As we all learned in grade school, plants need water, nutrients, and sunlight to grow. To receive adequate sunlight, plants need to be outside in the sun, right. Well, depending on your location and how much available space you have access to or what type of plant you are growing, growing your plants outside in the sun is not always possible.
With advancements in LED technology, using LED grow lights has become less expensive and very popular for growing plants indoors. But with so many companies making LED grow lamps these days, how do you know which is the best-LED grow lights to buy?
Finding the best LED grow lamps can be difficult, so we’ve researched for you and put together this one-stop-shop, all-inclusive guide to help you find the best units that will fit your growing needs. We will walk you through the various features and capabilities through our Ultimate Guide.
G8LED 240 Watt LED Grow Light
This versatile grow light outputs a total of 8 spectrum bands including IR and UV-B. It has several other attractive features as well:
- High-quality 3W LEDs in an 8 by 16 array
- Usable output exceeds that of a 400W HID lamp
- Spectrum bands are optimized for both veg and flower production
- All circuitry including PCBs, power supplies and fans are engineered for cool running
- Size – 16 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches
- Weight – 7 lbs.
- Plug-in voltage – 110 or 240 VAC specified at time of shipping
- Power consumption – under 200 watts
- 8 red/blue spectrum bands plus UV-B and IR
- Optimal bed size is 2 by 3 feet
- 50,000+ hours of LED life for 15 years of running
- High quality LED drivers with Zener diode protection
- Unique 8-band spectrum includes deep-red, IR, blue and UV
- 2-year warranty
- Cooling fans are somewhat noisy
- G8LED recommends an extra red UFO to increase flowering
G8LED has produced a powerful light for both vegetative and flowering stages. No other comparable grow lights include UV-B and IR bands in the standard model. These provide extra PAR stimulation for a bigger harvest. It makes an excellent starter or seedling light.
California LightWorks SolarStorm 440W
The SolarStorm 440W is a two-spectrum grow light with a UV-B bonus. It delivers both veg and flowering spectrum bands and warm white among other key features:
- Long-life LEDs with life expectancy over 50,000 hours
- 90 percent efficient LED drivers
- LED lensing to direct light directly downward
- 4 deep blue to deep red spectrum bands
- Two separately switched T8 fluorescents for strong bloom UV-B
Six Bands of Switchable Spectrum
The SolarStorm 440W grow light has six bands of PAR spectrum available: 3100K warm-white light plus 2 bands of deep blue for stimulating vegetative growth and two deep red bands for flowering. Two T8 fluorescent bulbs add UV-B for increased flower potency during the last two weeks before harvest.
- Dimensions – 15 x 18 x 5 inches
- Weight – 18 lbs.
- Mains voltage – 90 to 277 VAC
- Power varies between 235W to 350W according to spectrum selection
- Bed size – 4 by 4 feet at 24 inch height
- Spectrum – Five bands of PAR light from LEDs
- Separate 15W T8 fluorescents provide UV-B for intense flowering
- PAR at 18 inches above the grow bed is 1,389 µmoles m-2 s-1
- Long-life OSRAM LEDs
- Switchable spectrum emphasis
- UV-B spectrum from additional bulbs
- Large heat sinks, metal core PCB and 92mm fans for cooling
- 3-year limited warranty plus 90-day risk free trial
- Fans are unfiltered and noisy
- No daisy-chaining of units is possible
The CLW SolarStorm 440W is an energy-efficient replacement for a 600W MH, HID or HPS lamp with spectrum for both veg and flower stages. The additional UV-B for flowering receives mixed reviews among buyers. Its bed coverage should satisfy home and commercial growers.
EnviroGro FLT24 2-Ft, 4-Tube Fixture, T5 Bulbs Included
The FLT24 from Hydrofarm with four 2-ft. T5 tubes is their latest HO-T5 system with low power consumption, minimal heat and flexible spectrum options. The high-output bulbs output twice the light as normal T5s. This lamp comes with four 6400K bulbs that are perfect for strong vegetative growth.
Type: High Output T5 fluorescent grow light at 6400K
|Number of lamps||4|
|Lamp power||24W each|
|Lamp lifespan||20,000 hours|
|Size and weight||23 x 13.5 x 3 inches, 11.6 lbs.|
This fixture is about half the cost of a comparable HID system. It works well with a 10 to 12 sq. ft. grow bed. Buyers are impressed with the build quality, brightness and how cool it runs. Only a handful of FLT24 grow light reviews note premature bulb death.
- Mounts hanging, vertical or horizontal
- Lower color temperature lamps can be used for flowering stage
- Can hang 2 inches above plants
- Bulbs contain mercury
- Bulbs should be changed each year
The FLT24 HO fluorescent fixture from Hydrofarm is an economical way to put plenty of lumens on a seed bed and continue with strong vegetative growth. It is a great value for its low initial cost, inexpensive operating costs and low heat output.
