so than usual) how beautiful she was. We sat in bed and talked and laughed for about 20 minutes as I stroked her hair and body, which was also very unusual. We then made love for about 40 minutes, which is about twice our norm. I also lasted through two of her orgasms. Normally, she is lucky to keep me hanging on through one. I then went to sleep and woke the next morning with no ill effects.

--Anxious Joe

Medicinal benefits

Like many other of the wonderful cure-alls that abound in nature, Blue Lotus is one of those substances that blesses us with an unending raft of valuable characteristics.

The flower can be used as a sleep aid, to reduce anxiety and as a stress reliever. Blue Lotus is hypothesised to contain nuciferan (a natural anti-spasmodic) along with aporphine, which will give you feelings of calming euphoria.

There are also reports of its use as a treatment for gastrointestinal problems. Diarrhoea and dyspepsia, among other things, have reportedly been helped by ingesting Blue Lotus - although research is limited in this area.

Blue Lotus and lucid dreaming

 

And so onto the thrust of this article. As lucid dreamers, we know about the wide variety of traditions herbs and sacraments used throughout history to induce prophetic dream states.

The blue lotus is yet another interesting sacrament we can add to our arsenal of oneirogens.

However, there are more reports of a noticeable impact on the vividness of dreams and dream recallthan lucidity itself. Some advise  that the dreamlike sensation the plant induces whilst waking continues into sleep itself – where dreams seem more colourful and lifelike.

Blue lotus is not a panacea for lucid dreaming – and its tendency to induce lucidity is not as definite as some other dreams herbs, such as silene capensis. Nevertheless, combined with mindful and diligent practice of lucid dreaming techniques, blue lotus does have potential to aid the transition into the lucid dream state - and certainly provide for some interesting adventures if you arrive there.

The wonderful array of different Blue Lotus preparations

Buds and flowers are the psychoactive components of blue lotus. And one of the wonderful things this herb is the shear variety of ways you can take it!

There are some truly beautiful products out there. So, if you take a mind to try this ancient sacrament, your options are abundant. Below are the most common ways to take blue lotus (in order of potency).

Supply tends to fluctuate, but at the time of writing our recommended supplier Bouncing Bear Botanicals carries dried flowers and a nice 20x extract.

Blue lotus absolute oil

A highly concentrated oil made via solvent extraction. This is the purest form you can get, with roughly 1 ton of flowers to make 1 kilo of oil. This reportedly makes an incredible addition to an oil massage, as yes the alkaloids can be absorbed through the skin! For a blue lotus massage, just mix a few drops of the absolute with a cheaper carrier oil like olive oil.

Blue lotus essential oil

The essential blue lotus oil is similar to the absolute oil, except it is instead made via a steam distillation process.

Blue lotus resin

A kind of dense hash-like material, the resin is made from compressed sticky flowers at the peak of their flowering cycle.

Blue lotus extract / powder

Various forms exist, but most widely available is a kind of powdered extract made from a CO2 extraction method, at around 25:1 potency compared to standard flower

Blue lotus tincture

The tincture is a liquid extract made at about 5x concentration to standard blue lotus flower.

Blue lotus wine

The most traditional and all-time favourite! You can make your own blue lotus wine by simply soaking the flowers/buds in some normal wine (or even liquor) for a few hours. Since the flowers carry a bitter taste, sweet wine like a desert wine is generally recommended.

Blue lotus tea

Standard blue lotus tea can be either made yourself or purchased in tea bags. If you want to make your own preparation, you need only soak the flowers in hot water.

You can also smoke blue lotus, using any of these preparations. Just add it to your favourite smoking apparatus and away you go!

Legal Status

Interestingly, Nelumbo nucifera is actually illegal in a few counties now, including Russia.

It’s also illegal for ‘human consumption’ in the US – so you’ll find it on sale as incense, massage oil and so on!

Conclusion

Whilst not the most powerful of oneirogens, blue lotus is a wonderful tonic that can not only add to your laundry list of life experiences, but add yet another shade of depth to your appreciation and understanding of the dream state.

Spectrum LED Grow Lights

Spectrum LED Grow Lights

With so many indoor grow lights options, especially in the LED market, it has become really confusing to figure out which grow light to buy.

And when it comes to buying a full spectrum LED grow light, not all LEDs are built the same way you need to pay attention to both the quality and quantity of light a fixture produces if you want to understand real power that LED grow lights can deliver to your canopy.

