Interest Growing for LED Grow Light Products:
Grow light products that incorporate LED technology are gaining appeal as the technology continues to evolve, and prices associated with the technology decline. Growers are discovering that the technology can be perfectly suited for indoor grow scenarios for a multitude of reasons. The focus of this post will review, in detail, why LED grow lights are becoming the preferred technology for indoor growers.
Best Reasons to Consider LED Grow Lights for Your Grow Room:
- LED technology
- Control of Light Spectrum Compositions
- Plant Growth Stage Benefits
- LED Grow Light Working Temperatures
- LED Grow Light Efficiency
- LED Grow Light Lifespan
- Size of LED Grow Lights
- LED Light Research
- LED Use Incentives
LED, which stands for light emitting diode, is a solid state device that converts electric energy directly into light of a single color. Most of the light is generated in the visible spectrum and stems from the chip which is typically mounted in the center of the LED arrangement. This arrangement is often encapsulated in epoxy. Given current, light can be produced from within the chip and the light which is emitted falls within a broad spectrum. The color of the light can be manipulated by variables associated with the composition and arrangement of the LED technology. The ability to “tune-in” to various aspects of the light spectrum is one very significant benefit of LED grow light technology. Research has shown that plants grow best when they enjoy the right wavelength of light during appropriate stages of the grow process. LED grow lights are able to provide the type of light that supports plant growth during the most appropriate developmental stages.
Light Spectrum Capabilities of LED Grow Lights:
The spectrum light that an LED can now produce includes, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and white. Although plants absorb a broad range of light during the grow process, red and blue light have been shown to be very important for plant development. The fact that LED grow light products can be designed to emit a certain ratio of light spectra gives them the unique ability to effectively and efficiently act as the proper catalyst to initiate and promote plant photosynthesis during various stages of a plant’s grow process. Research reveals that red and blue light is most effective at supporting photosynthesis during stages of plant growth. LED grow lights can be manufactured to have more LEDs that produce red and blue light. This aspect gives LED grow light technology an edge over HID and fluorescent counterparts. LED grow lights give plants the light they need most and do so without wasting excess light energy.
LED Grow Lights Encourage Optimal Plant Growth:
Since LED grow lights can be manufactured to provide a variety of light wavelengths, plant growth can be optimized. Plant photosynthesis, the process by which plants use light to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water, is prompted primarily by light wavelengths between the range of 400 nanometers and 700 nanometers. LED grow lights, and the LEDs within, have been designed to create light wavelengths that fall within this range of wavelengths. This peak range is know as the photosynthetically active radiation range (PAR). Different LED grow lights are designed to emit different wavelengths and most manufacturers seek to build their grow lights so that they emit the light necessary to spark plant growth in the vegetative and reproductive, or bloom, stages. HID and fluorescent lights do not have the ability to “tune-in” to these specific wavelength ranges and are therefore less efficient than LED grow lights at optimizing plant growth.
LED Grow Light Working Temperatures:
Since LED grow lights are able to produce the right type of light without producing excess light wavelengths that are underutilized during a plant’s grow process, they are ultimately more efficient than other grow lights. The fact that an LED grow light does not throw off wasted energy means that it will have a working temperature that is cooler than HIDs or fluorescent grow lights. This is a big plus for the average grower for two very important reasons. The excess heat produced by HIDs and fluorescent grow lights can negatively affect the grow environment, causing the ambient temperature to rise above the average temperature range that is conducive to growing plants successfully. Attempts to reduce the heat produced by HIDs and fluorescents can represent a steep price when one considers including multiple cooling fans and internal ventilation systems. Additionally, the excess heat produced by HIDs and fluorescent grow lights can throw the overall grow room temperature above the desired temperature causing plant burn out. Starting over from seed due to burned out plants is always disheartening. Since LEDs run cooler, they can be used in much closer proximity to the plant without the risk of burnout or stressed plant regression. LEDs have been shown in various studies to run cooler than other grow light alternatives and thus save a grower time and money. LED grow lights have been shown to be up to 80% more efficient than alternative light sources. In the end, LED grow lights are the safer, more efficient and cost effective choice for an indoor grower.
LED Grow Light Efficiency Review:
- LED grow lights produce the right type of light that plants seek most. The red and blue light emitted by the LED design is the type of light that research shows is most efficient at prompting photosynthesis.
- LED grow lights offer photosynthetic efficiency.
- Red and Blue light is shown to be the most efficient light spectra at prompting photosynthesis. LED grow lights can be specifically designed and manufactured to contain a high ratio of red and blue light emitting LEDs.
- LED grow lights offer spectral optimization potentials.
- LEDs have high luminous flux and luminance.
- LED grow lights run at a cooler temperature which is less stressful to plants and is cost effective for the grower. Less watering is necessary which allows the grower to focus attention elsewhere.
- LED grow light working temperatures are more stable and thus make it easier for a grower to monitor and maintain a preferable grow room temperature.
- LED grow lights do not need to warm up and or build energy to emit the right type of light. LEDs are steady state operating and thus easier to control and manage.
- Studies show that the average lifespan of LED grow lights exceeds 50,000 hours. LED grow lights last longer than other grow light alternatives and LED grow lights can be more reliable over their lifespan.
- LED grow lights are lighter and more compact than other grow light alternatives. This makes them more efficient at fitting in to smaller grow room spaces and also makes them easier to hang or position with minimal time and effort.
- LED grow lights can be closer to plants and thus allow for creative organization of plants during the grow process. Multi-tiered plant arrangements can be designed if the grower wishes.
- LED grow lights can reduce electricity costs and over the long term, this will help to grow profit margins and/or savings.
Research Supports LED Grow Light Use:
- Research by Goins et al (2001) shows that LED grow light use increased plant biomass.
- Research by Mizuno et al. (2011) reveals that LED grow light use supports higher rates of plant photosynthesis.
- Research by Li et al. (2012) reveals that LED grow light use supports higher rates of plant photosynthesis.
- Research conducted at Purdue University , led by associate professor Roberto Lopez, reveals that LEDs can produce successful grow outcomes while using less energy and thus costing less to produce.
The above listed research articles are just a few of the many research articles that I have cited and linked to throughout the pages of Grow Big or Grow Home. Many studies exist that document the benefits of LED grow light use and my goal is to link to as many relevant research articles as possible throughout the pages of this site.
LED Use Incentives:
DSIRE, a source of information on energy efficiency in the United States found at www.dsireusa.org is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and can give a grower state by state breakdowns of incentives that support the use of clean energy. For the standard indoor grower, a personal tax incentive might be one incentive worth looking into on the site. The personal tax incentive can come in the form of income tax credits and deductions and may be utilized to reduce the expense of purchasing and installing energy efficient systems and equipment.
LED grow light technology is proven to be effective and efficient. I have listed the primary reasons that growers utilize LED grow light technology in this post, which was my objective. The exciting aspect of this information though is that LED technology and know-how is still growing. Research continues and this technology is still in its infancy stage. The technology incorporated into LED grow lights, which is already proven to be more efficient than alternative grow lights of the time, is expected to advance even further during the next five years. It is an exciting time for LED enthusiasts, and it is an exciting time for indoor grow specialists. Advancement in LED technology is undeniable, and the use of this technology in grow lights supports us all. LED grow lights are the present, and the future, of successful indoor growing. My hope is that the information contained on the pages of this site will help many make informed and educated decisions on LED grow light technology.