Tips for Choosing the Right LED Grow Lights for Your Crops
The best LED grow lights for any indoor crop cultivation facility will accelerate plant growth and support the photosynthetic processes that plants use to manufacture the food to feed their growth. Over the course of many years, indoor horticulturalists have attempted to use many different types of artificial light sources for this purpose. The industry consensus has now coalesced around LED lighting, which has surpassed other types of grow lights because of its versatility and superior economics. Choosing the right LED grow lights for the plants in your indoor cultivation facility requires the consideration of at least seven key factors.
Elements of Superior LED Grow Lights
- Quality. A quality LED grow light system will include components that are made from strong materials with advanced engineering. Look for products from manufacturers that use sturdy, high quality materials and that offer a strong guarantee on their products. SpecGrade LED uses high performance double-folded aluminum and copper in our robustly engineered grow lights for the best heat conduction and long-lasting structural integrity.
- Durability. With regular maintenance, an LED grow light system should last a minimum of ten years. Several factors contribute to durability, including technical mechanisms to remove excess heat buildup from LED drivers and fixture casings that resist corrosion in humid environments. While other LED manufacturers boast about their 3 or 5 year warranties, only SpecGrade LED offers a 10 year guarantee.
- Thermal Management. One of the best technical mechanisms for removing excess heat from an LED fixture is NOT an electric fan that can be a potential point of failure, but rather a passive cooling system that draws heat away from the fixture’s circuitry via excess surface area. Our fixtures include over 70 square feet of double-folded aluminum fins that are specifically and geometrically engineered to draw heat away from the diodes and drivers, thus preserving the lifespan and efficiency of the fixture.
- Output Spectrum. An LED grow light system should generate the proper level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) that matches a crop’s lighting needs. Different plants require different wavelengths of light for maximum chlorophyll activity, and any one plant species might need different light spectra at different stages of its growth cycle. The LED grow light system that you select should coincide with the plant’s need, offering optimal color spectrum variation throughout the life cycle.
- Light Distribution. LED grow lights will be ineffective if they cannot distribute light uniformly across all growing surfaces, including upper canopies and lower leaves and vegetation. Quality LED grow lights will generate an optimum photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) that sheds light on all parts of the plants in a horticultural facility. Advanced optics, like those included in our OpticPARTM LED grow lights, help to focus the light beam directly onto the plant rather than allowing light loss due to improper directionality.
- Efficiency. All LED grow lights are more efficient than other types of horticultural lighting, such as High Pressure Sodium, but not all LED grow light systems are equally efficient. A higher-quality LED system might have a higher initial cost, but it will reduce operating and maintenance costs over the life of the system. This comes from thermal management techniques and other factors that mitigate the efficient use of energy to produce light, as well as OpticPARTM’s modular design that allows easy changing of optic panels to save time and preserve the housing for years of use.
- Robust Engineering. LED grow lights represent a quantum leap in lighting technology over traditional horticultural lighting systems. When you choose an LED grow light system that is built on a foundation of solid and robust engineering, that system will be rated and certified for the environment in which it is installed. It will also be designed for quick and efficient maintenance and repairs and will feature advanced technology that reduces thermal and other stresses on the system to ensure durability and optimal performance over time.
The indoor horticulture industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate, largely because of the new lighting options made available by LED grow lights. SpecGrade LED continues to be at the forefront of that growth with lighting systems that meet or exceed every requirement that a cultivation facility might have for its lighting needs.