Plants need the right lighting to grow properly, LED technology also helps in this area. LED grow light is the best lamps currently available on the indoor grow market.
LED aka Light Emitting Diode is an electrical component that consists of two terminals and allows the passage of electrical current in only one direction. Applying an adequate voltage the electrons recombine releasing energy in the form of photons (electroluminescence).
Lack of sunlight is a frequent problem for plants. This can significantly delay their growth. Therefore, it is recommended to place them near the windows or be equipped with a led grow light that can effectively replace natural light and allow your plants to grow properly.
Why LED light is better than other grow lamps?
It is an interior lighting system that provides light to plants. Also called a flowering lamp or plant lamp, it is an effective alternative to sunlight and other grow lamps and keeps your indoor plants alive in some way. There are several types of energy-saving lamps that use different technologies. We have Plasma, which has a bulb without electrodes, Neon, which emits white light with low energy consumption, and the light-emitting diode (LED) lamp, which is extremely energy efficient.
There are CFL lamps that emit a light comparable to daylight. In the same way, we can distinguish metal halide lamps (MH) whose lighting also approximates that of the sun. Finally, there are HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamps that emit a red and yellow spectrum and promote plant growth.
On the other hand LED’s grow light is low energy consumption lamps and their light promotes plant growth. Their cost is high compared to the classic indoor grow lamps, but they turn out to be a long-lasting investment, as their average duration is from 8 to 15 years.
The common indoor growing lamps have big disadvantages:
- Short duration in time. The lamps must be changed every year as they deteriorate and lose their brightness
- They develop a lot of heat, forcing us to keep the lamps away from the plants
- They consume a lot of electricity
For some years now, LED lamps have been introduced. NASA first started cultivating for space astronauts with LED lamps. LED grow light offers great advantages; let’s see the main ones together:
- You can manage to save up to 90% on the cost of your bill, compared to having a classic lamp.
- Their duration varies from 8 to 15 years of life without losing their light like with neon lights.
- The heat emitted by them is very low. This makes it possible to bring the light source closer to the plants, offering greater yield.
- With LED grow light, we can cover the entire surface of our plant, thanks to the projection angle of the LED lamps.
- The possibility of creating a perfect light coverage with red and blue LEDs for both photosynthesis
There are several factors to consider before buying LED grow light and these have been restricted in six different considerations:
- light intensity
- Wattage Draw
- Coverage area
How do lamps for indoor cultivation work?
In horticulture, lighting devices have the same operation principle. For HPS and MH lamps, they have ballast that converts electricity from the grid into other electricity that passes from one electrode to the other to make the lamp shine.
Fluorescent and CFL lamps are molecules in the gaseous atmosphere that disperse ultraviolet radiation under the influence of electric current. This radiation is converted into visible light by the whitish coating of the inner surface of the fluorescent lamps.
LED grow light is the result of the revolution that has taken place in the indoor lamp market in recent years. They integrate technologies that allow them to reproduce sunlight while saving energy.
How to use a LED grow light?
To use your horticultural lamp, of course, you must install it inside your garden. Ideally, it should be placed at a height that effectively covers the entire target crop. There must be a good distance between the plants and the lamp. For example, for a 400 W LED horticultural bulb, a distance of 25 cm is required, while for a 250 W one, it is 25 cm.
Note that you should not keep the lamp on continuously. You must respect the recommended durations whether it is used for fruiting or flowering. The maximum duration is generally 16 hours.
As with other types of lamps, you must ensure proper maintenance of your led grow light for indoor cultivation and this requires healthy use. If you use a fluorescent model, avoid turning it on and off frequently, as this not only wastes electricity, but also reduces its life. You should also remove and replace the fluorescent tubes from time to time. This process should be carried out with caution, since the tubes contain traces of toxic mercury. Also, regularly remove dust from your lamps.
How to grow plants and vegetables with LED lamps
When you want to grow plants and vegetables with lamps it is always advisable to rely on full spectrum led grow lights. Using lighting systems, however, requires a bit of practice: we try finding out what are the methods to learn how to grow indoors using this lighting system. The first question to ask is related to the type of plants that will be grown.
This choice influences the switching on time of the LED grow lights, which is technically called photoperiod, which differs for each cultivated variety and above all for each growth phase.
LED devices consume up to 5 times less energy, have a much longer lifespan and do not generate excess heat harmful to plants.
Basically the LEDs that a plant would need to live and develop fully would be the following:
- White LEDs: Simulate brightness
- Red LEDs: Responsible for providing infrared rays necessary for flowering
- Blue LEDs: Provide UV rays necessary for growth
Only about 35% of the power and 10% of the light emitted from metal halides is used by the plants; In case of LED lights 90% of the light of the lamps can be absorbed by the plants.
During plant growth, blue LED lighting is preferable, where the light has a wavelength close to 400 nm; On the other hand, for the process of flowering and ripening of fruits, a larger proportion of red color corresponding to 660 nm is required.
Thanks to the use of LED grow light in crops, the decrease in the cost of electric energy can be 25 times lower compared to fluorescent. The greatest contribution of technology in this area comes from NASA Researchers, who for three years have used LEDs in a vegetable system designed to grow in space. They are manufactured in many designs and sizes depending of the purposes of use.
The LED plant light includes red and blue light, in order to promote and maintain maximum plant growth. Plants need a spectrum of red and blue light for healthy and rapid growth and for the natural process of photosynthesis.
The LED grow light has been designed to save the environment and is extremely energy efficient compared to standard fluorescent lighting systems, which is reflected in the low operating costs.
Photosynthesis occurs primarily from red light and, secondly, from blue light. However, blue light is also necessary for many plants due to its regulation of growth, flowering and fruit formation. Therefore, LED grow light is suitable for growing all stages of plant development.