You’ve heard of the best led grow lights– maybe you’ve also tried searching on the Internet? If so, you are likely to be dizzy now and more confused than you were at the beginning. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, we talked to many indoor gardeners who were at a loss as to how to choose a wide variety of growth lights so that they eventually gave up and never bought.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with a starting board to let you know the best led grow lights, understand your choices, and finally help you find the best led grow lights for your plants.
What Are the Best Led Grow Lights for Plants?
The best led grow light is an electric lamp that helps plants grow. Growth lights either attempt to provide spectra similar to the sun or provide more suitable spectra for plant needs. Outdoor conditions are simulated through the different colors, temperatures and spectral outputs of the best led grow lights and the intensity of the lights.
Depending on the type of plant to be cultivated, the stage of cultivation (e.g. germination / nutrition or flowering / fruiting) and the photoperiod required by the plant, the specific spectral range, luminous efficiency and color temperature, a specific plant and time period need to be used.
Why Use the Best Led Grow Lights?
The main reason for using the best led grow lights is that they can reduce or eliminate dependence on natural light (sunlight). Light is essential for plant growth, but it is often in short supply (for example, indoors, in winter or in densely populated urban areas). Best led grow lights enable us to grow plants in different places or at some time of the year that might otherwise not be possible. The best led grow lights can be used for seed initiation, indoor plants, herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and so on.
What is the Typical Use of Best Led Grow Lights?
Best led grow lights are used in horticulture, indoor horticulture, plant propagation and food production, including indoor hydroponics and aquatic plants. Although most plant growth lamps are used for industrial purposes, they can also be used in families.
According to the law of inverse square, the intensity of light radiated from a point light source (in this case, a bulb) to the surface is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the surface to the light source (if the object is twice as far away from it, it only receives a quarter of the light), which is a serious obstacle for indoor growers, and many techniques are used to make the best use of light.
Therefore, reflectors are usually used in lamps to maximize light efficiency. The plant or lamp moves as close as possible so that they receive the same illumination and all the light from the lamp falls on the plant rather than on the surrounding area.
A series of bulb types can be used as best led grow lights, such as incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, high-intensity discharge lamps (HID) and light-emitting diodes (LED). Today, the most widely used professional lights are hid and fluorescent. High pressure sodium lamps (HPS / son) and metal halide (MH) HID lamps are commonly used by indoor flower and vegetable growers, but fluorescent lamps and LEDs are replacing metal halides due to their efficiency and economy.
Metal halide lamps are often used in the vegetative stage of plant growth because they emit a lot of blue and ultraviolet radiation with the introduction of ceramic metal halide lighting and full spectrum metal halide lighting, they are increasingly used as exclusive light sources for nutrition and reproductive growth. Blue spectral light may trigger a greater nutritional response in plants.
High pressure sodium lamps are also used as a single source of light throughout the nutritional and reproductive stages. In addition, they can also be used to modify the full spectrum illumination in reproductive stage. The red spectrum light may induce a greater flowering response in plants. If high pressure sodium lamps are used in the vegetative stage, the growth rate of the plant will be slightly faster, but the inter-nodes will be longer, and generally may be longer.
In recent years, LED technology has been introduced into the best led grow lights market. By using diodes to design indoor grow lamps, we can generate specific wavelengths of light. NASA has tested LED plant growth lights because they can efficiently grow food in outer space for alien colonization. The results show that plants are affected by the red, green and blue parts of the visible spectrum.
Can Best Led Grow Lights Replace the Sun?
Sunlight is a unique asset that can never really be replaced – even the best grow light in the world. However, sunlight has many uses – it keeps us warm, it lets you see the light pole so you don’t walk into it, it powers the photosynthesis of plants. Some of the conveniences that sunlight provides are important to plants, but not all of them. In fact, plant growth lights can provide many convenience facilities for plant care.
How to Use Your Best Led Grow Lights?
Best led grow lights vary widely in the amount of radiation (PAR) available to their plants. At the same time, plants vary greatly in the amount of light they need. However, when it comes to growth lights, you need to consider two main variables, and they can usually be adjusted – they are distance and duration.
