Despite the increasing popularity of modern LED grow lights, there are still plenty of questions, mysteries, myths, and uncertainties surrounding this innovative lighting solution. So, to shed light on the topic, here is a LED FAQ that will hopefully satisfy the most inquiring minds.
Do LED Grow Lights Enhance Crop Growth?
Yes, for two reasons:
First, these lamps and fixtures generate high-quality light primarily in the blue and red spectrum or in a desired broad spectrum. Known as PAR (photosynthetically active radiation), this spectral range stimulates photosynthesis, which, in turn, impacts plant vegetation and flowering. Conventional grow lights such as HPS throw out all the wavelengths, much of which will be ‘photosynthetically’ undesirable to plant life. In effect, the unused wavelengths will drain away as wasted energy.
Second, by restricting radiant temperatures to acceptable levels, LEDs protect vulnerable plants from drying out or burning. Given this chance to thrive, plant life is much more likely to be fruitful and multiply.
According to first-hand grower experience using our VividGRO™ V2 LED fixture, overall crop yield increased up to 30% after making the switch from a standard 1000W HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamps. Additionally, specific growers saw a 10%-15% increase in THC- an extract used in medicinally-synthesized form sometimes used for the treatment of debilitating side-effects associated with certain cancer treatments.”
How Long Do LED Grow Lights Last?
On average, modern LED grow lights last about 50,000 hours. However, many of these lamps and fixtures have achieved life spans of up to 100,000 hours. Looked at in terms of years, your wait time until lamp or fixture replacement is approximately ten to fifteen years.
By way of comparison, a high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamp performs its job for an average of 10,000 hours – roughly one-fifth the longevity of LEDs. In many grow operations, master growers choose to replace the HPS lamps every two to four months, in order to maintain light output levels.
What Are the Advantages of Switching from Conventional Grow Lights to Modern LED Grow Lights?
As we started to get into above, when compared with the less-focused HPS lights, LEDs offer a much more optimal output for vegetative growth and flowering. The productivity advantage that this causes is reflected in their comparative yields – On average HPS lamps deliver .5 grams per watt, while LEDs have been shown to yield 1g to 1.5g per watt. Therefore, on their best days, with knowledgeable and competent growers, LEDs have been shown to triple HPS productivity.
Also indicated above, a big plus of LED grow lights is their 50,000-hour+ durability, which far exceeds the expected lifespan of competing lamps and fixtures. With LEDs, lamp or fixture replacement is measured in decades, not years.
An adjunct to LED durability is the extraordinary energy-efficiency of these lamps and fixtures. LED grow lights require about 50% to 60% of the energy drawn by HPS lights to generate similar levels of illumination. Thus, you could replace a 1000-watt HPS with a 550-watt to 600-watt LED without sacrificing your light output levels. You will decrease your energy consumption, thus you should expect to pull 40% to 50% less from your wallet. There is also a significant difference in heat reduction. A typical HPS has approximately a 6000 BTU heat output – which is very hot. Whereas, our LED V2 has a 2000 BTU heat output. This large difference directly correlates to cooler rooms, less air conditioning, and thus much lower energy costs.
Will LED Grow Lights Damage My Crops?
The answer is a very definite ‘no’. In fact, modern LED grow lights are exceedingly kind to crops. That’s because these lamps and fixtures limit heat emissions to almost harmless levels when mounted properly. Less-efficient HPS lamps generate high radiant temperatures often drying out or burning plants. LEDs utilize sophisticated heat sinks that effectively dissipate low levels of heat emission. Effectively controlled by this technology, radiant temperatures remain well below damaging levels. Moreover, this built-in thermal control further increases lamp and fixture efficiency.
Our VividGro® trial or demo program offers growers the opportunity to test 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 monitor performance and track your return-on-investment (ROI).