Advantages of LED Lights
The Advantages of LED Lights
While there any many different types of lighting for hydroponics, LED grow lights seem to be taking a rise recently for indoor gardening lighting. As you may find with a lot of hydroponic products, finding which product is best for you can seem quite daunting – this is why we’ve put together a small guide that will hopefully give you all the inside information you need regarding LED lighting.
Although there are a lot of reasons as to why people prefer to use LED lights, the shortlist is:
- Less energy (cheaper to run)
- Last longer (no need to replace after a couple of uses)
- Solid-state (more durable)
- Lower heat
- Daisy chainable (only selected models)
Lower heat is the main reason people switch from HPS lights to LED lights. HPS lights emit a lot of infrared light which therefore creates radiant heat to warm plants and your grow room. Whereas LED emits much less infrared light which means minimal heat output and they also last a lot longer compared to HPS lights.
Technology has now moved on leaps and bounds and most LEDs on the market today provide high-quality full-spectrum lighting meaning, you don’t have to change the lights as your plants enter the flowering and fruiting stages.
LED’S aren’t measured in the same way as HPS lights, so rather than reading about lumen output or light spectrum, you will see measurements of PAR output and PPFD. PAR measures light spectrum in the range of 400nm to 700nm, PPFD measures the amount of light (intensity) so pay attention to these when deciding what LED model is for you. Also, make sure you pick quality over cost, as cheap and cheerful modules won’t have full-spectrum lighting and low-grade LED’s aren’t powerful enough to penetrate the full plant canopy.
Points to consider
- Less heat – lower extraction requirements
- Cheaper to run
- Even light coverage
- Easy to replace LEDs
- No heavy/hot ballasts required
- Requires additional heating during winter temperatures
- Revise/reduce winter extraction
- Expensive initial outlay but up to 55,000 hours of usage
Seeing as this is the year of the LED, these are our top picks:
Lumatek Zeus LED 465W Pro Grow Light
With the advances in technology and fixture performance, high quality LED horticultural lighting is now a credible option offering a significant return on investment to cultivators. Lumatek full spectrum horticultural LED solutions balance light quality (spectra) with light quantity (intensity and duration) sufficient to provide single-source lighting for the entire grow cycle from vegetative through the flowering period.
SANlight Q6W 245-WATT LED S2.1 Gen 2
The Sanlight Series 2 Q2 is one of the cheaper LED’s we recommend at £550 and is one of the highest efficient LED grow light system for indoor growing with maximum flexibility. The optimised heat sink cools down the LED chip to temperatures below 70°C and connects the light engine and power distribution. The Sanlight can also be daisy-chained to run from one power source and now with the option to purchase a dimmer separately, meaning you can dim down the LED by 25% at a time using a dimmer fob.
Warranty: 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
Maxibright Daylight 660w PRO LED Grow Light
This unit pushes LED grow lighting to the next level. It’s 6 bars of high-efficiency Osram and LUM LED LED chips cover a 1.5m x 1.5m area perfectly, with outstandingly uniform light coverage. In addition to its new lightweight and slimline design, the 660W PRO has a new and improved clip-on bar making one person assembly a breeze.
GN Telos 0010 PRO LED 285W Grow Light
The latest version of a tried and tested modern and efficient LED luminaire. Now featuring even higher output OSRAM LEDs. Suitable for top-down growing applications, commercial greenhouses, and harsh environments such as advanced medical facilities. The use of passive natural convection has eliminated the need for a fan, reducing noise output and significantly increasing the life span of the light as it contains no moving parts. Lights are provided with an easy-to-use versatile hanging system.
ThinkGrow LED Grow Light Model-H 630w
ThinkGrow LED Grow Light Model-H is designed specifically for high PPFD cultivation practices in vertical framing. Full-spectrum design covers each critical phase of growth from vegetative to flowering. The spectral tuning capability allows growers to experiment with spectrum recipes.
PAR+ 240W PRO Full Spectrum LED Board
Manufactured to an extremely high standard, the PAR+ 240 PRO doesn't compromise when providing you with the best in photon quality and intensity. With each light boasting a whopping 1664 Samsung mid-power diodes and 28 deep/Far reds, the PAR+ 240W PRO is a full spectrum lighting solution suitable for a wide range of crops, from seed to harvest.
LED language explained…
PAR – Photosynthetically Active Radiation. A measurement of plant available light spectrum
PPF - Photosynthetic Photon Flux. Measures the amount of PAR per second or micromoles per second (umol/s)
PPFD – Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density. Measures the amount of PAR per square metre per second or micromoles per square mtr per second (umol/m2/s) and is the main measurement for measuring PAR intensity
LED – Light Emitting Diodes (light emitting device)
HEAT SINKS – provide a path for the heat to travel and disperse
ACTIVE HEAT SINK – heat sinks that included fans
COBS – Chips On Board. COB LED’S tend to have more diodes per chip (up to 9 per chip)
HPS/HID – High Pressure Sodium/High Intensity Discharge. Old school grow room lighting
DAISY CHAIN – Ability to link multiple lights to one power source.