Comparison between LED, Plasma and Incandescent grow lights

What are Plasma lights and how do they work?

Plasma lamps are energized by radio frequency (RF) power. Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation between 3kHz and 300GHz. This corresponds to the frequency of radio waves. Radio frequency implies electrical oscillations.

Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter. Solid, liquid and gas are the others. Plasma can be created by heating gas or placing it in a strong electromagnetic field, using a laser or microwave generator.

Plasma light

Light is generated by exciting plasma inside a bulb using Radio frequency power. They are a type of gas discharge lamp. They do not contain an electrode or filament. This kind of electrode less lamp was invented by Tesla. Sulfur lamps were the first practical plasma lamps. These had a lot of practical problems and did not do well commercially. These problems were overcome and High Efficiency Plasma Lamps are now available.

  • Disadvantages of Plasma lights

The most important disadvantage of Plasma lights is the high cost. A single grow light can cost more than $3000. The technology is still new and cheaper methods are being pursued.

Another disadvantage is that these lights are large.

  • Advantages of LEDs over Plasma lights

Plasma lights are one of the most advanced grow lights available. The advantage of LED grow lights is that they perform comparably but at a lower cost

Incandescent Grow lights

Incandescent light bulbs generally have a red-yellowish tone and a low color temperature. They are rarely used as grow lights. They last for a very short duration compared to LED light sources (Approximately 750 hours). They are also highly energy inefficient. They produce more heat than usable light.

  • Advantages of LEDs over Incandescent Lights

Incandescent Lights


LED grow lights are highly energy efficient. They do not consume too much power. They also emit much lesser heat than incandescent light sources. The high amount of heat produced by incandescent lights can be harmful to the plants. You also need to spend money on cooling systems for your grow operation. The grow room must have the optimum temperature for the best harvests. With heat generating light sources you will need to pay attention to the room temperature all the time. With LEDs, you are saved from this hassle.

The low heat output of LED grow lights also means that they are much easier on the environment. These days, more and more people are becoming concerned with environment-related issues. A more environmentally-friendly solution will thus be appreciated and welcomed. This is exactly why LED lights are such a great idea. They have little to no CO2 emissions thus cause minimal damage to the environment.

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