Debunking the myths surrounding the LED grow lights and throwing light on the facts

If you take a look at the bigger picture, you will notice that more and more people are opting for LED grow lights due to the huge amount of energy that they save. Irrespective of whether it is to reduce the carbon footprint of an indoor garden or to save money, increasingly large numbers of growers are considering buying one or more LED grow lights for their indoor garden. For creating a marijuana garden, electricity is probably the biggest expense as you’ve got to pay for lights, fans, AC to keep the temperature of the room cool because of the extra heat that comes from lights.

However with the popularity of such LED grow lights, there are too many myths that are doing the round in the industry. If you want to steer clear of the myths, you have to ensure believing in the facts. Let’s check out some vital facts on grow lights.

Myth #1: LED grow light technology is still not there

Fact: This is perhaps the most confusing and baffling myth which is related to the LED light industry. As it is they are known for their technological sophistication and advanced engineering. The modern LED lights are built in such a manner that they can accomodate the specific needs of plants and provide them maximum stimulus for development and growth. LEDs are designed to produce light primarily in red and blue wavelengths and these wavelengths are immediately absorbed by the plant’s chlorophyll. The technological sophistication of modern LED grow lights even contributes to plant protection. So, you can well understand that there is not much fact in the myth mentioned above.

Myth #2: The savings that you incur isn’t worth the risk that you take

Fact: Thanks to the PAR-focused light emission and integrated heat sinks, modern LED grow lights provide gardeners with enough energy efficiency and better monetary savings. The savings are in fact increased due to the longevity of the LEDs which usually have a lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours. This clearly means that you will have around 15 years before you suffer from the dire need of replacing the bulbs. There’s no risk that you need to take in the area of productivity as their superior productive capacity is well-established. It is true that there is always a fear of trying something new but it is definitely worth risking!

Myth #3: The traditional growers are still residing in the past

Fact: This is far from being true. Amazed by the evident benefits of modern LED grow lights, an increasingly large number of growers are switching from such innovative bulbs.  But this change isn’t limited to home gardeners. In fact, the world is adopting LED! Research reveals that the LED grow light market is predicted to rise to more than $1.9 billion by 2020.

Once the above mentioned facts are neatly laid out, it is pretty easy to separate the real story from the myth. In case you’re a plant grower who yearns for the highest yields at the lowest possible cost, LED grow lights are definitely the choice to make.

 

LED grow lights and urban farming – A guide to a novice investor of LED lights

 

At the most dismantled level, farming is a business which modifies light into food calorie energy which can be utilized and consumed by humans. Historically and scientifically, plants derive light from the sun but the help of the new LED lighting technology is changing the way in which new generation food engineers and farmers grow plants. They are given a chance to construct facilities for growing which allow plants to derive light from LED lights. Many of the facilities are provided in urban locations which rely on LED lighting to assist urban farming  which had once been dedicated to commercial or residential manufacturing operations.

LED grow lights and urban farming

Urban farming gives you permission to grow food in indoor warehouses and greenhouses. Unlike conventional farming which stretches through huge plains of land, urban farming can be done on vertical racks which include heaps of growing plots, each of which is lighted with LED lighting systems. Such systems offer up to 100,000 continuous hours of operation with low replacement and maintenance costs and also low energy costs. This implies more than a decade of work without the requirement of replacing bulbs.

Moreover, an LED grow light can be controlled and configured to generate targeted wavelengths for maximum growth of plants. The traditional farms are subject to the whims of temperature which are typical of natural environments. On the other hand, LED light systems for urban farming can offer ideal amounts of light without generating extreme heat which would damage the plants and bereave them of moisture.

Possible benefits of LED lighting

Farming includes the conversion of a type of energy to another and LED lighting for urban farming enhances efficient energy conversion over other artificial lighting sources. Indoor farming had conventionally used HPS or high-pressure sodium lamps which may have been effective but way less efficient than LED lights. LED urban farming system could generate equal amounts of light at a cost which was at least 40% less and in some cases, even 70% less.

The lighting and design configuration capabilities which are available along with the LED systems make them perfect for indoor urban farming operations. For instance, vertical farms were established near Indiana and Chicago which provide more than 1 million square feet of open space with 30,000 square footprints. The conventional lighting systems would possibly generate excessive heat which may have been trapped between such layers, thereby damaging the plants. LED lights ward off such issues.

