Grow lights are used by many businesses and individuals to grow plants of various kinds indoors. Commercial growers get a great benefit from using grow lights, as they extend the growing season, which is usually determined by the weather and available sunlight.
Grow lights are not a new concept and have been used in various forms for many decades. The original incandescent bulb was often used with reflectors to achieve some impressive growth results.
However, lighting technology has come a long way in the past couple of decades and, for many purposes, the lighting source of choice is the LED. What is LED, and why is it the best way forward in terms of grow lights?
We will tackle these questions in the following article, in which we will explain what the benefits of LED are over other lighting sources. Let’s begin by outlining what LED stands for and what LEDs are.
1. What is LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Now, you may remember in the dim and distant past the craze for digital watches beginning in the 1970s, the ones with illuminated green or red numbers on a black face?
Those were the original LEDs, and they have come a long way from then.
An LED works in a different way than a conventional light of any other form. It is switched on by an electric current passing through it. This causes the diode to give out light.
Let’s take a step back before we move on and consider an original type of light bulb. When switched on, what would happen if you touched it? It will be very hot! This is because, in traditional light bulbs, a massive amount of energy is wasted as heat.
There was no way around this, no matter the type of bulb being used until the LED came along. An LED bulb is as much as 90% more efficient in energy usage than a standard light bulb and produces only tiny amounts of heat.
This is why they are increasingly being used in homes, commercial and industrial buildings, and vehicles. Low energy usage also means longer life.
You may find that, in some cases, LED lights are more expensive to buy than other types, but the energy-saving and long life easily balance this out. And there’s more to them than all of this, too!
Why are we suggesting them as the ideal source for grow lights? Before you read on, check out protechgrowlights leading suppliers of top-quality LED grow lights to many satisfied clients. Let’s look at some of the further benefits of LED lights.
2. What are the Benefits of LED Lighting?
If you want LED lighting explained in detail, we suggest you read the information at that link, but we will continue here and explain how LED lights are better than conventional lights for use as grow lights.
First, LEDs are directional. A standard light bulb emits light – and heat – in all directions. This is further wastage of valuable energy. The fact an LED is directional makes it ideal as a grow light as it can be pointed to the plant and direct all the light where it is needed at the right time with no energy wasted.
Next, LEDs can be tuned across the light spectrum. This requires some explanation, so we’ll do our best! The light spectrum runs from Ultra Violet (UV) through to Infra-Red (IR), in between is light that we are familiar with.
An LED can emit light at any point across the spectrum, and the grow lights from the maker we mentioned above can be tuned to any point on the spectrum.
Why is this important? Shining a bright light on a plant may or may not help it grow. This is because to get the energy it needs from a light source – the sun in nature – it needs to absorb that energy.
The sun’s light is at the UV end of the spectrum. When you consider that different species of plants need different light levels, you begin to see why being able to tune grow lights to a specific point on the light spectrum is important.
Plants will respond and grow best when they are subject to the right type of light for the right length of time, and this can be finely tuned when using LED light. You may see this referred to as PAR or Photosynthetic Active Radiation.
This is what plants absorb from the sun, and when replicated at the right level via LED grow lights, they get the same level of PAR they would in the natural world.
Generally, the higher the PAR rating of the LED, the more effective and energy-efficient it will be when used to enhance the growth rate.
Using these also means your plants will not be subjected to higher than usual heat during their early growth, which can cause problems when you use standard light forms.
3. How to Choose LED Grow Lights
Now you know that LED grows lights are amazingly energy efficient and can deliver the right PAR levels at a lower cost than standard lights; you can understand why commercial growers and even individuals turn to LED as the answer to their problems.
You will pay more for these lights in your initial outlay, but the savings you will make in terms of energy wastage and direct lighting can be considerable. For those growing professionally, these savings mean not only less expensive but higher profits.
LEDs are used widely in growing applications for flowers, vegetables, fruits and all types of plant and can guarantee a greater level of success with young seedlings right through to the point they are ready for planting or sale.
We recommend you read the links we have included here as they all offer excellent information on LED grow lights that we have not got the space to include. We hope we’ve given you a starting point to improve your growing facility.