If you are an indoor gardener and you are still using the HPS or HID grow lights, you are making a huge mistake. There are several reasons indoor growers and gardeners have switched to LED grow lights. The traditional HPS or HID grow lights work great but also frequently dry out plant roots and lead to huge utility bills. Thanks to the advanced LED grow lights available at affordable prices these days; indoor gardeners can grow their plants without worrying about withered leaves or outrageous energy bills.
Advantages of LED Grow Lights
A significant advantage of LED lights as compared to other lights is that it is highly efficient as compared to the other options.
HID lights have an efficiency of up to 35%, but with LED grow lights, you can get an efficiency of more than 90%.
This is due to the reason that the plants can use more than 90% of the light from LED panels.
LED grow lights
A typical indoor grower can save anywhere from 40 to 70% on their utility bills by switching to LED grow lights.
Newer generations of LED
You will also save a lot of money on your utility bills. Anecdotal evidence suggests that continuous improvement in the technology means that newer generations of LED lights are even more efficient, which means you get to save even more money.
HID grow light
The traditional HPS or HID grow lights generate a lot of heat, and it usually makes the growing space uncomfortable. On the other hand, only a little heat is produced by LED lights, which means you do not need to invest in fans, heat deflectors, or other such things to get rid of the excessive heat.
In terms of lifespan, there is no match for LED lights, as these lights can offer up to 100,000 hours of operation. On the other hand, the typical High-Pressure Sodium grow lights have an average life span of only up to 7500 hours. In simple terms, you will save a significant amount of money by switching to LED grow lights.
LED lights offer extreme customization and flexibility. You can fine-tune these lights to produce only the beneficial wavelengths for your plants. You have the choice of buying full-spectrum LED lights or investing in even more advanced LED panels where you can automate and program the spectrum to the minutest detail. In fact, you can buy LED lights that mimic the sun’s progress throughout the day.
There was a time when HID grow lights had an advantage over LED lights in terms of brightness and intensity. However, those days are long gone. This used to happen in an era when powerful LED lights were not widely available, but these days, LED grow lights tend to be much brighter and cheaper as compared to the traditional grow lights.
While LED light tends to be directional, but advances in technology have made hot spots much less of an issue in the newer generations. It can be a problem if you buy LED lights from no brand name companies, but if you purchase these lights from some reputable manufacturers, you won’t have any problems with hotspots.
Mistakes to Avoid
LED grow lights offer a number of advantages, but it does not mean that you can just leave the lights on and expect to have healthy plants. Here is a list of some of the common mistakes you should avoid when using LED grow lights.
It’s possible to overheat the plants even with LED lights. Take a close look at the leaves, and if it starts turning brownish, it means that there is too much heat. Also, if the leaves of the plants begin to curl up, it’s a sign that you need to move the lights away from the plants.
You need an adequate number of LED panels to provide a sufficient amount of lighting to the plants. The number of grow lights will depend on the number of plants you are growing indoors. When it comes to the distance between the plants and the lamps, you need to find a balance. Expert growers recommend keeping the distance between LED lights and the plants between 12 to 18 inches.
You should know that different types of light are needed at different growth stages. You can easily achieve this by investing in full-spectrum LED lights, but it’s important to choose the right setting for your plants to develop well. For instance, blue spectrum light is needed in the vegetative growth stage, but if you set the LED panels to emit red spectrum light, it will hinder the growth of the plant.
One common mistake many indoor growers make when they switch from HID to LED lights is that they keep overwatering the plants. Since HID lights generate a lot of heat and infrared light, you need to water the plant more often, but LED lights do not generate as much heat, and these don’t emit infrared light which means you do not need to supply as much water as is the case with HID lights.
Overall, LED grow lights offer several advantages, but you need to choose the right type of light and the right brand in order to enjoy the benefits mentioned above.