How to Choose the Best LED Grow Lights
We all want to ensure that our marijuana has the best possible growing conditions. From lighting to growing medium and watering, every aspect counts.
Today, we’ll concentrate on the lighting aspect of things–namely LED lights, which have taken the homegrown world by storm.
Let’s find out why LED grow lights are some of the most efficient. We’ll also investigate the what, why, and how of these stellar tools. Let’s get into it.
- The introduction of led lights onto the cannabis scene
- Is it good to use led lights for weed plants?
- Why should you use led grow lights?
- How do led grow lights compare to others
- What are the different types of led lights?
- How to choose the best led grow lights
- How do leds work?
- The best led grow lights
The Introduction of LED Lights Onto the Cannabis Scene
LED lights first arrived on the scene in 1962 but found agricultural use much later.
While the popularity of LED grow lights has skyrocketed over the last decade, using LED lights for weed is a relatively new idea.
Since the first attempt at growing marijuana with LED grow lights, the concept has rapidly gained momentum. The low cost of running LED grow lights offsets the cost of growing weed, which adds to the appeal.
Today, it’s not uncommon to find LED grow lights for cannabis producers. The worldwide attitude shift toward marijuana is widespread, leading to many companies optimizing their products for this market. One of these specific products is the LED grow light for marijuana.
Is it Good to Use LED Lights for Weed Plants?
Are LED lights for cannabis a good idea? The short answer is yes. Under LED, cannabis grows exceptionally well.
Most manufacturers of this product type incorporate various settings. While you once needed multiple lights to complete a marijuana cycle, times have changed.
The best LED grow lights feature multiple spectrums, which allow you to change between color frequencies. You don’t need to use different light bulbs for the vegetative and flowering cycles. At the flip of a switch, you can choose the appropriate color spectrum.
Why Should You Use LED Grow Lights?
The advantages of using LED grow lights for cannabis are extensive. Let’s look at a few of the most significant factors.
Light fixtures like metal halide and high-pressure sodium are notorious for producing excessive heat. Using a fixture that creates a lot of heat requires you to vent your grow room more often.
When you use a LED cannabis grow light, you avoid venting the room or cooling the ballasts. The best LED grow lights are cool light emitters.
LED marijuana grow lights are more efficient than any of their predecessors. An average LED uses at least 25% less energy than a metal halide system.
The best LED grow lights usually offer energy savings of approximately 40% compared to other systems.
More Environmentally Friendly
Most of the best LED lights for cannabis exude fewer gas emissions than alternatives. The environmental savings on this product is manifold.
LED lights burn through less electricity, making them last longer than conventional systems. With a significant chunk of our electricity coming from fossil fuels, using less energy reduces your carbon footprint.
Most parts of LED grow lights are recyclable, further enhancing the environmental aspect of these products.
How Do LED Grow Lights Compare to Others
Many cannabis plant problems trace back to incorrect lighting practices. How does the best LED grow light for cannabis compare to the other types on the market?
LED Vs. CFL
CFL, or compact fluorescent, lamps are the traditional choice for growing marijuana. They served well in their time but didn’t compare favorably to LEDs.
CFL lights require daily adjustments. LED lamps are less time-intensive and typically require minor adjustments.
LED lights also burn much cooler than a CFL lamp. You don’t need to manage LEDs’ heat, saving more time.
Since you can position CFL lamps closer to the plants, they may be more appropriate for low grow rooms.
LED Vs. HPS
Many beginner and expert growers consider high-pressure sodium lights the best choice for budding. Most experienced growers agree that you should combine sodium lamps with another type.
Beliefs aside, evidence shows that cannabis buds can grow better beneath LED lights. The scents and smells are more potent, and the buds are bigger.
High-pressure sodium lamps consume a vast amount of energy, producing more heat. LED lights have the reverse.
LED Vs. MH
Metal halide lamps comprise metals that evaporate into gases. LED lights contain semi-conductive diodes.
While the two have similar brightness, the LEDs burn much cooler than the halide lamps.
LEDs have a much longer lifespan than their halide counterparts.
Metal halide lamps are excellent for vegetative growing. The flowering and fruiting seasons need something more than halide lamps can offer. LED lights can adjust to every stage of the weed growing season.
What Are the Different Types of LED Lights?
Many variations of LED light exist. You should know about them to find the best LED grow lights for marijuana.
Panel LED Lights
Panel-style lights comprise large panels filled with tiny LEDs. These are excellent choices for covering sizable areas full of plants.
COB Style LEDs
COB (chip on board) lights have chips covered with tiny bulbs. Rather than creating a widespread glow, COB lights have a concentrated area. As a result, the dispersal of the glow is less.
This style of LED lighting burns hotter than other designs.
