Do LED Grow Lights Work?
YES! Various universities and government agencies like NASA have used LED Grow lights to grow a variety of flowering, fruit bearing plants and leafy greens. Many other indoor growers and hobbysits have documented their indoor grow with LED grow lights on the internet! Follow our indoor growing tips to help produce optimal growth and yield. Below you will find more detailed information about the vegetative growth stage of a plant's growth cycle.
For optimal growth and yield you must use your LED grow light properly and follow best growing practices. The biggest mistakes people make with LEDs are not having enough light and not placing the light at the proper distance. If you do not provide your working area with enough light coverage, you can expect less than robust growth. Similarly, incorrect light placement will not have optimal results. Placing a light too close will stunt growth, too far will cause stretching. Follow the recommended coverage areas listed on the Details Page of each light for optimal light penetration and coverage. Keep in mind that there are many variables to indoor growing, so you may want to add or remove some light depending on your own specifics.
Vegetative growth is maintained with 16 or more hours of light. You can even keep the plants under 24 hours of light and they will continue to grow in this stage. However, the recommended growth cycle is 18 hours of light during the vegetative growth stage. This light cycle will create an enviornment that mimics the photoperiod in the summer with long days. During the vegetative stage is when you will start to reap the benefits of your LED grow lights. During this period you will save on your electricity bills and get superior growing results. In the vegetative stage, plants need less intense lighting than in the flowering stage. It is during the vegetative growth stage that cloning, transplanting, pruning, and bending are all initiated.
Turn your LED grow light ON for 18 hours a day and then turn the light OFF and leave your plant in the dark for another 6 hours. Your plant will need four to six weeks of this cycle to be ready to start the flowering stage. Pre-flowers are the first indication that the plant is ready to move into the next stage of growth. The pre-flowers grow at branch internodes just behind the leaf spur in around the fourth week of vegetative growth, when the plant is six to eight weeks old. When you start seeing pre-flowers forming this means that the plants are ready to go into the flowering stage. You can continue to grow in the vegetative growth stage or switch to flowering at this point. The pre-flower looks like a regular female flower with white fuzzy pistils. The pre-flowering can take from one to two weeks. Wait to induce flowering until pre-flowers have appeared. Induce flowering by switching your light cycle to 12 hours of uninterupted darkness and 12 hours of light.
Grow lights for indoor plants is now becoming more and more common with growers. With LED grow lights for indoor plants, you can now grow vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. Here is a link to a video of Growing Tomatoes Indoor with LED Grow Lights.