Whenever you buy a new piece of equipment,
whether it is a toaster, a television, or even a car, what is the first thing that
you usually do? Most of us like to take a few minutes and look through the
owner’s manual. This little book has valuable information that can help us to
get the most out of our new product, and we want to see all of the good advice
and warnings that it contains. Now we will try to do something
similar. We are going to include some pieces of good advice and some warnings
so that you can get the best out of your LED grow lights.
The first has to do with the color of your
LEDs. As we know,
plants thrive on two wavelengths of light: blue and red. Blue light helps
plants to get nice and leafy, while red light helps the buds and flowers to
develop fully. The question is: how should you set up your growing area? Should
you purchase separate lamps for each grow phase or should you get a combination
LED array that includes both colors? Ultimately, you will be the one to decide
what you want, but consider some of the benefits of getting a combination LED
The first benefit is cost. Instead of buying two lamps, you only need to buy one. Because of the intensity of LED lamps, you don’t necessarily need a large number of bulbs for each phase. Also, think about space. Where will you store the extra lamp when you aren’t using it, and how can you make sure that it won’t get broken? Finally, think about the peace of mind. With a combination LED array, you can just position the lamp and then focus on your plant, not always wondering if it is time to change the lighting.
great piece of advice we can share about LED lighting has to do with the
distance that the lamps should be from the plant itself. If the lamp is
too close, the plant may overheat, and may experience light saturation,
resulting in wasted energy. If the LED lamp is too far away, the plant
may suffer because of a lack of light. How can we find a balance?
Light is dispersed through what’s called the “inverse square law”, which describes how much light will hit the surface of an object, depending on its distance from the source:
In measurable terms, this means that for every foot that we move our lights source away from our plant, the amount of light reaching it diminishes greatly, because of the dispersion. Here are some handy stats :
1 foot from light source = 100% illumination
2 feet from light source = 1/4 as bright
3 feet from light source = 1/9 as bright
4 feet from light source = 1/16 as bright
As we can see, distance is very important. So, how far away should we mount our LED grow lights from our plants? Have a look at these suggestions:
Babies and teenagers: 3-4' above canopy
Mature Vegetative plants: 2-3' above canopy
(plant height 18" and taller)
Flowering plants: 18"-4' above canopy
As we can see, there are lots of good pieces of advice and warnings out there. If you pay attention to the ones that we have mentioned in this article, your plants will be better off and your LED lamps will last for a long time.
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