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 1000W XTREME Grow Light
The higher specification Lumatek Zeus 1000W Xtreme PPFD CO2 LED is a linear multi-light bar fixture producing extremely high levels of PPF of 2925 µmol/s and a Photon Efficacy (fixture efficiency) of 2.9 µmol/J.
With the advances in technology and fixture performance, high quality LED horticultural lighting is now a credible option offering significant return on investment to cultivators. Lumatek full spectrum horticultural LED solutions balance light quality (spectra) with light quantity (intensity and duration) ensuring an even light distribution and uniform spread.
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.
Maxibright Daylight 1030w PRO LED Grow Light
Introducing an exciting new addition to the DAYLIGHT LED range, the DAYLIGHT 1030W LED PRO. These fixtures boast a full spectrum of light with a fixture efficiency of 2.7 μmol/J and total output (PPF) of 2781 μmol/s.
Featuring 10 x LED clip-on bars, and packed with all of the features of our 660W LED PRO fixture, including remote dimming, iLink compatibility, high-efficiency diodes, and silent operation.
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.
Scopex 680W LED Grow Light PRO & Advanced
Combining outstanding efficiency, intensity and spread into one incredible plug-and-play array, the SCOPEX horticultural LED light has all the latest and greatest features to give you both the power and control you need to get the absolute best results out of your space.
Available versions: Advanced & PRO
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.
Parlux LINX 650W LED Grow Light
The higher specification Parlux LINX 650W LED is a light fixture producing high PPF of 1700 µmol/s and a Photon Efficacy (fixture efficiency) of 2.6 µmol/J. With 8 x LED bars, the large light source creates uniform coverage over a large area.
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+ 465W PRO Full Spectrum LED Board
Introducing the latest in performance, efficiency and photon distribution, the PAR+ 465 PRO is a seriously impressive bit of kit. 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 an absolutely massive diode count over a large surface area, anodised plate heat-sink, and enhanced further with additional high-quality deep and far red diodes, you’ll be fighting a serious urge to show this off!
Lumatek Attis 300W LED Grow Light
The Lumatek ATS series is a range of full spectrum LED grow lights featuring top bin LUMLED LEDs and dimmable Lumatek drivers. This light-weight fixture is ideal as sole-source or supplemental grow lighting for propagation, cloning, vegetative and flowering growth periods of indoor-grown crops.
The array of LEDs create a uniform spread of light at short distance from the crop enabling good penetration of canopy without hotspots and excessive heat. The innovative heat sink and use of passive natural convection has eliminated the need for a fan, reducing noise output and significantly increasing the life span of the fixture as it has no moving parts.
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.