Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights are one of the substitutes for sunlight. By using LED artificial lighting, cultivators are able to imitate the sun in a more controlled environment which offers an increased level of protection from insects and diseases, reducing the need for potentially dangerous pesticides and reducing the number of crop failures.
Here are a few things you MUST know before buying an LED grow light:
PAR - Photosynthetically Active Radiation. It refers to the range of light that plants are using for photosynthesis.
PPF - Photosynthetic Photon Flux. It is the total amount of PAR produced by a lighting system each second. The unit of measure is micromoles per second or umol/s. It tells you how much light is produced by an LED grow light itself.
PPFD - Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density. This is the amount of PAR that actually falls on a plant canopy per second, and is measured in umol/m2/s.
Photon Efficacy. It describes how efficient a given led grow light is at converting electronic power energy into photons of PAR and can be measured in μmol/J. The higher the number, the better the light is at converting electricity into photons of PAR.
To choose the best LED grow light for indoor plants, you will have to consider the following factors:
1. High PPFD, Efficacy & Even Footprint
The best LED grow lights for indoor growing plants are ones that can deliver a high PPF light output (measured in μmol/s & at least 2000 μmol/s), and operate with high efficiency (measured in μmol/J & at least 2.6 μmol/J).
Here’s a general understanding of how much your plants may need for PPFD.
Seedlings, clones, and mother plants: 200 to 400 PPFD.
Vegging plants (Veg to Early Flower): 400 to 600 PPFD.
Flowering, fruiting, or budding plants: 600 to 900 PPFD.
PPFD, efficacy, and footprint are highly related through hanging heights and light spread. The higher you hang your light, the larger coverage you will receive but the lower the PPFD and efficacy. So pay close attention to uniformity when evaluating these three things. Make sure the lighting system produces a PPFD that should be fairly even The outer numbers should be close to mirroring each other, not varying too much from corner to corner.
2. Wavelengths and Full Spectrum
Indoor plants also produce full-spectrum lighting, which perfectly mimics the light spectrum of the sunlight and has been proved to help plants grow healthier.
Full-spectrum LED grow lights are becoming extremely popular, especially for growing indoor plants. A full spectrum is a good lighting recipe for each growth stage of your plant's life. If you don't offer the right color of light, plants won't grow well as you expected. They can underperform, growing small and producing low yields no matter how much you spend. So a full spectrum fixture allows you to control what color spectrum to use at what stage in your plant's life cycle.
So what is full-spectrum? It simply means that the entire wavelength of light is similar to sunlight, the visible wavelengths of lighting include the 380nm-740nm PAR range, plus the invisible wavelengths too, like infrared and ultraviolet.
It is hard to say exactly which part of the color in the spectrum is best but a large part of it has to do with the type of light your plants are grown under. Hence, keep your garden get enough blue light during the vegetative cycle and plenty of red light for blooming. Let's take a look at the two full spectrums below: