Indoor LED Grow Light Panels & Bars

Quantum Board LED Grow Lights

Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights

LED Grow Light: The Definitive Guide

What are LED Grow Lights?
We live in a modern world where there is little to no land enough for everyone to garden or plant something. However, if you’re the kind of person who loves to find possibilities even where there seems to be none, we’ve got good news for you! If you follow the emerging technologies in horticulture, then you’ve heard or seen the new LED grow lights. These complete lighting units(luminaries) bear LED (Light Emitting Diode) chips and a complement driver, which work together to produce light spectrums similar to those of the sun. With LED grow lights, growing plants for both aesthetic value or financial gain has never been easier. Now, you can grow as few or as many plants you want in your home or office using LED plant grow light, depending on the space you have. If you’re new to this or you don’t have much experience in indoor gardening using indoor LED grow light, read on to learn more because we’ve got you covered!

Understanding PAR

Also known as Photosynthetic Active Radiation, PAR is the measurement of light output that lies within the wavelength range of 400 to 700 nanometers. One can measure Photosynthetic Active Radiation by the amount of μmol/m2/s (micromoles/square meter/second). Plants require different PAR outputs on different growth stages. The higher the PAR, the more the amount of edible light your plants get hence grow better.
the different levels of PAR on different growth stages

The table above indicates the different levels of PAR your plants need on different growth stages. Make sure you purchase LED growth lights with the above PAR ranges to ensure optimal growth and development. Don’t go for the 100w led grow light, 150w led grow light, 200w led grow light, and 300w grow lights since they don’t have adequate power to produce the PAR levels above.

What Spectrum of Light does PAR measure?

Photosynthetic Active Radiation designates the light wavelength that lies between 400nm to 700nm. It’s light that lies within this spectral range that plants use to facilitate photosynthesis. They utilize it to enhance their growth and develop and mature. Plants that lack the right amount of PAR become stunted or unhealthy.

Electromagnetic spectrum

What is Photosynthetic Active (PAR) Value

We’ve already learned that PAR shows the type of light within the photosynthetic range of 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers. Now, what’s PAR value? The value of PAR is estimated in photons. The PAR value of natural sunlight is 900-1500μMol/m2/s when it’s directly overhead. To ensure your LED grow lights for indoor plants mimic the sun and produce adequate and edible light, their PAR value should be between 500-1500 μMol/m2/s. Different professional LED growth lights to emit different PAR values for plants on different growth stages. Since a typical LED growth light utilizes the full spectrum of light, you have to regulate the PAR levels they generate depending on the stage your plants are in. If they are clones, mother plants, or seedlings, a grow light producing 200-400 PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) is suitable for your plants. If your plants are vegetative or in a late growth stage, go for an LED grow light generating 400-600 PPFD. Finally, if they are flowering, budding, or fruiting, choose a 600-900 PPFD LED grow light.

Relative photosynthetic efficiency of photosynthetically active radiation

Relationship between Kelvin and LED Grow Lights?

We identify different lights on the photosynthetic range by the type of color they display then classify them under different wavelengths levels. Each color represents a specific temperature. Kelvin, usually abbreviated as K, is the measure of color temperature for different lights. Different lights are suitable for plants on different growth stages. It’s therefore important to keep in mind color temperature when selecting the type of light, you want to grow your plants with. Typical daylight is 5000 K, and light colors with these temperatures are considered cool. In our homes, the light we see has a temperature of 2700-3000 K and is considered warm. Before you purchase an LED grow light, it’s essential to know the color temperature it emits to make sure it’s suitable for your plants.

Relationship between Kelvin and LED Grow Lights

Determining the ideal light spectrum that your plants need for photosynthesis

Plants use the two main types of chlorophylls (a & b) to suck up light and meet their energy needs. The most suitable light plants use to undergo photosynthesis are in the red spectrum (600-700nm) and blue range (425-450nm). They portray the red and blue colors, respectively.

Light Spectrums and Their Respective Functions

Direct sunlight is ideal for most plants since it produces all colors of the light spectrum. However, the downside is that it also produces harmful rays that damage the plants inhibiting proper growth or even leading to the death of the plants. For this reason, growers turn to indoor farming, where they can control the light levels according to the plant’s needs. See below different light spectrums and their role in plant growth.

No Type of Light spectrum Light range in nm (nanometers) Role in plant’s growth
1. Ultraviolet 380nm to 390nm -Triggers a defense system in plants to shield themselves from harsh light. -Curb pest attack -Discourage mold and pathogenic fungi growth
2. Blue Violet 400nm to 410nm -Promotes green leaf growth -Promotes deepening of the color of the plant’s flesh
3. Blue 440nm to 460nm – vegetative growth -Promotes leaves and roots growth. -Promotes chlorophyll production, hence paramount in the first stages of plant’s growth.
4. Green 515nm to 535nm – Source of the green color in green plants. However, if plants are only exposed to the green light spectrum, photosynthesis rates will reduce.
5. Yellow 585nm to 595nm -Has a low influence on photosynthesis.
6. Orange 600nm to 610nm – Have a good effect on plants while undergoing photosynthesis
7. Red 660nm to 670nm – Promotes flowering – Promotes high rates of photosynthesis
the visble spectrum

What are the ideal Kelvins for Vegetative and Flowering stages of Weed (Cannabis)

See table below:

Growth StageKelvins(K)

1. Flowering

The right amount of color temperature for cannabis during flowering is 2700 K. It’s the color we see during the sunrise, also known as the twilight. When you purchase the right LED for growing weed, it will output 2700 K with red and orange colors. They’re warm colors.

2. Vegetative Period

The right amount of color temperature for cannabis during the vegetative stage is 4000 K. Recommended grow light is the blue LED grow light because it omits a cool light similar to the daylight.
ideal Kelvins for Vegetative and Flowering stages of Weed

Let’s Compare Traditional LED Fixtures and LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are becoming popular among farmers or those who practice horticultural farming. You can find variety at any led grow light depot. However, if you’re still torn between Traditional grow lights and LED grow lights, the comparison table below will help you pick the right Light for your plants.

Traditional LED Fixtures

LED Lighting for Grow & Horticultural farming

1. Lower watts than Grow lights

1. Higher watts than Traditional LED lights

2. Low Color Rendering Index (70-85)

2. High Color Rendering Index (93+)

3. It reads 140lm/watt due to its low color score.

3. It shows 120lm/wat due to its high color score.

4. Have few heat reduction materials

4. Have more heat reduction materials

How Many LED Grow Lights Will You Need for Your Growing Space?

There are 3 main factors that determine the number of grow lights you need;

  • Type of plant(s) you intend to grow
  • Size of your growing space
  • The wattage of your LED light

With the wattage and size of your grow space, the table below will help you determine how many grow lights you require.

Wattage

Size of grow space in feet

1000w led grow light

7×7

600w led grow light

6×6

400w led grow light

4×4

250w led grow light

3×3

150w led grow light

2×2

When you consider wattage and the type of plants as your variables, the table below will help you determine the number of LED lights for grow you need.

Type of Plant(plants)

Wattage per sq ft

Other Plants

25w (2750 lumens)

Vegetables

40w (4400 lumens)

Cannabis(weed)

65w (7150 lumens)

Factors of Light that determine the size of yield from your farm

Color

Color is not only a factor that influences plant growth, but it also affects the yield your plants produce. Due to the green pigment(chlorophyll) on plant leaves, green color is the least important of all light spectrum colors. However, other colors like blue support vegetative growth while red encourages flowering. Additionally, a red LED growth light that gives a perfect mix of red and blue light in the ratio of 5:1 results in your plants’ optimal growth and development. This is because the functions of red light (promote growth, fruiting, and flowering) are combined with those of blue (promote stem elongation and vegetative growth). Note that plants require different types of light on their specific growth stages. Know the best kind of light need for a particular stage and give it to them.
LED grow light of red and blue light in the ratio of 5:1

