Yes and no. They will work for our purposes.
But they are not nearly as efficient. Granted, they are efficient enough for $2 a piece.
But you can buy a better quality LED from somewhere like www.ledgroupbuy.com
(they have them for under $5 each frequently, for the white Cree XPG, which is one of the best LEDs you can buy).
Why buy a better quality LED? Several reasons.
1) They are more efficient and put out more light. I tested a Satistronics "pure white" against a Cree XPG cool white and a Cree XML cool white. The Satistronics gave about half the PAR of the Cree XML at the same drive current, and about 70% of the PAR of the XPG. Meaning, the Cree XML was literally twice as bright, as far as the plants are concerned. More info on this coming soon, we are doing some serious LED testing this weekend
2) Longer life most likely. A Cree (or Luxeon Rebel) should last around 30-50,000 hours before losing it's output below 70%. Do the math on how many 8-hour days that is
. The Satistronics and other low-cost LEDs are probably not going to last that long, I've seen them rated for around 20,000 hours. Still, very good, but it can be way better.
3) Better color stability. White chinese LEDs have a reputation for looking kinda greenish (which is fine for us, really) and being inconsistent in their color temp. I haven't personally noticed a problem with this, but the Cree, Bridgelux, and Luxeon companies have a very good color binning system that will be much more accurate and consistent.
In the end, the Satistronics (or Ebay versions) are very affordable and the ONLY reason I would say not to mess with them is because there are better LEDs to be had for only a few dollars more. But really, they can work just fine and still be more efficient that fluorescents.
I did one of diy led project a while back using 12 xpg-re, adding it to a 78w t5ho for my 40 gallon. It end up to be way too much even with my diy paint ball at 3-4 bps.
It now just sit as a back up till my t5ho burn out.
My plant is doing great with just minimal light and 1-2 bps. Substrate play a big role imo.
Yeah I could definitely see this being too much lol. I bet it looks sweet though!