LED grow lights are gradually getting popular due to the advantages they bring. It allows you to cultivate various plants in any climate throughout the year.
These growing lights are uniquely designed to substitute natural sunlight and stimulate photosynthesis. It also provides the correct color spectrum where the plant could grow and flourish. But many are curious about what color of LED grow light is the best?
Indoor plants needed LED grow light with many red and blue and smaller amounts of green and yellow. You can consider having some near-infra-red or ultraviolet light too.
What about white light? The plants will do best when they receive all visible spectrum colors. At the same time, some might say that the sun produces white light. So it seems reasonable to conclude that the best-LED lights are white.
But in fact, having the correct amount of every wavelength is vital. If you choose white LED grow light, you must ensure that it contains the light color needed by your plants.
This article will share the best color of LED grow light for your indoor plants. Let’s dive deep.
What are Visible Lights and Colors?
Human eyes can only detect a specific electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths about 380 to 750 nm. That means all the colors we can see are colors within this wavelength range. For instance, rainbow colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You can get other colors by mixing natural colors like red, yellow, blue, black, and white.
How Does Light Color Impacts Plant Growth?
Ultra-Violet (UV) Light 10-380 nm
UV light is a type of electromagnetic radiation contained in sunlight. A large amount of UV light is harmful to both humans and plants. It might hurt normal indoor plants and cause them to wilt.
But, UV light also has advantages for indoor plants like cannabis. It helps cannabis generate resin to increase its protection against harmful rays. This article shares more about LED grow cannabis lights to assist your indoor cannabis plantation.
Violet Light 390-405 nm
Violet light has a limited effect on plant growth. But it will be very effective when combined with red and blue light. Let’s look at its impact on indoor plants:
Violet light is the central region of
Besides, Violet Light inhibits the growth of the trunk and foliage of plants. It suppresses the leggy growth of plants, which means you can prevent growing indoor plants with overly long stems with very few leaves.
Violet Light can also improve the quality of the plants. It enhances the color, taste, and smell of plants. These lights can also stimulate the anthocyanin pigment of the plants to improve the coloring of petals, fruits, or leaves.
Not only that, but Violet Light also interacts with the antioxidants in the plants. As a result, it brings richer nutrients to your indoor plants.
Blue Light 450-460 nm
Blue light is one of the essential lights for plant growth, especially effective in the early growth stage. It helps the plants grow more symmetrical, healthier, and better quality outputs.
It is easily absorbed by indoor plants’ chlorophyll a/b and easily converted into energy through photosynthesis. Plants use blue light to help synthesize proteins and amino acids. Under a low-light environment, it even allows a faster growth rate to increase the maturity rate of the plants.
In fact, blue light brings many benefits to your indoor plants. You can further discover the function of blue light from LED grow lights on this page.
Green Light 515-525 nm
Green Light helps plants produce chlorophyll. It effectively promotes plant photosynthesis as it can penetrate through the leaf canopy. Through photosynthesis, the plants will be vividly greener.
It has a more significant effect under a strong light environment by combining with other light. You’ll also find that green light reduces visual “light pollution” by generating pink-purple color after mixing with the red and blue spectrum.
Yellow Light 570 – 590 nm
Many indoor growers like to use regular yellow light for their indoor gardens. It is because yellow lights are easier to operate. This light wavelength is also near the green light, giving effects similar to the green light.
But, the plants’ chlorophylls do not absorb green and yellow wavelengths from white LED grow light. These light colors have only minimal effect on the plant. So, they are not ideal for LED grow light.
Red Light 655-665 nm
Red Light is also among the most crucial wavelength of light for plants. It assists in growing stems, expanding leaves, and making carbohydrates.
It might not be so effective on the actual growth. But when combined with blue light, red light becomes incredibly important for indoor plants. For instance, it provides the best photosynthesis process in a low-light environment. Let’s find out more about the functions of red lights from LED grow lights.
Far Red (Infrared) Light 730-740 nm
Far Red light does not help indoor plants absorb much. But, it plays a vital role in plant growth and development, with enhanced effects when combined with the red light. For instance, better flowering during the day and ripening at night.
Through Far Red Light irradiation, the phytochrome Pfr is converted into Pr. As a result, it will inhibit the flowering of plants and control the flowering cycle.
Besides, Far Red Light can also achieve dual optical benefits when combined with a 660 nm wavelength. It will allow a higher photosynthesis efficiency than using 660nm alone.
In addition, Far Red Light can provide plants with a shading effect that enhances growing speed. When indoor plants feel blockage of the light from other objects, they assume that it will inhibit their growth. Thus, plants will strive to grow higher, prompting plants to grow taller quickly.
What About White Light From LED Grow Light?
White Light is keeping lots of people confusing. But is it really not important at all? Why does LED grow light manufacturers produce white LEDs?
The facts are that:
1. Indoor plants do not require light that appears white to human eyes. They need lights with the correct amount of different wavelengths for healthy growth.