Power

This is the potency/strength of light reaching a plant. Ask yourself, how much light do your plant want and when? The power of the light is usually measured in Watts or Lumens or Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD). When you express the intensity of light in Watts, you’ll be showing how much power a light source, i.e., LED grow light, uses, not what it produces. When you use Lumens to express the power of light, you’ll be based on a photopic vision (how we as humans see it, not how the plants see it). When you use the PPFD, you’ll be expressing the power of light in levels of PAR. PPFD is the best way to measure light power since it’s based on the entire light spectrum the plants see. When buying an LED grow light, make sure you know its light power to ensure you give your plants the appropriate light intensity whenever they need it.

Relative photosynthetic efficiency of photosynthetic light response curves

How Do You Pick point the Right LED Grow Light for You?

When choosing an LED to grow light, make sure it has the following qualities:

  1. Easy to adjust different light colors for plants on particular growth stages
  2. Easy to adjust the height of led grow light bar from the plants’ canopies as they grow.
  3. LED grow light with a blue light wavelength ranging from 440 nanometers to 470 nanometers and Red light in 640 nanometers to 660 nanometers.
  4. A full-cycle grow light producing both blue and red lights is ideal for seedlings and flowering plants.
  5. Emit a full spectrum like that of the sun.
  6. Produce a balanced ratio of cool light to warm light.
  7. Stay away from lights emitting excess heat and lack a cooling system. They will harm your crops.

The Ideal Light Color for Plant Growth

Plants need light for development and growth, but they tend to prefer each type of color to a certain degree. Red and blue lights are their favorite, while green and yellow are barely needed. White light, on the other side, is not consumed by plants. Therefore, while choosing the right to grow light to offer the best light for your plants to grow healthy, go for the red LED grow light and blue LED grow light.

What Factors Should you Consider When Selecting the ideal LED Grow Light?

With so many LED grow light manufacturers, you’ll find many LED grow lights for sale on the market today. To make sure you choose the best LED grow light for your plants, remember these factors:

  1. What crop/plant do you want to grow? There are so many LED lights for sale suited for indoor gardening, but some are not ideal for some plants. Knowing the perfect conditions that your plants need to flourish will help you identify the right indoor grow light to choose from. Led grow light for weed and LED grow light for orchids are just some of the specialized farming lights you can choose from.
  2. What light spectrum does it produce? The most recommended is the full-spectrum white LED grow light because it produces all colors of the light wavelength. This makes it best for plants on all growth stages. Some other LED grow lights produce one or few colors making them useful only on some growth stages.
  3. What size is your rowing area? Know the surface area of your garden in order to calculate the amount of light your plants need; hence the number or size of LED grow light you need for proper distribution of light among the plants.
  4. Does it have an effective cooling system? Since your LED grow light need to supply light to your plants for 11 hours at least, you might find it overheating if it lacks an effective cooling system. If this happens, it might emit excess heat to your plants, burning them. Buy an LED light with a reliable colling system to evade this.
  5. How much energy does it consume? For proper distribution of light to dark periods, your LED growth lights need to be active for at least 11 to 15 hours. Therefore, you want to buy the LED lights that save you energy the most. Lights with 300w or below always come on top when you consider this factor.

Comparing the different LED grow light types

The types of LED grow lights can be divided into three:

  1. Spread style: most small LEDs belong in this group, and they typically spread over large farming areas. Some great examples include Rack LED grow light, Quantum board, and Spider LED grow lights.
  2. COB style: they utilize COB (Chip on Board) LED bulbs. Each COB uses multiple LED chips to produce light. AutoCOBs are the most common type.
  3. Traditional panel: These LEDs contain diodes that are small to medium, and their lamps are compact. Their features are a mixture of spread and COB styles.

