>>> READ MORE : Pros and Cons of LED Grow Lights and Other Grow Lighting Options
>>> READ MORE : TOP 5 Great Hydroponic Lamps For Every Budget
Imagine being able to have fresh vegetables for your table in the dead of winter. Growing plants indoors is something that can now be done year-round, regardless of what the weather is doing outside. All it takes is a few simple tips and the best LED grow lights and you can have this kind of luxury all the time!
Why do you need a grow light?
Whether you’re planning an indoor vegetable garden or just looking to spruce up your home with an array of gorgeous potted plants, you’ll need to decide which type of grow light will be best for your needs. It all comes down to the science of keeping plants. Plants need certain types of light in order to carry out photosynthesis which, if you’ll think back to your elementary school days, is the chemical reaction plants utilize to produce their own food. The type of plant you’re growing determines the type of LED light you’ll be needing.
What type of light do your plants need?
Seedlings and flowering plants utilize light from a different spectrum than do leafy, green plants. The LED light you’re using needs to match the type of plant you’re growing if you want the best possible results. Some plants need only light from the “blue” spectrum, while others may need light from the “red/orange” spectrum to carry out their photosynthesis. If you’re using a light that emits the full spectrum, such as a full-spectrum fluorescent light, then you’re wasting much of that light.
The first thing you want to look for when deciding on a grow light system is the kind of light you need for the plants you’re growing. Your local garden center, co-op, or your favorite gardening website with good LED grow lights reviews should be able to help you determine what type of light your plants will need. Here’s an overview of the light spectrums that plants like:
- Blue light: known as “cool light,” light in this range of the spectrum is best for tall, leafy plants. It may need to be curtailed a bit during the flowering and budding phase, however, to avoid low bud production.
- Red light: this is found on the opposite end of the spectrum from the blue light and is best for plants that are in bloom.
- White light: light in this spectrum is useful for human eyes only. If you’re using only red or blue LEDs in your growing area, it will be hard for you to spot any potential problems that may be cropping up with your plants.
- Orange/Red light: grow lights producing illumination in these spectrums generally product a lot of heat, and this must be taken into account when selecting them.
- Ultraviolet light: growing lights that utilize this spectrum are generally used only in the growing of plants such as marijuana, as the use of ultraviolet light may increase THC production.
Before buying an LED grow light:
There are LED lights, and then there are the best LED grow lights. Before you invest in an LED light, you need to give a little consideration to exactly what features you need in your LED system. All LED grow lights have a few things in common: lower overall power consumption, delivery of more of the type of light most useful to your plants, and less heat production. That being said, not all grow lights are equal in quality so it is worth taking a look at a few LED grow lights reviews and looking for specific characteristics before making your LED purchase:
- Look for heavy duty construction. The importance of the light’s construction cannot be overlooked. Lights built with inferior wiring and metals will not only perform at a substandard level but may also cause problems for your plants. Heat buildup around your plants can be devastating to your crop, your electric bill, and possibly your home itself.
- Blue and Red LEDs. These two light spectrums are the ones that plants rely on most to get them through their stages of growth. The best LED systems deliver a consistent combination of blue and red lights to promote vegetative and flowering growth.
- Cooling systems capable of handling the load. Although most LED lights generally operate at a cooler temperature than other types of lighting systems, it pays to give a bit of attention to the cooling system associated with a grow light setup. There should be a “heat sink” whose job it is to take the heat out of the LED and direct it away from the lighting system. If the heat sink isn’t constructed of a metal-core printed circuit board with an attached panel of “fins,” then you might need to look for a different LED light system.
- Is there a warranty? In short, no warranty should mean no sale. The warranty should cover replacement parts and repairs for up to five years after purchase. Check LED grow lights reviews to see if anyone has had any experience dealing with warranty issues with from the provider.
- Check your budget. The facts are these: if you want a top rated LED grow light, it may be expensive. Knowing what your budget will allow before you start shopping will help you make the best decision for your needs.
- How much space do you have for growing? You’ll need a light system that can cover the space that you plan to use for growing. Make sure you know the expected height of your plant selections and foot print size of your growing space.
- What LEDs are best suited for your style of growing? The modern world of horticulture is varied in its styles. You need to make certain that your choice of LED lights has the best to offer for your grow style.
#Things to Remember before buying the LED Grow Lights
Each of the LED grow lights highlighted here offer the spectrum of light that is suitable for almost any indoor gardening. However, the type of plants you wish to grow should dictate which type of grow light you need. Find the best grow lights for your needs by checking a few LED grow lights reviews for the information you need.
