If you are a plant lover, you must have heard about LED Grow Lights. They serve as an alternative to natural sunlight without being harsh on the saplings. They promote better growth of the plant in places that lack sunlight.
But, do you know how they work? Let us check out more about the functionality of LED Grow Lights.
Today, LEDs aren’t just used for décor and lighting purposes but also to ensure plant growth. Given their ultraviolet and infrared spectral ranges, they can help a plant thrive.
Decoding the Basics of LED Grow Lights
LED Grow Lights constitute LED light chips that aid in plant growth. Grow Lights are available in multiple sizes and shapes.
A quality LED Grow Light must provide the right colour spectrum with ample luminous flux. As a result, LED Grow Lights wins the competition over traditional lighting options. This is because the former can match up to the requirements of the plants.
Individual LEDs provide a single & narrow colour spectrum range. So, there is a need to mix different colours of LEDs lights to ensure the right proportion for plant growth.
Most growers use white LED Grow Lights for plants. This light spectrum is known as full-spectrum & mimics natural sunlight. It provides your plant with a balance of green, blue, & red light.
Initially, LED Grow Lights featured diodes with 1 watt or 1/3rd of a watt in power. Today though, diodes in Grow Lights have 3 to 5 watts of power for better plant growth. In a compact plant canopy, COB chips ranging between 10 & 100 watts are effective. However, the heat dissipation makes these chips less efficient.
Standard LED Grow Lights have a 0.90 power factor, while high-quality Grow Lights have a 0.95 power factor.
How do LED Grow Lights Affect Your Plants?
As per studies, certain colour boost the growth of plants. They can affect the formation of roots and flowers in a rapid way. This is especially true for the red and blue light spectrum.
Complete & normal plant growth can be achieved with exposure to the red & blue light spectrum. The addition of other colour spectrums results in healthy and high-quality flora.
If your LED Grow Light comprises all rainbow colours (white), it is termed full-spectrum. Essentially, these LED Grow Lights resemble sunlight but are much less harsh.
Make sure you place the Grow Lights 12 to 36 inches away from your plants to avoid burning. The distance would vary depending on the wattage.
What is PAR?
PAR or Photosynthetically Active Radiation is the wavelength range readily used by plants. The output of your grow light is determined by the PAR produced/second by a light spectrum. This unit is known as PPF or Photosynthetic Photon Flux.
You might also come across the term PPFD. This helps measure the PPF area density beneath the grow light. This number is important as it tracks the amount of light produced & received by the plant.
Certain plants such as marijuana need the right light concentration to thrive. A standard marijuana species would grow well with Grow Lights that achieve 1500 µmol/s/m2 PPFD. Most farmers and gardeners aim for a minimum of 1000 µmol/s/m2 PPFD. The number can vary depending on the plant’s needs.
LED Grow Light Colors: How Does A Plant React To It?
Each plant is different on its own. While some plants thrive in UV light, others work well with blue. So, it is ideal to understand how your plant reacts to different LED colour spectrums.
Blue Light Spectrum
As per research, even low-intensity blue light will help ensure better photosynthesis for plants. A higher intensity of blue light can lead to stunted plant growth. So, it is important to manage the blue light intensity in LED Grow Lights. Blue-light dominant Grow Lights promote thicker, smaller, & dark-green leaves.
However, you can balance it out to achieve features such as:
- Stimulation of stomatal opening
- Thicker leaves
- Prevention of leggy stems
- Photoperiodic flowering
- Light orientation
Ultraviolet Light Spectrum
Ultraviolet or UV-light producing Grow Lights help with quicker photosynthesis. However, the key is to ensure controlled exposure. Your LED Grow Lights should produce UV-A & UV-B light to ensure better growth. As per studies, claims state that UV-A light exposure to plants enhances the plant’s photosynthesis. The number is as big as 12 per cent..
Experts also claim that UV-A light spectrum helps boost:
- Plant growth levels
- Leaf size
- Dry weight
- Stimulates production of chemicals that repel insects
- Enhances leaf pigment accumulation
- It affects plant & leaf morphology
Remember not to go overboard, or your plant can damage with leaf burns.
Green Light Spectrum
Green is the least important among the light spectrums produced by LED Grow Lights. It is an important plant pigment for photosynthesis. However, it is already present in the plant. So, your plant doesn’t require a lot.