2. White LED grow lights are not white, and LED grow light manufacturers do not produce white light directly. These white LED grow lights are made from combinations of different light colors.
How does LED grow light manufacturers make White Light from LED?
There are two ways to produce White Light from the LED:
- LED grow light manufacturers can convert Blue Light to White Light using a blue LED with a phosphor coating.
- Some LED grow light manufacturers produce White Light by combining red, blue, and green lights into a single diode. So, it is even better than LEDs with only blue and yellow light.
What are the types of White LED Grow Light?
There are three main types of white LED grow lights:
- Normal white light has about 4,000k temperature with an excellent red, green, and blue lights ratio.
- Yellow white light has about 3,000k temperature with more red lights.
- Cool white light has about 6,500k temperature with more blue lights.
Is White Light from LED Grow Light Better for Plants?
White Light greatly affects plant growth as it contains red, blue, and green colors. Actually, plants still preferentially absorb red and blue light. You can choose to use red, blue, and green lights separately. Or, you can also get all of them from white light.
What is a Light Formula?
In the general public perception, the light formula is just the magenta color formed by combining red light and blue light. But, this perception is inaccurate.
The actual light formula should contain six parts below:
- Light quality and intensity of LED grow lights
- Illumination period of LED grow lights
- The installation location of LED grow lights
- Types and quantity of LED grow lights
- Light uniformity of LED grow lights
- Other environmental factors
An actual light formula can only be formed with the cooperation between these six factors. It is not just a simple “blue light + red light.”
Besides, you must know that the LED grow light itself is a cold light source. The closer the light source to the plant, the higher the energy utilization efficiency.
Botanics should also choose different combinations of blue and red LED lights for different plants. You must also consider the illumination uniformity required by various plants.
To conclude, a light formula consists of several factors listed above. They will affect the composition of the final light formulation.
What makes a Good LED Grow Light?
Different plants have different needs for light at different growth stages. There are some indicators of a good LED grow light fixture:
1. Uniformity of illumination
Illumination uniformity means the percentage of minimum to average illuminance on a particular surface. Higher uniformity of light distribution will allow better illuminance and a more comfortable visual experience.
Different types of plants require different uniformity of light. There are two indicators you can refer to find a qualified lamp. They are the uniformity between plants and regional uniformity. You’ll need to achieve 95% or even more than 98% of these indicators.
In addition, the uniformity of the spectral distribution is also a vital point that you cannot ignore. These indicators have a pivotal position on optical design and plant lighting design.
2. The rationality of light quality combination
Light is the leading environmental factor for plant growth and development. That is why light quality is one of the vital conditions influencing plant photosynthesis.
Light quality can also be viewed as the wavelength of light. It controls photosynthesis as an energy source, where different light qualities trigger different photoreceptors.
Indoor plants will get impacted in several ways by light quality combinations. For instance, their photosynthetic characteristics, stress resistance, and senescence.
3. Reliability of heat dissipation
LED grow light with better heat dissipation will allow the temperature to rise slower. It is also crucial to find those lights with proper cooling systems.
Even with excellent heat dissipation LED grow light, botanists should also be cautious using it. You must ensure appropriate distancing between LED grow lights and your indoor plants. Otherwise, overheating could burn your indoor plants.
4. Waterproof, dustproof, and corrosion resistant
Durability is another crucial factor in making quality LED grow light. Lights made from quality materials with high industry standards could work for about 10 years. They can ensure corrosion and allow you to save hassles and operation costs.
You should also consider buying from LED grow light manufacturers who ensure quality and warranty. A good LED grow light should be waterproof, dustproof, and weather-resistant. It ensures that it does not spoil despite frequent plant watering and ever-changing weather. These LED grow lights will also work over a long time with easy maintenance.
5. Suitability of power
An excellent LED grow light should also be made with suitable power. It should be with low power consumption and low heat generation, yet powerful enough. You’ll also need to ensure that it works with safe low-voltage to prevent fire hazards.
6. Visual Comfortability
It is also crucial to consider the visual comfortability of a LED grow light. A good LED grow light should eliminate glare during the daily maintenance of your indoor garden. You’ll experience lesser visual fatigue and sublime visual effects with these LED grow lights.
Comparison of Light Colors from Different Grow Lights
When comparing grow lights, there are many essential things to consider. For instance, the spectrum, intensity, and efficiency. Let’s compare different grow lights:
Fluorescent Grow Light
Fluorescent grow lights cost the lowest initial price and are relatively efficient. But, it is not the best option for grow lights.
These lights are most useful in the propagation stage. You’ll find a good light spectrum for plant growth, especially at the beginning stages like seedlings. You can keep fluorescent lights close to the plants too.
The drawback is that they have a limited light spectrum on individual fluorescent lights. It might be more in blue light, which is only suitable for vegetation. Or, they might have a more red color spectrum, which is better for flowering only.
