How to Use LED Grow Lights
Now that you have your LED grow light, you must use it properly for optimum growth and yield. The most common mistakes with LEDs are not having enough light and not placing the light at the proper distance. If you do not provide enough light, your plants will not grow to their full potential. Similarly, incorrect light placement will also not allow plants to grow to their full potential. 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 with lighting being one of the most critical.
Keeping the proper distance between your LED grow lights and your plants is important for robust photosynthesis and growth. The G8LED grow lights provide a rich blend of light in the visible and invisible portions of the light spectrum. G8LEDs are formulated to maximize the photosynthetic activation radiation (PAR) wavelengths necessary for plant growth. Plants will reach for the much-coveted light source just like they grow towards the sun in outdoor conditions. Increase the distance between the top of the plants’ canopy and the light source as the wattage increases.
How Close Should LED Grow Lights Be to Plants?
Indoor grow lights of different power ratings will perform best at different distances. Which LED grow lights are the best for my space? The G8LED 240 Watt LED Grow Light is for 2-4 mature plants, with a distance of 12-24 inches from the top of the canopy. The larger G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light is for 4-8 mature plants, with a distance of 14-30 inches from the plant canopy. These lights also work well for mother plants and cloning. Higher wattage lights such as the G8LED 600 Watt LED Grow Light and the 900 Watt LED Grow Light have a distance range of 16-36 inches from the top of the canopy.
G8LED grow lights do not emit a great amount of heat like MH/HPS systems. G8LED lights allow for easier temperature control in the grow space and in the space immediately below the lights, eliminating the risk of burning plants with the lights. The ambient room temperature can be 82 degrees instead of the lower temperatures needed to avoid burning plants with HPS bulbs. Since the G8 lights save energy and do not emit excess heat, there will be less water evaporation from the leaves of the plant and the soil. The watering schedule should be adjusted with less frequent watering. Water when the top half inch of the soil is dry and use 30% fewer nutrients as compared with MH/HPS when growing with LEDs
Will LED Grow Lights Hurt Your Eyes?
Do not look directly into the LED grow light as it is very bright. Eye protection is recommended when working around any bright light source, including LED grow lights. Working around the plants when the lights are off is another good option.
Vegetative Growth with LED Grow Lights
The benefits of G8LED grow lights begin during the vegetative growth stage. During this period, the LED lights will save on electricity, and plants will begin a healthy growth cycle, developing a deep green color.
Vegetative growth is maintained with 16-18 hours of light per day. You can even keep the plants under 24 hours of light and they will continue to grow at this stage. However, the recommended growth cycle is 18 hours of light during the vegetative growth stage. This light cycle will create an environment that mimics the photoperiod of summertime with long days. It is during the vegetative growth stage that cloning, transplanting, pruning, and bending are all initiated.
After four to eight weeks of vegetative growth, the plants will start the flowering phase. 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, behind the leaf spur. Pre-flowers are an indication that the plants are ready to go into the flowering stage. Continue to grow in the vegetative stage to get larger plants 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. When ready for flowering, change the light cycle to 12 hours of light per day and add Flower Boosters.
Flowering with LED Grow Lights
Indoor grow lights can mimic the photoperiod of the seasons by how long they are on per day. For flowering, the light cycle will reduce from 18 hours to 12 hours per day. Increased light in the red and far-red spectra of the visible portion of light, at the correct density, will increase flowering size and yield. Add G8LED Flower Boosters at this stage for more robust flowering.
Flowering can last eight weeks or longer. During flowering, growth patterns and chemical changes in the plants become apparent. Stems elongate, leaves grow progressively fewer blades, and flower formation is rapid at first then slows. Phosphorus and potassium uptake increase to promote floral formation. Plant nutrients should have less nitrogen and more potassium and phosphorus during flowering. Avoid feeding too often as this can cause your plant to get nutrient burned. Use 30% fewer nutrients with LED flowering grow lights as compared to MH/HPS systems. Do not overwater the plants and do not harvest too early.
How to Clone with LED Grow Lights
Making clones or cuttings from a mother plant is an excellent way of plant propagation. Any plant can be cloned, regardless of age or growth stage. However, female mother plants in the vegetative stage of growth are ideal for cloning. If the mother plant is in the flowering stage, the clones will require several weeks to revert to vegetative growth. Proper usage of LED grow lights will multiply the number of plants you have in a methodical and environmentally friendly way. Mother plants should be at least two months old and should get 18 hours of light per day. Clones can be grown with any G8LED Veg/Flower grow light for 18 hours per day. The G8-240 Watt and G8-450 Watt lights are excellent for growing clones. The cloned plants can be as close at 12-18 inches from these lights.
How to Take Care of LED Grow Lights
G8LED grow lights are a smart investment for commercial operations or hobbyist grows. The investment offsets other capital expenditures by eliminating the need for ballasts, reflectors, heat venting systems and air conditioning in addition to lowering operational costs by dramatically reducing the electricity consumption of your grow room. Keep your lights clean by keeping the grow space free of smoke, dust, and insects. LED lights can be cleaned by blowing compressed air through the vents when the lights are off. Smoke, dust and insect accumulation inside the lights will act as insulation on the heat sinks and diode boards. This layer of unwanted insulation will cause the light to run hotter and can lead to diode failure. To provide further protection, you can connect your LED grow light to a surge protected power strip or a power stabilizer. Doing so will regulate the voltage coming from your power outlet and eliminate any potential power fluctuations. If too many high wattage devices are connected to the same circuit there can be voltage fluctuations which damage power drivers inside the LED lights. This is especially true for growers who use solar energy to power their grow rooms since these systems tend to have power spikes and surges. Protect your LED Grow lights and Grow Green with G8LED technology!