#Why Opt for the LED Grow Lights?
Insufficient natural light
These grow lights are not only used in places where the availability of natural rays of light is scarce but they are also used when certain plants are grown indoors artificially due to lack of access to natural conditions such as ideal soil, especially for off season growths.
Off-season plant growth
For example, when the span of day is shorter during a particular season, plants may not get the proper amount of light. Deficiency in sunlight will inevitably lead to stunted growth of the plants. These panels provide the plant with a stimulus by exuding an electromagnetic spectrum to help them with the process of photosynthesis.
However, it is important to regulate the correct amount of sunlight and for that very reason it is important to opt for the very best variety. Moreover, depending on the process through which the plants are cultivated, different variations of the panels are used. The cultivation process might include soil or hydroponics as well and therefore the light intensity and spectrum may vary as well depending upon such conditions.
An ideal substitute for Sunlight
The LED grow lights create an array of chromatic spectrum that is complementary to the rays of the sun from which the plants get their source of energy for creating their food. Different levels of luminosity and temperature conditions are favorable for different levels of generation of food for the plants. The spectrum, illuminating efficiency, color and temperature are catered according to the parameters of the type of plant being grown, the phase of cultivation, and the plant’s photoperiod.
LED grow lamps are long perennial and produce light that is cognate to the temperature needed by the plants for their food manufacturing processes. LED lights are a better option for growing plants indoor as they are not cumbersome and the production of heat is less than in glowing lights. If the glowing lamps used as an external light source create additional heat, it might turn out to be unfavorable for the growth. Since the LED lights do not produce any additional external heat, they are highly favorable for growing plants in a temperature controlled environment.
Various mechanisms are controlled in an effective way under LED lights. The transpiration in plants is less under these panels. This means that energy spent on maintaining water levels or the frequency of watering the plants is reduced.
#Grow Lights: How they Work?
Different wavelengths of light simulate different pigments of a plant. These variations are needed separately based on the types of plants being cultivated. The lights react to the chlorophyll and carotenoids of the plant and overlapping the multifarious absorption peaks of the plants. Modern development in the making of LED lights sets the blue and red power in frequency that is similar to the plant’s desired wavelengths favorable for their growth.
The wavelengths of the red and blue LEDs are different. The blue LEDs are proper for vegetative and structural escalation while the red LEDs for producing fruits or flowers.
The Preliminary stage of LED panels
THE PRELIMINARY STAGE OF LED PANELS
In the preliminary stages of its growth LED lights were put into panels. By setting up many LEDS in panel form it becomes easier to simulate the intensity of the HPS lights thus ensuring proper growth for the plants without any kind of compromise. Up to-to-the-minute developments of panels use dazzling and compound watt LEDs that overpower the HPSs in vividness and production.
In comparison to other forms of intense light sources, the lights function in an enhanced process to give the tangible light energy that the plants cherish. Taking the PAR VALUE or the lumen yield of plants is an appropriate measure as panels are a competent source. However, it is always better to go through user reviews to find the appropriate LED light source for a particular plant and the environment that is created for its growth.
#ADVANTAGES OF USING LED GROW LIGHTS
There are numerous benefits of opting for the LED grow lights for indoor plant cultivation and some of them are as follows
- They consume less energy in comparison to other conventional modes of artificial light sources
- They do not produce any kind of substantial external heat, meaning they are ideal for growing plants which are cultivated in temperature sensitive environments
- LED lights do not include any solids, liquids or gases that are dangerous to the environment.
- LED lights do not take a lot of space for setup which makes them ideal for places where there is a space constraint
- They are easy to install and simple to maintain
#Grow Lights and the Flexibility
The Red and Blue lighting colors which are ideal for photosynthesis fall under the 400 to 500 nanometers and 600 to 700 nanometers wavelength of light. Within these wavelengths, the chlorophyll absorption reaches its maximum potential in plants. Regulating this light frequency wavelength is possible in LEDs since the light is generated with the help of diodes, where electric current is passed through a semiconductor to achieve the goal. This regulates the wavelength despite any variations of current or the configuration of the diode, making it simpler to achieve a certain wavelength of light. The ability to produce different wavelengths of light helps a lot during different phases of growth of a plant and turns out to be much more favorable in comparison to HPS lamps.
In addition, it is easier to achieve different types of shapes (square, round, oval, etc.) for the best LED grow lights. Therefore, depending on the space requirements, environment and lighting needs it becomes easier to choose a particular shape of LED light for growth of the plants.
