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LED lights can be made using different sized diode chips from less than 1 watt per diode up to 20 watts or more per diode chip. The ideal chip size for a LED light will depend on the use for the light. As the chip size gets larger, the light is more intense but the diodes give off more heat and require a larger cooling mechanism.
The ideal chip size for most indoor growing applications is the 3 watt diode chip. When LED grow lights first appeared on the market several years ago in 15×15 panels of 225diodes, they used diodes which were 1/16 of a watt per diode. These grow lights were effective in photosynthesis of very simple plants like sprouts but failed to grow larger plants. Larger plants requiring fruiting needed larger diode sizes. The 3 watt diode LED grow light soon became the standard for LED indoor grow light.
Many LED grow light resellers have entered the market and in an effort to differentiate themselves some have turned to the 5 watt and 10 watt diode chips. These larger diodes have shortcomings when it comes to indoor growing. The larger chips give off more heat and require more heat dissipation. They need larger heat sinks and make for a heavier product. The 5 watt and 10 watt diodes also require the grow light to be larger because they can not be manufactured in a dense network like the 3 watt diode chips.
Additionally, the 5 watt & 10 watt chips tend to cause brown spots to be formed on the plant leaves due to the extra intensity of the light. The 3 watt diode chip is the perfect size for an indoor grow light. It can penetrate 5-6 feet past the plant canopy and can be packed in a dense network configuration which is the ideal design for growing fruiting plants. The light from the plant is not overly intense where it can cause leaf spots but is strong enough to provide the energy necessary for full photosynthesis of fruiting plants.Read More
How many bands of light are best for LED indoor grow lights? There are grow lights that are 5-band, 7-band, 8-band, 10-band, 12-band, 15-band, etc…Which one is the best for indoor medical growing? The quick answer is 6-8 bands of wavelengths. Anything more than six and you are missing essential wavelengths necessary for efficient photosynthesis. Anything more than 8 and you will have unnecessary wavelengths resulting in less efficient growth and lower yields.
When looking at a photosynthetic action radiation chart (from which PAR values are derived) one can see that there are primary peaks at 630nm (red) and 480nm (blue) and a secondary peak at 580nm (orange). To get these three peak colors and cover the area around them it is necessary to have at least 6 wavelengths. Add a couple more crucial wavelengths to balance the spectrum and you have the perfect wavelength ratio that goes into the most efficient indoor growing light. Add too many wavelengths and you now have a less efficient light. More is not better when it comes to indoor growing. Leave the bigger is better philosophy to clever marketers and not to indoor growers.
“Isn’t a 12 band system better than a 8-band system?” The answer is a definite “No”. If our goal was to just maximize the number of wavelengths we would just get a grow light with all white LEDs. White light has all the colors of the visible spectrum, but then that would defeat the whole purpose of growing with LEDs, where we can zoom in a target the exact wavelengths we need, without adding extra waste. The ability to target the exact spectra needed and cut out the waste is what allows LED grow lights to photosynthesize efficiently. The best LED grow lights will have between 6 to 8 bands and will produce robust, healthy plants that give top yield.Read More
Investing in LED grow lights will save you money over traditional growing with light bulbs. To get the most life out of your LED indoor grow lights, you should protect them with these easy to implement ideas:
Protect your LED grow lights by using a surge protected power strip. You can plug your lights into a power strip, then plug the power strip into your timer or wall outlet. Don’t overload any one outlet with too many devices.
Never let water get inside your lights as they are electrical devices. Be mindful that you do not have excessive moisture in your grow room so that water droplets do not form on your LED growlights.Read More