LED grow lights have gained immense popularity for indoor farming. These lights offer numerous advantages over other types of grow lights, positioning them as the future of lighting technology. Despite some initial drawbacks, these issues are swiftly diminishing as manufacturers enhance the efficiency and affordability of LED lights. Let’s explore the primary pros and cons of using LED grow lights.
What Are the Benefits of Using LED Grow Lights?
LED grow lights are soaring in popularity for the reasons below.
LED grow lights surpass traditional lighting systems in efficiency by utilizing up to 75% less energy to achieve equivalent illumination levels. Unlike traditional lighting, LED diodes generate light without combustion, resulting in decreased heat emission and increased usable light output. This characteristic contributes to substantial reductions in energy expenses.
LED grow lights stand out as the ideal choice for indoor gardening due to their exceptional durability. In comparison with fluorescent or HID lights, which typically endure for approximately 10,000 to 20,000 hours, LED lights can remain illuminated for a remarkable 50,000 to 100,000 hours. To put it in perspective, if a LED grow light is utilized for 12 hours daily, it can persist for approximately 11 to 22 years. Moreover, their infrequent need for repair or replacement further enhances the convenience of light maintenance.
Fit in Smaller Spaces
LED grow lights are available in diverse configurations and arrangements suitable for compact gardening settings. Examples include vertical farming LED grow lights, T5 LED grow lights, and panel LED grow lights. These options boast streamlined and space-efficient designs, making them well-suited for installation in limited areas. Additionally, strip LED grow lights offer an effective solution for supplement lighting. These can be positioned in various garden corners to ensure adequate light exposure even for the lower sections of the plants.
Quick Harvest Cycle
LED grow lights can be operated 24/7 without significantly impacting temperature. In indoor plant cultivation, the absence of natural environmental cues requires you to inform the plants of the current season and guide their growth accordingly.
By employing LED lighting, you gain the ability to precisely adjust daylight hours and the amount of red light at optimal moments, thereby maximizing plant growth. When applying LED technology to cultivate auto-flowering plants, the potential for multiple harvests within a single season arises. This light allows for the manipulation of flowering periods in plants, consequently elevating production levels.
Some lights emit excessive UV rays, and IR rays, which can cause rapid burning and dehydration of plants. This in turn necessitate increased water and energy consumption to maintain their survival.
In contrast, LED grow lights effectively produce limited heat and do not emit harmful light wavelengths. Consequently, the allocated water and energy resources are channeled towards fostering the growth and vitality of plants, rather than mere survival.
Even Light Distribution
The sun has a widespread distribution of its rays. While relying solely on the sun for greenhouse lighting may not optimize yields, it does offer uniformity. LED grow lights sustains this uniformity, a feat less achievable with HPS lighting.
Uneven light dispersion across the canopy leads to inconsistent plant quality. Additionally, plants in heated areas consume more water, generating varying needs within the greenhouse. For substantial operations, catering to each plant’s specific requirements becomes impractical.
In contrast, properly employed LED lighting ensures uniform illumination throughout the canopy. This enables consistent care for all plants and yields consistent high-quality outcomes across every corner of the greenhouse.
LED grow lights can control light wavelengths precisely, allowing us to supply plants with the target wavelength for photosynthesis.
Conventional lighting systems emit substantial amounts of light in the green and yellow wavelengths, which plants don’t utilize as much. While plants do require green and yellow light, the excess in these wavelengths represents energy wastage.
LEDs enable the provision of the precise light spectrum essential for plants. This targeted approach minimizes light wastage, ensuring optimal utilization of energy and maximizing efficiency.
The best LED grow lights offer a balanced full spectrum of light. Unlike outdated notions that suggest plants require only red and blue light (“blurple” lights), these superior LEDs provide the precise light essential for plant growth.
Additionally, you can turn off some particular wavelengths in some LEDs, allowing you to tailor the light perfectly to each stage of plant development. This adaptability implies that LED lights can prove more beneficial for plant growth compared with natural sunlight.
