Commercial indoor growing continues to reap benefits for the horticulture industry. Pun intended. Controlling expenses when growing indoors is a key component for profitability, and light fixture choices are a significant component of farming indoors.
The useful life of the light source impacts the bottom-line in multiple ways. Properly utilized full-spectrum light fixtures can improve yield, but choosing the right light source can also impact overhead cost. Fixtures that consume higher rates of energy, and have a shorter useful life will end up reducing profit margins.
Understanding the expected life in hours of light source types is the first consideration. The following information comes from Bulbs.com. The minimum expected life for LED’s is longer than the top end range for the next closest choice, and the maximum expected life is more than 4x the closest option.
Incandescent light: 750 – 2,000 hours
Fluorescent light: 24,000 – 36,000 hours
High Intensity Discharge HID light: 10,000 – 24,000 hours
Compact Fluorescent CFL light: 8,000 – 20,000 hours
Halogen light: 2,000 – 4,000 hours
LED light: 40,000 – 150,000 hours
Other considerations when selecting the best grow lights
- Not only is the replacement cost a consideration, but the man hours to maintain the fixtures is also more expensive the more frequently they have to be touched.
- LED fixtures produce nominal heat, therefore reducing energy cost when cooling is needed. Other light source types generate variable levels of heat – which may be beneficial if the indoor growing facility requires extra heat for the optimal growing temperature.
- Using less electricity will reduce carbon emissions.