Grow Light Quality
One of the major differences between best led grow lights and the ordinary bulbs you use to illuminate homes is the spectrum they distribute. The human eye can “see” light in the frequency range of about 380 (we call it “purple”) to 740 (red “) nanometers, but we are most sensitive to yellow light, so it is the cheapest and easiest way for us to light our home, that is to provide yellow light for us.
Although plants can and do appreciate light from the visible spectrum (or even beyond), the most important frequencies for them are red and blue. That’s why you find a lot of plant lights that look purple on the Internet – a combination of red and blue. Personally, we do not love these purple plant growth lights. Of course, from an energy point of view, they are efficient, but they also ignore other frequencies, such as ultraviolet, infrared, green and yellow.
To be sure, none of these frequencies are as important as red or blue, but these other frequencies offer countless plant health benefits that are still the subject of a lot of research and learning in the scientific community. Ultraviolet, infrared, green and yellow affect factors such as disease and insect resistance, thickness and texture of leaves, and taste, flavor and oil produced by plants.
Although the “optimal” light frequency of plants is still a controversial topic, the reality is certain – from the perspective of light quality, grow lights can provide a suitable substitute for natural light.
Grow Light Intensity
One of the biggest challenges that our humans face in assessing and understanding light is our students. The things in the front of the eye expand and contract, allowing different amounts of light to shine on the retina. Our pupil regulates the amount of light that enters our eyes – these holes are small when the light is sufficient. When light is low, they turn on to allow more light to enter. This means that we’ve been walking around all our lives using an automatic dimmer, affecting the way we see the world – and in most cases we don’t notice that these adjustments are being made constantly. It also means that we are really bad at assessing light intensity.
For this reason, we humans have to rely on tools (no pupil) to measure light for us. Photographers usually measure light with lumen or lux, and in the plant world, we are concerned about a slightly different unit of measurement called par – or “photosynthetic effective radiation.”.
Although modern grow lights can provide enough light for your plants, the fact is that not all plants can. Light intensity requirements for slow growing ornamental plants, such as tortoise bamboo, green snake or snake plant, are relatively easy – even at lower distances, using cheap or effective growth lamps. However, edible plants grow faster, and faster growth requires more energy (think of them as teenagers). Obtaining adequate light intensity for edible plants usually requires better growth or higher power growth lights, and should be kept at an appropriate distance from plants.
Grow lights have been in existence for decades. They have been able to provide the quality and quantity of light needed for plant growth for a long time. However, it was not until the last decade or so that they became efficient enough that their cost of ownership is now low enough that they can provide an economic alternative to natural light for farmers or for growing food.
Another way; This means that the cost of running a grow lamp now is lower than the value of the food we can grow under it. That’s not always the case, but that’s why you’ve heard more about indoor and vertical agriculture in the last five years or so. Grow light technology is the main “promoter” of this booming industry.
What Are the Best Led Grow Lights?
It’s a common question to know what grow light is best for you. The answer is simple: “it depends on” (sorry!) Fortunately, we have a complete blog and video mini series to help you, but in order to get a good answer to this question we need to think about:
- What’s your budget? Do you want to spend $20 or $2000?
- Where do you want to put it? In a hydroponic tent in the basement or on the kitchen counter?
- What do you want to grow? Are we thinking about tomatoes or succulents?
- How much do you want to grow? Urban jungle, or a basil plant?
At urban leaf, we focus on edible plants – including herbs, fruits, vegetables and mini vegetables. Edible plants usually (exceptions, such as miniature plants) require much higher light than decorative indoor plants, so we prefer higher quality or at least higher power growth lamps instead of weaker plants.
Our mission is to encourage people to understand their plants and how to grow them, so we encourage them to be placed where you spend the most time, such as in the kitchen or living room. For this reason, we are very concerned about their color (another reason we don’t like purple) and the way they distribute light.
Finally, our focus is to help people who want to maintain a small garden of 1 to 10 plants at home. Therefore, we believe that the LED grow lamp offers the most attractive combination of economic benefits, flexible layout and energy use.
