There’s a lot of information out there on using LED (Light Emitting Diodes) in your grow. Some growers swear by it and others are more skeptical that its benefits outweigh its costs. It’s true that initial startup costs will be higher with LED but that cost is offset by lower electricity bills and much longer bulb life. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using LED lamps in your grow.
Number 1: GROWING GREEN
LED lamps’ sticker prices are higher (though rapidly becoming more affordable) than their HID counterparts. However, the cost to operate LED is much lower. This is because it takes less electricity to power an LED lamp, and less power = cost savings and less environmental impact. Growing efficiently and responsibly is key and we find that Wideband Spectrum LED checks both of those boxes, while maximizing yield potential. It should also be noted that LED lights generally last 10 or more years, while HPS and MH bulbs will need to be replaced at least every 3-5 grows (9-15 months) so over time, LED will, in fact, be cheaper in material cost.
Number 2: EASE OF USE
Wideband Spectrum LED offers a large enough light spectrum that you can use it throughout the entire growth cycle. An HID (high intensity discharge) system requires you to use a MH (Metal Halide) bulb for the seedling and vegetative stages and then a HPS (High Pressure Sodium) bulb for the flowering stage. This change is necessary because of the difference in light spectrum offered by HPS and MH bulbs, as well as the amount of heat given off by each bulb.
Which brings us to benefit number 3: LESS HEAT = MORE CONTROL.
We do advocate for growers to use fans during the vegetation stage, but that’s because the breeze will help strengthen your plants and prepare them for flowering. We also advocate for the simplest and most effective method with the least cost burden. Since the optimum growing temperature range for veg and flowering is 68-77º F, the heat produced by an HID system will likely require temperature intervention (especially in a smaller tent) - including increased ventilation, and bigger fans (which cost more to operate). So unless you are growing in a very cold climate, LED offers opportunity for hands-off temperature control in your grow.
An Important note: Not all LED is equal. Purple LED and White LED lack the robust spectrum of light colors needed for maximum photosynthesis, leading to stunted growth and smaller yields. Wideband LED, however, features a spectrum that replicates the infrared power of the sun.
Our Friends at the Green Sunshine Company put together a great post which goes more in depth on HPS vs LED yield and spectrum offerings. https://thegreensunshineco.com/hps-vs-led-grow/