Plants absorb green light selectively. However, it is important for the lower leaves with less green pigmentation. This helps with better photosynthesis and faster plant growth. Moreover, it promotes stem elongation & enhanced light capture.
Yellow Light Spectrum
Yellow LED grow light is among the light spectrum with the least effect on your plant’s growth. Your plants will absorb this light, but it doesn’t enhance photosynthesis.
The key is to use it with a combination of other colours, mostly red & blue.
Orange Light Spectrum
While orange light isn’t as effective in plant growth, it does play a part. The orange light is close to red in the colour spectrum. So, chlorophyll B present in leaves reacts to this light. This LED grows light spectrum helps with better flower growth for reproduction.
Red Light Spectrum
Red is a powerful spectrum needed by most plants to thrive. It is the prime component required for processes such as:
- Inhibition of stem thinning
- Better photosynthesis
- Better fruiting and flowering
The key is to opt for a test & trial process to decide what works for your plant. Different plants behave differently when exposed to LED Grow Lights. A plant in its vegetative stage would react differently to those in a flowering phase.
Can You Modify Your LED Grow Light?
Yes, you can modify your LED grow light as per your plant’s requirements. There are several parameters that need to be kept in mind.
The first is the light spectrum. It denotes the colour combination used for light production. You can opt for a combination of red & blue, blue & green, red & green, etc. The final spectrum depends on the plant type & its requirements.
Next, you need to focus on the light intensity. Regardless of the colour in the grow light, the intensity matters. If the light is too dim, it would be no good for the plant. If the light is too bright, it could burn down the plant. “Micromoles” is the unit used to measure the light spectrum’s intensity.
Determining this helps you decide the photon exposure on the plants.
Another parameter that can be adjusted in your LED grow light is the photoperiod. It denotes the time for which your plant receives the light in 24 hours. Some plants require less than an hour of light exposure, while others need a 24 hour exposure time to thrive.
Lastly, light uniformity is a factor you need to check with your LED Grow Lights. Some plants might not thrive if the light isn’t distributed properly in your plant canopy. So, you need to ensure that the light distribution is even throughout.
When growing plants, you need to understand the plant species and its requirements. If you do not have time for that, look for dedicated LED grow light manufacturers. These brands dedicate their research facilities to bringing high-quality Grow Lights. These Grow Lights have multiple features that can be modified as required.
Now that you know how LED Grow Lights work, let us learn about their benefits.
LED Grow Lights: Understanding the Benefits
Modern-day LED Grow Lights feature maximum coverage and even spectrum design. They also minimize energy wastage without generating much heat.
Here are some benefits of using LED Grow Lights for your plants:
- Environment-Friendly: As LED Grow Lights help with healthy plant growth, it requires minimal pesticides. This makes grow lights environment-friendly.
- Cost-Effective: As compared to HPS (High-Pressure Sodium Vapor) systems, LEDs take up less than 50% of energy.
- Healthier Crops: LED Grow Lights are known to produce healthier crops. They grow bigger faster as compared to the growth in natural light or HPS light.
- Better Durability: A standard HPS lamp lasts 1-year on average. However, an LED Grow Light can last as long as 8 years (or 50,000 hours).
- Dimming Features: Most HPS lamps have a full intensity of light. However, LED Grow Lights allow you to dim them as per the plant’s requirements.
- Convenient for Small Spaces: LED Grow Lights radiate less heat. So, they can be placed close to your plants depending on the vegetation’s height.
- Energy Efficient: Using LED Grow Lights allows the optimization of colour spectrums. You can concentrate the wavelengths and energy depending on the plant. This helps reduce power usage.
We have explained the benefits of LED Grow Lights in complete detail. Check out this article, 《Top 7 Advantages of LED Grow Lights》, to learn more!
LED Grow Lights hold a higher position than other Grow Light variants in the market. This includes variants like CFL (Fluorescent lights) or HPS (High-Pressure Sodium Lights). They are practical with no fragile sections ensuring durability for years. Moreover, they don’t use lead, mercury, or any harmful gas. This makes it eco-friendly and safe for use indoors. When purchasing an LED Grow Light, emphasize its PPF density.
Remember, each plant has its own needs. So, the key is to test out a small batch and determine the colour spectrum requirements.