TaoTronics® 12W LED Plant Grow Light for Hydroponic Garden Greenhouse
TaoTronic® 12W round LED grow light is the least expensive entry point for trying out the power of the best grow lights using LED technology. It is the size of an ordinary flood bulb and screws into any ordinary E27 lamp socket.
Using 3 blue and 9 red 1W LEDs it boasts almost zero heat and high luminosity. It emits 630nm and 660nm reds and 460nm blue, which are wavelengths crucial for chlorophyll and carotenoid metabolic processes that produce rich vegetation and robust flowering. The entire bulb housing acts as a heat sink to keep the LEDs running cool.
|Number of LEDs||12|
|LED lifespan||50,000 hours|
|Size and weight||6.2 x 5.1 x 4.9 inches, 8.9 oz|
Most of the TaoTronics® 12W LED grow light reviews are from people tending to a single plant or supplementing a small grow bed or group of flower pots. One reviewer did a direct comparison between direct sunlight and this LED grow light and the TaoTronics® 12W won! Owners are impressed with the solid build and attention to heat management.
Buyers should calibrate their expectations, since this light is only effective for about 2 sq. ft. at most. Since it has a pinkish glow and poor color render, a couple of buyers expressed disappointment in how it make their houseplants look.
- Super economical
- 3 PAR wavelengths
- Fits any standard E27 socket
- Only for plants under 18 inches high
This is an outstanding super-compact LED grow light. Dollars per Watt of power, it is not the most economical buy, but its long life and Goldilocks size for window shelf gardeners more than make up for that.
Sun System 900490 HPS
Sun System’s 900490 HPS 150W grow light, like the Hydrofarm FLCDG125D fluorescent, is a compact grow light for micro-gardeners. It comes with a built-in ballast, reflector, two hangers and an HPS bulb with E39 base. The high-intensity HPS light puts out 16,000 lumens of full spectrum light for all stages of plant growth.
The specular hammered aluminum reflector directs 95 percent of the light into the plant canopy. It is perfect for a 2 sq. ft. lettuce or herb bed or a few pots of flowers.
|Number of lamps||1|
|Lamp lifespan||10,000 hours|
|Size and weight||15 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches, 7.8 lbs.|
Most Sun System 900490 HPS grow light reviews note running this light for 2 years without a bulb change. New bulbs are less than 10 dollars. Though the fixture is rated for a 2 sq. ft. bed, many buyers use it successfully with a bed twice that area.
Very often this is hung as an overhead light with optional CFLs on the sides. A few reviewers experienced plant burns, but if you initially hang it 3 feet over the bed and lower it as needed, you can avoid that.
- Complete kit, ready to hang
- Provides full spectrum and heating
- Long-life bulb
- Leaf burn is possible if the light is placed too near the grow bed
This is another inexpensive micro-garden grow light for a small indoor bed or a few pots. The additional heat it provides makes it perfect for an outside porch garden. Its simplicity and high-intensity, full-spectrum lamp make this an excellent value for a cheap price.
90 Watt LED All RED G8 Flowering BOOST
The 90W G8-90RR LED red UFO grow light boosts flowering in any indoor garden using LED, HID, fluorescent or plasma grow lights. Its 630nm and 660nm red wavelengths increase flowering size and quantity. One G8-90RR is sufficient for 12 sq. ft. of growing bed.
This light is rated for 110-240VAC input, so it works worldwide. At the time of ordering, specify the power plug style that fits your region. It comes with hanging wires and G8LED’s standard 2-year warranty.
|Input voltage||110-240 VAC|
|Number of LEDs||90|
|LED power||1W each|
|LED lifespan||50,000 hours|
|Size and weight||10.5-inch diameter, 3.5 lbs.|
Nearly all G8-90RR grow light reviews express surprise at how much this light increases flowering. Results are observed after just two days. The red wavelengths give an impression of insufficient light output, but the plants sure see it.
A single light makes a clearly noticeable difference in the size and number of flowers produced over a 3 x 4 ft. grow bed. It must be used in conjunction with a main grow light.
- Low power addition for flowering/bud boost
- Only 10 percent of the heat of a comparable HPS lamp
- Compact, so it is easy to hang in any position
- Can be difficult to locate without blocking the main light
G8LED makes some of the best grow lights around. The quality of the G8-90RR is the same, in a compact size and easy to mount anywhere. Buyers’ results demonstrate that this is a high-value add-on to any indoor grow light garden.
Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light
The company Platinum Grow Lights manufactures the Advanced Platinum Series P300 300W 11-band LED Grow light – Dual Veg/Flower Spectrum. They offer a wide range of LED growing lights in various price points. Each LED series provides optimum lighting to help your flowers and vegetables grow strong and sturdy. They use the latest in led indoor grow light technology to bring you the best LED grow lights available. They back up their products with a satisfaction guarantee.
These 4G Advanced Platinum Series led grow lamps are the result of major advancements in indoor horticulture. This is the ideal replacement for your traditional HPS grow lamps. It consumes half of the power, and it creates a very small amount of heat. It can effectively take the place of 400-watt conventional HPS grow lamps led grow lights while consuming only 185 Watts. Your plants are provided with light that is 100% usable, creating a maximum photosynthesis response.
