Why Choose LED Grow Lights?
LED grow lights use around 75% less energy than their power-hungry HID counterparts. LED bulbs are designed to provide amazing results while using the least power possible. And because they don’t generate heat, energy does not need to be expended on heat fans or air conditioning systems. A 300w LED grow light is approximately equivalent to a 1000w traditional light!
Exceptional Plant Growth:
You may wonder why most LED light bulbs use only red and blue lights. This special combination of light frequencies produces a light source that plants readily absorb. Only about 35% of the power and 10% of the light emitted from metal halide grow lights gets used by plants. LED lights are the superior choice when it comes to maximizing plant growth. Ninety percent of light from LED bulbs can be absorbed by plants.
Every other grow bulb on the market needs to be replaced frequently, depending on how often you use them. LED grow lights offer an amazing lifespan of around 50,000 to 100,000 hours. This long life is unheard of in incandescent and HID lighting. If left on 24 hours a day, these lights could last for over 5 years (at 50,000 hours)! And that’s if you left it on non-stop.
Very Low Heat:
All of the bright power of LED grow lamps produces hardly any heat. When on, the light becomes slightly warm and is safe to touch. Users don’t have to hassle with fans to keep the growing room cool. Typical grow lights can even burn plants if kept too close. Young plants and seedlings thrive without getting burned or scorched.
Variable Color Levels:
Some LED grow light models feature variable color adjustment, allowing users to change the levels of blue/red color to perfectly match the ideal growing conditions for specific plants.
LED bulbs do not give off harmful UV radiation, Infrared light, and do not contain lead or mercury. This makes them safe for you, your plants and the environment. Shock, fire and burn risks that are inherent in traditional lighting systems do not exist with LED grow lights.
Shouldn’t They Have Green Bulbs?
While it would seem like plants enjoy green light because of their color, the opposite is true. Light waves in the green spectrum are reflected by plants and are not needed, which is why they look green. Light in the blue and red wavelengths are the colors most needed by plants. This is why only red and blue LED bulbs are used in most cases. Some grow lights utilize orange and other colors to produce a “full spectrum” light source, but green is never used because it is not needed by plants. Traditional grow lights spend excess energy on wavelengths of light that just aren’t needed, racking up energy costs and becoming very hot. LED grow lights maximize growth of plants by giving them exactly what they need.
What Is A "Lumen"?
A lumen is a term used to describe the intensity of a particular light source, such as an LED bulb. You may have noticed this value being used on a fluorescent light fixture or a home projector system. Lumens tell us how bright something appears to the human eye. For example, the color yellow has a higher lumen rating than the color purple for obvious reasons. Yellow appears brighter to our eyes that purple does (under the same conditions). The truth is, using lumens to determine the best amount of light for plants is not the best method. A plant would rather have 20 lumens of red or blue light than 100 lumens of green or yellow light. The reason is shown in the graph. Plants do not absorb light in the green and yellow ranges. Giving a plant 10, 100, or even 1000 lumens of green/yellow light will do nothing but char your plant, as it cannot absorb this kind light.
How Do I Know Which Ones Are Best? :
It is very important to understand that not all LED grow lights are created equal. As with many industries, there are companies out there who manufacture less-than-standard products and sell them to consumers. The following tips will help you choose the right grow lights:
Reputable Company: One of the most important tips is to buy from a reputable company who has been in the business for a couple years or more. There are a lot of LED grow light companies who manufacture their own lights. While many companies create amazing products, some are questionable in quality. Look for an LED grow light review, case studies, and any awards the company may have received. Case studies with before/after pictures are a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of their lights.
Size of Fixture: LED grow light fixtures are made in many sizes, for both commercial and hobby purposes. The light fixture needs to provide enough coverage to all your plants. Wide troughs do well with long, thin grow light fixtures. Lush garden-like plant growth fits well with square shaped fixtures. Spot-light grow lights are directional in nature and can be pointed on several small plants or one large one.
Hanger: Most LED grow lights have hooks on the back from which to hang them. Keep in mind that the fixture may or may not come with string/chain to hang it from.
Power Source: While it may seem obvious, some LED grow lights do not come with a power source. To save time and hassle, make sure the fixture comes with a 120v wall adapter.