LED grow lights are absolutely the future of the growing industry with their high efficiency and easy maintenance. However, as a big investment, picking the right one is crucial. For that reason, we’ve created a step-by-step guide for finding the best grow light.
1. Determine Your Growing Needs
The most logical first question you need to ask yourself is to determine your requirements and the type, size, and basic features of the LED grow lights you are about to purchase.
- What are you growing?
Different type of plants normally requires different color spectrum as well as different lighting duration. In simple words, growing cannabis does not require the same resources as growing tomatoes. Some plants need light 12-14 hours per day, while other demand just 4-6 hours. The type of plants you want to grow is, therefore, your starting point.
- What space do you have?
Space has become less of an issue and you can start growing even if you don’t have a spacious hothouse or home. However, you do need to decide whether you are going to grow horizontally or vertically and then precisely measure the space where you are going to place the lights.
2. Choose an Efficient Light
Of course, among the most important features of a LED grow lights is its efficiency, but the real question is how to determine whether this light will lead to a high yield.
- Full Spectrum
The first thing you need to check is the color spectrum of the light. You need to be looking for a light with high PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) value which is full spectrum. This means it will emit only light in different colors that could be accumulated by the plants and used for growing.
- Low Heat Output
As lights are used for indoor growing, too much heat is among the most common issues that may occur. To prevent this from happening, pick a preferably fanless LED grow light that with low heat output. Those lights are cooling passively through heat sinks, and normally have bulbs that do not generate as much heat and have larger surface area. Assuring yourself of an efficient grow light with low heat output is half the battle.
3. Check the Costs
The LED grow lights are definitely not the cheapest piece of growing equipment, so calculate everything before making the purchase.
- Low Energy Consumption
Your LED lights will be on for hours each day, which may lead to huge electricity bills. These LED grow lights are created so that they are saving energy through different means. As electricity is a regular monthly cost, make sure that it will be reasonable and will fit in your budget. Otherwise, growing plants indoors both commercially or for hobby could end up being incredibly expensive.
- Low Maintenance Costs
When buying a tech gadget for growing, you need to check how easy and how much it will cost to maintain it. If you’ll need to spend some money each week to keep it in operation, it may not be worth it.
- Long Warranty Period
The warranty is the only thing that will keep you safe when spending a ton of money on a new LED grow light. Being sure that it will be repaired or replace if something goes wrong, will allow you to be more eager to grow and expand.
4. Learn How to Use it
- How Easy it is to Use the LED Grow Light?
If you’ll need hours to assemble the light and put it into operations, it may not be the right one for you. Additionally, changing the settings of some lights can be a tedious and not very pleasant and if you are growing different type of plants you may need to do it often. So take a look at the User Manual and make the right choice.
- How Flexible is the LED Grow Light?
Can you use it for growing different plants? Can you use it both for horizontal and vertical growing? Of course everyone would like a light for any application, but as such does not exist, find one that will have all the basic features and be flexible.
5. Ask Questions
After reading these tips, buying a LED grow light may still seem difficult if you are just starting to grow indoors. Before making the last call and buying the light, do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions. By starting with the people in the multiple forums and getting to know the LED grow light sellers, you can find a lot of professionals with great experience who can help you make the right decision. Just ask.
Luis Rivera has 20+ years of experience in global market expansion, business development, mergers and acquisitions, business re-engineering, finance and investor relations of software companies. He is passionate about technology, spectral science, indoor farming, food production, automation, and more. Since 2015 he is the president of Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas. When not at work, Luis enjoys swimming, yoga, as well as growing grapes and flowers in Sonoma, California.