What kind of grow LED lamp do you need to grow microgreens, vegetables or flowers? You can learn from this article!
LED grow lamps are the most efficient lighting solutions for indoor and greenhouse growers or aquarium owners. For detailed information on the history and operation of LED lights can be found on Wikipedia or the manufacturers’ pages. In this article you will understand the characteristics, possibilities of use and technical comparison of top quality and professional grow LED lamps.
Grow LED Properties:
Typical characteristics of conventional bulbs (CFL, T5, CMH, HPS) are given in Watt, Lumen, Kelvin, which are suitable for human light detection, but not precise enough to measure the light demand of plants. Modern grow LED lamps have been specifically developed to meet the needs of plants to provide the right amount and quality of light throughout the entire life cycle. For traditional lamps, you may need to use 2-3 types of bulbs in different life cycles to get the best results, while LED lamps meets all the requirements all in one.
When selecting and using a horticulture LED lamp you need to know PAR, PPF, PPFD, PE, IP values to achieve the expected results.
PAR: Photosynthetic Active Radiation, The wavelength of the active radiation required to control photosynthesis is indicated by the term PAR, which is determined by the nanometer value. The plants require a light spectrum between 400-740 nanometers for photosynthesis at different stages of their development. In the seedlings and vegetative cycle, more blue light (400-550nm) is needed for the plants while in the flowering and fruit production cycle more red light (650-740nm) needed, so it’s the best to provide a mixed light spectrum (to mimic the sun spectrum) with a full spectrum grow LED lamp.
PPF: Photosynthetic Photon Flux, PPF is the amount of photons generated per second by the LED light source, measured in micromoles per second (µmol / s). PPF can be measured using a special quantum sensor (PAR meter).
PPFD: Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, The PPFD value indicates the intensity of the LED illumination, that is, the amount of photons generated per second by the light source per square meter, measured in micromoles / m2 / second (µmol / m2 / s).
PE: Photon Efficiency, Photon Efficiency of a grow LED lamp means that the system transforms electrical energy into effective photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), which value is given by the manufacturers in micromol / jules (umol / J).
IP: Ingress Protection, The level of protection against water or dust penetration is indicated by IP4X, IP5X, IP6X. Grow LEDs suitable for plant cultivation are generally more than IP5X-protected, which works well even at humidity levels above 90%. Grow LED lamps for greenhouses and aquariums are IP6X protected, fully waterproof at 100% humidity.
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Compact grow LED lamps (10W-140W)
If you want to sprout and grow microgreens in a small place, you need a compact and power efficient plant LED lamp.
Manufacturers mainly offer LED strip models with low power consumption which covers the low light demand plants (microgreens) and provide the right amount and spectrum of light needed. The size of the lamps varies from 40cm to 120cm, the performance depends on the size (10-50W). Because microgreens and sprouts need 100-300 ppfd, well-designed lighting is very important. Modern LED strips are designed to meet the needs of plants in the germination and seedling phase with a full light spectrum of 400-700nm. Grow LED strips are fully waterproof IP65-IP68 and can even be controlled in groups, allowing you to reach the necessery amount of PPFD that plants need at a given stage of their life cycle. These models generally have the ability to adjust the light intensity for precise setting of PPFD and provide the flexibility to adjust the lighting conditions. These compact Grow lamps have everything you need to start growing right away.
The Sanlight Flex Series 10W and 20W models offer high quality materials, full spectrum, 100% waterproof housing and good value for money, ideal for sprouting and microgreen cultivation.
Two Flex 20W LEDs are suitable for covering a 80 × 40 cm area.
Slimspec models are suitable for illuminating different vegetables and plants. Growspec’s lights are 60-120cm in lenght and provide 20-50W power output. These LEDs are equipped with a properly set blue and red spectrum to provide the right spectum in the initial period. A 50W Slim-spec LED can effectively cover an area of 120 × 20 cm.
