By Hecktor E..J.
Indoor weed growing has in the recent past experienced major changes. All this is courtesy of the design and engineering of LED lights. These have enabled both enthusiasts and professionals to get high-quality yields from their indoor farms with minimal effort. The advantages provided by these new pieces of technology are through the roof and include stimulated growth, energy efficiency, adjustable wavelengths, durability, and compactness.
Today, you do not need to have large tracts of land to get a decent amount of marijuana harvest. But even with their obvious benefits, choosing the right piece proves to be a challenging process. Why? Well, there are a varied array of makes and models available on the market – all of which claim to be the best. In their marketing, manufacturers use statements that prove confusing and even misleading to consumers.
You should note that starting out with the wrong set of LED grow lights can prove to be detrimental to your marijuana growing. As such, it is imperative that you make an educated decision on which set to check out. In light of this, there are numerous factors to be considered. In this piece, we make an effort to explain these factors to help you in the buying process.
Now, without ado, here are the factors to consider when buying LED grow lights for marijuana growth.
Build and Quality of Materials
When it comes to LED lighting, durability is one of the top factors to be considered. A lamp that has been built from quality materials can last for up to 10 years. With such durability, you get to save yourself the hassle of getting below average yields and repair costs in the process.
To learn if a product is of high quality, you can look through the product reviews of the particular grow light. Additionally, US made lights prove to be among the best in the industry. They have a reputation for using the best components to make the LED grow lights and strictly adhere to the industrial production methods and standards.
As you might have noticed by now, the industry is full of many different brands with each brand presenting LED lights with slight differences. They make choosing the best almost an impossible process.
In case you are stuck between choosing different LED lights that are similar in appearance and the prices are close, let the brand name be the tiebreaker. A company with a reputation preceding itself, long history of quality and extensive research in the industry is best. The latter are more inclined to provide you with a quality product.
Size of Your Growing Space
The size of the growing space will greatly influence the size, as well as the number of LEDs, grow lights you will buy. The golden rule of thumb is that a 25 watt LED grow light covers a square foot of growing space.
If you are working with a growing space measuring 4 square feet, you should purchase a grow light with 400 watts (minimum). This is, of course, assuming that your weed plants are congregated in one area.
If your budget allows for it, you can always go for more power. For a 16 square foot area, you should get at the very least 600 watts.
We always recommend that you get a full spectrum light. This is of course unless you are just looking for supplemental lighting with a specific color spectrum.
The only time you should consider going for a specific light spectrum during a grow cycle is when you are vegging or cloning. And even then, most growers have proven that fluorescent grow lights are perfect for cloning.
Multi-Band or White?
Now, with regards to the full-spectrum LED grow lights, there are two options: multi-color bands or white LED grow lights.
Those who support all white LED grow lights claim that they are the best given that they are the closest to natural light. Also, they are the perfect combination of MH light and HPS.
On the multiband LED light camp, however, promoters claim that the white LED lights feature too much light in the yellow and green spectrum ranges. And since the light in these spectrums is unusable by plants, there is a lot of wastage. As such, the white LED grow lights are far less efficient.
So which should you prefer? Easy, the multi-band full spectrum light. This is because they feature the white LEDs and two other spectrum bands.
It is tricky to translate the coverage in a number. This is because the coverage depends on the distance from the LED grow light to the top of the weed. Increasing the coverage by installing the LED higher translates to a reduction in PAR as well as the canopy penetration.
Given that the coverage can be varied by moving the LED lights closer or further away from the plants, the coverage values by manufacturers are varied. But despite the many claims, the powerful LED grow lights will provide you with coverage of 4×4-feet (maximum).
And since the PAR values of any LED light are highest in the middle, you should ensure you rotate the plants often to ensure that the weed plants on the outer cover of the LED light enjoy the same light intensity for quality yields.
This acronym stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation. It is the measure of the amount of usable light. This is not to be confused with lumen which is the amount of light that is visible to man.
The PAR like the coverage figures can prove misleading. It is because of this that some manufacturers refrain from including them in the packaging. And those that do, provide the PAR at the center of coverage. As such, the PAR value is bound to be amazing.
But do not be fooled. Most often than not, the best-LED lights are provided with low PAR values since manufacturers consider the coverage PAR and not just the center.
Low Heat Output
This is an important factor to consider. The heat output contributes to the durability and plant protection.
Lights with low heat output guarantee that there will not be any damage caused and allow for proximity between the weed plant and the lamp.
Lights with high heat output tend to burn out faster and thus need replacement fast.
LED lights should last for about 10 years under normal use. As such, any LED grow light that features a warranty lesser than this should be a red flag. Most often than not, it is usually a sign of cheap and poor quality materials and build.
Most manufacturers will provide you with a guarantee on the LED light parts including free return shipment.
Now that you have a guide to follow, you stand better chances of landing the best LED grow light for your marijuana indoor farm. Take your time doing your research and do not let anyone rush you into making any decision.