In this article, I'll help you figure out how to buy the best full spectrum LED grow light for your money. I'll do this by helping you to understand what terms like Spectrum and PAR mean, how they relate to each other, and how you can use them to choose the best full spectrum LED fixture you can buy for your garden.

This will be somewhat more technical than the usual article, but bear with me. By the time you’re done reading this article you should feel confident enough to make your own choices.​

If you don't really care about the technical details and just want my recommendations, I've listed them below this paragraph. Otherwise, read on and dive into the world of lighting with me.

 

The Meaning of Full Spectrum, PAR and How Plants Use Light​

 

Full spectrum is a common term that many lighting companies use to promote their particular model of LED fixture. Usually they reference the Chlorophyll A and B absorption spectrum chart, which you may be familiar with. I should probably point out that they probably didn’t know that such a chart is only valid for extracted chlorophylls and not for the living leaf itself. But that's another story.

The plain truth is this: as of right now, there is no spectrum available that will allow a 100w LED to replace a 1000w HID.

This is because it focuses on chlorophyll absorption. And although plants certainly do have multiple pigments and photoreceptors across the PAR range, nothing will beat delivering just the right light quality and quantity to your plants.​

Lumens & Par​

As a grower, I’ve been comparing how powerful my grow lights were by using a lux meter. A lux meter is a device that measures the density of luminous flux (lumens) at a certain point from the fixture. The problem is that when it comes to measuring grow lights for plants, I should have been using PAR all along. And thus a PAR meter.​

Just in case you don’t remember, PAR stands for “Photosynthetically active radiation." It refers to the spectral range of light from 400 to 700 nanometers that most plants use for the process of photosynthesis. For our purposes the difference is that a PAR meter measures intensity of light within the whole spectrum. While a lux meter (lm) is usually calibrated only for the brightest light wavelengths that we humans can see, where white and yellow light are seen as the most intense, while ignoring other wavelengths like blue and red which are also very useful for plants.​

Difference between how a PAR & Lux meter measure light intensity. Note that the Lumens curve also correlates to the sensitivity curve of our eyes.

The way we perceive light is naturally much higher biased for green-yellowish light with sensitivity peak around 555 nanometers. Our eyes have a combined sensitivity curve where the peak of our sensitivity is also where the peak reflectivity is going to be for a plant.

Still with me? Good! Lets keep going.​

So then, what does "Full Spectrum" really mean?

Should the term even be used? Well, when a company decides to call their products a Full Spectrum Grow Light, they usually mean that their product outputs a broad, continuous and significant light across most (if not all) of the PAR range. That’s it. In fact, remember this: “Full Spectrum” as a term, is only as reliable as the Grow Light manufacturer. It is by no means a certification standard; whether legal, industrial or otherwise.​

The fact is: as of right now, LED grow light technology is moving away from using specific bands and instead the industry is focusing on providing the broadest possible spectrum. You can see this if you noticed that most reputable LED companies are moving away from pink/purple lighting and replacing their LEDs with “white” chips.

These white chips are produced by a phosphor-coating method, where the coating is deposited on the LED die. The exact shade or colour temperature of white light produced is determined by the dominant wavelength of the blue LED and the composition of the phosphor. And the thickness of the phosphor coating produces the variations in the colour temperature of the diode.​

Alright! Now that we know how today’s top notch LED grow lights are made, we can talk about the “best spectrum”.​

The perfect grow light would be one that replicates the spectrum of our sun, while allowing us to adjust the light intensity to our exact needs. This would be the pinnacle of “Full Spectrum."

For our intents and purposes, the Sun’s radiation spectrum is very evenly spread and peaks in wavelengths around the PAR spectrum.​

Spectrum of Solar Radiation. Note how the Irradiance peaks within the PAR/Visible spectrum.

While plants certainly can use some of the light wavelengths outside the PAR spectrum, the light that falls outside of this range is usually either too powerful or too weak to be of primary use for photosynthesis.

As an example, with certain exceptions UV light is too destructive to be used to synthesize large molecules, and infrared on the other hand is relatively weak, and produces a lot of heat.