Comparing LED with other grow lights

LEDs aren’t the only existing grow lights- there are many more. These include incandescent/halogen, fluorescent, LED, and HID (high-intensity discharge). Here is a detailed comparison:
Grow Light Type Heat Output Energy Efficiency Resulting plant Spectrum
1. LEDs Low High Healthy High Red & Blue
2. Cool white Fluorescent Low Medium Stocky & Stunted High Blue & Green
3. High-Pressure Sodium (HID) High Medium Healthy, Best for Fruits & Flowers Low Blue & Green, High Red
4. Full-spectrum Fluorescent Medium Low Healthy High Red, Green, & Blue
5. Incandescent/Halogen High Low Tall & Spindly High Red, Low Blue
6. Metal Halide (HID) High Medium Healthy, Best for Vegetation High Blue & Green, Low Red
7. Warm white Fluorescent Low Medium Tall & Spindly High Red, Low Blue & Green

Is it wise to use regular light as grow lights?

Some regular lights are good enough to produce the light waves plants require to grow. The only caveat is that they don’t produce the full spectrum of light indoor plants require – they are mainly targeted at lighting up indoor spaces like houses, not farms. While some LED grow lights for indoor plants will look like regular household lights, they are tailored to produce the right light for optimal plant growth.

Can you use normal LED lights as LED grow light alternatives?

You’re probably wondering whether it is feasible to pick up regular LED lights for sale to use for plant growth. While you can use the typical LED light for short-term illumination for your plants, it is advisable to use grow lights if you want to nurture your indoor plants for a long time. Regular LED lights are only meant for illumination. LED Grow lights are tailored to promote your plant’s growth and development. The trick is to use an LED plant grow light that provides the full spectrum of light to avoid having to change your lights as your plants transition between the different growth stages.

What is the recommended LED light size?

You need to ask yourself a couple of questions to determine the right type of LED light: What kind of light do you need? What is the area of your garden/farm? What plant do you intend on growing? You can use two ways to determine the ideal LED grow light bar size:

  1. LED grow light manufacturers provide the best coverage area for each light. You can also consult anyone from an LED grow light depot.
  2. Work with the recommended wattage. The typical wattage is 30W-40W for every square foot of canopy area. There is a wide variety of Spyder Led grow lights, Rohs LED grow lights, and Samsung LED grow lights available in different stores.

What plants do best with grow lights?

Any plant can do well with professional LED grow lights. They allow you to grow any plant you want indoors, from vegetables to fruits to short trees. All you need is to establish the growth area, install grow lights, and plant your seeds. The grow lights can be instrumental through all stages of plant growth, from germination to flowering and fruiting. In fact, you can find LED grow lights for sale dedicate for a specific plant, from LED grow lights for orchids to LED lights for growing weed.

LED grow light panel distance chart

LED grow light panel distance chart

Observations

The diagram portrays how light works from varying heights from the plant canopies. It shows the canopy coverage and the intensity of PPFD delivered by the light. Changing the height of the light source will change these variables. Light intensity increases as the height decreases and vice versa.

Conclusion

Grow lights are best placed near the canopy during the vegetative stages and a bit higher following the flowering stage.

Where to place your grow lights?

`The main aim of using grow lights is to ensure heat and light is evenly distributed. The perfect position will also depend on how tolerant the plants are to light and heat. Ideally, a distance of 3-6 inches away from the canopy will be ideal if you are working with the typical grow lights. If your grow light panel is acting as a hood, it will reflect light to the plants, which is a good thing – the only caveat is that it reflects heat to the plants. The better alternative is to place the lights a few more inches away from the plant for further protection. You should also monitor your plants to identify if any adjustments are needed.

How far should you place LED grow lights from flowering plants, seedlings, and clones?

  • Seedlings

A full-spectrum LED grow panel will work best for seedlings. The ideal location for them is 24 to 36 inches away from the canopy of the seedlings. This helps keep away the excess light and heat, preventing instances of burning or drying out. The trick is to use LED lights for seedlings for the best results.

  • Clones

Plant cloning simply involves cutting down a piece from an already mature plant and using it to grow another one. The ideal location for LED grow lights is about 14 to 36 inches from the canopies of the clones. This is mainly because these plants tend to demand more light for photosynthesis, which promotes sprouting and development.

