LED technology has taken leaps and bounds recently, now they can support a wide variety of plants through their entire life-cycle with a potential to beat the yield of HID units, while using less energy and generating less heat. If you want to know more about LED’s, read our buyers guide below.
Full Spectrum LED Grow LightsThe very first LED’s were pioneered by NASA as a low-energy food production method for long-term space travel and colonisation. These first led grow lights used blue and red diodes as these wavelengths of light have been identified as having the strongest effect on photosynthesis. This basic colour combination works well for quick-turnaround plants like microgreens but is missing wavelengths to support healthy growth for fruiting annuals. Since the genesis of these units, there has been further research showing other wavelengths have a strong effect on plant health, manifesting in an improved quality of fruit and larger harvest. The LED’s we stock include diodes from several wavelengths, supporting healthy, abundant growth.
LED fixtures are manufactured to focus and angle it downwards without a reflector – meaning less light is wasted than other fixtures.
Best LED Grow Lights
The best LED grow light is a controversial issue as it depends on the environment and application you intend to use them with. Higher colour rendering index (CRI) denotes the similarity of the light produced to the light that comes from the sun. A higher CRI is normally a better quality of light for plant growth, especially where the quality of the harvest is a high priority.
LED’s now rival the intensity of traditional 400w, 600w or 1000w HID
We know that most growers are comfortable speccing out spaces with HID lighting in mind, so to make the switch to LED’s more simple, we’ve included the equivalent HID wattages on every LED unit. All you need to do is design a room as you normally would, swapping out HID lights for the equivalent LED. You also get the benefit of a cooler running room so you won’t have to use as much electricity on extraction or cooling.
SMD LED grow lights
Surface mounted diodes (SMD’s) are soldered directly onto a PCB with Individual SMD’s having different wattages, ranging from less than 1w, 1w, 3w, 5w. SMD LED’s have a good output in a variety of colours with strong thermal conductivity as the heat transfers directly onto a heatsink
COB LED Grow Lights
Chip on Board (COB) technology combines several diodes (9 or more) into a single component, which allows a much higher density of lights when compared to SMD, allowing units to be smaller. Watt for watt, COB’s are a little more intense than SMD’s but the difference is negligible.
Increased Electrical Efficiency
LED grow lights produce much more light per watt of input than HID grow lights due to the fact there’s little heat output (which represents wasted electrical energy). Since LED arrays are composed of several points of light, the light is distributed much more evenly than HID which is usually implemented as a single light source, leading to uniform crop formation during both vegetative and floral growth.
The operating life of LED’s is at least 3 times more than HID, so you don’t have to refresh your equipment as often. Despite initial costs, the reduced maintenance frequency actually saves you money over time as you can use the same equipment again and again, without having to rebuy lamps or reflectors.
Distance to canopy
With LED’s, you can get the light a lot closer to plants compared to HID without heat issues. For every doubling of distance the amount of light received is quartered, so bringing the light closer to the canopy allows more of your generated light to be used by plants in metabolic processes like photosynthesis.
Cheap LED Grow lights
We don’t rate cheap LED grow lights here at Future garden, from our own experience and anecdotal experience from customers, the cheaper the grow light and the more fantastic the marketing claims, the less effective the unit is. We’ve noticed that many Chinese manufacturers often exaggerate the output of the fixtures. Look at the actual electrical draw and if it’s less than ½ of the rated power, it’s safe to say the product is making unproven claims. We only stock units that we have proven to work with fruiting annuals – we usually test them on hot varieties of chillis in store, so if you’ve still got doubts about LED, Pop in and see them working for yourself!