The key to this is how Platinum has combined 11 separate bands of light spectrum that range from UV 380 through 760nm. This allows plants to get the exact light they need. This lighting technology is combined with a 90 degree integrated secondary focusing lens. The high output three Watt LEDs perform superior to many of the competitive LED growing lights. The perfect color blend is provided by the DS200.
This Advanced Platinum Series P300 300W 11-Band LED Grow Light has a dual spectrum that works well for both the vegetative growth stages as well as the flowering stages. When it’s in the grow setting, the lamp only needs 100 Watts of power to give you ideal vegetative growth in areas measuring up to four foot by four foot. The light may be upgraded to full capacity with a simple flip of a switch. This modifies the spectrum so that it can develop amazing flowering in your plants.
Specific Features and Functions
• Superior 11-band spectrum includes 380 UV to 760.• It has high output (IR)nm 3W LEDs• Primary 60 degree lens, as well as a secondary 90 degree focusing lens, is included.• The light covers 4.5 X 3.8 feet from an 18-inch height.• Selectable switches let you choose between flower and vegetable settings• It has a high-speed 2X whisper quiet fan.• The aluminum cooling heat sink is all new with an upgraded version.• This LED grow lamp comes with a three-year warranty.• The company offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
This led indoor grow light offers excellent value for the money. Only one light is needed for both the vegetative and flowering phases. It uses substantially less power than traditional models, and it provides a healthy and productive growing season.
Apollo Horticulture GL100LED Full Spectrum 300W
The Apollo Horticulture GL100LED Full Spectrum 300W LED Grow Light LED Grow Lights provides the proper lighting for a plant’s healthiest growth. This innovative lamp is easy to install compared to other types of LED grow lights. Once in place, growers will notice the many benefits this lamp offers plants.
LED grow lights, such as this one, do not need ballasts. As a result less heat is generated while it is in use. This lets the user place their led grow lamps closer to the actual plants. This particular lamp is ideal for green houses, grow tents, hydroponic systems, and H2O systems.
The Apollo Horticulture GL100LED Full Spectrum 300W LED Grow Light has an average life span of 50,000 hours. As one of the best LED grow lights available, it comes with a limited two-year warranty. These LED grow lights are perfect for plants in any phase of growing or flowering.
Apollo Horticulture provides customers with the best overall value possible. Their products are manufactured by the same producers who make the high-end name brand hydroponic equipment. Their goal is to offer fully featured, high quality, innovative items at a competitive cost.
Specific Features and Functions
• This lamp works in humidity of zero to 95%.• The working temperature ranges from zero to 131 degrees Fahrenheit.• It includes 100pcs, 3w chips, and a lifespan of 50,000 hours.• The light spectrum covers 430nm, 475nm, 620nm, 630nm, 660nm, 730nm, and white light.• The six foot power cord and all of the needed stainless steel hanging clips are included in the price.• For indoor use only.• There are three quiet cooling fans• The area covered is eight to nine feet for the vegetated state.• The coverage area for the flowering stage is six to seven feet.• The LED view angle measures 120 degrees.• This unit’s actual power draw equals 170 watts.
For the price point of this LED grow light model, customers will get a reliable, sturdy lamp that will continue to work for many hours. The 50,000-hour lifespan is quite remarkable when compared to similar versions near the same cost. It is designed for both vegetative and flowering plant phases, which makes it ideal for many types of plants.
Because this lamp is an LED, you won’t find the intense heat you do in traditional lamps. This feature also makes it the ideal piece of equipment for small areas. The six foot power cord and stainless steel hanging clips allow users to place the lamp exactly where they need it the most. Installation is simple and easy to accomplish.
LED grow light reviews are generally quite favorable of this model. Customers who have purchased and used it are well satisfied. A few people complained that the fans were a bit on the loud side, but they also said it wasn’t bad enough to complain about or quit using the lamp. Those who found it not to be effective on flowering plants can increase the functionality by adding a second lamp to the area.
Apollo Horticulture GL60LED-P Full Spectrum 180W
There are many reasons why you may have decided to start your indoor garden. It could be that you live in a place with the hostile weather, you want your plants to be pesticide free, or maybe your simply looking to make you indoors look green and cheerful.
Whatever the reason is though, indoor horticulture requires one special and essential ingredient – light. Because sunlight isn’t always available and due to the chance that your garden is in an area of your home that doesn’t get direct light, indoor LED grow lamps are a fantastic option.
To help you decide on one that is ideal for you, so you buy the best LED grow lights, here is a review of the Apollo Horticulture GL60LED-P Full Spectrum 180W LED Grow Light LED Grow Lights.
About Apollo Horticulture
Apollo Horticulture is a company that is striving to build the future of horticulture. Its mission is to produce horticulture in an environmentally sustainable and socially-responsible manner. With their technological strides in the world of LED lights, they have been able to produce some of the most effective and hassle free product. Their LED grow lights are known for their durability, high yield, low heat, and reduced electricity use so that you can grow your products indoors and in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner.
