LED Grow Lights – Do’s and Don’ts

First, when it comes to growing with LED lights it’s important to know what the light you are using is made of. The wattage of LED, the angle of the lens, and the total wattage consumed by the light. These factors paired with the intensity of the light will determine the best method to follow when using your new LED grow light.

Determining Color and Power of LED Grow Lights

Let’s start with the type of plant and light intensity you desire first. Vegetative types of plants like lettuce or spinach do not need as much intense light to grow. If you are growing flowering and fruiting plants you will need a very intense light with a strong emphasis on red colors. Flowering plants can be hard to grow with LED grow lights if the light uses very cheap 1w LEDs and a wide angle lens (120 degrees) which makes the light spread out and drastically reduce the intensity of the light. Flowering plants should have as much light as possible and usually do much better under all 3w LEDs with a 90 degree lens. With this type of high intensity LED grow light, flowering plants are grown best with the light hung about 18 inches above the plant canopy.

If you have cheap low wattage 1w LEDs with the traditional 120 degree lens you will want to hang the light no higher than 6 inches above the plant canopy in order to produce results. If you have less than 1w/LED of in your lights then I would suggest only using them for vegetative growth, seedlings and clone transplants. These cheap low wattage LED grow lights are not all they are claimed to be and usually will result in a frustrated grower with little to show for a harvest.

Using Light Movers with LED Grow Lights

Another factor in growing with LED grow lights is side light and light movers. LED grow lights are directional lights that focus their light in one direction. If you add some florescent lights to the side of your garden you can see proportional benefits in harvest without much of an increase in your wattage or cost per unit of harvest. Light movers with high powered LED grow lights work great to increase the number of leaf sites that receive intense light and will allow your plants to fill out more evenly. Remember though to check your lights specifications regardless of side lights and light movers because if your wattage or lens angle is weak you will need to be much closer or not use those cheap lights on your flowers at all.

Rated 3w LED Grow Lights

If you are looking for a great place to find high intensity LED grow lights with all 3w LEDs and 90 degree lens angles then check out ledgrowlight-hydro.com, they also sell many custom made LED grow lights to add certain colors to your garden.

Why Light Wavelengths Matter When Choosing A Grow Light

Does the type of light a grow light emit really matter when it comes to growth and production? To discover the answer it is best to find out what a light wavelength is and why a plant needs light to begin with. Let’s go back to school for a little biology lesson.

A lights wavelength is the distance between the two nearest peaks (the top of the wave) or the two nearest troughs (the bottom of the wave). A lights wavelengths measurement can tell you what the color of the light is. Visible light is measured between 400-700 nm or 400-700 nanometers (a billionth of a meter).The shorter the wavelengths of visible light are more violet in color, the longer the wavelength of visible light are redder in color. Wavelengths shorter than 400 nm are known as ultraviolet (UV) waves whereas wavelengths longer than 700 nm are known as infrared (IR) waves. Most of the light wavelengths plants use for photosynthesis is between 400-750 nm because UV waves and IR waves can actually damage plant life. The primary colors used are blue and red whereas green wavelengths are reflected (giving plants their green color.)

Photosynthesis is the process of converting light, water, and carbon dioxide into sugar by plants, algae, and bacteria. These sugars are used to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the fuel for all living things. In the outside world, the sun does the work of supplying plants with the light they need but if you are growing indoors what would supply the most adequate light needed for photosynthesis?

Engineers used six different light wavelengths, primarily blues and reds, to design the very first LED grow light. This light was designed using only colors that plants need and use for photosynthesis. Traditional white lights emit only 18% of usable light for plants and most of the LED grow lights on the market only emit blue and/or red wavelengths. The newest model, the 600w led grow light 3w, is the most spectrally rich, highest performing plant light source in the world. By designing the led grow light using only the wavelengths that plants need and keying in on the specific light wavelengths (blues & reds) that they use most for photosynthesis, we now have an indoor grow light that will not only grow plants but will also help in production and blooming.

The LED grow lamp was also designed to be environmentally friendly – no lead, no mercury, no glass, no white light pollution, low heat output, made of recyclable plastic, and is safe around kids and pets.

With having a better understanding of what light is for plants you can have a better understanding of why the color wavelengths of your grow light are so important. Next time you are looking for a grow light, make sure the light it emits is what your plant needs. Better yet, stick with the LED grow lights and you know you will have the best light for your plants in the world.

FAQs About LED Grow Lights

Whenever you add something new to your garden or greenhouse there are always a lot of unanswered questions that you might have. Using a newer technology can be exciting but there can also be some new challenges. LED Grow lights are a good way to grow your plants in a way that will get you some amazing results. In the next few paragraphs we are going to talk about some of the frequently asked questions that you might have about your new lighting system.

Watering? How much?

Many of your plants will use much less water under LED lights because there is not as much heat being output. Traditional lighting like fluorescent or incandescent put out much more heat which causes more evaporation. More evaporation means you will have to water your plants more frequently. Maintaining a watering routine will be easier once you get your schedule down. Be careful not to over water because this will cause slower root development and possibly stunt plant growth.

What temperature?

Since there is much less heat being output by your new LED grow lights, it would be a good idea to monitor the temperature of your plants roots. Doing this will help make sure your plants are developing at the correct rate. You want to keep a temperature of 70-80 degrees in your growing area especially during the colder time of the year. Colder weather will cause your plants to progress slower. Maintaining the right temperature will increase the rate of plant growth.

Fertilize? How Much?

When using LED grow lights, your plants will most likely need less nutrients. This can be contributed to less heat because the nutrients are not being evaporated with the water so rapidly like you would see with traditional lighting. A good starting point would be to use around 1/2 of the amount of fertilizer that is recommended by the manufacturer.

