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LED Grow Light Advantages For Growing Marijuana Indoors

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Led growlightBy Ethan Grow

In the last decade LED technology has advanced significantly and is now available as an alternative to incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) bulbs for various lighting needs. Numerous studies and field test have resulted in several practical uses for LEDs.

Among the many uses of LEDs is their ability to grow plants indoors without the need for any sunlight. LEDs offer many advantages when it comes to growing various plants indoors. One of the biggest advantages to growing with LEDs as compared to growing with various bulbs is that LEDs consume a fraction of the electricity, as much as 70% less. Another advantage of LEDs is they are near zero heat signature. LED grow lights give off less than 10% of the heat that a high intensity discharge bulb such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) bulbs do. Less energy consumption and less heat go hand in hand as the majority of the wasted electricity in HID systems is given off as heat. If you have ever grown with HID systems, heat is always a byproduct, which must be mitigated by venting and air conditioning systems. After just a few minutes of use a HID bulb becomes extremely hot and will burn the skin if touched and has been known to cause fires. Growing with LEDs eliminates this problem completely as even after being on for 24 hours, the LED grow light is only slightly warm and cool to the touch.

The way LED growlights work is that the individual diodes that are in the light are focused to specific wavelengths of the light spectrum necessary for plant photosynthesis. A light bulb gives off white light, which encompasses all the colors of the visible light spectrum. Plant photosynthesis requires only specific wavelengths of light and all the extra wavelengths that are in white light are wasted. LED grow light diodes have a blend of only the wavelengths that are needed in the correct ratios necessary for photosynthesis. These wavelengths are mainly the reds, oranges and blues in the 580-630nm and 420-470nm ranges. LED grow lights have gone through several iterations and the most effective grow lights now include ultraviolet and infrared diodes as well. The best LED grow lights come from companies that have tested various blends of diodes and formulated optimal diode ratios that best mimic the photosynthetic action radiation necessary for plant growth.

Yet another advantage of LED technology is that LED lights last about 100 times as long as light bulbs and 6-7 times as long as compact fluorescent lights. It is no wonder that the US space agency NASA has been testing LED grow lights to grow food in space as an energy efficient method that will be a key component to man’s survival in space. The first generation of LED grow lights had very low intensity and total output of 10-20 watts. These lights were only powerful enough to grow very simple and small plants. LED grow lights have since evolved into much more intense lights with power output of 100 watts and more which is necessary to grow more complex plants. LED grow lights have truly come of age and indoor growers are finally able to take advantage of this technology to grow green and grow more efficiently than they have ever been able to before.

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  • Problem with LEDs is that they are WAY to expensive, only produce 2 specific wave lengths (where as CFL/HID produce almost all of them), and there is next to no leaf penetration, meaning airy crappy buds. You will still need CFL side lighting. Doesn’t mean you’ll get ditch weed though. If you want to grow Autos, then this is great.

    The new thing thats coming out is PLASMA lights, they’re $1000+ and produce better and more colours than HID and is more effecient in energy use versus energy converted to heat cmpared to HID

    • Ledster

      You are very mis informed Andrew. Led panels are expensive, but price out the cost of a ballast, air cooled reflector, inline fan, ducting, and bulb every 6 months. Led is almost the same exact price, and it still produces less heat than an air cooled hid light. Most panels use over 5 different wavelengths of light. And hid light penetrate through leaves in the same way that it passes through concrete.

      • No, actually you are wrong on most of what you said. I own a 1000 watt analogue setup. This thing penetrates through every leaf right to the bottom. LEDs don’t penetrate through ONE leaf. I don’t know about the wavelengths now, but a year ago, every LED system only came with ONE specific colour, that that was the MOST USED colour by the plant. Unless it had both blue and red, then both were the most used blue and red colour of the plant.

        As for costs, it cost me $350 including net pots, nutes, 1000 watt switchable HPS/MH ballast bulb and mylar.

        Bulbs are only $40 man and they last about 4 years.

        Besides that, like I said, LED isn’t good for anything other than SMALL plants and SMALL grows. The people who I know like to grow big plants a few feet tall with commercial looking dense buds.

        You will never get that with LED in your life, not without a few LED systems or substancial side lighting of CFL.

        LEDs are just not worth it unless you want a few g’mers for personal. 3 to 4 ounces a plant or it’s not worth my friend’s time

        • Jethro Clampett

          I am super late to the party…but i am compelled to remark on the know it all, gas bag stench of andrews “thinking”

      • I just found a 300 watt LED grow system. This system is the equivalent to a 600 watt HPS suposedly. Guess how much it cost? $599 and that was on sale from $1000. For 600 watt HPS equivalent? Are you insane? You can buy a Plasma system for $1000, which DOES beat a 1000 watt HPS/MH digital combo using both bulbs.

        Are you sure Ledster that you don’t SELL LED systems?

