Gone are the days when growers needed different lighting solutions for each growth phase. LED lighting has paved the way to easier growing, allowing cultivators to produce entire crops on a single lighting unit. As LEDs are introduced to grow rooms nationwide, more and more growers have questions. Luckily, we have the answers. In today’s newsletter, we will tackle everything from what an LED is and where it should be placed to how much it will cost to buy and run. Let’s get into it. 

What is an LED Grow Light? 

LED Grow lights are a modern system of lighting designed specifically for growing indoor plants. Growers can use LEDs to partially or fully supplement the light their plants need from the sun for photosynthesis. LEDs are more expensive than other lighting solutions but are also more energy efficient. For reference, a 600W LED is equivalent to a 1000W HPS globe. LED’s are also built to last longer and run cooler, reducing the need for additional cooling systems. 

How Long Do LED Grow Lights Last? 

LED Grow lights are typically designed to last many years of continuous running. The quality of your LED and the plants you are growing will impact its lifespan; however,  you should expect to see at least 50,000 hours of continuous use. With this in mind, there are a few things you can look out for that will indicate when your light requires replacement: 

Brightness – Over time, the brightness of your LED will diminish, which can impact plant growth.

Spectrum – Generally speaking, LED lights are designed to emit a particular spectrum of light in either the red or blue range. If the colour your light emits has shifted, this is a good sign it’s time for an upgrade. 

Heat – Ensure you monitor your LED’s heat output, as excess heat can potentially burn and damage your crop. 

Flickering – If your LED grow light begins to flicker on and off, this is a sure sign of problems, particularly leaky diodes. .

What’s the Difference Between a Cheap Grow Light and an Expensive One? 

The main differences between an affordable and a luxury LED Grow light comes down to the number and quality of components used. 

Cheap LED grow lights will need to be replaced more often as they are more prone to breakage, and the quality of the diodes used will diminish faster over time. Additionally, warranty periods are generally shorter or, in some cases, not offered, leaving the grower more vulnerable when things go wrong. 

By contrast, more expensive grow lights are built to last and have extended warranty periods to better safeguard growers. It’s important to note that premium lighting will likely give real-world specs instead of theoretical maximums, as we often see in cheaper lights. This means power ratings are more accurate to what the light will consume. 

Finally, premium lighting options often encompass luxury features like modular design, removable drivers and greater capacity for customisation. 

How Much Electricity Does an LED Grow Light Use? 

This is a tricky question to answer and depends on how efficient your grow light is. The investment you’re prepared to part with when purchasing your LED grow light will significantly determine how efficient your grow set-up is. 

For example, if you’ve invested in a high-quality, energy-efficient 660W LED grow light, using 15W each hour would be realistic. If you were to purchase a cheaper grow light, you might draw up to 200W of electricity in the same hour. 

It’s important to remember that running any electrical device for such a large portion of the day will raise your power bill. Generally speaking, keeping your input wattage below 100W per hour is recommended to remain efficient. Even so, an LED is still far more efficient in terms of output-to-input ratio when compared to traditional lighting options like HPS. 

How Far Away Should I Position My Grow Light From My Plant Canopy? 

The ideal distance from LED to canopy will depend on how many plants you’re growing, with fewer plants giving you more wiggle room to hang your light closer. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend hanging your light 18-24 inches from your canopy. Check the manufacturer’s chart on your grow light packaging for a more exact guide. 

How Often Should I Run My LED Grow Light, and For How Long? 

The number of hours you’ll need to run your LED will depend on several factors, including the plant’s light requirements and its stage of growth. As a general rule of thumb, plants require between 12-18 hours of light during their growth phase and around 12 hours during bloom. 

How Do I Choose The Right Size Grow Light?  

Like most of the answers we’ve given today, the right size grow light for your space depends on the plants you are growing. A good general rule of thumb is that you’ll need to provide 550W per square metre for flowering plants and 330W for vegetative. 

Do I Need To Clean My LED Grow Light? 

Yes. For the highest efficiency possible, you’ll need to clean your grow light often. Fortunately for you, this couldn’t be easier. Simply turn off your lighting system before wiping it down with a soft cloth. For stubborn dirt, you can spray a small amount of isopropyl alcohol onto the surface of your lights. 

Hopefully, these FAQs have answered your questions, but our friendly team is always here to help. If you want help to select the best LED grow light for your system, call us at 1800 640 222 or see us in-store to speak to our friendly team. 

Thanks as always for reading, and once again, happy growing!