Grow Light Details
This particular product is an 180W LED panel. The 180W level is good for a small garden, but if you are looking to provide large to a bigger supply of plants, then you’ll want to use two of this product, as 300W is the ideal for larger spaces. This LED grow lamp covers 5 square feet of your garden. Due to the 6-foot power cord and the 19″ stainless steel hanging clips, you’ll find that this LED light is easy to use, simple to set up, and is extremely durable.
FEATURES and FUNCTIONS
Low Operating Temperature
One of the main concerns for indoor plant growers is that lamp heat will work to destroy their supply. Fortunately, this particular product has a fantastic feature when it comes to temperature and light strength. It essentially provides no heat to your plants while still supplying the high level of lumens that your plants need to grow strong and beautiful. The low temperature is attributed to the cooling fan feature that is built into the product.
Lifespan of 50,000 Hours
Growing an indoor garden can be tricky, which means you need to be careful about the lights you use. This LED light is extremely convenient and safe to use, as it provides your plants with 50,000 hours of constant light, which ensures that nearly all of your plants will see full growth.
Ideal for All Plants
From shrubs to fruits and vegetables, this LED light can keep anything you plant in your indoor garden going. This is one of the best features of the product, as it allows you to invest in a product that you can use for each garden you grow.
Finally, anytime you can get protection on your investment is certainly an advantage. This product comes with a 2-year warranty, so if you have an issue, you can always get it solved quickly and hassle free.
If you are looking for a strong, durable, effective, energy efficient, and long-lasting light, then this is the product for your indoor garden. Those that have purchased this product have been happy with their investment, as their gardens are flourishing. LED grow lights are a perfect solution for any indoor garden, but making sure you buy a great product like this LED grow light is even better.
Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED Full Spectrum 400W
This grows light takes the form of a panel which provides supplemental light for vegetative and flowering plant stages. It is a rectangular illuminator suspended from overhead by metal clips that attach to steel rods.
It promotes plant growth over a 3×3′ area and flowering over a 2.5×2.5′ space. Having a lifespan of 50,000 hours, it will last approximately 7 years with 18-hour-a-day use. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Dimensions: 13.2″ x 13.2″ x 3.75″
- Fans: (2) 4.5″, built-in
- Power Cord: 6.6′ long
- Power Source: (80) 5W Chips
- Hanging Clips: (4) 19″, stainless steel
- Hanging Rods: (4) metal, looped
- Mounting Hardware: Included
- Light Spectra: 430-440nm, 450-475nm, 620-630nm, 650-670nm, 730nm, and White 6500K
- Coverage Area: 3×3 feet for vegetative stage; 2.5×2.5 feet for flowering stage
- Voltage: 85-265V
1. The GL80X5LED panel light produces a bright light in photosynthesis-appropriate wavelengths.
A. Vegetative growth requires blue light. This is provided by the grow light’s 430-440nm and 450-475nm light spectra. These wavelengths produce strong root growth.
B. Flowering necessitates red light, provided at the 620-630nm spectra. These wavelengths also encourage stem growth. Far red light at the 730 nm spectrum also triggers flowering. However, this spectrum works effectively within a short timeframe, 15 minutes at night.
C. White light, at a temperature of 6500 Kelvin, triggers vegetative growth. Daylight is considered 6500K and is close to the color of direct sunlight.
2. For vegetative growth, the GL80X5LED needs to be on for 12-14 hours. For flowering, 16 hours of light are needed.
3. The GL80X5LED is suitable for households, grow tents, greenhouses, and hydroponic systems where water is the growing medium.
4. A designated switch provides the ability to change light spectra.
You can entrust your plants to the care of the Apollo GL80X5 LED Grow Light best LED grow lights. It substantially increases growth and flower yields. It is cost-effective and convenient to use.
The light is so bright; your plants will want to put on sunglasses! Apollo states that it is their mission to create high quality, fully-featured, innovative hydroponic equipment at the most competitive prices.
Promotion TaoTronics TT-GL14 80*3W 6 Bands
Indoor gardens are a convenient, easy, and eco-friendly way grow your own vegetation and plants. When it comes to setting up all of the tools that you need though, you need to make sure that you are choosing the right products. One product that you cannot compromise on is the lighting.
About Promotion TaoTronics
TaoTronics is a company that manufactures a wide range of electronic products worldwide. Their products are designed to meet the demands and needs of their consumers, which is why they have put so much effort and time perfecting their LED light products. With their LED lights, you can ensure that your indoor garden gets the light support that it needs to flourish.
Grow Light Details
The TaoTronics LED light is a superior product. This product’s specialty lies in the LED growth panel that includes 6 Bands Ratio, so your plants get all of the vital energy and light that they need. You can use this lamp for all your plants, no matter what stage of growth they are at.
The product runs in a cool and quiet manner so that you won’t feel that the lamp is inconvenient and disturbing to your home environment.
