If you are searching for reviews and buying guides in order to choose the best LED Grow Lights for indoor plants, so you have come to the right place. At Gardeningsuppliesguide.com we conducted wide open studies just to give you unbiased ideas and opinions consulted from experts for LED grow lights manner. Please take a look at our comparision table and buying guides below.
Best LED Grow Lights For Indoor Plants Comparison Chat:
Top 3 T5 Grow Lights In The Market Today
Hydrofarm JSV2 2-Foot Jump Start T5 Grow Light System
Easy to install and highly adjustable thanks to a toggle clamp arrangement, this 2-foot single lamp fixture is ideal if you have a tight budget. Indeed, the cost efficiency of this product is enhanced by the fact that it offers about 15-20% more lumens when compared with the older generation of lighting options. Further, the specially designed and colored shade acts as a reflector for directing this light onto the plants.
Improving the utility factor further is a 6’ grounded power cord that ensures that no matter where you need to install this light and fixture assembly, you will never have to worry about extending the circuitry. The cord also has an on/off switch that can be used at short intervals without any risk of damage.
T5 EnviroGro 4Ft 6 Tube Fixture w/Bulbs-FLT46
Ideal for those who are looking for large scale growing operations, this grow light comes with 6 lamps fitted into a sturdy powder-coated frame. Further, the frame is made of German aluminum, which guarantees longevity and resistance against damage caused by falling/exposure to corrosive substances. Offering the ideal 6400K color temperature, each of the 6 lamps is capable of producing a large lumen output per watt, adding up to an impressive 30,000 lumens for the whole unit.
Furthermore, the unit comes with a 10’ long power cord that is completely waterproof. This implies that even if you’re going for hydroponics, this unit can be used without any worries. Finally, there is a two way switch which allows for quick and easy alteration of the lighting capacity of this T5 unit.
Apollo Horticulture T5 4 Feet / 4 Tube Commercial Fixture with your Choice of Bulbs
Made to withstand the abuse of a commercial greenhouse, this product from Apollo Horticulture comes a total wattage of 216W, which is marvelous considering the excellent luminosity offered by the 4 T5 lights. Further, it comes with a color temperature of 2700K, which is ideal if your plants require this rather than the more common 6400K variant of T5 lighting.
Furthermore, the product can be arranged in 3 different ways, thus providing the grower with the versatility required when growing multiple types of plants. Such versatility is further improved by the presence of a 7.5’ grounded power cord that is compatible with most electrical circuits around the world. Finally, the high quality electronic ballasts can withstand over 100 start voltages during their lifetime, which is more than can be said for many products in this price range
Introduction of LED Grow Lights
The research and development in the field of LED lighting has opened up vast avenues of the use of the technology in various fields of life. From being initially used as an alternative to incandescent bulbs, to being adopted in televisions, LED lighting is rapidly developing into an all-inclusive field which caters to a lot of diverse functions in daily life.
Being environmentally friendly and cost effective, LED lights rapidly became prominent in households and businesses, while their use expanded in gadgets and electronic equipment for the same reason. LED lights have another extremely beneficial use in our daily lives and that comes about in a field that one would probably never imagine. LED lights can be used for the systematic and consistent growth of plants and to speed up the process of photosynthesis.
The idea of LED grow lights generated from the crude grow lights, a technology designed to stimulate plant growth by using the properties of light in the electromagnetic spectrum. The idea behind the grow lights is to use the spectrum of light relevant for photosynthesis and help in the growth of plants in a much more effective and uniform manner.
The use of grow lights is common for areas with limited sunlight for most parts of the day. This is characteristic of the cold climatic zones where the winter season dominates and there is a scarcity of sunlight throughout the day. The deficiency of sunlight stints the growth of plants and leads to spindle growth, something which is then catered to through the use of artificial light.
The use of LED grow lights now dominates the use of other light sources for the growth of the plants for it has several benefits that outweigh other means of illumination. The efficiency and directed light spectrum attained through LED grow lights provides better lumen intensity and light source for plants to grow rapidly and regularly. LED grow lights also have an advantage of improved technological traits which make them a superior choice over the traditional light sources.
Types of Light Sources for Plant Growth
The incandescent light bulbs operate normally in the yellow-red zone and emit excessive heat during operation. These lights cannot be used for complete plant growth and cannot be relied upon as the primary source of light for plant growth in the absence of natural light.
Halogen grow lights did not gain much popularity after their introduction because they lead to extreme heat dissipation which was detrimental to plant growth. Halogen lighting has been limited to very few indoor units which have a proper heat sinking mechanism but even that requires continuous maintenance.
