Before You Buy a LED Grow Light

An important factor to your indoor urban farming success is your lightning. Lightning can be used to supplement sunlight or as a sole source of light, to completely replace sunlight. 

Some urban farmers, home growers, or professional growers choose to grow their crops in a well-lit room with a lot of windows that let through enough direct sunlight. However, on overcast days or when days get shorter, grow lights can be used to provide crops with the energy needed for photosynthesis. Other growers grow in rooms without windows or where there is not enough (direct) sunlight. They’ll use artificial grow lights only, as their sole source of light. 

Is artificial light worse than sunlight?

No. Current LED grow lights are able to mimic sunlight and provide proper lights to plants. Plants can use this light for photosynthesis, or the process of growth. So even though artificial light may not be the same as sunlight, it can provide your plants with the energy they need. LED lights are highly efficient, produce little heat, and can be customized to provide specific wavelengths or spectra that can even perform sunlight. 

What should you look for in a LED grow light?

The plant you are growing: probably the most important thing before buying a LED grow light is determining what plant you’ll use it for. Find out what conditions your chosen crop thrives in, and pick the LED light that is best suited to deliver those conditions. 

Surface area: if you know the total amount of effective grow area you have, you can determine how many grow fixtures you’ll need.

Wattage: the total amount of wattage will say more about the electricity costs, and less about the quality of the light or the light intensity. The higher the wattage, the higher the costs of running the fixture.

Wavelengths: the wavelength emitted by the light includes all frequencies or light colors and is usually expressed in Kelvin.

Light distribution: plants directly under the fixtures receive more light than plants growing to the sides. However, it is important to use grow lights that distribute PAR light evenly among your crops, so they will grow at an even pace.

Durable, high-quality LEDs: they may be a little more expensive, but high-quality LEDs are better for your plants and, in the long run, better for your wallet. Low-quality lights may flicker, produce too much heat, or are poorly constructed making them break easily. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on low-quality lightning. 

Efficient cooling system: lights get hot, and although LEDs emit less heat than HPS for example, they’ll still emit heat. Overheating can be detrimental to your crops, burning the tops and harming your plants in general. Fixtures overheating will also harm the unit itself. That is why you’ll need a proper cooling system. And preferably a cooling system without moving parts, because those parts break easily.

Installation and additional equipment: if you are a first-time grower you may have questions and doubts about how you are going to install your lights and what kind of other equipment you’ll need to make the lights work. You see, when using HPS bulbs, you’ll also need to buy reflectors and ballasts, and you’ll need to replace the bulbs every 10 months or so. With LED grow lights it’s very simple; you just hang them up, plug them in, and start growing. Furthermore, LEDs will last about 5 years, so you don’t have to worry about replacing bulbs after every few harvests.

Extra features: look for grow lights that have extra options, such as dimming or wireless control through a mobile application that lets you set your preferred lightning strategy.

It may seem like a lot to consider before getting grow lights, however, if you do your research and get the right lights for your growing needs you’ll be growing like a pro and providing yourself and your loved ones with fresh, healthy, and above all very tasty produce. 

If you still have questions or doubts about the correct LED grow light for you, don’t hesitate to contact Horticraft Holland. We’re here for you and gladly guide you through the process to get you the light you need.