  • Flowering plants

These plants are already established and have a much lower demand for intense light. The ideal distance of grow light placement is 18 to 24 inches, which promotes flower production. At this stage, it will also become easier for the plants to grow fruits and elongate their stems. Pick LED grow lights for veg and flowers for the ideal light spectrum.

The variation between LED grow lights and regular LED lights

LED grow lights

LED lights

1. Promotes plant growth.

1. Gives illumination in an office or home

2. Have a complex spectrum – they consist of both red and blue lights for growing.

2. Have a simple spectrum – doesn’t require multiple light spectrums to work properly.

3.You aren’t limited to LEDs – you can also use HIDs, incandescent, etc.

3. They have to be LED.

What’s your grow space size?

Before you can purchase LED grow lights, you ought to consider your grow space size – this will make it easier to determine the perfect number of lights needed. Here’s a table to help you determine the perfect set up:

Growth space

LED grow light types depending on wattage

2 sq. ft. (2×1)

60W growth light

4 sq. ft. (2×2)

120W growth light

6 sq. ft. (2×3)

200W growth light

9 sq. ft. (3×3)

300W growth light

12 sq. ft. (3×4)

400W growth light

16 sq. ft. (4×4)

500 Watt growth light

20 sq. ft. (4×5)

600W growth light

Larger farms might need different grow light variables. If you have a more intensive farm, consider scaling up using these grow lights:

  • 2000w LED grow light
  • 6500k LED grow light
  • 1200w LED grow light
  • 1500-watt LED grow light
  • 1000w LED grow light
  • 800w LED grow light

Advantages of grow lights

  1. Easy to install: most LED grow lights are turn-key – you only need to plug them into a power source and hang them over your designated spot.
  2. Energy-saving: in comparison to traditional lights, LED grow lights use 60% less energy. Since they produce light directly from electricity, they can produce usable light efficiently. The fact that they emit less heat makes them ideal for plants.
  3. Environmental friendly: LED lights do not contain harmful substances like mercury, which are contained in the traditional HID lights. Even better, they are 100% reusable.
  4. Wavelength regulation: LED grow lights allow you to regulate the kind of light wavelength to use for growing your plant. The right light will promote photosynthesis while avoiding energy wastage. Some traditional light systems tend to produce yellow and green light that plants might not even use.
  5. Promoting plant health: grow lights help with heat regulation and preventing harmful wavelengths like IR and UV rays from drying up or killing the plants.
  6. Promoting multiple quick harvest cycles: LED grow lights can easily help you have multiple harvest cycles in a single season. Since plants aren’t exposed to the typical environmental factors, you can manipulate their growth with the lights. For instance, you can change daylight hours and red light intensity to accelerate plant growth.
  7. Full-spectrum: LED grow lights lead to bigger harvests and catalyze photochromic conversion due to their balanced and stabilized full-spectrum light. The fact that they make it easy to switch between different light wavelengths makes them ideal for varying growth stages.

Plant light requirements

If you want to give your plant the right light dosage (quantity, duration, and quality) for optimized photosynthesis, growth, and development, use this guideline:

  • Quantity

What is the typical amount of light your plant needs daily for growth? The ideal light quantity, measured in photosynthetic photon flux density, varies from one plant to another – fruiting and flowering plants need more light than their vegetative counterparts.

  • Duration

For plants to activate flowering, they need varying durations of dark(night) and light(day) periods. This effect is called photoperiodism. Some plants prefer short nights and long days and vice versa. Typically, a long day might not exceed 14 hours, while a short day won’t exceed 12 hours.

  • Quality

This depends on the spectral support that specific plants need, which are grouped in colors that are produced at different light wavelengths. The plant’s photoreceptors can sense different colors. The quality of light you expose your plants to will affect germination, vegetation, fruiting, and flowering. If you want both blue LED grow light and red LED lights, the ideal option will be full-spectrum LED grow light.