Furthermore, thanks to the different wavelengths of light that this LED light omits, your plant’s photosynthesis can fully absorb the light, so they see optimal results.
Overall, this product among LED grow lamps is a good choice for individuals that want to provide their plants with the wide range of light wavelengths, no heat, and energy efficiency and energy savings.
You’ll enjoy that this product is environmentally friendly and that it can handle any stage of your plant’s growth. In addition to this, the unit itself seems to be very advanced and ideal for large gardens.
GalaxyhydroTM 300w LED Grow Light Full SpectrumLED Growing Light
The GalaxyhydroTM 300w LED Grow Light Full Spectrum is designed to enhance the growth rate of plants being grown indoors that are not able to be exposed to natural sunlight. The package includes one stainless steel rope hanger, one power cord and one LED grow light.
It produces less white light and more blue and red light, allowing plants to have more productive periods of flowering and growing. It contains professional light proportion with an outstanding contrast of blue and red light. This will help to improve the speed at which your plants will grow, as well as increase their productivity. The light is not waterproof and is specifically designed to be used indoors.
The GalaxyhydroTM 300w LED Growlight Full Spectrum is equipped with high power 3 watts branded piles that will help to ensure its value. The light produces both infrared and ultraviolet light. The combination of these lights is designed to stimulate the cell division that occurs in your plants.
Over an extended period, this will eventually result in the plants producing an increased yield. The fans on this LED grow light are designed to create a small amount of noise. They also provide the cooling power you need in your growing area.
The aluminum printed circuit board allows the light to run up to 80 percent cooler than many of the other high-intensity discharge lights that are currently on the market.
There is a Zener diode installed in the light. This is a diode that enables current to flow forward, but also in reverse if the voltage is increased to a level that will damage the device it is installed in. This is a wonderful safety feature to have. It means that if there is a power surge of some sort that causes one of the LEDs to stop functioning, the Zener diode will take on the function of a capacitor. This will prevent the light from suffering any more damage and enable it to keep functioning. This is a feature that many other grow lights do not have.
It is recommended that you hang this light a minimum of 19 inches and a maximum of 59 inches from your plants. The exact height that is needed for optimum growing will depend on the specific height and growing stage that your plants are at.
The coverage area is six to seven square feet for the flowering stage and eight to nine feet for the vegetative stage. The dimensions of the light are 15.8 x 8.3 x 2.4 inches. The manufacturer states that although the infrared lights are difficult for people to see, this should not be misinterpreted as a malfunction. This is how they are supposed to look.
Infrared light is a very critical element during a plant’s stages of fruiting and flowering. The recommended amount of working time for this light is 10 to 12 hours during the flowering stage and 14 to 18 hours in the vegetative stage.
It is true that the GalaxyhydroTM 300w LED Grow Light Full Spectrum does not have the lifespan or produce the light power of some of the more expensive grow light models.
However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. When you consider the price of this light compared to the vast majority of its competition, it is a good deal. After all, what do people expect to get for under $200?[
California Lightworks Solar Flare 220w
The 220 Full Cycle is the brightest of the five lights that are included in the SolarFlare series. It is made using the latest in LED technology to be used through the complete growing cycle.
Whether you have a greenhouse garden or an indoor grow room, this light will provide the necessary amount of light to ensure that your plants will continue to grow healthy and will provide you with a bountiful harvest every time.
It is made to produce an amount of light that will be sufficient to cover an area for bloom measuring two feet x two feet. To spread the light enough to cover the largest area, the manufacturer recommends that you place the light roughly 12 to 18 inches higher than your canopy.
The light is made up of 44 super intensity five watt LED emitters. This enables the SolarFlare 22 FullCycle to produce a nominal power of 22 watts. The actual power draw of the light is in the neighborhood of 165 watts.
It is designed to take the place of a Metal Halide or 400-watt HPS system. It is ideal for growing at home in a small closet space where it is important to be as quiet as possible.
If you have an area that is too large for one light to cover, it is possible for you to chain up to 10 SolarFlare 220s together, so they will be able to cover a larger space. When they are chained together, they will be able to use the identical timer and plug.
It contains OptiGrow spectrum color coverage, enabling it to be equally effective in both flowering and vegetative phases. It also boasts jewel quality glass primary optics and high-quality ceramic substrates.
When you look at everything the SolarFlare 220 Full Cycle brings to the table, it is truly a remarkable product in every way. Regarding the blinding amount of light it produces, the affordable price when compared to similar models and the lack of sound generated by this unit, it is a home run in every respect. Not to mention the fact that it will not cause your electric bill to increase by a staggering amount. This light which is one of the best LED grows lights, will benefit any person who has a greenhouse garden or an indoor grow room.
WHAT ARE LED GROWING LIGHTS?
Used in settings that lack natural light sources, grow lights produce a light spectrum that mimics the sun. By providing light that replicates the sun’s varying temperatures and colors, grow lights allow for the cultivation of indoor plants where it might otherwise be impossible.
