In this post we will be going over LED grow lights. We are not saying that they are the best or worst option. However, they are still an option with some really great pros. Yet like with anything else there are also cons. Let us go over both aspects of this subject below.
Plants need light to grow, we all know this. The light that the sun emits has colors from all over the spectrum, this is also well known. But what is not well known is that plants only need red and blue light to grow efficiently; the rest of the spectrum is not necessary. With LED grow lights you gain the ability to tune the color spectrum to plants in different stages of growth.
LED‘s are very efficient compared to conventional lighting sources. With LED grow lights the number of watts of electricity used is cut by 40-50%. If you are going to be growing plants for a matter of years, this fact alone can save you a lot of money. LED grow lights output way less heat then other systems. What this means is that you may not need any cooling systems. If you do then they can be scaled way down and you can hang your LED grow lights a lot closer to your plants.
A run of the mill LED grow light will last for at least 50,000 hours. That is a little over 5 years. Higher end LED units can last for up to 20 years. This drastically reduces the number of bulbs that need to be bought and replaced. Besides lasting longer, LED units have a very compact design. They are thinner and lighter compared to conventional units. Also, depending on how much space you have to work with, you could possibly set up a vertical garden with stacks of at least 2 or more!
Now on to the drawbacks. And we are being brutally honest. LED grow lights can be significantly more expensive to buy compared to other sources. Now for the defense: with other sources you could be replacing bulbs or the ENTIRE unit multiple times a year. Also, other sources soak up twice the amount of energy than LED grow lights do. Sometimes plants that are under LED grow lights can experience discoloration, sometimes turning grey-ish or purple. But I mean, who doesn’t mind a purple carrot now and then? LED grow lights do not produce a lot of heat which is in itself a plus. But this is not ideal for plants who like a more heated environment. So, it really all depends on the types of plants you are trying to grow.
All in all, the LED-based growing light system is best for the grower who is happy to spend more at the beginning in order to save in the long run. Allowing them more energy efficient and compact grow lights that emit light specifically for plants!
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