The Benefits of LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
There are a variety of indoor grow lights for your greenhouse or indoor garden. Some of the grow lights include the infamous fluorescent lamps, incandescent lighting, high-pressure sodium lights, also referred to as HPS, and of course, LED’s, or light emitting diodes. Before we discuss the benefits of using LED’s, we’ll talk about some differences first.
Let’s focus on the differences between the HPS lights and the LED lights:
- Heat and light absorption – Generally, the HPS lights give off a tremendous amount of heat compared to the LED lights which give off very little Because HPS bulbs generate so much heat, they need a separate fan or vent to help them cool down. This kind of bulb also has a ballast installed in them which helps monitor their heat output through regulating its voltage and electrical current. LED bulbs on the other hand, are very easy, all you have to do is plug in the light fixture, and you’re on the on your way to raising beautiful, productive flowers and vegetables in your indoor garden. LED fixtures have a fan that is built-in that cools the bulbs when they become too hot. HPS lights are not as strong, and it takes more bulbs for the plants to respond to the light it emits. LED’s; however, are stronger and this allows the plants to absorb the light more quickly. The light also penetrates to the center of the plant, ensuring that the plant is exposed to just the right amount.
- Height needed for hanging away from the plants – Since the LED bulbs give off powerful lighting, it is important to hang them according to the instruction manual so that you don’t scorch your tender plants. The recommended height is between 12-18 feet above your plants. Depending on the LED model that you buy and the size of your plants, some manufacturers suggest hanging the light fixture up to 30 feet above your plants. This may be difficult if you have limited space or low ceilings, so make sure you read the instructions before you hang the light fixture.
- Initial cost – LED fixtures for indoor plants are more expensive than the HPS lighting systems. However, the LED lights have a longer lifespan than its competitor. Therefore, you spend less on replacement bulbs for your indoor lighting system. HPS bulbs last a few months at most and you will be changing them frequently.
LED bulbs are a favorite when it comes to indoor gardens. Research supports the benefits of using LED lights in a few ways:
- Energy efficient – Although the LED light bulb is relatively new to the electrical industry, they have shown that they use less electric than the average light bulb. Results have shown that you can save up to 40% on your energy bill if you use LED bulbs. These lights are also great because they last for years. It’s said that they can last up to 11 years without having to change the bulb. As was already mentioned, the bulbs are a bit more expensive than the average light bulb; however, they are cheaper in the long run because you are not replacing them as often.
- Select UV spectrum – One of the main benefits of using LED lighting system is that you can choose your UV needs according to your indoor gardening needs. Different fauna requires different UV intensity, and HPS lighting does not offer you that benefit. There are three options when it comes to choosing the settings for your LED light fixture. An additional benefit to using LED lights is that they resemble natural sunlight and encourage the plants to produce an essential protein. Indoor plants are susceptible to pests and disease, and these proteins that the plant makes will help protect it from different pests and disease. This is very common for vegetation that is grown in indoor greenhouses. These proteins increase the overall health benefits of the vegetables and fruits, as well as the plants smell and color. Making sure that your plants have adequate lighting is crucial to their ability to process photosynthesis.
- Versatility in fixtures – LED light fixtures for indoor gardens to come in various shapes and sizes. Having these choices readily available to you will help you when you are initially planning and setting up your greenhouse and indoor plants. You can work comfortably with the space you have and make the most of it, especially if you have a small area to work with.
As you can see, there are some things to keep in mind when you grow plants indoors. There are varying lights and fixtures to choose from, however, if you want to get the most from your indoor garden, LED lights provide the most natural environment in addition to the savings that comes along with using them.