LED grow lights are the future of indoor horticulture. Although they were off to a slow start, in the last few years LEDs have advanced considerably, nearly making older lighting solutions obsolete.
But what makes LED grow lights such a big hit with growers? Let’s take a look at seven reasons that makes them perfect for growing plants indoors!
Unmatched Energy Efficiency
When it comes to efficiency, LED fixtures knock other types of indoor lighting out of the park. The reason for that is that they transform electricity into usable light with minimal waste. This effect is called “luminous efficiency.”
What that means is that a grower can get more intense light by using less electricity, especially compared with HID grow lights. For example, the best LED grow lights in the market will cut electricity costs in half and increase the light output. As a result, a LED unit with 600 Watts of power is a better option than a 800W HID lamp with an additional ballast.
LED Grow Lights Produce Less Heat
LED units produce up to 60% less heat than their HPS counterparts, making them a better choice for indoor growing. Especially in confined spaces, heat can become a severe problem for the plants.
The technology of LEDs is such that allows the bulbs to operate without emitting too much heat. Therefore, you can easily install a LED grow light anywhere, without the need for additional A/C equipment.
Most plant species develop in alignment to certain wavelengths of light. This process is called photomorphogenesis. Light on the blue end of the spectrum promotes vegetative growth, while red and infra-red wavelengths stimulate the flowering process. The best light source for plants and animals is, of course, sunlight. Rays of sunlight contain all wavelengths of the visible light spectrum, from UV (ultra-violet) to IR (infra-red).
For those who can’t grow their plant outdoors, a full-spectrum LED grow light will provide all wavelengths a plant will ever need. That way, you can be sure that your plants absorb as much light as they need within their Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) region. Also, full spectrum grow lights ensure that you will be able to complete entire growth cycles without changing bulbs.
More comfortable to Use in Tight Spaces
Indoor horticulture is a sustainable way to grow your own greens. However, most people live in apartments and don’t exactly have a lot of available space to dedicate to their gardens.
Contrary to other light fixtures, like HID and fluorescent grow lights, LEDs do not require ballasts or additional parts. Most models are plug’n’play and require nothing more than a power outlet. Combined with low heat emissions, this flexibility is undoubtedly good news for people who grow vegetables and herbs in tight spaces.
Higher Life Expectancy
Cool temperatures and increased efficiency make LEDs last way longer than other lamps. LED grow lights last about 50,000 hours on average, while the best LED models can reach lifespans of up to 100,000 hours. That’s about ten to fifteen years.
In comparison, HID lamps will last roughly 10,000 hours, while fluorescent lamps will break down long before that. Also, HIDs will not maintain the same intensity as time goes by, making frequent replacements the only option.
Considerable Energy Savings
We have seen earlier how LED fixtures are better at using electrical power to produce bright light. As a result, they tend to waste much less energy, and this is something you will notice on your electricity bill.
Overall, you can save more than 30% on electricity costs just by switching to LED grow lights, without sacrificing the quality.
LED Grow Lights are the “Green” Option
Last, but not least, LED lights are a much more environmentally-friendly option. Wasting less electricity means wasting less natural resources, while cooler running temperatures mean that less water is lost to evaporation. Also, their increased lifespan means less garbage which reduces your overall carbon footprint.
Although LED grow lights are the best solution for indoor gardens, they are not the only one. HID fixtures have been the staple for indoor growing, and many people still swear by their name. However, if sustainability and ease of use are what you seek, then a good LED grow light is the way to go.
Although LEDs do have a higher upfront cost that’s understandable considering the savings in the long run and the amount of flexibility you get.
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