May 22, 2024

LED Grow Lights – the future of hydroponic systems

As weather conditions can be extremely cold during the winter months, many growers are looking for new ways to grow plants indoors. LED Grow Lights use light-emitting diodes (LED~) to help plants grow. Hydroponics is the name given to the practice of growing plants without soil. The soil is then replaced with mineral nutrients contained in an aqueous solution. Most hydroponic systems are used indoors because the user has better control over conditions such as light, heat, and nutrient levels. The advantage of using LED grow lamps for hydroponics is that growers can precisely control plant growth in the absence of sunlight. All plants need water, nutrients, and warmth, but crucially, they need light, and not all types of light help plants grow. Every plant needs a certain type of light that Grow lights provide.

LED grow lamp

For professionals and amateurs alike, the answer is simple. The costs associated with growing plants using standard electrical systems are currently too high! With standard electrical systems, 90% of the electricity used to power a standard hydroponic environment is wasted! Most of the energy used in hydroponic systems is wasted as heat rather than light. Standard systems also require expensive cooling units to maintain the correct temperature. Additionally, fluorescents and HIDs are noisy, have very high voltage stabilizers, and require expensive mounting equipment compared to rugged LED grow board panels.

Luminance versus Brightness

One of the main areas where most people get confused is that standard fluorescent and HID lights actually appear brighter than LED lights. The term brightness is continually used to describe the way things ‘appear’ to us. The scientific definition of light intensity/brightness is the number of photons that hit a given surface area over a period of time.

LED grow lights precisely target the wavelengths of plants so that they can grow and flower at optimal levels. HID lights emit a lot of unwanted green and yellow spectral light that looks bright to the human eye but is not needed for optimal plant growth. High-quality LED grow lights have an efficiency rating of 95%, which means that almost all the light emitted is absorbed by the growing plant for photosynthesis. The efficiency of conventional lighting is about 5%.

LED grow lamp options

Grow lamps come in many types and configurations. From the standard square grow board to the UFO Grow Light (so named because of its resemblance to a UFO). It is always important to consider the balance between red and blue LED lights in grow lamps. Standard ratios are 4:1 and 8:1 red:blue. The light wavelength should be approximately 660 nm for red light and 460 nm for blue light. Blue LEDs are used for growth and red lights are used for flowering and maturation respectively. The percentage of light your lamp needs should be determined by the type of plant you want to grow.

Summary of Benefits of LED Grow Lights

1. Saving electricity bills and reducing costs.

2. Maintenance costs are reduced because LED generates less heat. So users don’t need a heavy cooling system.

3. LEDs last a very long time! The LED Grow board has an expected lifetime of 50,000 hours. This corresponds to approximately 10 years of use.

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