These indoor, soil-less, climate-controlled farms regulate crop inputs of light, heat, ventilation, water, and nutrition for a superior product.
The current annual revenue is expected to grow 3-4% yearly as vegetable and fruit buyers increasingly turn to greenhouse crops to avoid weather extremes in supply.
The light supply is one of the inputs for healthy and productive plants.
Many plants have an optimum light cycle for growth, blossoming and fruiting.
Correctly programmed grow lights maximize yield with a minimum of waste.
Table of Contents
At a glance: Our Favorite Greenhouse Lights
- Greenhouse Lights and Fixtures
- LED Greenhouse Lights
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps
- Metal Halide Lamps
Best LED Grow Lights Review – How To Choose so read on to learn more
There are many types grow lights available, but LED grow lights are some of the most energy-efficient and easy to use lights on the market today.
You can view options in-stores, online or even at auction.
Buying and selling LED Grow Lights has never been so easy!
Advantages of LED Grow Lights
LED lights have come a long way from the tiny amber or green glowing indicators on your Casio calculator.
Some of the benefits of changing your greenhouse technology from older halogen or fluorescent light systems are as follows:
LED Grow Lights Power Efficiency
Older forms of lighting your indoor greenhouse can be very powerful but are very wasteful.
Much heat is generated along with the light.
In fact, some halogen lights get to 400-500 degrees F.
LED lights don’t waste energy generating heat.
LED Grow Lights Have Long Lifespan
Incandescent lights might last a few thousand hours, halogen and fluorescent lamps somewhere around 20,000 hours of service.
Most LED lights are rated at somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 hours of use.
LED Grow Lights with Small Footprint
LED lights do not require bulky ballasts or heavy, reinforced hanging apparatus.
Since they don’t often need supplementary cooling, there is more room to grow plants instead of equipment.
LED Grow Light Wavelengths
In the natural world, sunshine provides the entire range of light wavelengths.
When simulating this in a greenhouse, different portions of the spectrum will be important at different times in the plant life cycle.
You will be able to control this input entirely.
Full spectrum LED grow lights provide a wide range of blue, red, white, and ultraviolet light.
LED Grow Light Cycles and Plant Growth
In nature, plants need a great many hours of light to stimulate leaf growth at the beginning of the growing season.
The plants mature as the days grow shorter, with longer periods of darkness.
The plants shift from growing leaves to reproducing.
When growing your plants indoors you optimize this cycle artificially.
More time in the beginning stage of the growing season results in larger overall plants.
Which is how giant cabbages are grown in the midnight sun of Alaska.
In theory, plants can be left in the vegetative (leaf-growing) stage forever, without fruiting and regenerating.
This will allow you to use a successful plant to create a parent plant.
These can be cloned over and over again, without taking chances on spouting unknown seed hybrids or sports.
Growing Great Row Crops using LED Grow Lights
For growing single harvest row crops, it is important to have the right amount of light and dark each day in order to stimulate the right amount of growth in both vegetative and flowering stages.
In addition to ensuring proper flavor and nutrition.
LED Grow Lights and Vegetative Growth
The vegetative (leaf growth) growth cycle is where LED grow lights are extremely efficient.
Plants need a steady, color-coordinated, lower-intensity light for long periods of time.
During the vegetative stage of growth, leafy crops need to have 16-18 hours of light each day.
With this much light, they build strong roots and a solid main stem to support the mature foliage.
This strong main stem will also support the fruiting buds if you allow the plant to mature.
Healthy leaves and stems convert light and carbon dioxide to food.
In this stage, the blue wavelength 400 – 500 nm range, the plants will activate photosynthesis.
A full-spectrum LED light is ideal to provide the necessary number of hours to achieve this.
As plants become more mature, their light needs shift to the red spectrum and they seek evenly spaced “day” and “night” cycles.
Flowering and Fruiting using LED Grow Lights
Optimum flowering stage involves simulating 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness.
Shifting the wavelengths to the red side of the spectrum speeds this process.
The Best LED Light Colors
In order to provide your plants with everything they need, you will need full spectrum LED grow lights.
LEDs only glow at one certain wavelength.