Indoor plants do not get all the benefits that outdoor plants usually receive naturally. Outdoor plants absorb the light of the sun, which offers the entire spectrum of visible light. Plants need to be provided with best LED lights so that they get ample light in vegetative and flowering phases.
Earlier fluorescent lamps and HPS were employed in indoor growing previously. They produce light which includes the visual spectrum. However, they proved to be expensive. The mistake of using only one kind of light deprives the plants of what they should get for favorable growth. The full spectrum light which can be split into blue, red, white, and ultraviolet chromatic lumens is necessary for the plants to grow.
Apart from these constituents of the spectrum of light, the proportions of the various chromas should be in sequence so that the output of the artificial light meets the plant’s requirements. The sunlight that we get can be divided into various colors that constitute the full spectrum, most of which are needed by plants. While designing the LED panels, the manufacturers must keep in mind what colors are applied for the appetite of the plants. The four kinds of color that can be discerned in the full spectrum are blue, red, white, and ultraviolet lights.
- Blue lights: LED lights that are blue in color contribute to growth in vegetation like shoots or leaves. However, it has to be toned otherwise it does not prove to be very helpful.
- Red lights: Red LED lights help in flowering. They also add to the growth of the fruits in a plant. Uncontrolled red lights produce stunted plants and may affect the growth of the fruits.
- White lights: White LED lights enhance the visibility. They help in visualization of the inside of the grow room. It is important to monitor the growth of the plants and it is only possible under the white light. Other colors might make it difficult to monitor the room. In such cases it might become difficult to identify any issues with the environment as well as the plants. With the help of the white light it becomes easier to observe even the smallest troubles with the plants.
- Ultraviolet light: Ultraviolet light is not very common but it can be an option for experimentation. It is important to mimic the outdoor conditions and create artificial conditions so that plants get the right mixture and wavelengths of light.
#Choosing the best LED Grow Lights: The Perfect Recipe
It is essential to identify the perfect ratio which the plants require for their ideal growth pattern. The following is generally considered to be the most ideal combination which is necessary for indoor growing conditions:
- 55 % of red LEDs pitched at 640-660 nm,
- 20 % of red LEDs pitched at 620-630 nm
- 15 % of blue LED at 460-480 nm
- 10 % of blue LED pitched at 415-425 nm
Phototropism is an important aspect that inspires plants to grow tall and slender or wide and short. The mixing of LEDs should be done wisely, taking information from spectrum curves. Why the red LED should outnumber blue LEDs is a question that may arise in the user’s mind. The wavelength of the red LED is not very wide, so there should be more red LEDs than blue LEDs. The intensity of the lights has to be controlled for the plants to absorb the light. Many growers tend to make use of only one kind of LEDs. However, only one kind of LED may not be able to give the plants the full range of light spectrum that sunlight provides. To have a successful growth, it is important to create conditions which incorporate all the wavelengths of light.
Increased Lifespan, More Savings
LED Grow lights are not only economical in comparison to other forms of artificial light sources due to their low energy consumption, but also due to their longer lifespan. It is seen that LED lights consume 75% less energy than their counterparts and lasts more than 10 times as well. The longevity of LED lights makes them ideal for indoor plant growth since frequent lamp changes are not necessary and maintenance costs are much lower.
#Different Methods of Indoor Growing and LED Growth Lamps
We can divide the indoor growth process of plants in two different processes and they are mainly soil based growth and hydroponics. In hydroponics, the plants are suspended in nutrient rich water tubs instead of soil.
It is easy to understand that the method of hydroponics allows the plants to absorb nutrients much faster than the conventional method of growing plants in soil. This also means that the necessity for alternate and better artificial lighting is necessary for growing plants in this suspended state of growing. Even the best grow lights need to be adjusted properly so that the plants are able to utilize the nutrients which are absorbed. Adjustment of the frequency of the lights should be monitored frequently so that the growth of the plants is not shunted.
The same applies for soil based growth patterns because although the plants absorb the nutrients from the soil in a conventional manner, they still require proper lighting conditions to utilize these nutrients for the process of photosynthesis. Opting for the right LED grow lights helps in meeting these requirements.
Apart from using the correct LED lighting for proper growth, there are some additional equipments and tips that are required for proper growth and they are as follows:
Use of Reflectors: Reflectors should be used to maximize the absorption of light by the plants. The reflectors direct the light to every corner of the growth room, permitting the plants to get the wavelength they require.
Addition of panels at correct angles: Opting for additional panels in the right direction in the room is also essential. If the panels of LED lights are fitted in the correct angle, they will maximize the utilization of the grow lights more efficiently.
