LED Grow Lights What are led grow lights and who invented them?
LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) have been around for a very long time and are a well-established source of light for applications that are looking for a compact footprint and a low energy high output product. Unlike normal light sources the colours of led’s can be tailored to the specific wavelength that is required for the application.
Now there are many poor deluded souls out there that are convinced they have invented the led grow light but in reality led’s were first used for horticultural applications by NASA who investigated using led’s for plant growth to produce food whilst in space using a minimal amount of energy. Now until recently led’s were not advanced enough to grow larger or denser crops and that is when it all started to change for us growers.
The cluster type design we use for our Budmaster led grow lights is nothing new and similar style lights have been used by the military and entertainment industry for decades, for example the popular TV show ‘Top Gear’ in the UK use ‘Halogen Grid Lights’ to light their set and if you look you will see that they are a 3×3 cluster mould in a square case much like our Budmaster 675 range.
So to sum it all up no one really invented led grow lights as they are today, rather they have evolved alongside industrial lighting fixtures and more powerful modern led’s to make them what they are today.
Why are led’s better for plant growth?
Led’s are better for plant growth in all stages for many reasons, but lets start with what the main problems are with traditional lighting.
With a traditional HID / HPS type of lighting fixture your plants are only making use of approximately 10% – 15% of the light output (i.e. the output is of extremely wide bandwidth), this is of course highly inefficient and undesirable. Add this to the fact that you are generally consuming 600w of energy (considerably more if you have an old ballast) and only using 60w – 90w of that energy for your plants and it all starts to seem a bit insane.
Now with led’s we can tailor the colour and bandwidth of each led to ensure that all the chlorophyll absorption peaks are being targeted efficiently thus promoting healthier growth whilst using less energy and with zero waste.
And of course as our led grow lights are not emitting huge amounts of heat it also makes it much easier to control the environment in your grow room to ensure healthier, higher yielding plants. As a general rule of thumb it is always easier to warm something than to cool something and this includes your grow room.