Lights are quite crucial to the development of your plants. As we all know, plants feed themselves through photosynthesis which involves light. A natural source of light would obviously be the sun but there are cases where some artificial light can be used on the plant. Artificial light is commonly used by a lot of growers because of its benefits. For example, the grower can control the environment so much better if he or she uses artificial light compared to growing it outdoors under the sun; he or she can determine when and how much light the plants will receive. As you may imagine, this will open the doors to a lot of opportunity for the grower which includes controlling the time for lights out and lights on!
There are many kinds of artificial light that are used for plants but for this article, we will focus more on light-emitting diode lights or LED lights.
To start, light-emitting diode lights or LED lights are relatively new to the whole hydroponic scene which brings up a lot of debate if LED lights are really good for the plants or not. Some growers say that LED lights are the best type of light while some say it was the cause for the destruction of their crops. To further illustrate what LED lights are, we’ll list down some pros and cons:
LED light produces a lot of light considering the electricity usage. Since it is more efficient compared to other lights in terms of the electricity usage, you can actually save up on the electricity bill!
- Produces Quality Plants
Reports state that plants that are fed with LED light offered better tasting and smelling buds. This is because of the flexibility of the spectrum that comes with using LED lights.
As stated above, LED lights are quite flexible when it comes to the color of light that the grower can feed his or her plants. LED Lights are usually built with the ability to control certain spectrums which the grower can use to feed certain types of light.
- Easy to set up
LED lights usually just require you to plug it in and hang it above your plants, that simple.
- Less Heat
In general, LED light produces less heat than other light. Additionally, some LED lights have a built-in fan to reduce the heat that the light might give off.
- High cost
As stated earlier, LED lights are relatively new to the scene which means that initial costs for the actual hardware will be high. However, with the continuous research, prices will most probably go down in the near future.
- Poor Design
Again, since it is still quite new, there are products in the market that have the poor design. Poorly designed LED lights can actually harm your plants so make sure you’re getting the right ones!
- Less powerful
LED Lights are known to be a bit less powerful compared to other lights. This may be a problem as the light may not be powerful enough to penetrate thicker certain cell walls of a plant.
True enough, LED light (and other lights for this matter) can make or break your crops. The reason behind this is that a lot more is in play than just the light itself! These variables, if neglected, can domino itself with the lights used to destroy your crops. Inversely, however, if these variables are taken into great consideration, it will be quite beneficial for your plants.
So what exactly are these variables? These are the things that you need to consider when using LED lights:
- Plant Phase Timing
Knowing when to use LED light is a variable because each phase of the plant will be affected differently with the different spectrums of light that the LED light can offer. This can be done because of the flexibility of the spectrum that LED lights usually offer.
- The Plants
As you may know, each plant has specific needs. Knowing the needs of a plant should be a must so that you can adjust your lights accordingly.
- Size of the area needed
Needless to say, if you have a lot of plants, you will need to know how much LED lights you need. Failing to give enough light for the plants will definitely be bad for them so make sure you know how much plants (and how big is the area) and how much light you need to cover it all.
- Brand and Quality of the Hardware
Since LED lights are new, there will be brands that can be unreliable. Knowing which brand is good can help your plants grow. Note that one con of LED light is that in can be expensive, this means that “cheap” LED lights may actually be low-quality and can destroy your plants!
Knowing and mastering these will help in giving you a pleasant experience with LED lights. If you plan to use these lights for your grow room, make sure that you are well informed with the variables. As a bonus, we will list down some of the Brand and types that we think are a good buy! In no particular order, here are some of the brands that you can consider when purchasing your own LED lights:
- Advanced Platinum Series P600
The Advanced Platinum Series claims to have a complete spectral output which can be very handy when it comes to feeding the right light to the right plant. It also includes a built-in fan which can be switched modes depending on the development stage of your plants.
- California Light Works Solar Storm 880w Grow Light
Using California Light Works Solar Storm 880w Grow Light will grant the grower full access to the light spectrum to be released. Additionally, the grower can easily switch “modes” between flowering and vegetative.
- Advanced LED Diamond Series XML 350
The Advanced LED Diamond Series XML 350 includes 11+ high par wavelengths and is capable of switching modes for flowering, vegetative stages, and cloning. This product also includes a built-in ventilation system.
- G8LED 240 Watt LED Grow Light
The G8LED 240 Watt LED Grow Light to stay cool even if it is turned on for 12 hours straight. Even though the spectrum is not as complete as other brands, it is still able to deliver quality output.
- Hydro Grow Extreme 84XPRO LED Grow Lights
If you’re planning on a small scale system, then the Hydro Grow Extreme 84XPRO LED Grow Lights is for you! This system covers 2′ x 2′ area and can put out 400 watts of light. This does not include all spectrums but it does contain the essential ones.
- TaoTronics LED Plant Grow Light
TaoTronics LED Grow Light is actually Amazon’s best seller when it comes to growing lamps. This is perfect for home gardens as it quite small but gives the needed spectrum. This product is also often used for seedlings in the early stages of the plant.
There are a lot more of LED lights out there, but here are some of the good and safe ones. Just be sure to stay informed especially to what you need and to what these lights can provide. Needless to say, light is one of the most important aspects of growing your plants. As a grower, you want nothing else but the best for your plants so it’s our duty to know what is best for our plants.