Care for the LED Lights: Although LED lights require very little maintenance, it is essential to check them periodically to ensure that they are performing to their optimal capacity. One important aspect related to maintenance of these lights is to ensure that their heat sinks are working properly. The chips present in these lights that control the functionality of the LEDs are semiconductor devices, which need to be kept at a certain temperature. It is important to ensure that the cooling features, like the fan, are functioning properly.
#Light Cycle and LED Grow Lights
The Light cycle is one of the most important concepts when it comes to growing plants with the help of artificial light sources. Light cycle in growth of plants refers to the proper amount of daily light and darkness that is necessary during different phases of growth. During the vegetative state the plants require maximum light time in comparison to the daily dark period. Around 16 to 18 hours of light is necessary during the vegetative state and 6 to 8 hours of daily darkness. During the flowering cycle this timeframe changes to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness daily.
The Light cycle is not only related to the number of hours a plant should receive light and darkness, but it is also about the intensity of light as well. During the vegetative or growth phase it is essential to ensure that the light intensity is not too high at all. A very high intensity light during this phase may actually stunt the growth of the plants or even kill them. Therefore, when buying growth lights it is important to check out the intensity of the LED which is being used in these growth lights.
Another important aspect when it comes to light cycles is seasonal changes. As we all know, during some seasons the days are shorter than other seasons and it becomes important to provide artificial light source for the plants in order to maintain their growth rate. Therefore, the artificial growth lights are not only important for indoor cultivation, but also important for cultivation done in other growth areas like greenhouses as well. Even if the grow room is receiving natural light, it is essential to opt for best LED grow lights in order to keep the grow room sufficiently lit during the seasons where daylight is scarce.
In addition, different types of wavelength are necessary for different growth phases of the plant and it is essential to provide these different wavelengths of light as part of a successful light cycle.
#Installation of LED grow Lights
Once the LED grow lights for the cultivation are chosen it now becomes important to install them properly in the grow room. There are certain essential points which must be considered for the installation process of the LED lights:
Choice of Grow Room: The choice of the grow room is one of the most important steps in the installation of the LED lights for cultivation. Usually, for individual growers, the grow room is in the basement or the attic of the house. The Urban organic indoor grower usually faces a constraint in terms of space requirements. Moreover, the basement might require more lighting requirements than the attic since the attic might have a little access to natural light whereas the basement is completely devoid of it. Many urban growers convert such spaces in their home permanently to grow rooms and therefore it becomes necessary to compute space requirements for proper installation of the LED lights. Many times you can read LED grow lights reviews to see how certain units worked in different spaces.
Temperature: Extreme changes in temperature, both hot and cold, can have adverse effects on the growth of the plants and can even kill them. Although plants are capable of handling a wide range of temperatures it is still important to regulate the temperature in the grow room. LED lights emit very little heat, but the chips that control the functioning of the light require a proper heat sink in order to function properly. Confined spaces like attics or basements can quickly become warm. Therefore, monitoring the temperature of grow room becomes essential for the urban grower in order to achieve a perfect cultivation.
Humidity: Along with temperature, another important aspect of the grow room which requires strict monitoring is the humidity. Plants do require a certain level of humidity so that they are able to utilize the nutrients at a steady pace for their growth. However, an increase in the humidity of the grow room beyond the permissible limit can actually harm the cultivation. High humidity allows unwanted mold and fungi to grow. These parasitic organisms are capable of utilizing the nutrients and the growth light for their own growth, thus depriving the plants of the resources required for their proper growth.
Electrical Setup: While installing the LED lights for the cultivation in the grow room, it is essential to set up the correct electrical connectivity in the room. LED lights have heat sinks and therefore it is important to keep in mind the additional power which these heat sinks will utilize. It is important to ensure that the electrical load is balanced properly in the establishment in order for the LED lights in the grow room to function properly. Since these lights need to function at a certain wavelength and intensity, low voltage can lead to low intensity, which eventually has adverse effects on the growth of the plants.
Placement and Setup: Placing the growth lights in the correct angle is not enough. It is also essential to find the correct placement area in the room to cover maximum surface area. Improper placement or mistake in understanding the layout of the grow room can lead to poor growth of the plants. In order to place the LED lights in an efficient manner, the first important step is to find out the actual layout of the grow room. Doing so ensures that you set up the lights so that all the plants receive equal intensity from the LED lights. This will help in an equivalent growth of the plants and proper cultivation.
