Myths belong to sea monsters and fire-breathing dragons, right? Not if you look at the world of modern LED grow lights. Here, fantastic stories abound, most of them so unsubstantiated that they defy explanation. Three of these myths are particularly well-entrenched in the mindset of many contemporary plant growers. And so in the interest of truth, justice, and better gardening, here are the three myths, each accompanied by a clarification that should set the record straight.
Myth 1 – Led Grow Light Technology Isn’t There Yet
This perhaps is the most baffling myth of all, considering LED light bulbs are known for their advanced engineering and technological sophistication. Those utilized to assist with plant propagation certainly live up to this reputation. Modern LED grow lights are precision-engineered to accommodate the specific needs of plant life, thereby providing maximum stimulus for growth and development.
For instance, unlike conventional alternatives, LEDs are engineered to produce light primarily in the blue and red wavelengths. These wavelengths comprise a spectral range known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). Readily absorbed by the chlorophyll in plants, PAR wavelengths have by far the greatest impact on photosynthesis, leaf development, and flowering.
Bulbs that generate additional wavelengths are wasting energy, as the other colors are of very little use to plant life. That’s why leaves are green – unused by plants, light in the green range of the spectrum is reflected not absorbed. The reflected light gives leaves their green appearance.
The technological sophistication of modern LED grow lights also contributes to plant protection. Engineered into every LED bulb is a high-efficiency heat sink, which restricts heat loss. Not only does the minimized heat loss save energy, it saves plants from damaging overexposure to high temperatures.
Myth 2 – The Savings Aren’t Worth the Risk
Thanks to integrated heat sinks and PAR-focused light emission, modern LED grow lights offer gardeners substantial energy efficiency and consequent monetary savings. The savings are furthered by the durability of LEDs, which have an average lifespan of 50,000 – 100,000 hours. Basically, you’ll have about 15 years before bulb replacement becomes a pressing issue. Still, there persists a belief that the obvious long-term savings aren’t worth the risk.
The overriding question here is – what risk? Certainly not in the area of productivity. The superior productive capacity of LED grow lights is well-established. In competition with high pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs, this would be the score: HPS — yield of .5 grams per watt. LEDs, 1g to 1.5g per watt, or up to three times the yield power of HPS. There will always be the fear of trying something new and finding a quality product that won’t damage produce did take some research in the beginning, but now LEDs are sweeping the market. Just remember, a long time ago people faced the same decision with incandescent bulbs.
Myth 3 – Old School Growers Are Hanging onto the Past
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Spurred by the clear-cut advantages of modern LED grow lights, more and more growers are switching to these innovative bulbs. But the changeover isn’t limited to home gardeners. The world at large is going LED.
According to a recent report issued by market research firm MarketsandMarkets, “the LED grow light market is expected to rise to more than $1.9 Billion by 2020, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.93% between 2015 and 2020.” The report points out that growing usage of LEDs is expected across the board, covering diverse applications such as vertical farming, commercial greenhouse, and indoor farming.
Once the facts are neatly laid out, it’s fairly easy to separate the real story of led grow lights from the fabric of myth. If you’re a plant grower seeking the highest yields at the lowest cost, it’s definitely a story with a happy ending.
Our VividGro® trial or demo program offers growers the opportunity to try the VividGro® fixtures for a limited time in their growing environments. During the trials, a VividGro® Trial Specialist will be assigned to help conduct an experiment to prove your return-on-investment (ROI).