Whether horticulture is your hobby or your profession, you must be familiar with grow lights. The LED plant lights are the revolutionary products that have flattened the dependency on high energy consuming HPS lamps.
There are plenty of well-known advantages which LED-chip based lights offer. There is no reason to buy old style HPS lamps anymore, but there are so many products available in the market, which only increases the confusion, and makes it quite hard to choose the right one. So, it is not a wonder if you come up with the question, how to choose the best LED grow lights?
In this article, we are trying to provide all the basic information about these products and help you to choose the best lamp light for your purposes. Let’s explore some of the nice features of these lamps.
- 1 Adjustable output spectrum
- 2 Cooling system
- 3 Constant-current driver circuit
- 4 How many watts should diode chip set have?
- 5 How much output power you need?
- 6 Why the lens is important?
- 7 Warranty tells the truth about product quality
- 8 Know for what purpose you are looking for the lamp?
- 9 Read the reviews
Adjustable output spectrum
If you bear an experience in growing plants, then you might already know what importance does varying intensities of light possess. An appropriate grow light is the one which gives you the power to adjust the intensity of light. By adjusting the intensity, you can bring seasonal changes through emission of the light.
This helps in the growth of plants as they get a more natural environment. Let’s understand it with an example, blue light signifies summer whereas shades of red signify fall. Both these seasons are important for the growth of plants. So, LED grow lights provides the option to adjust the spectrum and emit these specific colors which further helps the plant to grow.
Let’s put it simply: always remember that the growth of your plant depends upon different spectrums of light such as blue color, red color, UV, and IR. So, you should go with the ideal PAR values.
This is an important function because it ensures the healthy and rapid growth. Moreover, these lights remain on for the bigger portion of the day, sometimes for even 15 hours. The problem with plants is that they cannot survive in extremely hot environments, because of extreme heat disbalances the growth cycle of plants.
While purchasing a LED grow light, make sure the light has a proper heat sink attached to it. The presence of excess heat in your grow room makes it difficult for plants to live. To decrease the heat in grow room, a heat sink or a duct works well and lets the heat flow out.
While purchasing LED grow light, go for the one with metal core printed circuit board or MCPCB. This is an advanced technology primarily used by the devices which run at high temperatures.
Powerful models come with fans installed on the casing. Those are an effective way to keep over heating under control. The disadvantage with fans is that they can get sometimes noisy. If you don’t want fans, then you need to go choose MCPCB featured light panels.
Generally, LED-chip based lamps do not generate so much heat as they are quite energy efficient. However, if you have a big grow room or a lot of lamps, you should consider installing also ventilation/cooling air conditioning system, which removes heat out of the room. Also very small spaces such as grow tents could get very hot. Always make sure that temperature stays an acceptable range in the room / grow tent.
Constant-current driver circuit
LED lights are not complex devices, they are rather simple. For proper usage, AC current is converted to DC current by the electronic circuit that supplies power to LED panel. Therefore, a constant DC current flows through the circuit even when the voltage fluctuates or changes. The best option in this kind of situation when the voltage fluctuates is to have a circuit that maintains a constant flow of current.
When you are selecting a model, you should notice whether ‘constant-current’ is mentioned in specifications or not. If mentioned, it’s good and your lamps will remain protected. The feature of monitoring and supplying constant current throughout the circuit is the crucial feature especially if you live in the area where AC current is not always stable.
How many watts should diode chip set have?
If you go for a LED grow light with 1-watt chips, they are too weak to do the work. Whereas, if you go for 10-watt chips, it would generate so much heat that your plant’s health will suffer. Too much heat harms your plant and affects its growth. The question comes, what should be the correct wattage?
The best option will be to go with a LED grow light that has at least 3-watt chips and max 5-watt chips. 3-watt chips do not produce excess heat, even if there are hundreds of those. Moreover, these are durable and are very easy to be merged in the lighting system. So, this factor is very important and should definitely be considered while making a purchasing decision.
How much output power you need?
It is important to know how many watts you need, and how much output does the LED grow light gives is also important to know and you can find the information about power output in the product description.
The lamps come with different options, such as 300W, 400W, 600W or even 1000W and more. Before purchasing, always check what the output value is and go with the one that suits you best. It is recommended that it should be at least 300W – it should be enough for about ten plants.
However, it is important to remember that in the case of LED grow lights, you don’t get 100 percent power. You get always slightly less wattage than specifications says.
Furthermore, at some time chips will burn-out. So, if you purchase a higher power LED grow light, your wattage loss will be compensated. However, most chips last up to 50.000 and even 100.000 hours.
Why the lens is important?
The good quality grow lights will come fitted with an optical lens which magnifies the light and generates even 25 percent more nutrients to your plants. This feature makes them a bit expensive, but a good lens is worth of the price.
Warranty tells the truth about product quality
The LEDs you opt to buy should come with a warranty of at least two to five years. In some expensive panels, LED grow lights even comes with a warranty of ten years. You should go with the panels that are strongly built with materials that don’t easily break such as steel, aluminum, etc. and have a good warranty.
Some LED grow lights are made to work up to ten years. There are also manufacturers who give an only one-year guarantee, obviously there might be some difference in the quality of LED-chips used, compared to products that come with five to ten years warranty. It will be better to go with the one that gives you a guarantee of at least two-years on its parts.
Know for what purpose you are looking for the lamp?
You should clearly know the purpose for which you are buying the LED grow lights. You should identify the purpose such as you will be using them for horticulture, hydroponic planting or any other purpose. The clearer you will be with your purpose, the easier it will be to find an appropriate grow light.
Read the reviews
LED grow lights are best judged by experts. If you see the reviews of good grow lights, with specifications, you will also find the pros and cons of the product in a practical way, i.e. no biases. So, read the reviews and go for the best one suitable for your needs.
Hopefully, this information will help you in choosing the best LED grow light according to your need. You just have to identify your needs, read reviews and you will end up with the most economical and best product for the better growth of your plants. Read more about indoor gardening from our blog.