Hydroponic Gardening - Are LED Grow Lights Best?

  • 600W LED Grow Light

    If you're about to get started in hydroponic gardening one of the most important choices you can make is the type of grow light you use. You can choose an LED grow light, HID, Metal Halide, fluorescent, sodium lights and more. Many people who have been gardening indoors for years used high-intensity lights (HIDs)and have no desire to switch to LEDs. But for beginners, LED grow lights may be one of the easiest and most economical choices.

    LED lighting, if it's purchased correctly and is actually designed for growing and not just lighting, can be ideal for immature plants. Lights that have a large blue spectrum are perfect for this part of the growing phase. The fixtures can be purchased in a variety of color spectrums which can be matched to the particular plant you want to grow, their growing phase, whether you're propagating or they're about to flower fruit, and many other factors. Some other types of lighting are only available in specific color spectrums which makes it more difficult, especially for the beginning gardener, to choose the right fixtures.

    LED grow lights for indoor plants offer the benefits of not overheating the air around the plants. This can make it a difficult switch for people who've been gardening for a long time because they probably already have everything set up to provide extra moisture and humidity. Most of the other light options like HIDs dry out the air and the soil around the plants because of the heat they produce. So steps are taken to add moisture to the air and to keep the soil moist prevent the plants from becoming dry. Switching to an LED grow light makes much of this unnecessary and can cause plants to be over-watered very easily. Someone first starting out, however, won't have learned any habits that they need to unlearn.

    LED grow lights also cost less over time than many other lights. Because LED bulbs use so little energy compared to something like a fluorescent or especially an incandescent bulb, the cost to run the lights is a fraction of what it costs to run other types. Because the lights use a much less energy, they typically last far longer, as well. That reduces the replacement costs.

    The key thing to look for is that the LED lights you choose are designated as grow lights, otherwise they won't put out the proper color spectrum and any plants you put under them as their sole source of light will suffer and eventually die.