LED grow lights have been used for some time now to help immensely with growing plants indoors. LEDs are designed with two kinds of semiconductors to make their light, one of these uses a negative charge that is called an electron, and the other has a positive charge and is called a hole. When Indoor growers use LED grow lights to help them grow their plants, they will sometimes choose to use them alone, or combine them with natural light, or other types of lights according to their purposes. One of the reasons that LED grow lights are such a great choice for this is that they deliver plenty of emission spectra.
Overview About LED Grow Lights
Common LED Grow Lights’ Spectrum
Common LED grow lights usually utilize a mix of blue and red LEDs. This is evident by the fact that a pinkish-purple light is emitted, which is the result of using blue and red light in tandem. LED grow lights have been designed in this way because of the fact that plants implement photosynthesis most adequately in the blue and red light spectrum. But when we fully consider this light spectrum, we realize that it is only a very small part of the whole possible range of the visible light spectrum, which should definitely not be called a full spectrum at any time. If the blue and red light mixture we are discussing here would be the best solution for our purposes, we would not care at all about other wavelengths, but that is just not the case; and that is because our plants’ health does not depend on photosynthesis alone. By incorporating other wavelengths, we can ensure that we produce higher quality plants as a result of all our efforts.
A Balanced Spectrum Of Light
While it is far from being conclusively proven, a great number of studies do suggest that plants will grow more exceptionally when we choose to utilize a balanced spectrum of light. One of the reasons is that plants are a lot more complicated organisms than most people tend to notice. We might think that plants use the Sun’s light as nourishment and that is all; but the fact is that daylight also allows plants to “know” when it is time to flower, produce fruit, or perform other actions. Therefore, for a spectrum of light to be considered a full spectrum, it must possess a range of light from ultraviolet to infrared, exactly as daylight happens to. When we take a look at a light that incorporates such a spectrum, it will appear white and not pinkish-purple. But just because you see a white light does not mean that it is actually a full spectrum LED grow lights.
About White Light
As we mentioned, common LED grow lights use a combination of blue and red light; for this, they utilize monochromatic LEDs, but full spectrum grow lights are usually designed with a phosphor coating. A phosphor coating is chosen for this purpose because it has been shown to have the capacity to transform a single, narrow wavelength range to a longer wavelength light of different ranges. If we take a blue LED and improve it with a coating of green, yellow, or red phosphors, what we get is a greater visible spectrum of light. This is a great way for us to achieve white light by using a properly combined array of colors. But, again, simply having white light does not absolutely mean that it can be considered to be full-spectrum.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
We can use a light’s color rendering index (CRI) to decide whether we can consider it to have a full-spectrum or not. But what is CRI? Color rendering index is a way to measure how closely a light source resembles daylight and how it makes colors appear to our eyes. The scale for this index ranges from 0 to 100; the higher the CRI is, the better that said light will be at delivering color for our eyes. Obviously, the CRI level also indicates the “full” spectrum of this light.
Full-spectrum LED lights are not exactly cheap, especially if you need a lot of them, but the benefits that they bring make them well worth the cost. You also have to consider how long you will use them and that in itself means that they pay for themselves in the long run. A quick Internet search will give you an idea of the going rates for different brands. We have found options for as little as $15 and as much as $300 or even more for huge operations. Obviously, you are going to get what you pay for just like whenever you purchase anything else, so the quality depends on how much you are willing to spend.