        • DormGrow.com

          450 Watt LED Grow
          Light is only $599

          • the thing is you get what you pay for DormGrow.com. Yea, your product is inferior, thats what it’s cheap. Everywhere else I go besides here, prices are sky high. You use sub par LEDs in your system if its cheap. LEDs of this use are NOT cheap, and the manufacturing of these are NOT cheap. But the sellers on this site ARE

    • 420master

      Actually LED prices have come down a great deal and now you can get a 450 watt system for $600. That is good enough to cover your 4’x4′ tent. The diodes are larger now at 3watts which allows for penetration and the blend of wavelengths range from 5-11 different wavelengths at various ratios. LED is the way to go! Will be looking at plasma also to see how their cost/benefit compares. – Cheers!

    • xx54

      andrew, looking over your 100+ comments to various subjects it looks like you are always writing something negative and trying to push your ideas/products on people.

      • what are you talking about? I have never commented on this webpage before this. This website is to commercialize weed and sell products. Anyone with half a mind and knows what they’re talking about knows that you’re all sellers trying to make bank.

        • Huh? Commercialize Weed? And we don’t sell any products. Maybe some advertising here and there, but not even close for two people to live on. We do this because we LOVE cannabis and want to see it be legalized. Thanks for the comment tho!

          • Yup, just like all those other websites where people link up to them and then when people buy the referrer gets a cut. I’m a programmer, and I have owned websites my self. I know how this works buddy, its not about making a living, its about making some bank to cover costs and a little more. Don’t even say there is no referer code, because you can track who comes from what site. If I want to beastiality.com and then came here you’d see it along with my IP

            The content on this website is the same stuff over and over, and its the same stuff on every weed related website, except here, they have a bunch of companies (which are probably the same ones with different URLs and designs) that try to push products to people constantly.

            I guess it’s only a coincidence that these product pushers tried to dissmiss me as being stupid, when I’ve been doing this stuff for 5 years now, and I’m always on top of the new stuff.

          • Andrew

            For the record, currently we have zero affiliate agreements with anyone and we don’t “make a cut” off this when people click on his links. We had an affiliate agreement about a year ago with a vaporizer company, but wasn’t worth the hassle.

            The writer of this particular post asked if he could write an article to help educate people and possibly help his business. I down to help people in the canna-business world and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

            We do track our traffic, as all websites do. We use Google Analytics, the most universal tracking service out there. This is what all websites do, otherwise how do you know if people like your content. That data is right on the sidebar for all to see and we are proud of it:)

            As a matter of fact, we are sooooo bad at business and adverting, we usually have to spend our own money to keep TWB going. We have zero desire to be salesmen and it’s not why we started this. We recently brought on a company to help sell some adspace so who knows.

            It’s all good wither way, just kinda sucks when people think you we are making money when that is the furthest thing from the truth. Kinda makes the struggle a little lamer. Thanks again and peace!

            Jay

          • cultof8

            You’re a know it all with an answer to everything. I would like to see any bulb last 4 years and still get any good output out of it. And you talk about “small this” and “small that” but you have a $1000 setup that you spent $350 on? Hahaha…That’s funny man. Talk about small. And you could never in your life get the same results with LED’s? That’s funny since the technology is constantly evolving. 5 years is nothing dude you’re still a newbie. Why don’t you open your ears and eyes shut your mouth and take your hostility elsewhere.

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  • MikeyBravo

    There are so many different ways to use a grow light. I just use them to grow regular plants inside when the snow hits. They work really well and I am so glad that I got some. They are fantastic!

  • Joseph Sparks

    LED lights are really beneficial as it lasts for a longer time and produces more power output as compared to normal traditional bulbs.

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  • Building your own grow room can be cheap and effective, and
    allows you to customize many aspects of your grow Building your own grow room can
    be cheap and effective, and allows you to customize many aspects of your grow.
    One of the main factors of Growing marijuana at resident is light!!

    Lighting is one of the most important factors in determining
    how well your plants will grow, and how your buds will turn out during the
    flowering phase. So guys please keep that in your mind. If you like to know
    more tips about building your own grown room please refer this link – http://bigbudsmag.com/grow/article/easiest-way-colorado-residents-start-growing-marijuana-november-2012

  • MikeSmithy

    I’ve always loved how cool an led grow light looks! Love it!

  • Crunchy

    Hell, if LED’s are good enough for NASA, they’re good enough for me.

  • Grow light plays very important role for indoor marijuana gardening. Their is one more factor for marijuana growing is choosing perfect hydroponics nutrients. marijuana is a specialty plant and you can only trust people who know all about growing it and what works best for that particular plant.Read this article for the hydroponics nutrients for marijuana growers … http://bigbudsmag.com/grow/article/marijuana-advanced-nutrients-general-hydroponics-canna

  • Brad Hos

    Heh. This sure is one use of led grow lights. Though I’m pretty sure that if the cops found out about this, they’d grab a warrant to be able to search your house for more of this stuff.

  • I don’t think I would have ever though about using led grow lights for this purpose. Sounds like a good way to do things though.

  • Stacyjames

    LED lighting helps us greatly in saving energy cost. These are the popular lighting system these days.

    Bizjournal

  • Alex

    Late as well, but please noone listen to Andrew, he has no idea wtf he is talking about. Even Ed Rosenthal promotes LED lights as amazing in his books.

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