Final Inspection: Once all the other points are taken into consideration and the number of LED lights required for the room is finalized it is now time for some final inspection before the installation of the LED lights. The light panels need to be in perfect array and there should not be any loose wires or any other connectivity issues. Also, once the lights are installed in the panels it must be ensured that human movement inside the grow room is not restricted. The wiring for the LED lights should not have any issues with the insulation of the grow room as well.
#LIGHT CYCLES of the led grow lights
Adapting to proper light cycles is of great importance for successful plant growth. Your pattern of lighting should be such as it imitates natural lighting conditions available during each season of a plant’s growth. For example, a plant tends to get sufficient light during the initial days of the growing season. With the advancement of seasons, the days tend to get shorter and nights usually get longer. So while growing the plants indoor, it is important to provide such a facilitating setup.
Cannabis Light Cycle
The essential part of growing cannabis indoor is to balance the have the right amount of light and dark through each day in order to stimulate This is one of the most common questions asked by urban growers. The answer to this lies with the brand of the LED light bought for the growth. Also, additional features like the shape of the LED light array, the wattage of the lights used, the beam angle, and coverage area of the lights play an important role in deciding the distance when setting up the light array over the plants. There are numerous benefits of using LED lights over HPS lights. One of the main benefits is the longevity of LED lights. In comparison, LEDs last much longer than HPS lights. Therefore, there is a cost saving benefit present when choosing LED over HPS. Moreover, it is difficult to maintain the light intensity of the HPS lights and they may turn out to be too bright for the plants and their growth. LED lights have different intensity and wavelength in comparison to HPS lights. This is another question asked by many growers who are looking to switch from conventional lighting system to LED or are starting out as indoor growers. The initial cost of LED grow lights may be more in comparison to traditional artificial grow light sources. However, in terms of power consumption, longevity, and reliability LED lights generally out-perform all other traditional forms of artificial light sources for cultivation. The answer is yes. It is very easy to customize LED light arrays and therefore you can achieve any kind of shape which you may require for ideal growth of the plants. The Blue spectrum or 440-460 nanometer range is ideal for growing plants in the vegetation state. However, the red spectrum can also be used during this phase in a moderate fashion. In the flowering stage though, the red spectrum or 630 to 660 nanometer ranges is ideal for the growth of the plants. Other additional colors of light can be added for better result as well. When using the best LED grow lights for plant growth, one of the common mistakes done by growers is that they water the plants the same way when traditional light sources were used. This is incorrect since LED lights emit less heat which means that the water evaporates at a lesser rate. Therefore, it is important to regulate the watering of the plants differently when using LED lamps for growing. Your specific environment will dictate the needs of your plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far should the LED Light array be from the plants?
Why use LED Lights instead of HPS Lights?
The prices of LED lights are more in comparison to other conventional lights then how is it being cost effective?
Can we customize for the best LED grow Lights?
For growing lush plants, what is the ideal spectrum of light?
How much and how often should the plants be watered?
This is one of the most common questions asked by urban growers. The answer to this lies with the brand of the LED light bought for the growth. Also, additional features like the shape of the LED light array, the wattage of the lights used, the beam angle, and coverage area of the lights play an important role in deciding the distance when setting up the light array over the plants.
There are numerous benefits of using LED lights over HPS lights. One of the main benefits is the longevity of LED lights. In comparison, LEDs last much longer than HPS lights. Therefore, there is a cost saving benefit present when choosing LED over HPS. Moreover, it is difficult to maintain the light intensity of the HPS lights and they may turn out to be too bright for the plants and their growth. LED lights have different intensity and wavelength in comparison to HPS lights.
This is another question asked by many growers who are looking to switch from conventional lighting system to LED or are starting out as indoor growers. The initial cost of LED grow lights may be more in comparison to traditional artificial grow light sources. However, in terms of power consumption, longevity, and reliability LED lights generally out-perform all other traditional forms of artificial light sources for cultivation.
The answer is yes. It is very easy to customize LED light arrays and therefore you can achieve any kind of shape which you may require for ideal growth of the plants.
The Blue spectrum or 440-460 nanometer range is ideal for growing plants in the vegetation state. However, the red spectrum can also be used during this phase in a moderate fashion. In the flowering stage though, the red spectrum or 630 to 660 nanometer ranges is ideal for the growth of the plants. Other additional colors of light can be added for better result as well.
When using the best LED grow lights for plant growth, one of the common mistakes done by growers is that they water the plants the same way when traditional light sources were used. This is incorrect since LED lights emit less heat which means that the water evaporates at a lesser rate. Therefore, it is important to regulate the watering of the plants differently when using LED lamps for growing. Your specific environment will dictate the needs of your plants.