Thursday, 9 November 2017

Full Spectrum LED Plant Lights

Purple LED Lights

Full Spectrum LED Lights
Plant lighting technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps are still the most commonly used light in commercial growing operations because they are tried and true. But HID lights generate a lot of heat and are not the most energy efficient.

Light-emitting diodes (LED) are attractive because they do not require ballasts and they do not emit as much heat so can be placed close to crop surfaces. They can also be placed in an array, and the hue can be controlled by varying the intensity of individual colours of LEDs. Initially, manufactures targeted the red and blue spectrums of light because it was thought to be more efficient to put the energy into the wavelengths that are absorbed the most.
Red and Blue light are absorbed the most by Chlorophyll
But plants benefit from the full photosynthetic spectrum (400-700 nm). Green light for example, once thought not necessary for plants, penetrates through thick top canopies to support the leaves in the lower canopy (leaves are green because they reflect and transmit green light). The more natural full spectrum also encourages photorespiration, causing plants to consume more nutrients.

Full spectrum LED lights are now available at very reasonable prices making them the go to choice for many growers. NASA for example determined that LED lights are the best single source of light for growing plants.

Other Common Plant Lights
HID - Pros: high penetration, full spectrum (HPS and MH); Cons: high heat and energy use, requires ballast
Florescent - Pros: low initial cost, low energy use, low heat; Cons: performance decay over time, low penetration, requires ballast
Induction or Plamsa - Pros: long life, no performance decay, lower heat; Cons: expensive, requires ballast

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