Since 1868, when a Russian botanist first started experimenting with the use of artificial light to cultivate plants, grow lights have been successfully utilized for plant growth. Over the years, scientists and practices by growers have shown that grow light can adequately mimic sunlight to stimulate specific photoperiods and improve plants' output of fruits and vegetables.
As a result, different sizes and types of high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, metal-halide lights, high-pressure sodium lights, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and other grow lights or lamps are available on the market today. However, even if you are a grower, you might wonder what makes an LED light different from an LED grow light. This article, therefore, intends to define and delineate the differences between the two lights.
What is an LED Light and an LED Grow Light ?
The most recent innovation in energy-efficient lighting is LED technology. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are semiconductor devices that use electricity to create light. Essentially, it is the antithesis of a photovoltaic cell (a device that converts light into electrical current). It is utilized in indoor and outdoor lighting and electronic displays. They rarely burn out and are significantly more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
While standard LEDs used in houses as lighting fixtures may emit some of the wavelengths required by plants, they cannot be used as grow lights. Regular LED lights don't produce as much light as plants need.
On the other hand, LED grow lights are made to maximize red and blue light, which is what plants primarily need for growth. When there is not enough sunlight to induce plants to develop organically, LED grow lights are utilized. This may be because there isn't enough outdoor area for a garden, there isn't enough sunlight in the winter, or for other reasons.
Some of the best LED grow lights have a more specialized light spectrum that is intended to nurture certain plants. They may also be made to provide plants with a broader light spectrum while mimicking the sun. For example, the spectrum x LED grow light produced by Medic Grow is a multi-bar LED grow light for indoor plants that are among the most cutting-edge. It is the first grow light that allows users to simulate dawn and sunset without the need for a controller. With its potent 2200 mol/s PPF output in the 880-watt range and high-efficiency 2.8 mol/J, you can effectively optimize plant growth, improve quality, and save operating expenses. It also comes with an aluminum alloy and increased durability that makes it one of the best LED grow lights on the market today. What’s more, you can easily hang it to use, just like some of the best LED grow lights, and there is no need to pay for installation.
What Makes the grow light different from LEDs?
Generally, there are two major difference between these two types of LED lighting fixtures. They include:
1. Lighting purpose: LED lights are only utilized for illumination purposes in a home or business setting. Meanwhile, LED grow lights are used to promote light growth.
2. Color availability: Normal LED lights can be a variety of colors. However, LED grow lights are mostly produced with two colors, the blue, and red light spectrums. The red can encourage flowering while the blue allows your plant to grow vegetatively.
Which grow light should you choose for cannabis?
Metal halide and high-pressure sodium lights are examples of HID (high-intensity discharge lighting). HID grow lights are typically used to grow plants such as cereal, forage, citrus, and C4 plants that require higher light intensities than fluorescent lighting. In controlled settings like laboratories or indoor farms, HID lights are used.
While many plant owners prefer HID grow lights, LED grow lights outperform them in terms of efficiency. Not only that, but HIDs have a shorter lifespan, lasting just approximately 10,000 hours. Furthermore, unlike LED lights, HIDs do not have their own heat control mechanism. A cooling system will very certainly be required to keep them from becoming too hot. This is an expensive investment.
Indoor vegetable and herb gardening frequently make use of fluorescent lighting. These fluorescent bulbs come in two main types and a range of intensities; they are more effective and durable than incandescent bulbs but not as intense as HID lighting.
Incandescent lights are the least expensive available, but they produce a lot of heat, emit light in all directions, and last only a short time. They consume a lot of energy as well. You should use any other type of grow light instead.
LED lights are excellent for growing marijuana because they "are very energy efficient, simple to use and set up, and can be used for the entire life cycle of your cannabis plants." Compared to HIDs and fluorescent lighting, LEDs produce significantly more light per watt. They do not need ballasts, which is an additional benefit. Overall, they produce much higher yields while using less electricity. Experts advise you to use LED lights when cultivating cannabis because they are the best.
An example of an LED light best used for cannabis indoor growing lighting is the MINI SUN-2. The MINI SUN-2 provides consistent lighting over a maximum 3' x 3' bloom coverage area and a 4' x 4' vegetative coverage area. It also offers home growers an exceptional PPFD value of 2385 μmol/m2/s, up to 896 μmol/s of PPF, and an efficacy of 2.8 μmol/J.
The MINI SUN-2 is a true plug-and-play product because the cumbersome mounting process is eliminated by the integrated driver design and optimized light layout. You can easily start using it by hanging it on the rack or inside a grow tent. Its excellent heat dissipation design means no extra fans are required and no noise is created.
Like other top-best LED grow lights, the MINI SUN-2 is one of the most durable, energy-efficient LED grow lights on the market with a 3-year warranty. If you're looking for a compact, high-efficacy full-cycle LED grow light to use on a rack or in a tent, the MINI SUN-2 is one of the most suitable products.
Other Common Questions
Can any LED light be used to grow plants?
You must exercise caution while shopping for grow lights. If you don't select full-spectrum LEDs with a wide range of colors, you'll have to alter your lights as your plant grows. This will cost more and stress you as well.
How can you tell whether a plant has received too much light?
While the signs of excessive light vary, some plant leaves will usually turn brown. These are usually the ones closest to your light source. There might also be some leaf curling and leaf edge outlines, which are a modest early indication of excessive lighting. If you detect any of the above, you should move your plant away from the lights.
Which is the best option for indoor growing? Is it white, red, or blue?
Your plant will undoubtedly require both blue and red lights, never one over the other. The blue lights will encourage the growth of your plant's greenery. Red lights cause your plant to bloom. Meanwhile, the white lights can be used as a supplement to keep plants growing, but you must combine them with another color. This is because if you only use white light, your plants will not thrive.