With the help of LED lighting and indoor urban farming, the growers are boosted to produce food in closer proximity to the consumers. Rather than relying on costly long-distance shipping which consumes extra sources of energy before the food is reached to the table of the consumers, urban farms can deliver products to grocery outlets which are closer to the facilities.

As there’s a growth in population and more and more people choose to relocate to urban environments, food managers require addressing the challenge of feeding them effectively and with minimum environmental impact. LED lighting for improving urban farming will definitely be a necessary tool to meet challenges.

 

Maximize your LED cannabis grow lights – Few tips to take into account

 

As there are constant evolutions in the lighting technology, cultivators are gradually starting to witness the advantages of replacing the traditional HPS grow lights with smart LED grow lights. Besides reduction in consumption of energy and utility costs, ambitious cultivators are dexterously looking forward to do more than simply replacing HPS lights with LED. They’re rather trying to invest in LED to advance product quality, drive efficiencies, enhance yield in the supply chain. For all those growers who have already invested in grow lights or if you’re thinking of investing your dollars in them, here are some tips to maximize your grow lights.

 

  • Watch out on the consumption of water: A common error which is often made when urban growers switch from HID to LED is overwatering their plants. Usually, it is seen that HID lights generate enough heat and have high levels of infrared light (IR) which dries the soil and the plants. Since LED lights don’t generate enough heat and light, the grower requires being observant about not overwatering the plants. This measure can help you save your plants.
  • Growers may need to increase temperature: Urban plant growers who use HID lights generally rely on heat which comes from the conventional lights. Once you switch from LED grow lights, these growers may witness a fall in temperature as LEDs may not generate the similar amount of heat like the HIDs. This may clearly mean that growers have to increase the temperature to facilitate the growth of the crop.
  • The height of mounting matters: As we are now in a plug and play culture, spending time on mounting the LEDs at a definite height can enhance the quality and yield of plants. There are number of factors which need to be kept into account like the absence or presence of natural light, you may need to ensure that your LEDs can match a uniform and wide distribution of light deep within the canopy. When you mount your LEDs too high, this may increase the area of coverage and will also reduce the intensity of light. Therefore your best option is to start with the recommendation of the LED manufacturer, comprehend the DLI (Daily Light Integral) and calculate henceforth.
  • Installation of multiple units: Thanks to the ability of LED lights to create a targeted light output through the usage of optics, you can easily highlight a single section of your grow with one LED lamp and again repeat the isolation for each and every cluster which you grow. When you implement multiple units in the grow facility, your plants seem to be better served. This step could save you enough money at the end while still achieving best light conditions.

 

So, if you’ve installed grow lights in your indoor garden, you may take into account the above mentioned tips to maximize the efficiency of such lights. The more effective your lights are, the better will be the level of growth of the plants.

Best Grow Lights for Starting Seeds Indoors

uitable supplemental lighting is better for starting seeds than the light coming through most windows would be. A setup of lights will allow you to grow a much wider range of vegetable varieties, which will make your garden even more interesting and fun. Until recently, most seed starters used inexpensive fluorescent T12 shop lights, with the height of the lights adjusted so the plants were very close to the bulbs — within a half-inch for full-sun plants, such as tomatoes and peppers.
But two new and better choices, T8 and T5 bulbs, are now available. In fluorescent-light lingo, the “T” stands for “tube,” and the number represents the bulb’s diameter. Old-line T12 fluorescent bulbs are still cheap and easy to find, but for a few dollars more per bulb, you could upgrade to more slender T8 bulbs, which are up to 40 percent more efficient. Plants get plenty of light when grown within 2 inches beneath T8 bulbs. You can usually find a 4-foot-long, Energy Star-certified, two-bulb T8 fixture at retail stores for about $20, plus another $10 for the bulbs.
Many garden-supply stores now offer grow lights that use even skinnier T5 bulbs, sometimes called “high output” (HO) fluorescents. Less glass is required in their manufacturing, and T5 bulbs are 9 percent more efficient than T8 bulbs and 51 percent more efficient than the old T12s. While T5s are some of the best grow lights for starting seeds indoors, as they set the standard for light output and energy efficiency, they may be glaringly bright if not equipped with a reflective hood. Plant height must be closely monitored, too, with no less than 3 inches of space between the bulbs and the tops of the plants. Some people find the narrow T5 bulbs too delicate to handle in 4-foot lengths, and instead choose shorter, 2-foot bulbs.