The typical lifespan LED grow light

Knowing how long your grow lights will last will help you in budgeting and could save you money. Depending on the model, most indoor LED grow lights can last anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 hours – they are some of the most long-lasting artificial indoor light sources. While the lights will not die on you, their efficiency will reduce with time. Ideally, you can use the lights for 5-15 years, depending on how intensively you use them.

How plants react to the various light colors

There are varying colors of LED lights, from red to white LED grow lights. Here’s how they will affect plant growth.

  • UV light: when provided in the right amount, UV light could stimulate insecticide effects and offer protection against high light conditions.
  • Red light: it is needed for growth (stem elongation) and photosynthesis. It also signals no neighbors.
  • Blue light: it signals to plants that there aren’t any neighbors nearby, reducing the need to compete for light. It also promotes leave thickening, the opening of the stomata, stem elongation, and photoperiodic flowering.
  • Orange, yellow, and green light: it lets plants know that there aren’t any neighbors in the vicinity while responding opposite to blue light.
  • Far-red light: it helps with stem elongation. It acts as a sign that there are neighbors around, signaling that the plants should compete for light.
plants react to the various light colors

Application fields

You can use LED grow lights for indoor plants for both domestic and commercial use. The typical use areas include:

  • Greenhouses
Greenhouses by LED grow light
  • Horticulture
Horticulture by LED grow light
  • Vertical farms
Vertical farms by LED grow light
  • Indoor gardens and farms
Indoor gardens and farms by LED grow light
  • Food production
Food production by LED grow light
  • Indoor hydroponics
Indoor hydroponics by LED grow light
  • Research laboratories
Research laboratories by LED grow light
  • Outer space food production
Outer space food production by LED grow light
  • Smart home gardening
Smart home gardening by LED grow light

How LED grow lights work

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) consists of two semiconductor materials; a positive charge called holes and a negative one called electrons. Once you connect LED to electricity with enough voltage, an electric current is bound to flow through it, leading to the collision of holes and electrons. This collision results in energy production in the form of light quanta and photons, a process commonly known as recombination.

How long should you keep your LED grow lights on?

The best duration will depend on a variety of factors, from the light type you are using to your plant’s environment to the plant type and growth stage.

Ideally, you should leave it on for 8-10 hours per day, varying it up to 15 hours with regard to the above factors. You should also consider your plant’s ideal light to dark period ratio to promote growth and development.

Ten mistakes to steer away from when using LED grow lights

While grow lights can be an indoor farming asset, they can become harmful when used inappropriately. Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  1. Overheating your plants: ensure that you place your light source the right distance away from your plant to avoid overheating them, which could result in the dehydration of your plants.
  2. Purchasing LED grow lights that are below standard: the light spectrum and quality of LED lights should dictate your choices to ensure your plants grow healthily.
  3. Incorrect scheduling: ensure that your plants receive the right ratio of dark and light periods to avoid any negative impact on them.
  4. Inadequate lighting: ensure that you calculate the number and size of LED grow lights you need to make sure your plants receive enough illumination.
  5. Neglecting your LED lights’ well-being: you should protect your lights from incoming voltage with the help of a power stabilizer.
  6. Failing to adjust light levels at the various stages of plant growth: since plants need varying amounts of light at different stages of their development, ensure that you position your light at the perfect positions.
  7. Overwatering your plants when switching lights: since LED lights do not generate infrared light, they produce less heat than their counterparts (HID). You, therefore, don’t have to overwater your crops as compensation.
  8. Ignoring other growth factors: there are many factors that contribute to the growth of your plant, including plant genetics, soil, room temperature, nutrients, and air circulation. Avoid focusing so much on light that you forget the other factors.
  9. Placing your lights at the wrong height: if you position your grow light too close or too far, you could overheat your plant or expose it to inadequate light. Adjust the light height depending on your plant’s growth stage.

Using the wrong light spectrum: the wrong light spectrum could lead to development issues at the different growth stages of your plants.

Scroll to Top

Talk to an Expert