LED Grow Lights – Do They Work and Are They Worth the Money?

LED grow lights have become increasingly popular among hobbyists and professional growers and gardeners alike, with reported increased growth and yield from plants grown under LED lights.

LED grow lights, as opposed to metal halide lights, emit practically no heat. For the avid or professional gardener, this is a major benefit. Dealing with excess heat is a serious concern for gardeners, because the heat will dry out their crop and cause plants to wither. Therefore, ductwork often has to be installed to draft heat away from plants.

If you’re trying to grow tomatoes in your spare bedroom, installing ductwork can be very inconvenient and destructive. Greenhouses also need to be weather tight, so the tradeoff of heat and ductwork can be a problem for your crop.

Enter the LED light, which produces such a small amount of heat as to be practically negligible. Most people who use LED lights report very little need even for additional fans to draw away heat, much less expensive and destructive duct work installation.

Most lights emit a full spectrum of light, appearing white when you look at them. However, plants don’t use all of the light emitted. They only use red and blue colored light from the spectrum. Therefore, full spectrum light is wasted.

LED lights can be targeted to only the colors from the spectrum that are actually used by plants, such as red and blue. Red and blue LED lights consistently produce fuller, darker green plants that produce longer lasting blooms and larger, richer fruits and vegetables.

Since LED grow lights emit only light necessary for the growth of plants, with no wasted energy is involved. LED lights are more energy efficient, anyway, and when you combine the natural efficiency of LEDs with the concentrated colors, you have a much more efficient growth producing product. LED lights are about 3 times more efficient than traditional grow lights because of their construction and color spectrum.

LED lights turn on and off immediately. Mercury lights, which have often been used in greenhouse applications, require a cool-down period. Fluorescent lights won’t shine as brightly when it’s cold.
If you have a power outage and your mercury lights go off, they have to cool down for at least 30 minutes before you can turn them back on. Fluorescent lights have to warm up for several seconds to emit their best light, and in extremely cold weather, won’t shine nearly as brightly as they do in warmer weather. LED grow lights are instant on and off, saving you time, money and providing convenience.

Regular grow lights have a much shorter lifespan than LED lights, which will work for up to 50,000 hours. LED grow lights are actually made up of several LED bulbs and you can combine them into larger displays. So, if one quits working, the LED light itself keeps on doing its job. You have time to replace the LED bulb that has quit working without any down time.

LED lights contain no mercury or lead, making them much more environmentally friendly than any other kind of light. In 50,000 hours (or 10 years, if you use the light 15 hours a day), when you dispose of your LED light, there will be no poison in the landfill because of your disposal. LEDs are also not made of glass, so the breakage is greatly reduced.

Because of the technology behind LED lighting, the energy necessary to operate the lights is minimal. When you combine this with the spectrum of light used by LEDs to make plants grow, the energy required is substantially less than for traditional grow lights.

The LEDs waste no energy producing heat, because of the technology, and require less wattage, also, because they only produce light the plants will use, with no wasted light, therefore no wasted energy.

LED lights are increasingly popular for professional and home growers. Greenhouses have started using LEDs to boost the growth of seedlings and germination of seeds in advance of planting season, and home growers have found that they can have fresh vegetables and fruit year round from their garage garden. LEDs have paved the way for increased growing time and bountiful crops.

Posted in Lighting