6 Tips to Maximize Your Indoor Grow Lights

As lighting technology continues to advance, cultivators are starting to witness the benefits of replacing archaic HPS grow lights with intelligent LED grow lights. Beyond a reduction in energy consumption and utility costs, ambitious cultivators are actively looking to do more than just replace HPS with LED, they’re looking towards LED to advance product quality, increase yield and drive efficiencies in their supply chain.
For those growers that have bought already or are interested in taking the next step we have lined up 6 tips for maximizing

your LED grow lights:
1. Keep an eye on your water consumption – A common mistake often made when growers switch from HID fixtures toLEDs is overwatering. HID lighting generate heat and contain high levels of Infrared light (IR) which helps dry out the soil and plants. As LED grow lights don’t generate the same amount of heat and no IR light, you as a grower need to be observant so you don’t overwater your plants.
2. Turn up the heat? – Growers using HIDs often rely on the heat coming from traditional grow lights. After switching to LEDgrow lights these growers (if not taken into consideration during installation) often experience a drop in temperature as LEDs don’t generate the same amount of heat as HIDs. This means that growers might have to increase the temperature in the growth facility for their crop to thrive. But don’t let this discourage you, thanks to LEDs energy efficiency the net savings of energy will still be positive.

3.Mounting Height Matters – While we’re a plug-and-play culture, spending the extra time on mounting your LEDs at the precise height can enrich yield and quality. While most environments will have a number of factors that must be accounted for when mounting your LEDs, including the presence or absence of natural light, you want to make sure that your LEDs can maintain a wide, uniform light distribution concentrated deep into the canopy.If you mount your LEDs too high, you may increase your coverage area, but you will also be reducing the light’s intensity. If you mount your LEDs too low, the intense proximity of the light could stress your plants. Your best option is to start with the LED manufacturer’s mounting recommendation, understand your DLI (Daily Light Integral) and calculate from there.
4.Install Multiple Units – Thanks to LED grow lights’ ability to create a targeted light output using optics, you can spotlight one section of your grow with oneLED lamp, and repeat the isolation for each cluster in your grow. However, your plants are better served when you calculate and implement multiple units in your grow facility. This allows the beams to overlap and maximizes light distribution across the canopy. This could save you a lot of money in the end, while still obtaining optimal light conditions. We recommend that you ask a qualified lighting company for a light plan before you start the installation – we can help you with that.

5. Define Your Light Cycles – Light cycles set the rhythm for your crop’s biological life. Indoor growers can manipulate these light cycles by increasing or decreasing the hours of light and darkness, stimulating a plant’s photoperiod whenever desired. For Greenhouse growers it is also possible to manipulate light and dark cycles by the use of blackout curtains and supplemental lighting. Automated blackout curtains helps growers block out unwanted sunlight and ensure needed dark periods during long summer days,  while supplemental lighting helps fill the gap of light needed during dark winter months. Making sure your plants get all the light it needs.The most popular light cycle during the vegetative stage is 18 hours of light per day with 6 hours of darkness for flowers. A 12/12 light cycle will trigger flowering for most flower crops since the increased amount of uninterrupted darkness signals to the plant that fall is approaching. For vegetative crops (such as herbs and salad) 17-18 hours of light per day is often most popular.
6. Craft Light Recipes – Just as you can manipulate the photoperiod with LEDs, you can also manipulate exposure to blue, white, red and far-red spectrums at different stages in the growth cycle. While the flowering cycle can be influenced by multiple factors, crafting a custom light recipe that taps into thefar-red spectrum has been shown to reduce the flowering cycle of plants, which expedites the time until harvest.A light recipe also allows you as a grower to set the light intensity throughout the day. For example, in a greenhouse, growers are able to calculate the DLI(Daily Light Integral) for their crop and increase or decrease the output depending on the need for supplemental lighting throughout the day.