LED grow lights are entirely recyclable and stand in contrast to HID lights, which may contain harmful elements such as mercury. The certification by RoHS guarantees the absence of toxic substances in reputable LED products.
Better Climate Control
LED grow lights emit significantly less heat compared with alternative lighting options. Reduced heat production translates into decreased expenses for supplementary cooling and irrigation systems.
An aspect that receives less attention but holds substantial importance is the fact that lower heat emission simplifies the task of maintaining an optimal environment for plant growth. Although excessive heat isn’t necessarily fatal to plants, it can detrimentally affect the final product’s quality. To achieve robust yields and potent outcomes, it’s advisable to maintain temperatures below 80 degrees. Greenhouses benefit from the sun’s gentle warmth to support plant growth and flowering. And supplemental LED grow lights excel in intensifying light levels without adding excessive heat.
What Are the Drawbacks of Using LED Grow Lights?
In addition to the extensive array of benefits offered by LED grow lights, there are also several drawbacks to consider.
Higher Upfront Cost
The primary drawback associated with LED grow lights is their high initial expense. LED lights come with a higher price tag compared with conventional options like fluorescent and HID lights. Moreover, installation costs should be taken into account. Nonetheless, when factoring in maintenance expenses and electricity bills, the cost advantage of LEDs becomes apparent over time.
Too Much Blue Light
While blue light is beneficial for optimal plant growth, particularly during the vegetative stage, excessive exposure to this type of light can pose a threat to your body.
Limited Light Penetration
Plants possessing dense canopies necessitate uniform lighting to ensure sufficient light distribution across lower leaves and branches. However, the directional and focused nature of LED grow lights occasionally poses a challenge in meeting these demands. While this characteristic enhances light efficiency, it might hinder the coverage of thick foliage canopies. Nevertheless, this concern can be addressed through a hybrid lighting system, for instance, you can use both LED and HID lighting. HID lights create a diffuse lighting pattern through reflectors that guide the light. This type of lighting enhances the penetration of light into the canopy.
Affected by Heat
LED grow lights are susceptible to high temperatures, which can lead to accelerated diode failure and a decline in the quality of emitted light. This underscores the importance of incorporating effective heat sink and fan systems in most LED grow fixtures. Notably, the latest quantum board-style lights, such as those from MokoLight, forego fans entirely and instead rely on passive cooling through a large heat sink. Similarly, COB lights follow the same approach.
Over time, LED diodes can experience color shifts, potentially deviating from the expected light quality despite their extended lifespan. Cheaper LED chips are more prone to this concern. However, opting for premium lights from reputable manufacturers, say, MokoLight eliminates the need to be concerned about this problem.
Risk of Low-quality Products
LED grow lights stand as the most widely sought-after and costly lighting. Unfortunately, in light of this popularity, certain unscrupulous businesses introduce subpar lighting products to capitalize on the trend, ultimately driven by profit. Consequently, these substandard lights fail to provide the necessary light wavelengths or spectra. Moreover, their lack of durability necessitates frequent replacements. To circumvent such predicaments, it’s imperative to conduct thorough research into the authenticity of the brand before procuring any LED grow light.
Pros and Cons of LED Grow Lights: Final Thoughts
LED grow lights undoubtedly represent the future of horticultural lighting. Even today, the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages, with the primary concern being the relatively higher cost. However, this drawback is rapidly diminishing as prices decrease. The remarkable performance of top-tier LED plant lights surpasses that of any other available grow lighting options, making them the preferred choice in today’s market.
Mokolight LED grow lights are the exact lights you want for your plant cultivation. They are built to last and come with a 3-year warranty. Rest assured that our LEDs are certified by ETL, CE, FCC, ROHS and UL, and undergo quality tests before delivery. Talk with our experts for the best LED grow lights!