Welcome to the Growing Lights Superstore for the internets best selection of lighting built specifically for indoor gardening. Our easy to navigate site will allow you to compare the top-selling brands of lighting products all under one roof without the inconvenience of jumping from site to site. Note that FREE SHIPPING is offered on all grow lights sold for delivery in the lower 48 states.
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After decades of research and development the industry has emerged to address one of the planets most critical concerns: ENERGY. Advances in lighting technology are allowing growers to reap the rewards of higher yields but with a significantly smaller footprint both in terms of immediate and long term energy savings. Where HID lighting showed us that indoor gardening was possible the LED revolution advanced the industry to a higher leverl of efficiency and economy.
Although the initial investment of LED grow lights may still be higher than HID lighting, the long term benefits of currently produced LED lights far outweigh their initial costs. One way to compare HID lights with LED lights is the energy test. If you are given 1000 watts of electricity, what can you produce with that 1000 watts using traditional HID lighting compared to modern high output LED grow lights? (example: one 1000w MH grow light vs three 300w LED grow lights) Current findings show that on a watt per wass basis a state of the are LED light can outperform HID by a full 2-3 increase in raw biomass.
LED grow lights are currently struggling to find their place as an alternative to HID lighting. The economics surrounding the use of these lights is not yet completely clear particularly when considering that the technology itself is undergoing rapid change. To date, the most noteworthy problem associated with their use in agriculture has been heat management. Each diode produces a small amount of light along with a small amount of heat. This heat is not enough to create an increase in grow room temperatures but it is serious at the local level in as much as it can actually heat up and derease the performance and life of the LED diode. It has become clear that in order to be effective the diodes need to be of a minimum size (one to three watts is common) and they must be clustered relatively close to one another in order to provide an intensity that will have the ability to penetrate the plant canopy. Unfortunately when you incerease diode density you then substantially increase local heat which in turn negatively impacts the diode.
The problem cannot be dealt with by increasing the total size of the LED light since such a move would only act to create a light that would cover a larger total area (footprint) but that would remain inadequate in terms of light output per square inch or per square foot. Although, as we will see, it is possible to make an LED grow light that will produce enough useful light without experiencing over-heating it can only be done at a cost that will not allow it to be fully competitive with HID lighting. The commercial growers with adequate capital can absorb the initial high price of properly engineered LED lights knowing that down the road they will be reaping the advantages of longer lasting equipment with a lower operating cost, The average home gardener, however, will often times choose a lower cost HID system and accept the greater long run cost while hoping that one day competitively priced LED lighting will beocme a reality.
The LED Grow Lights Superstore has assembled some of the finest growng lights currently available. These advanced designs have addressed the crucial issues surrounding heat management along with a critical look at diodes and their relationship to photosynthesis. Growers who anticipate that they will be using their lighting systems for an extended period of time should consider LED as an alternative to traditional grow lights. In all cases, however, we are convinced that soon all indoor growers will convert to high output LED grow lights and that HID will be quietly archived.
USING LED GROW LIGHTS
SEEDLINGS AND CLONES LED grow lights should be placed anywhere from two to three feet above the growing tops of seedlings and clones. This insures that the new starts will not be over stimulated by the intensity of the lights. Once the plants produce a network of branches the lights may then be lowered to anywhere from eighteen to twenty four inches for the extensive vegetative period of growth. Do not move LED grow lights any closer than twelve inches from the growing canopy as this will most likely burn the sensitive new growth due to the amount of radiant heat produced by the diodes. This problem could be accentuated if the ambient temperature of the grow room is relatively high. Also, when an LED is placed too close to the canopy the effective lighting footprint is reduced leaving adjacent plants without adequate light to thrive. Note that LED lights that are placed too close to a plant will result in a diminishing returns effect whereby as the light moves closer it has an ever decreasing effect on growth. Maintain the twelve inch rule.
TEMPERATURE The ideal temperature for plants being grown under LED grow lights is between seventy five and eighty five degrees. If supplemental CO2 is being added then the upper limit of this estimate or slightly beyond the upper limit is preferable. Generally as the grow room temperature rises the ability of the plant to utilize CO2 increases up to as high as ninety degrees.
CO2 As with HID CO2 can increase plant growth dramatically. Ambient levels of CO2 stand at about 400ppm. A growroom at seventy five degrees can make use of CO2 up to 1000ppm. From this point temperature may be increase up to ninety degree with a corresponding increase in CO2 peaking at 1500ppm. After this the plant will reach CO2 saturation and any increase will be wasted. Note that when operating CO2 at these elevated levels it is recommended that extended periods of time in the grow room be avoided.
HUMIDITY The use of LED growing lights will tend to result in grow rooms that are cooler than grow rooms equipped with HID lighting. This difference in temperature can also have an effect on humidity levels which in turn have an effect on the growing rate of plants along with other considerations. A conscious effort will be needed to maintain growroom temperatures along with an awareness of the resulting humidy levels. When humidity levels are low, nearing 50 percent the result will be that the plant will produce narrow leaves which will prevent water in the leaves from evaporating at an acceptable level This limitation will cause a slowing of growth. As the humidity levels reach upward to sixty five to seventy five percent an optimum rate of growth can be maintained whereby the leave surface will increase and transpiration can effectively take place. As the humidty levels are further raised again the plants rate of growth will decrease since now the plant leaf surface will find it difficult expelling water into an environment that is already saturated with humidity. Another consideration for avoiding high levels of Humidity will be that various molds and pathogens will find the environment more to their liking potentially resulting in disease.
WATERING Making the transition from HID to LED often times require that old habits need to be modified. The two most difficult areas of adjustment are water and fertilizer requirements. Since LED growing lights produce less radiant heat the rate at which water is released from the plants leaves is reduced. This accordingly will necessitate that the grower become more sensitive to the overwatering potential especially in soil cultures. There is often an erroneous tendancy to maintain the same schedule that was established while growing under HID lighting.
FERTILIZER Somewhat parallel to the watering issue is the fertilizer schedule. By using LED lighting in the garden the grower may experience an increase, a decrease, or no change in growth rate. So many factors will interact to determine the outcome. The most important thing to understand is that this is a time when the grower can no longer rely on previously established patterns that were based on a light source no longer being used. How much fertilizer to use is purely a function of the plants ability to absorb nutrients and this can change dramatically. A new fertilization schedule will need to be established based on the current environmental conditions in the grow room along with observable signs given by the plants such as their overall growth rates, the curling of leaves or the burning of leaf tips.