Variations on the Theme

This is an interesting experiment that lends itself to many variations. I'd like to point out a few.

Primarily, optimum frequency and duty cycle of the strobe light for a particular plant need to be determined.

The light driving the photosynthesis cycle may be stepped through the light frequencies to look for a higher efficiency. For instances red light for 1/8 second followed by blue light for 1/6 second then darkness for 1/4 second and the cycle repeats.

Instead of using superbright LED's try xenon flash tubes. Xenon flash tubes are commonly used in photography and standard strobe lighting. These tubes give a brilliant bright light for a few milliseconds and might be applicable for this technique.

In the future experiments I will modify the growth chamber, change the LED matrix to the second unit. I will take the time to add an additional control group with 50% light intensity of the experimental LED module. I will use a computer to control all the lighting. The computer will make it easy to control and vary the frequency as well as the duty cycle of the strobe LED lighting. Feedback sensors can also be incorporated to insure the lights are on when there suppose to be on and at the right intensity.

If you are interested in hearing about the results of future experiments or wish to share the knowledge you observed recreating this experiment, contact me via email.

Parts Available:

Item No.
PK-01 Plant Kit: Includes: (4) quad wicks, (1) blotter pad, (1) package fertilizer pellets, (1) anti-algae pad, (1) felt wick, (4) plant vials, (1) package soil, (1) pipette. $10.95
LED-UB1 Ultra Bright LED (Red, 630 nm, 12° view angle,  4000-7200 mcd) $1.00
LED-UB2 Ultra Bright LED (Blue, 470 nm, 15° view angle, 2000 mcd) $4.00
LED-UB3 Ultra Bright LED (Yellow, 588 nm, 12° view angle, 3000-5000 mcd) $1.00
LED-UB4 Ultra Bright LED (Green, 525 nm, 15° view angle, 6000 mcd) $4.00
TIP120 TIP-120 NPN Darlington Transistor $2.50
TRNS-12-1 12 VDC  Unregulated Transformer (requires 7812) $10.00
TRNS-12-2  12 VDC Regulated Transformer (does not require 7812) $15.00
7812 7812 Voltage Regulator $0.90

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