How close do I mount my LED light?

You want to be careful as to how close you mount your new LED lights to your plants. A good starting point is to stay at least 12 inches away from your plants if you are setting up the lights directly overhead. Mounting the lights any closer can damage your plants. Always read the manufacturers directions for proper placement of your lights.

Run time on LED lights each day?

When trying to figure out how long to run your lights you always want to check with your local nursery to find out the recommended dark period for the plants you are growing. Just like humans, some plants like to sleep as well… in the dark. Although, some studies have shown that if you have plants that get no sunlight or artificial light at all, running your LED grow lights 3w 24 hours a day could possibly show you 30% more plant growth.

Cleaning a Fish Aquarium Instructions

It’s essential to clean your pet’s habitat on a regular basis to maintain their optimal health, and fish are no exception. Cleaning an aquarium top to bottom should be done about once a month, with more frequent water changes only on a weekly basis.

  1. Start by removing some of the water from the tank.
  2. Remove and rinse with warm water any statues or artificial plants you are using for decoration.
  3. Gently remove any algae growth that has accumulated on the sides of the tank with a special algae scraper designed for aquarium use.
  4. Using a gravel vacuum, clean out about 25% of the dirty water from the bottom of the tank. To use the vacuum, place one end in the tank all the way below the gravel level and one in a bucket on your floor below the surface of the water. To create suction, quickly move the vacuum up and down at a slanted angle. You will know the vacuum is working when dirty water starts to drain out into the bucket.
  5. Replace clean decorations.
  6. Collect water from your sink and combine with water conditioner made especially for aquariums. Typical dose is one drop per gallon of water. Add back into your aquarium until full.
  7. Unplug your filter and use a special aquarium brush to clean out any accumulated algae inside the chambers. Rinse out in your kitchen sink.
  8. Remove old filter and replace it with a new one.
  9. Put cleaned and reassembled filter back into the fish tank and plug back in.
  10. Add water cleaner, such as Stress-Zyme to water per dose recommended on bottle. This will help keep your filter running properly and will help keep the water clean.
  11. Add some aquarium salt to the cleaned tank to help gill function and prevent disease.

Aquarium tips: When your corals need more light, please lower down the height. The 2w LED aquarium light wouldn’t burn the corals even close to the tank.

How to choose the correct lighting arrangement for hydroponic gardening

When we dissect the term hydroponics, the first fallout word is ‘hydro’ which means water; this is what the theory and the practicality of hydroponics is based on. Hydroponics is growing plants and vegetables in water where their growth is stimulated by the ions present in water. Plants can grow making water as its base and may not disrupt their normal growth pattern. However, when we take plant nourishment into consideration, we may say that adequate lighting becomes very important.

Another fact about hydroponic gardening is that the plants can be grown indoors. However, even when the plants are indoors, one may have to concentrate on the lighting that can be provided.

Lighting Basics

There are certain important basics of lighting that one must follow while setting up hydroponic plans. You would find them here in this section of the article.

Intensity of Light
Light intensity is always measured by the unit called candle foot. A candle foot is how bright a candle is when it is at a distance of 1 foot from the plant. The unit is the same, the only difference is the name of the unit. It is now called lumen instead of candle foot. Thus, it can be said that an indoor garden would require 2000 lumen approximately.

Cycles of Light
During the vegetative state of plants, the light that is required by plants is approximately 18 to 20 hours, however, the timing may be fluctuated to 12 hours during their growth stage. Make sure that the fluctuations are not drastic and inconsistent in nature, else the plants may suffer from impaired growth.

Spectrum of Light
There are a few colors that are required for adequate plant growth. Blue, orange and green lighting are imperative for growth of plants and are also helpful for deriving a fuller, better bloom.

Placement of Light
Hydroponic lights could always be placed close to the top or anterior part of the plant, however one must ensure that the top portion of the plant should not get adversely affected by the intensity or the closeness of light. Strategic placement of light is what you must look out for.

Shades of Light
Light or lamp shades can be placed or hung from the ceiling or the roof so that they may be adjusted accordingly, as the plants grow by maneuvering the height of the lamp shade while maintaining a safe distance from the plant.

Hydroponic Lighting Systems

Hydroponic lighting fixtures are in the form of different sources or types of lighting that can be used for the purpose of plant growth.

Fluorescent Light
Fluorescent light system could serve to be a good hydroponic lighting system as it has the potential to provide red and blue light essential for growth. It would always be preferred if the plants are grown with the white bulb that elicits blue light and to then replace the light with the bulb that elicits red light for a better bloom. Fluorescent lights requirement for a garden would be approximately 40 watts per sq/ft. Fluorescent lights is an inexpensive way to have a hydroponic system.

High Intensity Discharge
High Intensity Discharge or HID is a hydroponic source of lighting that uses gas at a high intensity to develop a source of light. The HID lights are considered one of the best systems as they provide light very similar in intensity to the sun. Two types of HID’s that can be used for the systems are:
High Pressure Sodium – This source of light produces red light and is important for blooming purposes.
Metal Halide – This is a source of light that produces blue lighting and is used during plant growth.

Blended Lighting
Blended lights are also sought after lights that blend red and blue lights together. There are no separate sources of light that were found in HID lighting systems.

Light Emitting Diodes Lighting(ie LED grow lamp)
This is comparatively a newer version of providing light to plants. They are preferred because they have more advantages that overpower the disadvantages. They do not get too hot when used for longer periods of time, and they also consume power that is not too high when compared to other light sources for hydroponics. They last longer as well; you do not need to change them frequently. You may count on years where their utility is considered. The only disadvantage, probably the hitch, is the expense that one incurs while buying the system. It is thus, marginally affordable.

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