The Mother’s Little Helper is a handy and powerful grow LED that can cover a 60 × 60 cm area for the vegetative cycle. This grow LED is available with 100W and 140W power output.
The brother of the MLH model is the Closet Case, which has the same output but with a full spectrum for the entire grow cycle.
The Cluster is an affordable grow LED lamp that is suitable for growing any kind of plant. If you plan to use multiple units you can easily increase the size of the covered area.
The lamp is equiped with 3K and 5K COB LEDs and 440 nm and 660 nm wavelength LEDs to provide the full spectrum. With 2 buttons on the top the spectrums can be switched between vegetative and blooming (or use both) so you can choose that necessery light spectrum for the plant life cycle.
The Closet Case full spectrum LED plant growing lamp fits all phases of vegetable and flower production, making it ideal for lighting small areas.
With a 140W lamp, you can effectively illuminate an area of 60 × 40 cm throughout the entire life cycle.
Medium size LED grow lamps (200W-400W)
The family needs for vegetables and herbs can be grown at home in 0.6-1 m2 area, which can be easily created in a grow tent or a grow shelf system.
The 30 -120 Watt power will be enough for germination, seedlings and microgreens, but plants usually need more light for development. In this case, you can choose from 2 options: either by daisy chain multiple LED lamp units or using a high power LED grow lamp.
Most of the grow LEDs listed in this category offers adjustable power output and light spectrum with a remote control. The California Lightworks Solarsystem system is able to mimic the seasonal light change like in real life which reducing the plant stress. Plants and vegetables need 300-600 PPFD light during the growth period, provided perfectly by the following grow LED lamps. These lamps also have an IP protection over IP54, so they work smoothly even at humidity above 90%. These LED lamps can also be connected in row to multiply the power output and coverage area.
California Lightworks offers one of the most modern, smartly designed and easy-to-use grow LED systems on the market.
The SolarSystem VEG275’s light spectrum preset for the growth light spectrum, but it can be adjusted to full spectrum with the remote control.
By using two LED lamps together, you can ensure to cover a 120 × 120 cm area during the flowering cycle.
The Sanlight Q6 model is full spectrum grow LED which is ideal for illuminating an 80 × 80 cm grow area.
When using two Sanlight Q6 lamps, you can be sure that there is plenty of light at any point of the 120 × 120 cm area for the flowering plant.
The Q series grow lamps are available in 2 power output: Q4 – 150W and Q6 – 215 W
The Sunray offers a programmable light spectrum for easy use with passive cooling, high system efficiency and 5 year warranty.
The Sunray 300W provides the right light for developing plants in an area of 100 × 100 cm. For higher light requirements, use the Sunray 600W model.
Fluence SPYDR grow LED 330 Watts model of the SPYDRx range made of premium quality materials which can illuminate an area of 100 × 100 cm with high efficiency and quality light from a height of 15cm.
The optional dimmer can be used to fine-tune the power output so the manufacturer guarantees more than 54,000 hours of lifetime .
High performance grow LED Lamps (400W-600W)
If you want to grow vegetables or flowers in an area of 1 m2 or more, you need more than 600 PPFD to provide adequate coverage and efficiency in the entire grow area.
For a standard 120 × 120 cm grow area you need a total of 400-500 watts of power. You can do this either by using a single high-performance lamp or multiple medium size LED lights. At least 600Watt LED power is adviced by manufacturers to illuminate a 150 × 150 cm grow area.
These LED lamps in many ways outperforms the traditional 1000Watt HPS / CMH lighting systems with more than 40% energy efficiency, 100,000-hour LED lifetime, precision tuned spectrum, IP60+ protection and unique control technology benefits.
The Solarsystem550 LED grow lamp is capable of illuminating an area of 100 × 120 cm throughout the entire life cycle.
It provides enough light to reach the maximum potential of any plant if all other circumstances are appropriate. This lamp can be controlled remotely which allows you to control the power output and fine tune the light spectrum.
