Understanding How LED Grow Lighting Is Measured

When it comes to grow lights, it can be quite difficult to navigate the complicated and seemingly complex world of grow lights, especially for all new growers. Today, there several types of LED grow lights available, and each one of them come with different purposes, each with their individual sets of pros and cons.

To make a well-informed decision on the basic types of lights or the types of lights that are suitable for your growing conditions, it is important you conduct a complete evaluation of the factors you need to include in your budget. You have to include the operating budget, quality of the lighting system, what stage of plant development is necessary, how long you will need to use it and the stage of plant development.

As you read on below, look at the various grow light types available for indoor-based growers, starting with the information on how you can use the light from these bulbs.

What are Grow Lights?

Generally, the term “grow lights” refers to any artificial light source intended to replace or supplement natural light, when it is not available to grow different kinds of plants. These lights do a great job to help us see, but compared to plants, we do not require the same wavelength as the one’s plants needs. Most of the indoor lights that do not go through manufacturing as grow lights do are the old-fashioned fluorescent and incandescent lights.

How Lighting Is Measured

To understand what a Dorm Grow LED light offers, it is necessary to grasp how to measure lighting. Although an uncommon one, foot-candle is a way to assess the output of light. Usually, this represents the total light amount a traditional candle would offer from a one-foot distance. The same way, a typical grow light will offer light hundreds of foot-candles.

The lighting may also refer to the color temperature. Often, this is a measure of the appearance and not the actual output of heat. The cool lights offer lights in yellow-green and blue portions of the spectrum. The warm lights provide light on the reddish spectrum of light.

The Watts (W) refers to the energy measure people relate to lighting. Often, grow lights relate to the bulbs watts per square centimeter of watts per bandwidth, which is the light amount the bulb emit any colored light. One watt usually is equal to the electrical flow of one amp current, at one voltage.

If the light output is measurement is in nanometers, the number then represents different amounts of visible light. Usually, the visible emits between 400-700 nm. However, grow lights come in ranges between 450-730nm. In these lights, the violet end exists at about 400 nm at a far-end of 730nm. The most important measures include 450, 650, and about 730.

The Spectrum of Light

For most plants that undergo photosynthesis, the right light for plant growth has to be between 450-650nm. This is exactly where the plant manufactures its food from the LED grow light, carbon dioxide, and water from the chlorophyll pigment. Know that the 650-730 wavelengths are important for the ability of the plant to control the flowering through the phytochrome pigment.

Some grow light bulbs may be in lumens or lux. This is a measure of how bright the grow light is actually. The lumen refers to the luminous flux measure, which is the amount of visible light the bulb emits. Since the plants require light way beyond the spectrum of visible light, however, people do not consider it the best measurement of the bulbs effectiveness. The PAR measurement also then falls into this category, referring to the photons that a bulb produces.

The Pros and Cons of LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights continue to play a major role in the world of grow lights, which is probably why their costs drop into ranges that are more affordable for some home growers.

Pros of LED Grow Lights

  • These lights run at cooler temperatures. Besides offering energy savings, they reduce the chances of your plants burning compared to other grow lights. Among artificial lighting solutions, they are also longer lasting ones
  • LEDs are energy efficient and they are the cheapest sources of artificial lights. Compared to HIDs, and others, they produce more light
  • Adjustable color spectrum and customizable wavelengths

Cons of LED Grow Lights

  • More expensive than other lighting options
  • Some are not strong enough for other flowering phases. As technology improves, this is a drawback that becomes obsolete, but you should conduct a complete research depending on the type of crop
  • To realize the full benefits of your LED lights, you will have to use reflectors. This may not actually be a true drawback, but compared to HIDs, most LED lights come with the contention that no other items are necessary.

Before you buy LED grow lights, make sure you conduct a thorough research on your own. Explore the market and choose the lights based on the size of your grow space.