LED Grow Lights
LED Grow Lights - The Basics
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) grow lights function by sending an electric current through two different types of semiconductor materials. The first semiconductor (N-type) has negative charges electrons, whereas the second one (P-type) has positive charges called holes.
Connecting the N-type semiconductor to the negative electrode and the P-type semiconductor to the positive electrode activates the electrons so they can flow across the junction from the negative to the positive layer. As the extra electrons (negatively charged particles) move through the extra holes (positively charged particles), the electrons drop in energy state and by doing so release photons of light.
The conductive material that makes up LEDs is typically aluminum-gallium-arsenide (AlGaAs), but there are other kinds. The materials are selected specifically because they produce photons that will be released on the visible portion of the light spectrum. The type of material chosen and the amount used alters the colour of the light because each material generates photons at different wavelengths, affecting how it appears to the human eye.
The LED grow lights that you use inside of your grow will have to feed your plants the light that they need. You see, in the natural world they would be receiving sunlight that that features light from the entire range of light wavelengths.
This ranges from Ultraviolet light, that humans can't see, to infrared, which is also invisible to humans. In between, there is violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Depending on the kind of growing and the cycle you are in, different parts of the spectrum will be important to you.
|WAVELENGTH RANGE (NM)||COLOUR||GOOD FOR|
|< 400||Ultraviolet||When plants are exposed to ultraviolet light for a long time it damages not just the plant but also harms humans; hence it is better not to expose plants to ultraviolet light.|
|400 - 450||Violet||Violet light promotes the color, taste, and fragrance of plants.|
|450 - 500||Blue||Blue light improves the growth rate of plants.|
|500 - 570||Green||Green light encourages the production of chlorophyll and serves as a pigment to properly view plants.|
|570 - 590||Yellow||With yellow light, plants shows less sign of growth unlike that is obtainable with the blue and red light.|
|590 - 610||Orange / Amber||Orange light is used like red light. You want to provide some orange light, but more light that is a darker red than orange.|
|610 - 760||Red||When the blue light is combined with red light it helps the plant to produce more leaves and crops, this, however, depends on the plant being cultivated.|
|> 760||Infrared||This light color hastens the degree of conversion of Phytochrome which in turn reduces the time taken for a plant to go into a night-time state. With this, the plant produces more crops.|
What are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
Plants growing outside have a number of benefits over plants that are grown inside. Primarily, they have the benefit of sunlight that offers the entire spectrum of visible light. In order to be able to provide your plants with everything they need, including light for both vegetative and flowering growth, you will need a full spectrum LED grow light.
HPS and fluorescent grow lamps have been used for many years when it comes to indoor growing. Many people still swear by them. There is a great advantage to having the very powerful light that they produce, which includes rays from all over the spectrum, although that comes at a cost.
In exchange, people have turned to LED lighting, but many neglect to still make use of the full spectrum that is necessary for growing plants through a natural life cycle.
Many people make the mistake of only using one kind of LED grow light. That simply can't provide your plants with what they need for both stages of growth. A full spectrum LED grow light, in comparison, will provide a wide range of blue, red, white, and ultraviolet light.
There is a lot that goes into full spectrum LED grow lights, including different ratios of the different colors that your plants need, but we will look at that next. Understanding what each kind of LED has to offer will allow you to truly take charge of your grow and ensure you have better results than ever.
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