There is a lot of discussion throughout the world going on about LED grow light bulbs and whether or not they are more effective, or whether are not they really are going to be the next big thing. Much like many of the other products that are taking over the hydroponic world, LED light bulbs come with a lot of hype and there is a lot of marketing that goes on selling them. You might not be able to tell if this is the best choice for your grow operation, but there is a lot of good information, despite the huge amount of marketing that goes on. In order to help you figure out what exactly is going on with these LED bulbs, I’ll cover everything about them and fill you in on just what you need to know.
The Advantages Of LED Bulbs:
The advantages of LED grow light bulbs are numerous. Virtually every aspect of growing using LED bulbs, instead of conventional growing lights, can be improved, made more efficient, and much more cost effective and long lasting.
- Less Energy: LED grow light bulbs save up to 30% over traditional lightbulbs, but that efficiency is quickly improving. Saving energy means saving money, which means more profit.
- Longer Life: LED Light Bulbs Last Much Longer. HPS, incandescent, and fluorescent light bulbs work great, but only while they last. These lasts tend to last just 10,000 hours. When you look at the life length of LED grow light bulbs in comparison, they last for 50,000-100,000 hours. That is an incredible 15 years of growing power, compared to just there years with any other kind of grow light.
- Less Heat: Heat efficient growing is an incredibly important part of an effective grow when you are constantly battling against a warm region and the potential to burn and even kill your plants. High pressure sodium bulbs emit a lot of heat and an keep a grow room feeling more like a tropical jungle. People who use LED grow light bulbs instead sometimes find themselves even having to HEAT their growspace in order to keep their plants warm. These LED light bulbs can eve be touched without having to worry about burning your hands, which also means that you can have them much closer to your plants without worrying about burning them either.
- Light Power: LED light bulbs can reach an incredible 18022 lumens per watt. Think of that number in comparison to the 15 lumens that incandescent bulbs measure when using a 60-100 watt bulb. Something important to note, though, is that fluorescent bulbs outperform LED light bulbs in this area, with 100 lumens per watt, but LED light bulbs actually provide more usable light and their performance is increasing and doubles every 18 months.
- Efficiency: Along with these kinds of things, LED grow light bulbs offer a lot more efficiency that the traditional lighting sources like HID. Luminous efficiency is a measure of how capable a light is of providing visible light, and the more efficient the light source is, the more each unit of power that you send to it will get you.
- Cost: LED grow light bulbs can be expensive at the start. An 150 watt system can cost you about $400, which is much more than many people are willing to pay. For comparison, a 1,000 watt HPS system will cost you about $99 in addition to the $200 ballast. The price is expected to drop much more in the coming years, but in the long run you end up saving money due to the efficiency of the LED bulbs compared to other bulbs.
The Results of LED Grow Light Bulbs
When you make the switch to LED grow light bulbs, you find a huge advantage in terms of results. The average yield with HID lamps can be as low as 0.5 grams per watt. When you have LED bulbs, however, up to 1.5 grams isn’t out of the ordinary. That 200% increase in product can mean a massive payday for you and outgrow all of the competition. The cost to get started can throw you off if you aren’t trying to spend much money, but if you can overcome that, you’ll have a higher yield, lower energy costs, less heat, and a longer lifespan out of your grow room setup.
The claims that companies make about that yield can vary widely, and many people are turned away by the over hyped claims. It can take some trial and error to actually achieve those results, though. Many first time growers can’t reach this level of success, but it doesn’t take long to get started. With proper LED grow light bulbs it is easier to get started and you can quickly be growing without much trouble that people usually face.