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LED Grow Lights: A Beginner’s Guide

LED Grow Lights

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In this article on LED Grow Lights you’ll discover why these lights are becoming more and more popular amongst indoor gardeners and why they might be a perfect gardening solution for you.

Light is one of the decisive factors for a successful indoor garden, but what if the plants you love need more indoor light than your home can provide?

At this point, things can get tricky as plants need light to thrive. To achieve this, grow lights are used.

Before I started my research on grow lights, the only thing I knew was that this is some type of artificial light which assists plant growth.

I was amazed when I learned more about them and how they help the growth of such a wide variety of plants, including houseplants, orchids, fruit and veggies, and herbs.

Nowadays, thanks to the advancement of technology, LEDs are one of the trending choices for indoor gardens.  

By learning about the best LED grow lights out there and how they work, you can easily set up a light system for your plants that also works best for you.

What Are LED Grow Lights?

LED grow lights are specialized lights designed to provide a light spectrum that imitates the sun or a particular spectrum (red, blue etc.) that best suits the plants you’re growing.

Today, the list of grow lights commonly used is long, and includes fluorescent and LED lights. The latter is becoming increasingly popular amongst newbies and more experienced gardeners, mainly because of their economy and efficiency.

These lights consist of several single diodes that release light, often placed in a casing.

They’re plugged directly into a power socket and in order to achieve the necessary spectrum for proper root formation, growth and flowering.

Various LED colours may need to be combined because different plants react differently to different colours.

Fortunately, many modern LED grow lights can let you do this easily with the flick of a switch

Why Use LED Grow Lights?

  • To stimulate the growth of plants & seeds

Without proper light, we can’t expect our plants to grow optimally. LEDs enable you to adjust the amount of light the plants get and further boost their growth.

  • To be efficient & eco-friendly

As they don’t produce light in the way incandescent lighting does, LEDs use less electricity and therefore, are highly efficient.

Plus, compared to fluorescents and incandescent bulbs, LEDs are relatively eco-friendly, as they are gentler on the environment with low CO2 emissions and reduced heat generation.

  • To reduce crop loss

As they’re cooler than HID bulbs which can get extremely hot, LEDs lower the risk of damage and hazards from heat, especially in smaller spaces!

  • To increase the light spectrum

With LEDs, there’s a large spectrum of colours, which is essential, especially when you have a mixed garden.

  • To optimize your space

Developing an indoor garden in a smaller space is no obstacle when you install LEDs. This is because they fit in tighter and smaller sections, which also goes great with its capacity to remain cooler.

The plants will be as closer as possible to the light, without you worrying about burning them.

  • To save money

Little did I knew that the federal government and local municipalities in some countries rebate you on LED lighting as part of an ongoing initiative to invest in models that are energy-efficient.

Plus, by being efficient, they help you cut down on the electricity bill.

What are the Best LED Lights

  • LED grow light strips

These strips are a practical form of lighting and come in a number of variants.

However, generally speaking, they have LED emitters set on a flexible circuit board, operate using low voltage DC power, can be mounted or cut, and come in a variety of colours and brightness levels.

 

  • LED grow light bars

LED grow light bars are practical and useful indoor gardening tools. Their light will cover a wide canopy and help you grow seedlings and mature plants under full spectrum.


Usually, LED grow light bars can be installed two ways, i.e. hanged with steel cords or mounted on the shelf using the bracket and screw. Suitable for vertical garden setups too.

  • LED grow light stands (adjustable, gooseneck)

Perfect for smaller indoor gardens or for those who tend to move their plants a lot.

Stands come with LED lights and there are static and adjustable models with bendable goosenecks.

Goosenecks make it easy to set up your grow light so that the light directly shines on top of the plant or at the desired angle.

What are the Main LED Light Features to Consider?

  • Full Spectrum LEDs: most resemble light from the sun. The term full spectrum refers to the light that covers the full electro-magnetic spectrum, from near ultra violet to infra-red.            

             Full spectrum light also covers all wavelengths needed by  living organisms such as plants, just like the sun.

             Therefore, full spectrum LED grow lights are an excellent  choice for indoor plants, because they provide light that is similar to what plants would                   enjoy outdoors (ie a proper balance of cool and warm light).

  • Number of heads (lights): always research the intensity of the LED grow lights you plan on buying for your plants. Maybe you’ll need more/less light and therefore, fewer or additional heads.

             Look for the wattage of the lights as they can range from 100w to 1,000w, effecting both intensity and economy.

  • Dimming Option: this allows you to adjust the LEDs’ dimming intensity, enabling you to customize the level of wavelengths the plants get or to save energy when full intensity isn’t needed.
  • Switches/timing: some LEDs have on-board timing which allows you to set when your plants receive their light giving source of growth.
  • Portability: Portable LED grow lights are a great option, especially if you plan to use them in other parts of your home or if you want to increase/reduce the distance between light and plant.
  • Versatility-thanks to their spectrum adjustability, portability, and dimming option, most LEDs are quite versatile and can be used for seedlings, clones or up to fully grown houseplants.
  • Warranty-avoid models with less than 3 years of warranty. The standard is 3 to 5 years!

       Final Thoughts 

If you’re concerned that the spaces inside your home where you would most like to place indoor plants, are not ideal in terms of the required level of light, then LED grow lights might be an ideal solution.

The increased popularity of indoor grow lights is being driven by a number of factors including their versatility, variety, ease of use and economy.

They are not overly expensive so you can try a few different types of LED grow lights to suit different situations within your home.

So, whether you are looking to grow plants from seeds or wanting to improve the look and health of mature plants, you might like to give LED lights a go. 

It’s been fun researching this article for you and I do hope that you’ve found it interesting and helpful.

 

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LED Grow Lights for indoor plants

Christine Mattner

Christine Mattner

What started out as purely a desire to keep my indoor plants alive has turned into a full-blown passion for sharing what I have learned over the years about selecting, growing and caring for indoor plants with those who may be new to the wonderful world of houseplants.

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