By comparison, within the PAR range each photon contains just enough energy to excite the electrons of molecules without causing damage to the cell.​

So, how should the perfect spectrum be? How much of every colour do plants need?​

Luckily, science has the answer. It turns out that a publication by McCree (1972) figured all this out for us and published a chart similar to the following one:​

To absorb light, plants use a somewhat primitive but highly effective version of our eyes, which we call pigments. The most abundant plant pigment is chlorophyll and it is most efficiently used to capture red and blue light. Other than those, there are many other pigments, including carotenes and xanthophylls which harvest light in other wavelengths and pass it on to the photosynthetic process.

It should be pointed out that green light actually penetrates deeper into the leaf interior than red light and can drive photosynthesis more efficiently.This is because the top layer of the chloroplasts that contains chlorophyll becomes saturated while green and yellow can penetrate deeper into leaf tissue and be reflected around until absorbed by another chloroplast containing chlorophyll or by an accessory pigment.​

Major Factors to Consider

Now that you understand the science behind full spectrum LEDs, here are the most important factors you need to consider when you are deciding which to buy.

Cost

Right now, full spectrum LED grow lights are expensive. The costs of setting up a system that depends on these lights can be more expensive than standard HPS or HID setups.

However, you will save a lot of money in the long run due to the efficiency of LEDs vs. HID lighting. For example, the average lifespan for a HID bulb  is around 10,000 hours. Compare this to a 50,000 hour lifespan for LEDs and you can see the cost savings you'll accumulate over time.

You can run a full spectrum LED setup for 15 YEARS before you need to consider replacing it. So, in short: if you can afford the initial setup cost, you'll thank yourself in the long run.

Size

Most HID or CFL lighting setups are bulky and cumbersome. This isn't necessarily bad, but if you're trying to grow in a smaller space it can make it difficult. Full spectrum fixtures are relatively small and don't require ballasts or reflectors, freeing up space in your grow tent or grow room.

Heat​

Light and heat are forever intertwined. The temperature of your grow room is a vital variable, and grow lights are one of the biggest contributors to rising temps. It's why grow room ventilation is so important

.

Full spectrum LED lights don't really have this problem though. Some growers actually have to heat their rooms artificially during colder months due to how low the heat output is from this type of lighting. That means that if you're growing in a warmer climate, you won't have to worry about overheating your grow room.

 

Comparing Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights​

If you're reading this article, chances are good that you've already decided to go with a full spectrum LED setup vs. some of the other lighting options out there. However, it's still valuable to do a quick compare and contrast against the other lighting technologies.

Factor

Full Spectrum LED

HPS

MH

CMH

CFL

Cost

High

Medium

Medium

High

Low

Heat Output

Low

High

High

High

Low

Full Spectrum

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Size

Small

Large

Large

Large

Small

Lifespan

50,000

15,000

15,000

20,000

10,000

Full Spectrum LEDs vs. HID

When comparing LEDs to HIDs, you're really comparing against three different types of lights: high pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), and ceramic metal halide (CMH).

HPS

In general, HPS edges out full spectrum setups on cost, but loses in heat output and ability to grow through a plant's life cycle.

Full Spectrum LEDs

  • Low heat output
  • Can grow through entire plant life cycle
  • Less cumbersome

High Pressure Sodium

  • Higher heat output
  • Optimized for flowering phase
  • Requires ballast and reflector

MH

In general, MH is good for vegetative phase and costs a bit less, but puts out a lot of heat and doesn't work well for a plant through it's entire life cycle. If you're growing only vegetative plants though, it can work well.

Full Spectrum LEDs

  • Low heat output
  • Can grow through entire plant life cycle
  • Less cumbersome

Metal Halide

  • Higher heat output
  • Optimized for vegetative phase
  • Requires ballast and reflector

CMH

CMH lights are the best HID contender vs. full spectrum LEDs. They put out a good spectrum of light and cost about the same as a full spectrum fixture. It's a toss up here.​

Full Spectrum LEDs

  • Similar in cost to a CMH setup
  • Lower heat output than a CMH
  • Higher efficiency

Ceramic Metal Halide

  • Requires a special ballast
  • More expensive than other HID
  • Can grow through plant life cycle

Full Spectrum LEDs vs.CFLs

CFLs, while efficient, are best used for the vegetative growth phase of a plant. This is because they generally don't put out a high enough intensity of light in the right spectrum for plants to do well during flowering phase.

Full Spectrum LEDs

  • More expensive
  • Better spectrum of light

CFLs

  • Inexpensive
  • Good for vegetative growth phase
  •  

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