Why use LED lights for indoor growing?
Plants do not utilise much white light and some of the other spectrums produced by conventional lighting such as HPS (High Pressure Sodium). In fact plants only use around 30% of the light produced by conventional lighting. Just as conventional lighting has a reduced effect on plant growth so also do traditional methods of measuring light such as LUX becoming insufficient for measuring LED Light. Led Light has a totally different set of rules, the only recognised and effective way to measure LED light is to use the method called PAR or (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). PAR is the term use to describe the wavelengths needed by the plant to feed and grow. The light emitted from our LED light units are close to 100% efficiently utilised. By properly utilising the specific forms of light needed by the plants they are able to fully utilise the energy available, uninhibiting the plants and opening them up to their full potential.
Horticultural Terminology Explained
One of the underlying benefits of LED technology is its ability to produce light sources tuned to almost any spectral demand. If you’ve recently strayed into the world of horticultural lighting then it is likely that you’ve found yourself immersed in an entirely new alphabet soup. This is because our lighting technology has been designed, unsurprisingly, with only people in mind. But plants don’t work in the same way that we do, so a new set of metrics is needed to understand if a lighting environment is suitable for the plants in question. Here are some guidelines: PAR: Photosynthetic active radiation These are the wavelengths of light within the (human) visible range of 400nm – 700nm that drive photosynthesis. But PAR is not actually a measurement; it defines the nature of the light spectrum that specific plants need for photosynthesis to occur. The metrics that concern horticultural illumination come from the establishment of the PAR environment. PPF: Photosynthetic photon flux PPF is expressed in μmol/s (micro moles per second). It is the total amount of PAR produced by a lighting system per second. It is not an indicator of the effectiveness of the system – how much light is actually falling on the plant, but is a good indicator of the system’s efficiency. PPFD: Photosynthetic photon flux density PPFD is expressed in μmol/m2/s (micro moles per square metre, per second). It measures the amount of PAR that actually falls on the plant. It equates to a luminance reading in the human sphere and is a ‘spot’ measurement on a specific location. As with an architectural luminaire, an assessment of performance can’t be provided by a single figure (beam centre, for example). A polar diagram or equivalent is needed to understand how the luminaire actually performs. Photon efficiency The Photon efficiency of a system tells you how efficient that system is in converting electrical energy into PAR light. Micromole = number of photons emitted from a luminaire. It enables growers to know how much light is falling onto a given area (PPFD), and how much light a plant may receive in a day i.e the daily light integral (DLI). A mole is defined as the number of atoms in a 12 gram pure sample of carbon-12, which happens to be 6.022141 x 10 23 atoms. The introduction of LED into horticultural lighting is challenging some of the conventional ways of looking at horticultural metrics, chiefly because LED lighting can be ‘tuned’ to be so much more efficient than traditional light sources. We can expect the LED industry to introduce yet more new metrics into the alphabet soup very soon.
What is the difference between ‘dualband’ and ‘triband’?
‘Triband’ simply means 3 colours and will give a greater diversity of spectrums which plants enjoy. ‘Dualband’ means 2 colours & concentrates on the two most important spectrums; Red (for flowering) & Blue (for vegetation). In general, there is very little (if any) difference in terms of yield for most plants as both have their benefits. More colours does not mean better growth. It is an accurate combination of the millions of shades of reds and blues combined supplementary colours that makes all the difference. The more accurately the lights are able to meet the needs of the plant the better it will be able to grow and the more stunning its yields will be.
How close to the plants can I have the lights?
LED’s are fairly cool running so most plants can even touch the light surface without ‘burning’ (although we don’t recommend doing this). Because there is very little heat, your plants do not risk burning the tops of your plants or overheating the grow area. As a general guide; the edge of your lights should be at a height 45 degrees to the edge of your plants.
Why Buy and Grow with LEDs?
Before purchasing, review the information below to be more comfortable with purchasing your first Led Grow lights.
What is an LED and how can it be used for indoor growing?
An LED or light-emitting diode is a small semiconductor device which emits light, usually coloured, when an electric current passes through it. LEDs are energy saving and have a long service life.
LED indoor growing lights are:
- Effective /Efficient – you save up to 70% energy compared to HID/HPS indoor growing systems.
- They emit very low heat and are safer than other indoor growing systems.
- They are soft on your wallet and the environment.
- Maximize photosynthetic response.
- They ONLY emit the light that your plants use for photosynthesis.
- Provide the exact wavelengths that plants thrive on.
- Create an indoor growing environment that requires less watering.
- LED grow lights are the most efficient way to indoor growing hydroponics.
Indoor Growing with LEDs is effective:
- We have selected creative and efficient designs for the light patterns in our LED grow lights. Not all LED lights are the same!
- By leaving out the light that plants don’t use we maximise the photosynthetic response of the plant, allowing your crop to flourish, as well as saving on wasted energy from unused spectrums.
- Plants love Red and Blue wavelengths of the visible light spectrum for photosynthesis. This combination is unbeatable for both budding and flowering.
- In other words, our lights get pretty close to the exact frequency wavelengths your plants are looking for!
Why haven’t I heard of LED lights for indoor growing before?
LED grow lights are an emerging challenger to the established grow light industry. Previously LED lights had been unsuitable for growing as they were missing the blue spectrum which is key to the growth and development of plants (Blue photons drive the photosynthetic reaction and regulate the opening of stomata) . In 2014 a trio of Japanese scientists (Professors Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura) won the Nobel Prize for physics for their invention of the blue Light Emitting Diode, revolutionising the industry and making LED lights a viable option. Since then the race has been on to reduce production costs of LED lights to compete with HPS/HID. Now with constant advances in technology we have come to the point where the upfront cost of an LED light may be higher than a HPS/ HID but the increased durability, yields and safety paired with reduced electricity bills pays for itself in no time!