The Benefits of Using LED Grow Lights
Whether you’re a first time grower or a long-time cannabis cultivator, LED grow lights can be a good option for your indoor grow. They’ve made leaps and bounds over the past few years when it comes to quality, convenience and affordability. Regardless of the size of your indoor grow, LEDs offer a host of benefits.
LED lights are well known for their energy efficiency, but the benefits of using LEDs for your indoor grow don’t stop there.
Heat is a serious concern that can have a significant impact on the health and development of cannabis plants. This makes a comprehensive cooling/exhaust system imperative to a successful indoor grow when using non-LED grow lights. LEDs are significantly cooler than conventional grow lights, and the LED panels are often fitted with onboard heatsinks and fans. Depending on the grow, cultivators can often get away without an elaborate exhaust system because LEDs don’t radiate much heat. This also helps reduce the initial cost of setting up an indoor grow room or tent.
Top performing LED grow lights last anywhere from 50,000 hours to well over 100,000 hours of continuous operation. You won’t need to worry about replacing bulbs between grow seasons, helping to save money and time.
Yield is one area where LEDs are outmatched by their HPS grow light counterparts. However, when it comes to quality, potency and aesthetics, LEDs are the way to go. Full spectrum LEDs produce more vibrant cannabis plants, providing more robust colors and emphasizing the range of natural hues in the plant. Often times top cannabis cultivators will use a combination of HPS and LED lights to get the best of both worlds.
LED Wattage Requirements for Cannabis
Wattage is actually an archaic term that is more accurately used to determine the coverage of HID/HPS and MH grow lights. It is still used for LEDs for simplicity sake, but the PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) and DLI (daily light integral) are the best metrics to use to determine coverage area and power output.
As a rule of thumb, use a minimum of 32 watts per square foot of growing area. If possible it’s best to use between 50 watts and 80 watts per square foot when using LED grow lights. For example: a 2’ by 2’ grow area would require at least 128 watts and a 5’ by 5’ grow area would need at least 800 watts.
Full Spectrum LEDs Offer the Best Results
Plants have been harnessing the power of the sun to grow for millions of years, evolving to most efficiently and effectively grow using the sun’s broad light spectrum. LED grow lights closely mimic this light spectrum.
Full spectrum LEDs are good indoor grow lights because they offer a broad and balanced light spectrum. Conventional grow light options will generally peak in certain color spectrums and be lacking in others, giving the cannabis plants an incomplete or irregular spectrum.
Many top models also have a built in switch to easily swap between vegetative growth cycles and flowering cycles.
The Choice Is Clear
Choosing the right grow lights and outfitting your indoor grow room doesn’t have to be confusing and complex. LEDs are an extremely simple way to start growing cannabis indoors, they’re the closest thing to “plug and play” available. They cost slightly more initially but when you consider the lifespan, quality and convenience the choice can pay off.
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