Just a few years ago, LEDs have been laughed off as a viable grow room lighting solution, but the leaps and bounds that technology has been making is beginning to raise a few eyebrows. Very high quality LED grow lights are now available on the market, and their popularity is beginning to pick up as more and more indoor growers show stunning results. As more indoor growers can produce a top-shelf product, the tide has turned in favor of the LEDs. Here we provide some critical considerations so you can choose wisely when investing in LED grow lights.
WHAT ARE LEDS?
LEDs produce light by passing a current through a semiconductor material as opposed to burning a filament. This causes electrons to move, which in turn produce light – but without the loss of energy in the form of heat, as with conventional bulbs.
The first LED light was invented by a Russian named Oldeg Vladimirovich back in 1927, however, no practical use was found for it. It was not until 1955 that certain semi-conductor alloys were found to have infrared emissions. In 1961, Texas Instruments patented the idea for LEDs as a light source. To begin with LEDs were only made to be red – these were used in TVs to produce the lowlights produced from the corners. Today, LED technology has progressed massively, and still is. LEDs can now produce lights encompassing the entire ultraviolet spectrum, form visible all the way through to infrared.
LEDs are what is known as “luminous efficient”, meaning they use electricity very efficiently to produce light. In a lab setting LED light was shown to have an efficiency of anywhere from 150+ lumens per watt, with top end CREE lights obtaining 254 lumens per watt. Comparatively, a standard HPS lamp will have an efficiency of 100 lumens per watt. What this means today is that some of the high end LED systems can save a grower 50% on electricity bills compared to the use of an HPS system both good for your wallet, and the planet.
LED lights do not use filaments. This has resulted in much longer bulb life, lasting between 50,000 – 60,000 hours.
LED systems produce very little heat – to the point where most are ok to touch. This is once again due to the lack of a burning filament. Nearly 95% of the energy that HID bulbs use is wasted as heat and radiation; because LEDs don’t burn anything, they do not have this problem. As a result LED lights can be placed 30 – 45cm above the cannabis plants, helping prevent stretch.
A high end LED system can now cover all of the light spectrums required to grow healthy cannabis plants. The main spectrums that are required during the life cycle of a cannabis plant are blue and red. Most high end systems will have a mixture of blue and red diodes in order to fulfil this – and with some possible to adjust them based on the current stage of the grow.
What About The Yield?
For many years LED grow lights were not producing the same yields as their high-pressure sodium counterparts. Grow light technology has advanced considerably and top-shelf LEDs like the G8LED 600W Veg/Flower with UV and IR are able to provide comparable yields to the tried and true 1000W HPS bulbs.
This fantastic light produces healthy plants with vigorous growth and tight intermodal spacing for fuller yields. The advantage of the LED is that it operates at a much lower temperature, consuming less than half the electricity and gives the grower more control over his plants. With these lights, cannabis plants grown indoors will have a superb scent, flavor and frostiness.
After the selection of the plant strain, lighting is the critical component of the indoor grow garden. Investing in top-shelf lights. These lights allow growers to run their operation at much lower costs and produce excellent harvests. LED grow lights are the future of indoor growing. It is exciting to see this revolutionary technology transform indoor gardens around the world.