Though grow lamps were once primarily used for industrial purposes, more and more people are now purchasing them for home use. For city residents, grow lamps allow for successful indoor gardening, and for those who live in cold climates, the use of a grow light makes it possible to grow vegetables and plants year-round regardless of the weather. Some have found that grow lamps also provide an economical way to grow marijuana plants indoors as well.
When determining which type of grow light is right for you, there are many factors to consider. Before making a choice, you’ll want to understand the basics of how light works. Many people mistakenly believe that plants require a continuous amount of light. This is untrue. In fact, 24 hours of light can be a hindrance to plant growth. Much of a plant’s growth occurs during darkness, particularly vegetative and flowering plants. For this reason, the length of light exposure is an important factor to be aware of.
Since light intensity plays a crucial role in plant development, it is also another important component to keep in mind. Some plants, especially sprouts, require less amount of heat than others. Before purchasing your grow lights, you’ll want to be aware of the specific amount of light and heat that your plants thrive under.
The word “spectrum” describes a band of light waves or colors. The spectrum of light is a vital part of horticulture as each spectrum results in a different response from your plants. For example, red light triggers flowering, while the vegetative process requires blue light.
Even more importantly, each type of plant requires a different combination of spectrums. African Violets, for example, need blue light to grow, but they also require red light to flower. Be sure you know which spectrum your plants require before purchasing your grow lights.
TYPES OF GROW LIGHTS
Now that you understand the basics of light and how much it can vary, you can begin determining which type of grow light is best-suited for your plants. Whether you’re a hobbyist or an experienced horticulturist, you’ll find that choosing the right to grow light is a crucial part of achieving your gardening goals. No matter how precise your watering schedule is or how high-quality your seeds are, the right grows light will make a world of a difference. Below are some of the options you have to choose from.
1. High-Intensity Discharge LampsGrow Lights
The high-intensity discharge lamp, also referred to as HID, is known for its brightness and intensity. There are two types of HIDS: metal-halide and high-pressure sodium.[amazon_link asins=’B00AEE50WK’ template=’BuyButton’ store=’thewisy-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4df219fd-7a7a-11e7-bf32-9d2f5825724b’]
2. Metal-halide Lamps Grow Lights
Most commonly used for vegetative plants, metal-halide lamps offer a balanced spectrum that emits strong blue light which promotes leafy growth. This means that it’s a great choice for lettuce, spinach, and herbs. Another advantage to metal halide lamps is that the light it produces appears uncolored, making it a preferred option for indoor household use.[amazon_link asins=’B00VFV9JAU’ template=’BuyButton’ store=’thewisy-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e8f8aeea-7a7a-11e7-8479-3d85ebb51d33′]
3. High-Pressure Sodium Lamps Grow Lights
High-pressure sodium lamps are often used for flowering. Though they can’t compete with the blue light of the metal-halide, they do produce an impressive amount of the yellow and red spectrum which is why they’re superior at triggering fruit and flower production.
One of the disadvantages of both metal-halide and high-pressure sodium lamps, however, is their tendency to produce a lot of heat which often results in the need for an air-conditioning or exhaust system. They also create a humming sound that can be disruptive in quiet areas.[amazon_link asins=’B00E5PFJYS’ template=’BuyButton’ store=’thewisy-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c2565349-7a7c-11e7-accc-555cea8707dc’]
4. LED Growing Lights
The newest grow light, light-emitting diodes, commonly referred to as LED lamps, are becoming a popular choice among horticulturists and indoor gardening enthusiasts. LED lights are the smallest and most lightweight grow lights on the market, and they also use far less electricity than other grow lights.
By increasing the amount of red and blue light, light-emitting diodes create a well-rounded, balanced spectrum that’s ideal for a large variety of plant species. While other bulbs create light as an after effect of chemical reaction, light-emitting diode lights produce light as a direct consequence of electricity entering the diode.
LED grow lamps are more expensive upfront. However, because of their efficiency and longevity, they offer a significant amount of savings in the long run.
5. Fluorescent Lamps Grow Lights
Typically the most inexpensive type of growlight, fluorescent lamps are a good option for plants that require a low amount of light. Fluorescent lamps tend to work best for seedlings or indoor vegetable gardens, and because they produce just a small amount of heat, they can be hung close to your plants.
They’re also lighter in weight than high intensity discharge lamps. Their size and ability to be positioned closely together is an advantage for indoor gardeners who want to make the most of a small space.
ALL ABOUT LED LIGHTS
The commonly used acronym LED stands for light-emitting diode. Despite the fact that the production of light-emitting diodes lights started in 1968, it’s still viewed by many as new and up-and-coming technology. Recently, the development of the white LED light has caused LED lighting to increase in popularity.
Designed to maximize light production in the critically important blue and red wavelengths, LED lights can be customized to concentrate lighting in one of both of these wavelengths depending on your needs. LED lights produce the most effective electromagnetic wavelengths needed to support efficient photosynthesis for peak growth of your plants.