Besides, its initial installation can be complicated, especially for a larger operation. Thus, most growers exclude fluorescent grow lights early on.
You’ll also find a smaller yield per watt and weaker light from fluorescent grow lights. Their lights are less useful for vegetative and flowering as they cannot penetrate deep into your indoor plants.
Incandescent Grow Light
Incandescent grow lights are the least expensive technology. But, they are also the least energy-efficient and least durable. As a result, you’ll incur more operation costs for your indoor plantation.
Besides, these grow lights cannot be placed close to the plants due to their relatively high heat output.
In addition, incandescent grow lights produce a slightly more red spectrum than blue spectrum. But, plants need both red and blue lights for healthy growth.
The disadvantages of incandescent lights make them the weakest contender for grow light options. So, not many people will choose this light as grow light.
High-Intensity Discharge or HID Grow Lights
HID grow lights are far more common and useful than fluorescent grow lights. Indoor growers have been using HID grow lights for a long time.
The advantages of HID grow lights are that they are great at providing the light intensity plants require. As a result, it leads to decent yields.
But, HIDs bring specific cons too. They require a ton of energy while igniting the gas. This means you’ll need additional equipment, such as ballasts and reflectors.
Botanics will need to install a system for supplemental cooling too. It is because HID lights give off much heat. Otherwise, they could overheat your plants.
The effectiveness of HID will diminish long before the light burns out. It is because the light quality of HID bulbs decreases over time.
As for the light spectrum, there is non of a single HID bulb that is full spectrum. Two types of HID lights have different light spectrums:
– MH (Metal Halide) lights favor the blue spectrum.
– HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) gives off more of the red spectrum.
Most growers choose HID grow lights for plants’ transition from one growth stage to another.
Light Emitting Diode / LED Grow Light
Many people are wondering which light is better for growing light. LEDs or HIDs? It is always one of the biggest debates.
LED grow lights have been exploded in popularity over the last few years. Some first-time growers might be intimidated by the price tag of LED grow lights. But LEDs are far cheaper to operate than HIDs, beyond the initial cost.
LEDs are high-quality and energy-efficient. It only uses about half the energy HID lamps require to produce the same amount of light.
LED lights also last longer than HID lights. The installation is much easier. You don’t need any extra equipment. Choosing LEDs may make you eligible for energy rebates, especially when setting up a large-scale growth operation.
As for light quality, LEDs provide full-spectrum light for every growth stage. The best is that it includes variable spectrum control. This means you can change the amount of blue or red light to control your plants’ development.
As seen above, LED grow lights are the most energy-efficient, durable, easy-to-use. Most importantly, it provides full-spectrum light needed by different plants at the various growth stages. That is why many indoor growers prefer LED grow lights as they foresee the high value over money.
Differences between LED Grow Light with Regular LED Light
LED Grow Lights are actually different from Regular LED Lights. LED grow lights are lights specially designed to fulfill the plants’ needs. They are more versatile and useful for indoor plants.
Regular LED lights are made for surroundings illumination, while LED grow lights are made with an adjustable lighting system.
Besides, LED lights only provide normal light. In contrast, LED Grow lights have a wider blue and red light spectrum. Normal LED lights tend to overhead plants too.
So, botanists suggest that you should not use regular LED lights as LED grow lights. You can also learn more about the differences between LED grow lights and regular LED lights in this post.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ )
1) Why Are Grow Lights Purple?
LED grow lights are actually not purple. They are a combination of blue and red color that looks purple in human eyes. You can discover further why are LED grow lights purple in this article.
2) Is there any LED grow lights that are suitable for all indoor plants?
No. Indoor plants need different light through different growth cycles. For instance, seedling, vegging, and flowering stage. You should also prepare suitable lights for varying types of plants. You can refer to this link to learn more about the type of lights needed by plants at each growth stage.
3) What are other factors to consider when buying LED grow light?
Besides light color, you must also consider technical factors like productivity and heat loads. To buy for different plants or those at varying growth stages, you should choose a highly scalable LED grow light. It will ensure that you can operate and maintain easier. This article shares more about things to consider when purchasing LED grow light.
4) After choosing the suitable LED grow light, how should I start using it?
You must first understand how LED grow light works for your indoor plants. With a better understanding, you can then learn the ways to use your LED grow light. For instance, proper distancing and maintenance of LED grow lights and watering of plants. Remember to check out the mistakes you must avoid when using LED grow light for your garden.
Plants most need red and blue lights throughout their growth stage. Red and blue lights are often combined, forming the purple LED grow light we commonly see. There is also a white LED grow light that combines the different types of light colors. It is a convenient alternative for your indoor plantation use.
I hope this article answers your question about “What LED Grow Light is the Best.” Choosing the right amount of light is vital based on plant types and growth stage. The purpose is to ensure healthy growth for your indoor plants.
Darkless LED is a professional LED lighting solution to cater to your plantation lighting needs. If you need more information about LED grow lights, you can seek free consultation from us.