The AutoCOB is an excellent light for flowering and fruiting plants. It’s a low voltage lamp that only draws .49 amps.
These 3,500-kelvin lamps are ideal for the systematic development of your growing area. You can buy one COB at a time to expand your growing area.
Spread Style LEDs
Spread-style lamps consist of many LEDs dispersed over a larger area. They’re effective for providing light to more plants.
Spider LEDs have many bulbs on long, narrow arms. The bar design of these devices makes them more expensive than quantum boards.
This type of LED design has passive cooling. The diodes are widely dispersed over a broad surface area. Since this is a cool design, with full-spectrum lights, you can place these lamps close to the plants.
How to Choose the Best LED Grow Lights
Each kind of LED light has a specific set of ratings; lumens, watts, and kelvins.
Each of them tells you something different about how the light operates. You need to find the ideal combination of all three ratings to light your grow room effectively.
Let’s check out the essential elements of lighting your grow room and how each rating comes into play.
Consider the Size of Your Grow Room
Each type of LED light produces a certain amount of usable spectrum, measured in lumens. Lumens indicate how brightly the light shines and how far away from the plants you can place it.
You need to place lights with a low lumen count relatively close to the plants. Devices with a higher lumen count can be further away from your bushes.
If you have a small grow room, you could install a few lights with a high lumen count. Larger growing facilities require more lights with high lumen ratings or many smaller devices.
With your energy budget, there’s one essential rating. The light’s wattage tells you how much electricity it uses and how quickly.
The typical standard for measuring electricity usage worldwide is the kilowatt-hour. You can calculate how many kilowatt-hours, commonly referred to as units, of electricity you’ll use.
To achieve this, follow these steps:
- 1 – Divide the wattage by 1,000 to find your ballast’s kilowatt usage.
I.E., a 50-watt unit uses 0.05 kilowatts.
- 2 – Multiply the result by the number of hours the light will be on each day.
0.05 ✕ 24 = 1.2 kWh each day.
- 3 – Multiply the daily amount by the number of days in the month.
1.2 ✕ 30 = 36 kWh per light each month.
- 4 – Calculate the total usage by multiplying the monthly total for each light by the number of lights.
36 kWh ✕ 15 lights = 540 kWh.
- 5 – To calculate the monthly financial outlay, multiply the overall total by the price per kilowatt-hour in your region.
540 kWh at $0.1331 each means a monthly expenditure of approximately $72.
Plant Type and Needs
Different types of plants have different lighting requirements. The top LED grow lights on the market are all-inclusive but have an exclusive price.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Which light colors do I need?
- How many lumens do the plants need to stay healthy?
- Does the strain I’m growing have any special lighting needs?
The best LED grow light for you is the one that fits your overall budget. You need to calculate not only the initial expense but the ongoing costs.
If a part breaks, can you afford to replace it? Will the energy consumption fit your budget? Do you need to build a specific framework to house your lights?
These things, and more, affect your decision. Before you buy, ensure that you work out every outlay. You need a product that is both affordable and meets your needs.
How Do LEDs Work?
LED lights contain a diode made of semi-conductive material. When electricity passes through the diode, the semiconductor glows in response.
When you turn on a LED light, one side of the light gets charged with electricity. The electrons on the uncharged side move to the charged end. This movement displaces the originally charged molecules, causing them to gravitate toward the charge.
With the constant electron movement, the diodes activate to shine a bright light. The size of the gap between the charged and uncharged electrons determines the color of the light.
The Best LED Grow Lights
The best LED grow lights for cannabis need to meet many requirements. We’ve investigated the difference between different price brackets to help you choose.
LED lights in the lowest price range rarely have enough power and spectrum width to maintain your plants. While you may find the occasional product that works for beginners, that’s rarely the case. Typically, even the supposed full-spectrum lights in this price range are mainly blue or purple.
You’re unlikely to maintain healthy plants with these products, and you’ll face a smaller yield.
The mid-range is where things get interesting. While not as efficient as the most expensive products, they excel compared to the lower range.
You can expect a shorter lifespan than from high-end products. The quality should be consistent throughout the ballast’s lifespan, though.
Typically, medium-range products are made of more robust materials and exude a broader range of spectrums.
Be cautious when buying products in this price range, as you still may encounter many problems.
The best LED grow lights are those in the highest price range. These products typically have the sturdiest construction and the most extended lifespans.
High-range products are less likely to overheat and generally more efficient. If you want the best for your growth, this is the way to go.
The Bottom Line
While each type of light has advantages and advantages, LEDs are leading the pack. If you want the best yields and product, check out LED grow lights.
Lighting isn’t the only aspect to consider. You need quality seed stock to grow the best product. Check out our catalog to find the best strains for your facility.