Growing plants and having a beautiful garden around one’s house is a dream most people have. To be able to farm their own vegetables, their medicinal herbs is something that is often thought of as difficult and dropped off from most people’s farming dreams. Growing plants, veggies, herbs, can be tedious. But only if someone thinks of it as tedious. Well, that is about pretty much everything, right? But, that is alright. Because, no matter how tough it seems, once a person has their entire head and soul in it, it starts getting better. Cannabis is a medicinal herb, also legalized for recreation in some countries that requires adept sunlight for most of the day and night. But, where does one get “sun” light from, from dusk to dawn? This is when people use artificial lights. Artificial incandescent lamps, High Intensity Discharge (HIDs) or Grow LEDs. This article is all about choosing the right one, for the best cannabis growth.
What are grow lights?
Plants utilize a lot of sunlight for the process of photosynthesis that helps them make their food. Plants require the right amount of water, sunlight for healthy growth. Some species do not require as much as the others. However, some require extremely high amounts of sunlight, sometimes from dusk to dawn.
Grow Lights are light sources that mimic the sun and provide light to the plants for their healthy growth. Sometimes, grow lights are used as supplementary light sources, while sometimes more than one is used together during dusk to mimic sun, when there is no natural sunlight available.
A grow light is either designed to mimic the solar spectrum or to generate its own spectrum, a spectrum that proves best for a plant’s healthy growth.
There are three different types of grow lights: Fluorescent Grow Lights, HID Grow Lights and LED Grow Lights. We will discuss each of them in detail below. Read on to learn more.
What are Fluorescent Grow Lights?
Fluorescent grow lights are long glass tubes filled with mercury vapor and phosphorous linings. Essentially, how they work is:
When mercury vapor is heated by the current flow, it emits Ultraviolet rays around, in the tube. The tube is covered with phosphorous linings that provides visible energy to the Ultraviolet rays thus emitting fluorescence around.
Before the HID and LED grow lights were launched in the market, Fluorescent grow lights were the most common ones known.
What are HID Grow Lights?
HID (short for High Intensity Discharge) Grow Lights are tubes filled with gas and metal salts. Upon passing current, the heat excites the mixture in the tube, thereby generating visible light. Different spectrum of light can be created.
HID grow lights are of different types:
High Pressure Sodium: Best works for flowers
Metal Halide: Best works for vegetables
What are LED Grow Lights?
LED (short for Light Emitting Diodes) Grow Lights make use of electroluminescence and semiconductor for generation of light. In more sophisticated LED Grow Lights, small reflectors and other engineered parts are installed in order to amplify the light and make it more focused. LED lights do not require ballasts like the other grow lights do. They can therefore be easily plugged into a normal wall outlet point. As of today, with the leaps taken in the LED Grow Light technology, the only real competitor it has is the HID, which has been tried and tested by many and thus trusted by them.
Why should one choose LED Grow Lights?
Based on the led grow light reviews, a collective documentation of the flaws and the advantages of these lights is made below.
There are various advantages LED Grow Lights have, over others. There are some of the important pros listed below:
- LED lights provide more energy for the same amount of electricity.
- LEDs do not require frequent changes and maintenance as the Fluorescent and the HIDs.
- LEDs last longer as compared to its counter parts.
- LEDs give out much less heat thereby not requiring any external cooling source like fans, exhausts, etc.
- LEDs provide a better spectrum for the same amount of electricity. Sometimes, almost good enough to just mimic the sun.
- LEDs cost less to run.
- LEDs do not require ballast, as mentioned earlier.
- LEDs are highly environmental friendly for the lack of gas vapors, filaments, mercury, etc.
- LEDs provide higher yields owing to the amount of energy and overall efficiency.
- LEDs increase the flavor of the yield and gives it extra color.
Everything has both pros and cons. Some of the cons associated with LEDs are following:
- LED Grow Lights do not work well under low space regions. They need to be kept at a fair amount of distance to work well.
- Two smaller LEDs are always better than a larger one of the same size as combined. This increases the expense slightly.
- The best LED Grow Lights are slightly on the expensive side. But over the long run they can be pretty much more cost effective.
Guide to choosing the best LED Grow Light
Based on a number of led grow light reviews, following are the parameters that must be considered in order to choose the best LED Grow Light.
- Wattage: The higher, the better. LED Grow Lights of a particular wattage is obviously better than the HID of the same wattage. It can easily replace those.
- Lifespan: Check if the LED Grow Lights can last longer than the HID one has been using for the same application
- Number of LED panels required: Check for the number of Grow light panels required for better area coverage. Some LED panels have more number of lights than others, thus compensating for the extra panels, if distribution is not so much required.
- Angle Capability: A high angle capability will allow for better flexibility and easier changes, making it possible to light exactly where it is required.
In conclusion, LED Lights are getting popular with every day and with every stride and leap of the technology as can be found mentioned in the led grow light reviews, it has become one of the most common form of grow lights and is only striving for better.