LED grow lights are a very attractive option for beginner indoor growers. They are simple to install and provide a cost-effective, no-hassle experience. This is certainly a big step forward for indoor cultivators.
During the last few years, there has been a surge of LED grow light brands, all vying to prove they are the best on the market. This abundance of available models makes a choice even harder for the technically impaired since the metrics are not always straightforward.
In this article, we will outline the basic components you should look into when purchasing the best indoor LED grow light for your needs. Hopefully, we’ll help clear out much of the confusion that surrounds the LED market.
When it comes to choosing a LED grow light, the first thing to check is their chip quality and power. Any chip below 3 Watts of power is unsuitable for indoor growing purposes. The best LED grow lamps go as high as 5 Watts per chip, offering the optimal quality in all bands of light.
LED chips are manufactured by hundreds of companies worldwide, from colossal enterprises like CREE and Philips to lesser known companies. You should make sure that your light supplier deals with units that include larger, more stable chips. COB lights are even better, as they incorporate many small chips to provide an even more intense light using the Chips-on-Board technology.
All plants are programmed to interact with sunlight. Their life cycles are closely tied to light fluctuations and natural stimuli. Contrary to other types of grow lights on the market, LED lamps can actually simulate outdoor light conditions, promoting a healthier way of life for your greens and herbs.
Some LED grow lights are dimmable, meaning that their intensity is adjustable to mimic the change of the seasons or the daytime cycle. This functionality comes in higher quality models and can help you save on energy costs while making your garden more efficient.
All grow lights produce heat. And even though LEDs run at considerably lower temperatures than HID lamps, there can still face issues if operated at high intensity. Of course, the great thing about LED fixtures is that they come with an internal heat management system.
Affordable models come with fans, while higher quality units might also have aluminum heat sinks to dissipate heat. Also, some premium models have no fans whatsoever, relying entirely on heat sinks for temperature control. The increased cost is justified if you take into account that fans are more noisy and fragile.Overall, if possible, go for a model with a heat sink and no fans. Although the price markup will be significant, it will perform better in the long run.
This is one of the biggest sources of confusion for newbies. Usually, manufacturers will advertise their LED grow lights according to their output potential. So, the next time you’ll see a 600W fixture, don’t think it will actually produce 600W of actual power.
The truth is that all LED grow lights run at almost half of their advertised Watts. And this makes absolute sense. Take a car as an example: Just because it can go 150km per hour, it wouldn’t be sustainable to run at full speed all the time! If you want to be realistic with your calculation, think that a LED grow light will be used at 50-70% of its potential. To determine the actual Wattage of a LED panel, you must know its Volts and Amps.
Your vendor should be able to provide you with all the necessary data to calculate the true Watt output of a LED panel. Then, you can use this handy tool to find out the truth!
In this day and age, full-spectrum LED grow lights are the only choice for indoor growers. These units can provide all bands of light necessary for plant photosynthesis throughout a plant’s life cycle.
The light spectrum is measured in bands and nanometres, beginning from blue (420nm), to green (520-570) and all the way to red (730nm) spectrum. Each band of light triggers a different reaction, from vegetation to flowering. The reason is that the change of light spectrum represents the change of the seasons.
A full-spectrum grow light will cover all the necessary wavelengths a plant needs without requiring different bulbs. Many LED grow panels feature VEG/BLOOM switches that automatically provide the plant with the necessary light spectrum.
LED grow lights are the most sensible investment you can make for your indoor garden. Check out our extensive back catalog here and don’t hesitate to chat with our support team to find the best LED grow light for your garden!