Hydroponic gardening has revolutionized the way professional and passionate growers handle their gardens. With the help of hydroponic systems, you can set up your garden anywhere, and even if you have limited indoor space, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest. But growing indoors requires some important hydroponic supplies to provide basic essentials to plants, and grow lights are the most important of them all. And when it comes to indoor growing lights, LED grow lights top the list as they are considered to be more efficient as compared to other grow lights. While there are several advantages of using LED lights in hydroponic systems, there are disadvantages that can’t be ignored. So, in this article, we will tell you everything about the pros and cons of LED lights so that you can make an informed decision.
Benefits of growing with LED lights
LED grow lights have become popular for hydroponic gardening as they provide several benefits as compared to other grow lights. They are more efficient, have a longer lifespan, provide a wider spectrum of light, and their size is quite appropriate for hydroponic systems. Now, let’s see these advantages individually:
LED grow lights are a lot more efficient as compared to other grow lights as they consume less energy, are available in appropriate sizes, and can be used all day long without impacting the temperature of the grow area. This is the reason why LED grow lights are now being preferred by professionals as well as home growers.
Most LED grow lights work at a low operating temperature that allows them to have a long lifespan. On average, an LED light is believed to have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, which is a lot more than other grow lights. A longer lifespan means that they are more cost-effective as you don’t have to reinstall them at shorter intervals. Since they don’t impact the overall temperature of the grow area, they can also be used for long hours in a day, which is quite useful for crops that need long light hours.
LED hydroponic lights don’t burn anything to emit light, and thus they are more energy-efficient. They operate at a low temperature, consuming less energy and emitting more useful light. This saves on your energy bills and also helps you in creating a more conducive environment for the plants.
Helps in growing healthier plants
Light is one of the most important requirements to grow healthy plants, and if you use an unsuitable light, it can cause damage to the plants. This is why growing with LED lights is considered safe as they don’t produce any extra heat or harmful wavelengths. As a result, the water and energy are consumed to grow plants that are a lot healthier.
An appropriate spectrum of light
A good LED grow light provides a balanced spectrum of light which is really beneficial for plant growth. They only provide the kind of light that is required to grow healthy plants and nothing else. Most LED lights also come with fixtures that allow you to switch off unwanted wavelengths further, making them a perfect fit for hydroponic farming.
LED hydroponic lights are 100 percent recyclable. Unlike many other grow lights, they do not contain any toxic substance like mercury that can have a damaging effect.
Disadvantages of growing with LED grow lights
Just like everything else, LED grow lights also have some shortcomings that you should know before finalizing on the kind of grow light you want to purchase.
Cover small area
Most LED lights for plants emit light in a directional way, which means that they function as a torch. This allows them to cover only a small grow area, unlike other traditional grow lights. So, if you have a large growing area, you might require more sets of LED lights to provide the right amount to your plants.
Good LED grow lights can cost you more than other grow lights like HID or fluorescent lights. While LED lights eventually become more cost-effective as they have a longer lifespan, purchasing them initially might increase your overall investment.
Can harm your health
LED grow lights produce bright blue light that can have a negative impact on human eyes if exposed for long hours.
Heat can derail their effectiveness
Most LED hydroponic lights are heat sensitive, and if the temperature is too high in a particular grow area, their productivity might get impacted. To avoid such a situation, it is best to have a good exhaust or cooling system in your LED grow area.
LED hydroponic lights might have some disadvantages, but growing with LED lights is certainly more beneficial as compared to other traditional grow lights. Their advantages outperform the disadvantages, and this is the reason why LEDs are fast becoming the go-to lights for most hydroponic growers across the world. These indoor growing lights are being considered as the future of hydroponics as they have the ability to outperform their counterparts.