Fluorescent lights are primarily used for vegetation purposes and provides a decent amount of luminous efficacy. The lights serve the purpose of growing herbs and vegetables indoors but do not offer an all-inclusive package for complete plant growth. The heat emission is also higher than LED lights which leads to the requirement of plant watering after short time durations.
HPS stands for High Pressure Sodium and these are artificial sources of light which produce light mostly in the yellow visible spectrum. The benefits of HPS lights are that the light intensity and brightness are extremely good which may help in the stimulated plant growth. HPS lights were prominently used but could not rise ahead of the LED grow lights as they lead to excessive heat dissipation due to the high intensity of light being produced. HPS lights also lead to large power losses and are inefficient for operation.
High Intensity Discharge Lights were popular mainly for small indoor growing of plants where they were feasible due to their low initial costs. An inexpensive grow light would be an incentive for many but when seen in the longer term, HID lights are more expensive than other sources of grow lights. The prime reason for that is the inefficiency in its operation and the maintenance and heat sinking costs that are added to it. HID lights dissipate the most heat among modern grow lights and require a cooling mechanism separately which needs to be maintained. Considering the overall power inefficiency and the frequent need for maintenance, HID lights fall short when compared to the LED grow lights and hence are not employed for plant growth.
It is understood through vehement research by some of the most profound organizations such as NASA, that plant growth is stimulated by green, blue and red light in the visible light spectrum of the electromagnetic radiation. To obtain exact wavelengths for the extraction of red, green and blue light wavelengths for the plant growth, diodes provide a convenient solution.
LED Grow Lights allow the production of specific wavelengths of light which correspond to the absorption spectrum of a typical plant’s photosynthesis process. What gives the LED lights an edge over their incandescent light counterparts is the fact that LED lights produce significantly less heat during operation and do not require ballasts. The normal operating temperature of LED grow lights varies from 40 to 60 degree Celsius which is the prime reason why plants grown through LED grow lights have longer water cycle durations.
Since LED grow lights are made up of the visible light spectrum, the combination of multiple colors, beneficial for plant growth is made possible. At times, plants require a combination of different light colors for their growth which is only possible with accurate combination of the colors. For instance, chlorophyll and carotenoids require multiple absorption peaks and hence LED grow lights come in handy for the prospect.
Plasma grow lights are the most advanced and sophisticated grow lights in the market and have benefits that surpass that of all other lights. They have the best illuminous intensity and the most remarkable efficiency when it comes to plant growth but a major hindrance in its wide spread use is the expense required. Plasma lights are very expensive owing to their numerous benefits and advanced technology and deter the wide spread use, especially in small indoor units for plant growth. They are more power efficient than the LED grow lights and have better light intensity for the plants and further advancements in technology may see them replace all other grow lights in the future.
Understanding the Lighting requirement for Plants
Plants that receive sunlight outdoors tend to receive a full range of light spectrum from the ultraviolet, visible to the infrared radiations. These plants tend to have an advantage over the plants grown under artificial lights and hence to counter the difference, the same environment needs to be created artificially by the LED grow lights. Different plants will require different spectrums of light and hence a single spectrum LED grow light would not work out universally or effectively, for that matter.
Another important factor to consider is the luminous intensity that is generated from the LED grow lights for the plants. The luminous intensity determines the growth rate of the plants and also provides a perspective on the heating resulted from the artificial lighting. Generally, LED grow lights come with a rated luminous intensity but that is not what will be provided at all times. It is important to find out the range of operation, which would provide a better insight as to what the plants would eventually receive from the LED grow lights.
Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
Fluorescent and HPS grow lights tend to provide a large spectrum of light for the plants and were vehemently used over the decades before LED grow lights took over. The prime reason for that is the heating generated by the Fluorescent and HPS grow lights and the efficiency during the operation.
LED Grow Lights come in two different options; one with a small light spectrum, majorly within the visible spectrum for the blue, green and red light wavelengths and the other kind which is usually called the Full Spectrum LED grow light.
The Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights are different in the sense that they include the ultraviolet spectrum in the artificial lighting, which broadens the use for different kinds of plants and provides better and quick growth. Not all plants would survive with just the blue, green and red wavelengths of light and hence the former LED grow lights have limited use.
The Full Spectrum LED grow lights accounts for four major wavelengths of light which are as follows.
White light is important for the plants grown artificially as it helps to identify problems during plant growth which can then be catered to in a timely manner. White lights help in balancing the spectrum of the visible light and provides a better range for LED grow lights in order to operate.