LED panels are manufactured with a mixture of certain kinds of LEDs to provide specific colors.
Choose the best combination for your greenhouse operation.
LED Blue light
In the mid-400 nm range, is ideal for vegetative growth that creates tall, leafy plants
LED Red light
In the 600-640 nm range encourages budding and flowering.
LED White light
Is a mixed light that is visible to humans.
It allows people to see inside the growing area.
It also balances the red and blue lights signal to plants.
LED Ultraviolet light
Is not visible to humans, but allows plants to signal to beneficial insects.
If your crop requires insect pollination when grown outdoors, short bursts of UV will increase scent and potency.
The right blend of light ensures proper plant growth and health.
A sample optimum ratio of different colors for a flowering crop like brussels sprouts is below:
- 55% Red LEDs rated at 660 nm
- 20% Red LEDs rated at 630 nm
- 15% Blue LEDs rated at 470 nm
- 10% Blue LEDs rated at 425 nm
During the vegetative growth cycle, look for wide, cabbage-leaves and a strong, tall stalk.
By manipulating light and nutrition, it is possible to grow Christmas tree-size sprouting stalks for decor or edible use.
LED Grow Lights to Look For
There are hundreds of LED grow lights available on the market right now, but a few have made some advances in 2018 (in alphabetical order):
Advanced Hydroponic LED
Advanced LED is proven to be one of the best LED grow lights manufacturers on the market.
Their products perform far above most of the other grow lights you may stumble upon while searching the internet.
They spent many years working in grow lights industry and have been perfecting their products every year.
California LED has affordable industrial strength options.
With 14 years of building experience in the US, they focus on automation, efficiency, and power.
G8LED are distributed by DormGrow in the U.S.
These are less expensive, well-known LED lights.
The company is known for helpful customer service, liberal return and warranty practices and some of the best entry-level products in the business.
Hydroponic Grow Lights
Hydro Grow takes pride in some of the most advanced LED light conversions in the business.
They have a long list of established growers who have made the switch from fluorescent and halogen to Hydro Grow LEDs.
Kind LED Grow Lights
Kind LED lights are perfected by long-time growers.
Kind LED has created a one-of-a-kind heatsink that dramatically reduces the temperature, making them even cooler than standard LED panels.
These are well-researched products that save energy and still provide full-spectrum light.
Mars Hydroponic LED Grow Lights
Since 2009, Mars Hydro LED Grow Lights has operated their own research and testing laboratories.
Their ongoing innovation and fine-tuning of their products make them listed among the top LED grow light manufacturers.
Spectrum King Grow Lights
Spectrum King LED grow lights claim to increase harvests by 25%, save 50% in electricity bills, and to have the smallest footprint of all LEDs.
The cost-benefit calculation certainly balances the extra expense of these lights with the good yields.
TotalGrow LED Lights
TotalGrow lights trademarked a specially researched plant growth system they call Solid State Volumetric Lighting Technology.
TotalGrow lights produce a Broad Grow Spectrum in the wavelengths plants need most for healthy and quick growth.
TaoTronics LED Grow Lights
TaoTronics produces a number of lighting products.
In operation since 2008, they deliver millions of LED grow lights all over the world.
What are the best LED grow lights?
Indoor farming is one of the fastest growing and exciting advances in crop technology today.
Many companies have built solid reputations for service and the quality of LED light panels in less than a decade.
The market is crowded and buyers have many shopping options.
Whether your customers are replacing less efficient halogen and fluorescent lights in their grow rooms or starting from scratch.
They want a full-spectrum light to simulate the optimum natural sunlight and seasonal changes.
Manipulating seasonal light patterns encourages leaf growth or flowering as wanted.
It is possible to indefinitely continue vegetative leaf growth with the right nutrition and light conditions.
This is ideal for cloned crops or leaf crops like salad greens.
Shifting the light spectrum to favor red wavelengths and equal day and night cycles encourage flowering and fruiting.
Again, with the correct light wavelengths and nutrition can prolong this phase of plant life and increase harvests.
Your knowledge and professional presentation can set your business apart from an otherwise cluttered marketplace.
If you would like to learn more about LED grow lights and growing your auction business, keep reading or contact us today!
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