How to Use Grow Lights for Your Indoor Plants?
Grow lights vary widely in the amount of radiation (PAR) available to their plants. At the same time, plants vary greatly in the amount of light they need. However, when it comes to grow lights, you need to consider two main variables, and they can usually be adjusted – they are distance and duration .
What is the Grow Light Distance to Plants?
Light decays very fast with distance. In fact, “point” light sources follow the so-called “inverse square law.”. This means that for every doubling of the distance from the light, the intensity decreases by a quarter. Therefore, the PAR value at 400 umol/m2/s from the growth lamp 4 inches (or 10 cm) may be enough to satisfy your basil plant, but when you move the grow lamp to 8 inches (20 cm) away from the plant, the PAR value will drop to about 100umol/m2/s, which may be too low.
Now there are ways to counteract this inverse square law – most commonly through lenses or optics that try to “direct” light in the direction of plants. While these are helpful and give you more flexibility in plant placement relative to light, the fact remains that the correct distance between the plant and the light will depend on the intensity of the light and the light requirements of the plant – and may be, in any case, from 2 inches (5 centimeters) to 6 feet (1.8 meters).
Can You Leave Grow Lights on 24 Hours A Day?
This question is easier to answer than the distance question, but it can still be very different. In “indoor grow light – how to measure it and understand watts, Par and DLI” (coming soon), we discussed the light measurement and daily light interval (or “DLI”) of plants.
But to introduce the concept, the light demand of plants is measured as a “volume” called DLI, which is equal to the flow (in PAR) times the duration. Therefore, a 400 umol / m2 / s light source operating 10 hours per day will provide the same amount of DLI as a 800 umol / m2 / s light source operating 5 hours per day. The DLI of both is 4000.
Generally speaking, the correct answer to grow lamp time is between 8 and 16 hours. You may choose the time suitable for your lifestyle and location. For example, if it is in the bedroom, you may not want 16 hours of grow lights. If you expect this lamp to be the core or characteristic of your living space, 8 hours may be too short.
Keep in mind that providing the same amount of DLI in a shorter time requires higher light intensity. That means more expensive lights. In addition, if the intensity is too high, you may burn your plants because of too much light – all plants have a limited limit on the speed at which they can comfortably absorb light.
If you exceed this speed, you will either damage them or even kill them. At the other end of the duration range, remember that plants (like us) do need “sleep.”. They have what’s called photorespiration. In fact, for many plants, dark ages are essential for flowering or fruiting.
Are Grow Lights Safe?
Like many things, it is safe to use grow lights responsibly. As long as you use common sense, you, your pet and your home may be safe. Some common hazards associated with grow lights include:
- The growth lights are very bright. Just as you should not look directly at the sun, we do not recommend that you look directly at the growth lights.
- Plant lamps give off heat. This is not a problem for LED lights (which we recommend for small enthusiasts), but other types of plant lights (such as HPS) do get very hot and burn.
- Plant lamps are electrical appliances. Generally speaking, LED plant growth lights do not consume a lot of electricity. If you use only 1-2 small ones, you needn’t worry, but if you start using larger versions or more electrical appliances, the current they will absorb will indeed increase. If you plan to make a larger setup, make sure you understand the concepts such as watt and Ampere (discussed in “indoor plant growing lamp – how to measure it, and understanding Watt, par, and DLI”) because you need to make sure that your power board, cables, and electrical system can handle it.
- Although it is not common in consumer grow lights, some do produce ultraviolet or ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is slightly higher than purple in the visible spectrum, and high doses can damage human skin – just like ultraviolet light from the sun. That is to say, the ultraviolet light emitted by growth lights is rare. When it is in existence, the amount of ultraviolet light is quite mild compared to the situation you will encounter when you are out in the sun.
We hope you will find this introduction to grow lights useful. If you still have unresolved issues, please leave them below – we check the comments every day. If you find this information useful, we only ask you to share it with your friends!
Our goal in urban leaf is to make indoor food gardening easy to use, so if you think this blog can help an extra person start growing their own food, then it’s a victory for us, and a victory for the earth, so we would appreciate it if you can help us spread the news.
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