Research has led to the belief that ultraviolet light in the LED grow lights can help increase the THC production in plants. Although UV light is not commonly used as part of LED grow lights for plants, the addition of this electromagnetic spectrum would widen the horizon of LED grow lights.
Blue light in the Electromagnetic spectrum is known for aiding the vegetation process in plants and is the core feature of artificial lighting for the growth of plants. Lying around the 400 nm wavelength range, blue light is responsible for the growth of tall and leafy plants.
Red light, which occupies the 600-650 nm wavelength range in the visible light spectrum is responsible for the budding and flowering in the plants. It is an integral feature of LED grow lights which helps in growing flowery and delicate plants under the influence of artificial lights.
The right combination of all these light wavelengths has to be ensured for effective plant growth. Excess of Blue light can lead to bushy plants while excess red lights may deteriorate the health of the plants. It is imperative that the right amount for a specific plant is first determined before LED grow lights are put into operation.
Light intensity refers to the amount of light that the plants in a specific time for their growth. The higher the light intensity, the better the photosynthetic rate and hence plant growth is stimulated. Some plants require a lot of light for their growth while others can grow under an average amount and hence light intensity plays a key factor for plant growth under LED lights.
This term refers to the amount of light that plants get without seeing darkness. LED grow lights need to have a photo period sufficient for the plant growth which means that it must have the capability for continuous operation for a duration more than the requirement of the plants grown.
Benefits of using LED Grow Lights
LED Grow Lights have taken over the artificial lighting domain and are now the major shareholder when it comes to growing plants under artificial illumination. The demise of fluorescent and incandescent grow lighting was brought about due to the countless benefits that can be reaped from the use of LED Grow Lights. Some of these benefits are highlighted below.
1. Low Heat Dissipation
Heat dissipation was one of the major flaws with incandescent and fluorescent grow lights. The amount of heat generated during operation led to an increased watering requirement for the plants which was an added burden. LED Grow lights completely eliminates this issue. The heat dissipation from the LED grow lights is extremely low compared to its counterparts and hence the watering cycle of the plants is increased considerably.
The operating temperature of the LED grow lights ranges from 40 to 60 degree Celsius, a figure which is minute when compared to 400 to 600 degree Celsius which can often be reached during excessive operations of incandescent grow lighting.
Excessive heating of the room where plants are artificially grown can destroy the plant growth and can be disastrous for the crops. Plants do not survive in excessively hot environments and hence LED grow lights provide a suitable mechanism of artificial lighting without the need for continuous monitoring.
2. High Efficiency
Power efficiency comes into play because the plants require artificial illumination for a lengthy span of continuous operating time. If the source of illumination is not efficient, it will lead to considerable power losses, which was the case with incandescent and fluorescent grow lights.
LED grow lights provide a suitable illumination intensity to the plants without wasting too much power during operation and hence leads to a lot of cost-cutting.
LED grow lights have the impact of being cost-effective in the long term which acts as a major incentive for its use. Power losses can be easily cut down through the use of LED illumination.
3. Long Life and Durability
One of the major benefits of LED lighting is that it is long lasting and durable. LED lights often provide an extremely long timespan as compared to the incandescent and fluorescent lights. This characteristic feature is utilized in the LED grow plants as well.
LED grow lights generally last from 50000 hours to 100000 hours as compared to the 20000 hours from its counterparts. This massive difference is an important factor in turning the tides in favor of LED grow lights and the use of such lights for plant growth.
Once installed, LED grow lights will last for years without the need for replacement. It is a one-time investment that provides a valuable return. It is also durable in nature and reliable so that one could trust the LED grow lights once they are installed for plant growth.
4. Compact Design
LED grow lights are compact and do not take up much space. They are small and can be easily fitted into the room without cramping up the space. The advantage of small and sleek design of the LED grow lights provides a major incentive for the users as it can be installed in small rooms and does not require excessive space for operation.
Since the LED grow lights do not dissipate excessive heat and have a mild operating temperature, they do not require extra cooling equipment along with the grow lights. This is a benefit that wins the battle for the LED grow lights against incandescent and fluorescent grow lights.
LED grow lights encourage small rooms for plant growth and hence do not ask for much capital when investing in artificial plant growth.
5. Offers targeted wavelengths
Vegetation, flowering and budding all have their own individual wavelength requirements which needs to be catered to accurately for rapid and healthy growth of the plants. LED grow lights ensure that target is achieved by providing accurate wavelengths for the vegetation, flowering and budding processes uniquely.
The presence of the unique wavelengths help in the growth of plants and avoid the deterioration or bushy growth.
