Getting started into indoor growing often feels like entering a secret club with its codes and vocabulary. It’s easy to think that growing cannabis plants is as simple as having a few potted plants inside your apartment.
However, a glance at any grower’s forum will quickly reveal a confusing array of equipment needed – from grow tents to humidity controllers and LED lights for flowering, it seems that ensuring a consistent amount of beautiful, healthy flowers is a difficult task. And yet, the fun of figuring out the ideal environmental conditions at home continues to be an irresistible pull.
So are LED grow lights good for flowering? The answer is yes. But it all depends on your ability to use them correctly as part of your climate and lighting system.
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What are LED Grow Lights?
LED grow lights are an energy-efficient way to ensure your indoor plants get the right amount of direct light. They are often used when growing plants or flowers commercially, as they provide consistent conditions. However, they also provide home growers with an unbeatable advantage whenever trying to make the most of any non-native plants.
LED lights are often used instead of HPS lights inside an indoor grow room. Paired with automatic sprinklers, reflecting tents, and greenhouse panes, they can create a small corner of the tropics inside a closet.
Pros and Cons of LED Grow Lights
LED Grow lights are just one method of ensuring your indoor plants get enough room to facilitate plants growing and flowering. But are they the best for you?
When compared to standard outdoor or windowsill growing, they offer the following advantages:
- They keep your plants protected from plagues and insects
- They will prevent accidental pollination if you are trying to keep a pure strain
- They will provide exact control over how many hours and what type of lights your plants are getting
These advantages, however, are shared by any type of indoor plant lighting system. So why should you choose an LED bulb over any other? Are they always the best option?
Pros of LED Grow Lights
- LED lights consume less electricity than standard light bulbs
- They create less heat than competing HPS lights and consequently are less of a fire hazard
- They have a longer lifespan
- The bulbs are smaller
Cons of LED Grow Lights
- They are significantly pricier, especially full spectrum lights
- You will need twice as many LED bulbs as 1000w HPS bulbs for the same amount of light
- If you place them too close to your plants, you could cause “light burn” and damage the leaves
- LED bulbs that emit blue light are not good for health and may disrupt your sleep quality or cause headaches
Types of LED Grow Lights
LED lights don’t come in standardized sizes or intensities yet. However, there are three main types you should keep an eye out for.
Blue LED Grow lights
Blue lights provide longer-wavelength lights that imitate natural sun rays which your plants would receive during the day. They are sometimes called “vegging lights” because they are meant to stimulate vegetative growth. Blue LED light bulbs replace standard metal halide lights.
Red LED Grow Lights
When your plants reach the flowering stage, they will require shorter wavelength lights, as this will boost the photosynthesis process. Before the advent of LED lights, most home growers would use high-pressure sodium lamps to create red light.
If you don’t want to invest in a custom-made lamp that combines both red and blue bulbs, you can use a full spectrum LED grow light instead. Full-spectrum lights can alternate between emitting red, blue and even green colors. This type of growing lamp will help you nurture your cannabis plants from seedling until harvest time.
If you want everything inside your growing tent to reach its maximum potential, you will need to ensure everything gets the right amount of the right type of light, at the appropriate time.
Full-spectrum light installations will take away much of the guesswork behind this process. If that’s unaffordable right now, try setting an alarm or having a set schedule to turn each type of light on or off. Also, make sure to rotate the position of either your lamps or plants every few days. This will ensure all sides of the plant get equal attention.
LED Grow lights can provide a great boost to your indoor growing room. They can help replace the role of the sun in ensuring the leaves grow to their maximum potential and the flowers remain strong and potent.
You may need to fork over a lot of cash at first, but it will also save electricity in the long run! If you are not ready for such a complex project, you can always get started with any of these beginner-friendly indoor flowers.