What is the best LED grow light in 2018?
So, you’re looking for the perfect LED grow light. How do you know what makes a great LED grow light for your requirements? One of the most important things to consider is to ensure that your LED grow light is powerful enough to easily cover the area you wish to grow.
Another thing to consider is whether you will require an all purpose LED grow light or if you require supplemental lamps to encourage flowering.
One of the problems home growers and budding horticulturists experienced with halogen grow lights was replacing blown bulbs or bulbs over heating and giving off heat signatures or creating fire hazards.
The biggest benefit of using LED grow lights is that the problems that indoor growers faced when using traditional grow lights are now removed. No excessive energy consumption or heat signatures are created. This in itself makes growing plants using LED grow lights much more affordable and discrete.
What are LED grow lights?
Grow lights (or grow lamps) are an artificial source of light intended to either supplement natural light or replace it all together. Grow lights / grow lamps can help plants grow where previously they could not. Grow lights are specific lights designed to emit light wave lengths that are required by plants to grow.
Why standard bulbs do not work
Standard bulbs are designed for humans to see in darkness and not for plants to grow. Visual light emits light on the red end of the spectrum which is not ideal on its own to grow plants. Standard bulbs also tend to emit too much heat which can cause damage to plants
How to pick the best LED grow light for you
When you are looking to buy an LED grow light, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
How large is your grow area?
The most important question you need to answer before you purchase any LED grow light is, what size area do you need to cover? It is pointless purchasing any LED grow light without knowing the area you will be growing in and the power that you need to output (usually dictated by the amount of lights required). We will be looking for a nice even coverage where possible in order to maximise crop yield.
What type of plants will you grow?
Different types of plants thrive better with different mixes of light. Most plants thrive under a mixture of blue and red light but other colours are also important such as green. You can purchase ‘full spectrum’ lights which will produce the full range or colours or you can buy lights where you can concentrate colours according to growth stages. The type of LED grow light that you choose will depend on the type of plants which you are growing.
How much are you looking to invest?
Another important thing to consider is the amount of money you are looking to invest in an LED grow light. The more you pay, the better the quality lamp which results in more energy efficiency and often better results. The investment required is often directly related to the value of the plants you are growing, If they are fairly low value crops, then you can get away with buying cheaper LED grow lights. If your crop is more valuable, then get the best LED grow lights that are available.
Are Full Spectrum LED grow lights the best?
Main benefits of LED Grow Lights
- LED grow lights / lamps are very energy efficient and are among the cheapest sources of artificial light to operate. They produce more light per watt than other light mediums.
- LED grow lights / lamps do not get hot which means that the chances of damaging your plants is drastically reduced.
- LED grow lights / lamps can be lugged into a standard electrical fitting which means they do not require custom electrical work
- LED grow lights / lamps can offer a range of colours and can be customisable and adjustable depending on crop being grown and what stage of development.
- LED grow lights / lamps are the easiest grow lights to use and require little if any maintenance.
Downsides of LED Grow Lights
- LED grow lights / lamps require more investment upfront that standard grow lights. But, they last longer and are easier to use so that counters the cost downside.
- Some of the cheaper LED grow lights / lamps emit less light than other types of conventional grow lights. If you ensure your LED grow light / lamp has at least 2.0 micromoles per watt of energy you’ll be fine.
- Some LED grow lights / lamps will require reflectors to get the full benefit, the same as conventional grow lights.