Because they produce the ideal mixture of blue light and red light, they support plant growth from seed starting to the vegetative growth phase to the flowering growth stage. To fully understand the significance of LED light’s utilization of this process, it’s important to remember the individual effects of blue and red light.
Blue light, commonly referred to as cool light, is required for vegetative growth. Red light is necessary for the flowering stage. It produces a hormone that’s responsible for the beautiful, healthy blooms you’re striving towards.
Chlorophyll, the green pigment found in the chloroplasts of your plants, is incapable of absorbing yellow or green light. Due to this, a plant that doesn’t receive an appropriate amount of blue and red wavelengths would quickly deteriorate and die, much like a plant that’s been kept in darkness.
For this reason, LED lighting’s ability to provide the necessary mixture of red and blue light is an impressive asset that many horticulturists and gardeners find advantageous.
THE MANY BENEFITS OF LED LIGHTS
- Optimally designedLED lights are specifically deigned to produce the optimal amount of red and blue light for an ideal combination for optimal plant growth.
- Economic and efficientLED lights consume far less energy than other grow lights. They use up to 75% less electricity and last up to 20 times longer, making them the eco-friendlier option. Because they produce less heat, LED lights do not require the added expense of an air conditioning or exhaust system which dramatically lowers costs.
- Produces little to no heatLED lighting’s ability to perform with little to no heat offers another advantage as well. Heat is a common culprit of dry soil and leaves. With less heat produced by your grow lamps, your plants will require less watering.
- Requires less equipmentLED lighting does not require the use of external ballasts. This is because LED lighting comes with its power source. Because its light is more concentrated than other grow lights, it eliminates the need for light reflectors as well. This is something to keep in mind when comparing the cost of LED lights to other types of grow lights.
LED LIGHTS VERSUS OTHER GROW LIGHTS
When researching which type of grow light is ideal for your gardening goals, it’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed by the many unique advantages and disadvantages that each grows light offers.
Below is a helpful side-by-side comparison of LED lights to other types of lights.
LED Lamps vs. High-Intensity Discharge Lamps
LED lamps provide substantially higher efficiency levels than high-intensity discharge lamps. This is a result of LED’s concentrated light which results in less trapped light and therefore, less light loss. LED lights also use far less electricity than high intensity discharge lamps.
LED Lights vs. Metal-halide Lamps
LED Lamps are far less risky than metal-halide lamps. Because metal-halide lamps contain some gasses inside a glass bulb, the high pressure can cause the bulb to burst which can lead to some accidents, including eye injuries, fire, and burns.
LED lights are also more economical than metal-halide lamps. They last an average of 50,000 hours, while metal-halide lamps only last anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 hours.
As mentioned previously, LED lighting uses far less heat than metal-halide lamps, and it also requires less start-up time. LED lamps to respond instantly, and if there’s a power outage, they restore themselves automatically once the power comes back on. On the contrary, metal-halide lamps require up to twelve minutes of cooling time before turning back on.
LED Lights vs. High-Pressure Sodium Lamps
Once again, LED lighting’s impressive low heat production makes it a better option than high-pressure sodium lamps. LED lamps are also over three times more effective than high-pressure sodium lamps, boasting an impressive 1g to 1.5g per watt.
Similar to metal-halide lamps, high-pressure sodium lamps last an average of 10,000 hours. LED lighting has double the lifespan, and its focus on blue and red spectrums makes it the ideal choice for the vegetative and flowering stages of growth.
LED Lights vs. Florescent Lamps
LED lamps do not contain gasses or filament. Instead, they are completely made up of a semiconductor material. On the other hand, like high intensity discharge lamps, florescent lamps contain magnesium and gasses. When electricity pulses through the bulb, it sets off the magnesium which is what results in the release of ultraviolet light.
Because LED lamps don’t rely on gasses and they act as a semiconductor on their own, this makes them far more efficient than florescent lamps. It also makes them more durable and eliminates the annoying buzzing sound that florescent lamps are known for.
Although the LED light is initially more expensive than the other lights, its effectiveness, long-term advantages, and lifespan makes it the more economical choice.
FEATURES OF LED LIGHTS
LED grow lamps have indeed come a long way in recent years. Today, there’s a vast selection of LED grow lamps to choose from in all types of styles, sizes, and shapes. The size of your unit will, of course, depend on the size of the area you plan on using it for.
As previously mentioned, one of the major advantages to using LED lighting is its compact size. Even apartment owners find that they can fit their LED unit in a closet-sized space.
When purchasing your LED lighting, one of the most important things you’ll need to be aware of is wattage. The LED lamps that you’re used to seeing on electronic devices are usually about 30-60 milliwatts. On the other hand, high power LED lamps to use 500 milliwatts to up to 500 watts.
Many serious horticulturists own LED grow lamps that are around 3-5 watts. If you’re just starting out or you want to lower your costs, starting out with a 3-watt unit may be in your best interest.