SpectrumKing SK402 is an extremely well designed, fully waterproof, full-spectrum grow lamp that incorporates CREE LEDs.
The lamp is equivalent with a 600W HPS light that can cover an area of 120 × 120 cm with the amount of light required for flowering.
The SpektrumKing SK602 which is the high performance model is able to illuminated a 150 × 150 cm grow area.
This 600 Watt grow LED lamp from the Growspec range perfectly illuminates an area of 120 × 120 cm thanks to OSRAM LEDs.
Thanks to the remote control, the lamp spectrum can be set freely in the 400-760 nm range.
The URSA-designed grow LED can illuminate plants with outstanding efficiency in an area of 120 × 120 cm.
The well-designed full spectrum COB LEDs are covered by a 3-year warranty, which is installed in a 100% waterproof IP65 housing.
The Optilux performance is equal with a 800W HPS lighting.
The 660 Watts model of the SPYDRx range made of premium quality materials that illuminates an area of 120 × 120 cm from 15cm with high efficiency and quality of light.
The optional dimmer can be used to fine-tune the power output so the manufacturer guarantees more than 54,000 hours LED lifetime.
Thanks to OSRAM LEDs, this lamp meets a 1000Watt HPS or CMH lighting and consumes 40% less than conventional HPS/MH lights.
Industrial horticultural LED lights (600-800W)
Grow LEDs for industrial horticulure with 600W-800W power correspond to 1000-1200W HPS and CMH lamps and it’s a break through in every respect with technological advantages.
With a programmable light spectrum and power, a single LED lamp is enough for a full life cycle and consumes 40% less energy than high-pressure HID lamps. Numerous studies prove that within 3-4 years high investment costs will be paid off, followed by continuous savings and outstanding efficiency.
The SpektrumKing SK602 is an extremely well-designed, fully waterproof, full spectrum grow lamp that incorporates CREE LED bulbs.
The lamp output is equal with a 1000 Watt HPS light that can illuminate an area of 150 × 150 cm with the perfect amount of light needed for flowering and fruit production.
The SK602 grow lamp is dimmable with a controller and it’s perfect for greenhouse and indoor cultivation.
The Solarsystem1100 LED lamp can be used to grow any plant due to its size, brightness and adjustable light spectrum.
Thanks to its 100% waterproof IP65 protection and the ability to control hundreds of lamps at the same time according to individual programs with the remote controller.
This is an excellent choice for big growers who prefer precise light control.
Due to the large amount of light, the plant is able to develop better and therefore needs more carbon dioxide.
The table below gives a recommendation on the CO2 supplement for intensive plant production.
-100 and 300 μmol / m2 / s for seeds and germination (under optimal conditions: additional CO2, ~ 400 ppm)
-75 and 150 μmol / m2 / s for seedlings, clones (under optimal conditions: additional CO2, ~ 400-800 ppm)
-300 and 600 μmol / m2 / s in the development phase (optimal results: additional CO2, ~ 400-800 ppm)
-600 and 1000 μmol / m2 / s for optimal results during flowering / reproduction phase without additional CO2 (wonderful results: additional CO2, ~ 800-1400 ppm)
-1000 and 1500 μmol / m2 / s for outstanding results during flowering / reproduction phase with additional CO2, ~ 1400 ppm.
Due to the low electricity consumption and the long life of LEDs, grow LEDs are the new direction of indoor and greenhouse grow lighting.
The grow LED grant better results in all aspects, safe and quiet operation, individually adjustable light spectrum and performance, and safe for the environment, as there is no heavy metal pollution to the enviroment. With the grow LED’s calibrated light spectrum, you can get the most out of your plants for your own and your customers’ greatest pleasure.
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More articles about indoor growing:
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- Sprouting, growing microgreens at home
- Plant nutrient deficiencies
- Correct plant irrigation, premium plant fertilisers
- Coconut, the ideal growing medium
- Temperature, Humidity, Co2 and environment control in the grow room
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