In hydroponics industry, nowadays, LED grow lights are the next big thing to use for indoor garden lighting. You will find lot of LED plant Light products in the hydroponics market. All companies are advertising and marketing their own LEDs as the best for your hydroponics system. But does it really work well for your plants or not. Let us check it out by going through its merits and demerits.
Advantages Of LED Grow Lights And Its Benefits For Hydroponics
The general one liner advantages of hydroponics LED grow lights are as mentioned below. The in depth details of them using with hydroponics are further narrated.
- It comes with less energy while saving utility bills.
- LEDs are known to last longer to shower lights on your plants.
- The smaller compact design can fit into any hydroponics grow system.
- LED lights are solid state and more durable.
- It emits lower heat while keeping warm temperatures inside.
1. Lumen Efficiency
These are the basic advantages of LED lights but they are superior to other grow lights. LEDs have a high luminous efficiency when compared to fluorescent and incandescent lights. Luminous efficiency means LED light source is more efficient to produce more visible light per unit of power consumed.
LEDs can reach 18 to 22 lumens per watt consumed against the 60-100 watt incandescent bulbs that reaches to 15 lumens per watt and fluorescent bulbs can reach 100 lumens per watt. It seems that fluorescent bulbs outperform LEDs but actually its lumen per watt output nearly doubles in every 18 months. Hence, it emits perfect lumen as needed for plant growth in hydroponics.
2. Lasts Longer
The lifespan of LEDs is more than other grow lights. This is because LEDs are solid state and durable with no vacuum or gas components. Hence, LEDs can last anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 hours supporting your hydroponics system for years and years.
3. Heat Efficient
Unlike other bulbs such as HPS or MH, LEDs do not emit a lot of heat into hydroponics growing environment. In hydroponics, maintaining air and water temperature is very important so using LEDs would be beneficial for your plant growing in confined spaces. Also, in limited spaces, LEDs work cool and can be placed without worry closer to your plants.
4. Adjustable to Different Colors Light Spectrum
LEDs are capable to change and operate at any color temperature for growing. Actually, plants growing in hydroponics need different colors of light during different growth phases. Other grow lights don’t have this advantage and so you will have to buy two different types of CFLs to satisfy your plants lighting needs. LEDs come with color filters that can be adjusted to display the light spectrum that a plant needs. To perfectly customize the color spectrum depending on your plant’s exact needs, you can adjust the amount of each color that is on at any time. Hence, LED grow lights though come expensive; they are worth for your hydroponics plants.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights main drawback is its price. Quality comes costly and it is true with LEDs. These energy efficient grow lights are expensive enough to spend so much money at initial stage of hydroponics growing.
Today you will find quality LEDs are more expensive compared to other grow light varieties for hydroponics. For example, you have to spend $400 for a 150 watt LED system from a sound supplier whereas you can buy a 1,000 watt HPS for $99 another $200 for the ballast. In about 2-3 years the prices of LEDs are likely to fall so you might then look for affordable LED systems for your hydroponics.
2. Some other disadvantages of using LEDs are:
- LED grow lights are heavier units compared to other lighting as it contains heat sink.
- Normally, your hydroponics set ups have ballast in place but with LEDs you need to remove them as now it is of no use. However, you get benefit of the added space into your grow system.
- With many companies offering best LEDs in the market, you will find the problem of choice in selecting one for your plants. Beware of certain companies selling cheap LED grow lights at higher prices.