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with kelvin rating. The kelvin rating is the measurement of color temperature. Kelvin rating is not to be confused with temperature; it is strictly used as a means to determine the hue of the bulb’s color temperature. The higher the kelvin rating is, the bluer it is. Bulbs with lower Kelvin ratings produce warmer colors.
If you’re growing flowering plants, you’ll want to choose LED lamps in the 2,800-3,000 kelvin range. If vegetables are your primary goal, you should opt for lights in the 6,800-7,200 range.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR YOUR LED LIGHTS
Shopping for LED grow lights can be overwhelming. Quality can differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Here are some important considerations you should make when selecting your new grow lamps.
Many manufacturers will offer customers a 30-day trial period. It’s in your best interest to choose one who does. This allows you to try out the product, and if you’re unhappy with its performance, you can return it for your money back.
Ideally, you should purchase your new LED growlights from a manufacturer who offers a five-year warranty. The majority of LED grow light manufacturers offer at least a one year warranty. However, when a company frequently sells five-year warranties in confidence, you can be pretty certain that the product you’re purchasing is reliable and high-performing.
Read through the warranty thoroughly to ensure that it covers parts and future repairs. Because your LED lamp is an investment, it’s important that you’re covered.
Separate Fact From Fiction
Many LED grow light manufacturers make bold claims. When coming across statements like “the best LED growing lights” or “the only spectrum that works,” make sure that the company has the research to back up their claims. Any website can sell LED bulbs, so it’s important to be able to separate the experts from the salesmen.
Choose a company whose products have undergone extensive efficacy testing from independent researchers. Look for reviews from other customers that have been posted on websites other than the manufacturer’s site.
Know Your Wattage
For a first-time LED grow light buyer, wattage can be a learning process. You’ll want to ensure that the number you’re looking at is the actual wattage and not a false power rating. Keep in mind that the wattage of your unit depends on the voltage and current that run through it.
Look for specific information about the voltage and wavelengths that the grow light produces. Also, remember that a one-watt diode may often draw less than one watt. Be sure to find out the exact number of watts drawn.
Being able to customize your light output spectrum is widely advantageous. Choose an LED light that features brightness controls for each color.
This allows you to adjust the colors during your growing cycle, increasing blue for the vegetative phase and red for the flowering phase. You can also adjust your spectrum per individual plant.
Constant Current Driver Circuit
Look for the term “constant-current driver circuit” in the list of product specifications. A constant-current driver circuit means that the LED light produces a consistent current that does not vary with temperature change.
Because they run more efficiently, LED grow lights with constant-current drivers have an increased longevity.
Effective Built-in Cooling System
Since LED bulbs do not give off heat, you’ll want to purchase one that is attached to a metal-core printed circuit board. A metal-core printed circuit board is superior to a fiberglass board because it’s capable of conducting a much larger amount of heat.
Choose an LED light that is mounted to a large heat sink with some fins.
There are three beam angles available. If you’re growing tall plants, you’ll want to purchase a 60-degree beam angle. For wider areas, the 120-degree beam angle is ideal.
Look for a unit that is built well and appears sturdy and of high quality. Since LED grow lamps are meant to last a long time, you want to ensure that both the inner and outer construction is heavy-duty and reliable.
If you’re not quite ready to make a big purchase but interested in trying out LED lamps, you may consider adding one to your greenhouse or indoor garden as supplemental lighting. You can also use an LED grow light for your non-flowering plants or for plants that flower in the vegetative phase.
In the later stages, you can switch back to your other light sources if you prefer. This gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with LED lighting before making a bigger investment.
POPULAR BRANDS TO CONSIDER
1. Apollo Horticulture
Apollo’s LED lamps are known for their durability, high yield, low heat, and reduced electricity use so that you can grow your products indoors and in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner.
The Apollo Horticulture GL100LED Full Spectrum 300W is an excellent choice for growing plants indoor. These LED’s are ideal for all phases of plants growth and flowering.LED Grow Lights
Though LumiGrow is still considered new, they are already at the forefront of the latest technology and innovations in LED lamps. They offer products for every type of customer from the commercial grower to the indoor garden hobbyist.
The LumiGrow Pro 325 LED Grow Lights is an excellent choice for the indoor garden hobbyist.LED Grow Lights
TaoTronics, a leading consumer electronics brand, has impressed a lot of customers in the last few years. Their latest unit is one of the smallest lights on the market. TaoTronics offers an impressive ten-year warranty.
The Promotion TaoTronics® TT-GL14 80*3W 6 Bands Led Grow Light is one of the highest rated LED lamps. This light panel comes with full Spectrum 6 Bands Ratio to provide the full energy what plants need.
G8LED makes some of the most efficient lights that come with high-quality diodes, circuit boards, power supplies and cooling fans. All G8LED’s grow lights are rated for 50,000 hours of life.
The G8LED 240 Watt LED Grow Lamp LED Grow Lights comes with an optimal 8-Band wavelength ratio to support the entire grow cycle from the vegetable grow phase to the flowering stage.
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