6. Environment Friendly
LED grow lights have a major advantage in that they do not negatively impact the environment. Environmentalists and scientists have approved the use of LED grow lights as it does not lead to greenhouse gases or global warming. A massive reduction in the emission of CO2 occurs with the use of LED grow lights, a benefit that has a great impact.
Another reason why LED grow lights are environment friendly is that it is quite convenient to dispose them off once they have surpassed their operation capability. They lead to no harm during disposal and hence is a viable option for plant growth.
Factors to considering when buying LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights have numerous benefits as explained above but there are certain factors that need to be taken into account when buying an LED grow light to ensure maximum benefit and satisfaction after purchase. Not every LED grow light is suitable for plant growth and the presence of the following essentials need to be confirmed when purchasing an LED grow light.
1. Growing Requirements
There is a different set of needs for flowering, budding and vegetation. It is imperative to determine the growing need before buying the LED lights. As mentioned before, vegetation, flowering and budding all have different reactions to visible light spectrum and this needs to be considered when purchasing. Some plants also have different luminous intensity requirements so it is also an important trait to consider when buying an LED grow light. A light with the right luminous intensity is integral for healthy plant growth.
2. Construction Type
Going for the ultimate quality when purchasing an LED grow light is the right approach. LED grow lights manufactured using the best metal wires would perform the best and lead to the right results. It will provide sufficient amount of luminous intensity to the growing plants while not overheating them in the process. Construction type is important when it comes to the safe growth of the plants while also for the long term use and durability of the LED Grow lights.
3. Cooling System
LED grow lights do not dissipate much heat but that does not mean that one can neglect the cooling systems within the LED grow lights. It is necessary to understand and be assured that the cooling system installed with the LED grow lights is working to the best of its capability and would ensure cooling during continuous operation. If the LED grow lights do not have a proper cooling mechanism, it will damage the plants and the LED grow lights as well, which would eventually lead to a significant loss.
4. Growing Space
LED grow lights must be bought considering the space available in the room for the plants grown. If the room is small, then large LED grow lights would cramp the space and lead to overheating of the plants. LED grow lights come in various sizes and suitable size needs to be bought to ensure smooth operation of LED grow lights and plant growth. One needs to be fully aware of the dimensions of the room for installation when buying the LED grow lights.
This is not a technical aspect that one would need to keep in mind when buying LED grow lights but is surely one that is important. LED grow lights are expensive initially and hence it is valuable to ensure that they come with a warranty. An investment of the kind needs to be insured so that the owner does not suffer a loss due to malfunctioning or poor design by the company. A decent warranty period provides security to the customer and builds a trust about the LED grow lights.
6. Red and Blue Light Spectrum
Red and Blue light spectrum is a major aspect of plant growth and is what most of the plants acquire from natural light. LED grow lights without these two wavelength spectrums would not be a good purchase, so it must be ensured that the LED grow lights have the right characteristic features for required plant growth. Blue light is ideal for vegetation plants while Red light is characteristic for flowering and budding processes.
Precautions to take when using LED Grow Lights
- LED grow lights need to be used with care and precaution, for it is an investment of real worth and requires proper treatment. The LED lights need to be charged after a specific use of time but overcharging LED grow lights will seriously damage the lights and reduce the luminous intensity that the grow lights provide to the plants. This would in turn deprive the plants of the required intensity and stunt their growth. Charging should be carried out as prescribed by the manufacturer.
- Heat Sink and the cooling system should be regularly checked for. Although good LED Grow Lights will have a reliable cooling mechanism, it is advisable to regularly check for the heat dissipation by the LED grow lights. It the temperature is beyond acceptable, it will damage the plants and hence the lights need to be replaced or checked.
- LED Grow Lights do not always give the rated luminous intensity output. It is important to understand the difference between operating intensity and the rated intensity. Plants would get the operating luminous intensity which will be lower than the rated value so LED grow lights should be deployed according to the needs of a specific plant.
LED Grow Lights are a substitute for natural light for plant growth. In places where there is scarcity of natural light, plant growth becomes stinted. To counter this problem, artificial lights are used to provide plants with the necessary electromagnetic radiation for their growth. LED grow lights are a modern technique which serves the purpose and replaces the conventional techniques used before. They overpower the use of incandescent and fluorescent grow lights on account of many reasons. LED grow lights are reliable, power efficient, do not dissipate much heat and have a directed electromagnetic spectrum which is ideal for the plants.
The use of LED grow lights has become quite frequent in colder climatic zones and LED grow lights have replaced all other sources of artificial lighting. It is a mechanism that reaps the greatest rewards for an initial investment and is far more durable than other means.