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Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Growing plants indoors is much more challenging than outdoors because not much light penetrates through. Normally, you can place plants near a window to get some sunlight, but during winter, sunlight is minimal. To ensure that your plants continue to thrive regardless of the season, you need to be LED to grow lights.
The best LED grow lights for indoor plants come in varied forms and price ranges. Below is a brief review indicating points to consider while shopping for indoor grow lights. Additionally, we have suggested a few LED grow lights at different price points for you to deliberate on.
LED grow lights have become popular for several reasons including the fact that they are energy and cost-efficient. You can select LED grow lights of different intensities to cater to plants at different growth stages within a considerable budget. Below is some useful information to remember as you shop:
LED Grow Light Types
In the marketplace, LED grow lights are available in three forms; Spread style, chip on board, or traditional lamps.
Featuring small lights distributed throughout a surface area, spread-style LEDs are suitable for large-scale jobs. Due to their large surface area, they can cater to a large number of plants at a go. Spread-style lights are further categorized into Spider-style and quantum board types.
Spider-style LEDs feature lights arranged in narrow arms, and they are costlier than quantum LEDs. Quantum LEDs are spread out on an extensive surface area and they do not produce too much heat to cause harm to plants no matter the close distance.
Chip on board LEDs has small lights placed together on one chip. The collection of LEDs on one chip then forms a powerful focus of light to provide optimal coverage. Chip on-board LEDs have a strong light center, but the edges are dimmer compared to the even coverage offered by spread-style LEDs.
While using chip-on-board LEDs, one has to be careful not to damage the plants because they produce considerable heat. You have to be careful not to position the plants too close, and provide a cooling fan to regulate the temperatures. Due to their white LED diodes (full spectrum), chip-on-board LEDs are excellent at canopy penetration.
Traditional LED lamps are colorful, affordable, and are ideal for small spaces. These full-spectrum lights are compact and can be used for any growth stage as long as they are powerful enough.
What is the size of the plant you want to grow? Is it a miniature plant or are you expecting a larger plant? Understanding the space you have to grow and the plants you want to grow helps you select a suitable LED to grow light.
If you are working with small plants, then models like the AeroGarden Harvest Stainless Steel Elite are ideal. This 20W model offers a herb kit and full-spectrum lights to support the plants until maturity. The easy-to-use model has a display panel for the user to ensure all the settings are accurate.
The TORCHSTAR Indoor Herb Garden LED Light is also a good suggestion for those with small desk plants. This 24V LED grow light is easy to install, and it is decorative adding style to the place. It also has a timer to promote healthy natural growth cycles.
Plants need different color frequencies to move through different growth stages. You can choose to buy LED grow lights with specific color frequencies, or select full spectrum LEDs. Full-spectrum LEDs are convenient because they serve the plants at all growth stages.
If you are looking for a specific color frequency, it is good to note that blue is suitable for new plants as it is easily absorbed for photosynthesis. Red light is for the budding stage while purple light is for the vegetative state.
Some models such as the Ankace Dimmable Grow Lights offer a combination of red and blue light frequencies for seedlings and flowering plants. The adjustable lights are dimmable; therefore, you will be able to control the intensity.
Lumens are how manufacturers measure the brightness produced by LED grow lights. The higher the lumen count, the more brightness is produced. Seedlings require a lot of energy to grow, and that is why they require as much as 10,000 lumens to thrive compared to flowering plants with about 2000 lumens.
Photosynthetic photon flux is another method in measuring LED light intensity, and it is calculated in μmol/second. The higher the number of photons of light emitted per second, the more powerful the light is.
You can also consider the wattage of the LED lights because the more power is available, the more intense the lights can be. Although wattage is not the most accurate method, it is an excellent way to knowing what to expect.
For example, the Feel Show LED Grow Lights are full-spectrum lights that consume 15W but offer the performance of an 80W fluorescent lamp. The quality LED lights come with a tripod and four-light tubes to cover a wide area.
Heat is a concern when dealing with plants particularly when using powerful LED lights. Even though LED lights produce considerably less heat, having them running 24/7 without proper ventilation will cause an accumulation of heat.
That is why some models like the Roleadro 75W Grow Light come with cooling systems. Such models have aluminum-cooling plates with heat sinks to promote heat dissipation. The Roleadro grow light is easy to set up and it is large enough to cater to several seedlings at once.
Whether it is a freestanding or mounted model, you don’t want to spend hours just setting it up. In fact, the faster the set-up, the better because there is no time wasted. Luckily, the majority of the LED grow lights are easy to install as they have good instructions in tow. Manufacturers ensure that proper mounting and assembly tools are provided if need be.
The plants you want to grow and your budget will help you narrow down your choices. If you don’t have $50 to spend, there is no need of stressing yourself. You can find powerful full-spectrum LED lights at an affordable price. Consider all the deals on the table before settling for a durable and well-functioning option.
LEDs grow lights are generally low maintenance and durable. However, it is important to get a warranty just in case something goes wrong when the product is delivered. LED lights for indoor plants usually have a warranty for more than a year. Some brands even offer a full refund within a certain number of days, if you find the product unsatisfactory.
Are LEDs suitable for commercial purposes?
While the commercial field was heavily reliant on fluorescents and high-intensity discharge lights, LEDs are threatening to take over. LEDs are less costly to make and maintain; therefore, making them a good investment for long-term use. Additionally, they don’t take up much power, and depending on the design, the light intensity can be adjusted accordingly.
What is the recommended LED grow light installation height?
As said before, LED lights do emit some heat, especially at high intensity. To prevent the heat from harming the plant leaves, it is advisable to place the lights about 12-24 inches during the vegetative state. Seedlings work best when the lights are 24-36 inches.
What is the recommended wattage per plant?
This depends on the type of plant you are growing because different plants require different light intensities. For example, it is common for vegetables to utilize more lumens compared to other plants. Experts recommend 50-80 watts for each square foot but you can go as low as 32 watts for each foot, depending on the size of the plant.
Does LED grow lights for indoor plants come with timers?
Yes, some models possess timers that mimic the natural light cycle. The timers a specific number of hours that the lights remain inactive before automatically reactivating. The number of hours will vary from 4-16hours depending on the model.
LED grow lights for indoor plants come in a variety of styles; therefore, you can have some fun with them. You can select models with a cute design or go with a more functional approach like the MAXSISUN 400W Grow Light. These affordable lights offer both timing functions and dimmable lights, but it is not as decorative as the premium-priced AeroGarden Harvest Stainless Steel Elite.
If you need a powerful, but affordable LED grow light that covers a wide area, consider the Bloom Plus BP-2500 LED Grow Lights. For those seeking a decorative LED light for small plants like Tillandsia ionantha, or mini succulents, the TORCHSTAR Indoor Herb Garden LED Light will be ideal.
We hope the information presented above made it easier for you to identify the best LED grow lights for indoor plants. Once you get the model you wanted, we are sure you will be excited to see your plants thrive regardless of their growth stage.