LED Grow Light Tips To Get The Best Results
Everyone knows that plants are dependent on light to grow. All plants need a mixture of light in order to activate the chlorophyll and start photosynthesis which lets them create glucose as well as oxygen. It is this glucose that provides the fuel for the plant to grow and is critical to the health and development of a plant.
When growing indoors or in places with limited natural lighting such as winter months at High Latitude Climates the natural light may not be enough for many species of plants, however grow lights provide a simple and reliable solution to this by letting a grower supplement any natural light with artificial light that can stimulate the plant and offer all the same benefits of sunlight even in an otherwise pitch black room.
What type of light works best?
There are several different sorts of grow lights but the most common ones for indoor gardening are fluorescent lights, high intensity discharge (HID) lights and LED lights. While HIDs and fluorescent lights are the most widely used by commercial growers they can be very expensive and to setup and run. Additionally as they create more heat than LED lights so require cooling.
However LED lights have been proven to improve plant growth and experiments by NASA looking at how to grow plants in space proved that not only can LED lights emit the exact wave lengths required to promote photosynthesis but they are also efficient, durable and last longer than other light sources which is why LED grow lights are becoming ever more popular even with professional growers.
How LED Grow lights work.
The ability of LED lights to emit different wavelengths means that they can target the different needs of a plants growing, flowering and fruiting cycle. Also different species of plants will work best with different wavelengths of light.
Vegetables that grow best in full sunlight will need a lot of light if they’re to be grown indoors, whereas foliage plants tend to grow best in shade and can grow in normally with much less light.
Plants absorb light in the visible color ranges and this absorption peaks in the blue and red wavelengths with much of the green wavelength being reflected.
At 400 -520nm which represents the violate blues and even some green light you get peak absorption by chlorophyll which promotes strong photosynthesis and vegetative growth. This is good for young plants, seedlings and growing roots.
From 520nm to around 600 there is a lot less light absorption by chlorophyll so while this doesn’t encourage photosynthesis it can be helpful for stomatal control, phototropism and photomorphogenic growth
From about 610nm to 700nm you have light in the red wavelengths and there is a large amount of absorption by chlorophyll, additionally light in this range promotes flowering and budding as well as fruiting.
Good grow lights should utilize light in both blue and red wavelengths to offer the full balance of light that plants need for proper growth.
You may think that giving a plant light 24 hours a day would be good, right, after all light encourages growth. However despite this too much light can be a bad thing and can be harmful to a plant just like over watering it. Plants have developed to receive sunlight but also require a period of darkness as well. When setting up indoor lighting you have to try and mimic conditions that they would receive in a natural environment. You should therefore find out how much darkness the specific plants you wish to grow will require. Then use a timer so the grow lights can turn on and off automatically to imitate the light conditions which those plants will need.
There are a number of different LED lights that will let you find the one best suited to your plants needs as well as your budget.