Do LED grow lights make good plant grow lights?
Full spectrum LED grow lights led the way for horticultural lighting in 2024 and it is becoming increasingly apparent that these lights are the way of the future for indoor growing. Much of the appeal of these lights is due to their flexibility and efficiency.
What are the benefits of LED grow lights?
- LED grow lights operate with extreme energy efficiency for the amount of light they emit. Every system is different, but LEDs typically only use 10% of the energy of an incandescent bulb. While HID lights use 62.5 watts per square foot, LED lights draw only 32 watts per square foot!
- No heat output from LEDs can be a blessing and a curse. Some growers use their grow lights as supplemental heating in the grow room, and since LED’s have a lower color temperature, it would be wise to invest in a heater if your climate features a lower than ideal temperature. On the flip side, LEDs will save you costs on air conditioning! This also means lights can be placed closer to plants, a bonus for those growing in tight spaces.
- Some LEDs offer full spectrum lighting, which results in plants receiving UV and infrared rays, helping indoor plants grow. Most LEDs, at the very least, offer the switch between red and blue spectrums for vegetation and flowering.
- Whereas HID lights need to be changed after a year or two, LED lights can last up to 10 years! They may be more expensive, but they pay for themselves over their lifespan.
- Some LED grow lights have an adjustable light direction feature, which allows growers more control over where light is emitted. Because of this, we recommend you test your indoor garden with a PAR meter. Another reason to switch to LED is that these lights do not require a ballast.
To get the most out of your LED lights, pair them with a grow light mover, ensuring plants receive light from different angles.
What size LED grow light do I need?
This will vary, and your specific grow light should come with instructions on how large of an area it will cover, but a good rule of thumb is 32 Watts of actual power per square foot of growing space. For example, If your indoor garden is 5' x 5', you should be using an LED grow light of at least 800 Watts.
Types of LED Light Fixtures
At Hydrobuilder, we carry several LED lights for growing. Light fixture types range from LED panels to LED bars and light strips and LED Light bulbs. LED panels are the most common and allow growers either a full spectrum or the ability to switch between spectrums. These include heatsinks, and a driver, and often come with a warranty.
LED bars are slightly less expensive than panels, and are a single row of diodes that come in different spectrums. These are typically used as supplemental light sources, and you will generally need more than one bar to light a grow room.
Want help finding the best LED grow lights currently on the market? Check out the list we compiled of our favorites!
For more information on LED grow lights, check out our full breakdown on them in our learning center! If you have any questions, reach out to our experienced growing staff at 888-815-9763!