Not all plants, and not all indoor growing operations are the same. What should you consider when purchasing grow lights?
Indoor growing facilities and crops require the right LED grow light fixtures. What should you consider before investing in lights?
Growth in the cannabis industry, coupled with the expansion of indoor farms growing vegetables, flowers and other plants, has resulted in a significant rise in LED grow light options. These light fixtures come in many shapes and sizes, and range from entry-level products for small homegrown plants to large, technologically advanced commercial fixtures.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best grow light for your needs:
- Full-spectrum LED lights allow the grower to control what color spectrum to use at what stage of the plant’s life cycle. All plants are different, and they need specific “lighting recipes” for each growth stage of their life. Commercial or large-scale growers should only consider full-spectrum fixtures.
- Make sure your LED grow lighting is dimmable to get optimum use out of your fixtures.
- LED grow lights generate nominal heat, unlike most other light sources. This absence of heat allows the fixture to be positioned closer to plants without damaging the crop. The absence of heat also reduces HVAC cooling expenses, but in turn, does not assist with heating in cold climates. The lack of heat also makes LED grow lights ideal for low ceiling facilities.
- Consider the space in which you plan to use the LED grow light. If the room is large and has high ceilings, you can use LED grow lights with a 45-to-60-degree angle, and the light distribution will still be concentrated when it reaches the plants. For growing rooms with low ceilings, a 90-to 120-degree angle allows the light to evenly spread out in a short distance from light to plant.
- Will the growing facility require long runs of grow lights? If yes, look for fixtures that allow daisy-chaining, where many fixtures can be hung in succession and controlled in unison.
- LED grow lights can be on 24/7 without any significant room temperature increase. (Know your plants, keeping lighting on 24/7 for some plants causes stress)
- LED grow lights are easy to control, cost-effective, quiet, and require minimum upkeep.
- Know your plants. Know how close the light needs to be for the plant to maintain optimum light. Know what “lighting recipe” is best for every growing stage. Know how many hours of light is needed each day for the plants. Keep in mind that some plants require complete darkness and then eighteen hours of light.