LED grow lights can offer the proper spectrum for your plant’s needs. PPFD, or photosynthesis-efficient fluorescent density, is a good measure of the light intensity they provide. While LEDs are less expensive than incandescent bulbs, you still have to consider the energy efficiency and durability of your grow light. In this article, we’ll cover all the important criteria for choosing the right LED grow light.
When purchasing a full spectrum LED grow light for indoor gardening, consider the type of plant that you are growing. There are various advantages of full spectrum lighting, including the ability to adjust the intensity of light. This is especially useful if you’re cultivating plants that require a wide range of wavelengths. High-powered lights need to be cooled properly, and should have a metal core printed circuit board. Constant-current driver circuits are also important.
A white LED bulb, for instance, emits less light than the same-wattage equivalent without the phosphor coating. Nonetheless, white LED bulbs are becoming a popular choice for grow lights. White light is not necessary for plants, however; they prefer a light that is composed of red and blue colors. The EXLENVCE has a high-wattage, energy-efficient LED grow light that hangs from chains for easy maneuverability. Kostovick recommends a high-wattage unit for taller, finickier plants.
Low photosynthetic photon flux density
The PPFD, or photosynthetic photon flux density, of an LED grow light is a measurement of the amount of light that plants can receive per unit area. This number is expressed in micromoles per square meter of surface area. PPFD decreases as you move further away from the light source. It is important to understand that different plants require different levels of light, and this should be reflected in the PPFD of the grow light.
The PPFD is expressed in umol/m2/s and is the most useful measurement of the usable light energy produced. PPFD readings represent total photon flux density between 400 and 700 nm, excluding the wavelengths that are most effective for chlorophyll absorption. The LED must also produce light in the correct nanometers for proper photosynthesis.
There are some questions you should ask yourself before investing in LED grow lights for indoor gardening. Unlike fluorescent lights, LEDs do not burn out quickly. However, they can lose their efficiency after a few years. This is due to two factors: high wattage and poor heat dissipation. A common solution is to purchase LEDs with higher capacity and drive them with a lower current. This way, the bulbs aren’t stressed out as much, resulting in longer LED life.
Another consideration when choosing a lighting device is its durability. While LEDs are durable, other types of grow lights often generate too much heat. This heat will be useless to plants because they need warm temperatures to grow properly. In addition, poor-quality LED grow lights will produce more heat than the plants can utilize. Additionally, LEDs are designed to emit the specific spectrum of light plants prefer. The blue and red spectrums are better for growing plants than the yellow-red light that is common with fluorescent grow lights.
Despite the cost, the benefits of LED grow lights outweigh the costs. These lights are incredibly efficient and require little energy. Unlike fluorescent and HID grow lights, LEDs are cool and consume little electrical energy. They also last up to ten times longer than their fluorescent and HID counterparts. The cost of LEDs is lower than that of HID lights and fluorescent lights and you will be able to find LED grow lights for indoor gardening for less than $300.
The main disadvantage of HID lights is that they are expensive, costing up to $75 per month in electricity and often need replacement bulbs. You also have to deal with the hassle of changing out bulbs on a yearly basis. Also, HID lights are not omnidirectional, and therefore require you to position the light in the right direction. The cost of LED grow lights is significantly lower, and the initial cost is often less than the ongoing electricity bills.