LED Grow Lights An Introduction to Tailored Plant Lighting

LED Grow Lights: An Introduction to Tailored Plant Lighting

Why are so many indoor growers switching over to LED grow lights? One of the main reasons has to do with potential energy savings. LEDs are able to convert electricity into the specific wavelengths of light that plants actually use. This means less wasted energy and less heat. By providing custom spectrums of light, LEDs allow growers to spend less on expensive and bulky equipment and are now able to grow in tighter quarters. With OregonGrowCabinets.com you get highly efficient and cost saving to grow light that your plants are sure to love! Now that we have you excited about LED grow lights, would you like to know a little more?

A Little About LEDs

LEDs are made of crystals and work by emitting light when electrical currents run through them. First developed in the early 1900s this technology wasn’t available to the masses until the early 1960s.  The colors of LEDs (light emitting diodes) are determined by the different elements used to make them. Why did it take so long for LEDs to show up in commercial products? Well, the different colors of the spectrum weren’t all developed at the same time.  The earliest LEDs were red and as research continued, other colors eventually followed such as amber, yellow, green, and blue.  It wasn’t until the early 1990’s that the full RGB LED display was developed.

One interesting note about LEDs is that they produce more light as the more electrical current runs through them.  But as you can guess, more electrical current means increased heat.  So it’s important that LEDs in any product (grow lights or televisions) are kept cool.  A cooler LED can produce more light.

Understanding Photosynthesis

So why do LEDs make the perfect grow light? Well, it’s important to first refresh our knowledge of how plants work.  Then we’ll be able to see why LEDs are the frontrunner when it comes to grow lighting.

All plants start photosynthesis by using Chlorophyll-A (peak response at 430nm and 680nm) and Chlorophyll-B (peak response at 450nm and 660nm). The most important light used by plants for photosynthesis is red light found in the 650 to 700nm range. Blue light is also required as it signals the plant to start absorbing CO2. These are the main two colors of light used by plants.  Other colors like green are hardly used at all.  In fact, the reason why plants look green is that they’re reflecting (not absorbing) green light.  Interesting, right?

Now traditional growers have used HPS lamps along with large and bulky cooling equipment. A look into their efficiency shows that over 60 percent of the energy used to power these lights are wasted in the form of heat and UV light. That means less than 35 percent of the energy needed to power these lights are actually usable by plants. Don’t get us wrong; HPS lights do have their applications. They’re great for general illumination and since they produce a lot of green light (humans are most sensitive to green light) people find HPS lights to be really bright. Perfect for lighting up a baseball stadium but with less than 10 percent of their output in the blue and red wavelengths that plants use, they’re less than ideal for growing plants.

A Tailored Spectrum: Just What a Plant Needs

LED grow lights are very efficient because they let us tailor the light output of our grow lights in accordance to what a plant actually needs. By converting electricity into the specific red and blue that plants use for photosynthesis, these grow lights reduce heat and more importantly, conserve electricity.