More and more commercial and home cultivators are switching from high-intensity discharge (HID) to light-emitting diode LED plant growing lights. Are you having trouble deciding which direction to go?
Switching to LEDs may be one of the best things you can do for your plants and your wallet. For some, the transition is easy, while for others, it can be a bit difficult. That’s because going from HIDs to LEDs is more than just finding a new fixture with the same wattage.
We’re here to give you some guidance for choosing the best LED plant light for your grow tent or grow room. Let’s get into it.
Considering the Temperature
One of the most notable factors when switching from HID to LED is the temperature. The plant lighting fixture has a significant benefit in that it is easier to regulate the temperature. Not only do HID lights generate more heat, but they do so much more quickly.
Growth lights LED also produce far less radiant heat than traditional HID lighting. When committing to LED lights, your ambient room temperature can be safely about 10 degrees higher.
Switching to LED plant growing lights will have a significant impact on how plants grow, and whatever the change is, it will require some adjustment to your growing space to bring about higher yields.
Plants stretch when they feel they are being shaded by taller plants. They do this by measuring the ratio of far-red light received to visible light. Plants exposed to more far-red light tend to stretch out and grow longer leaves and stems.
Too much blue light can also make plants shorter and stouter. With a plant lighting fixture, you often have better control of the color spectrum and can adjust settings to customize plant growth throughout the growth cycle, which can prevent or promote stretching.
You should consider how your plant size may change under different conditions and whether you need to adjust the layout.
Consider the Humidity
LED plant growing lights are much more electrically efficient than HID lights. Therefore, your room can run at a warmer ambient temperature. This means that when the air conditioner is set to maintain a specific temperature, it will run less frequently. This can save you a lot of money on your electric bill, but it can affect the overall humidity of your room.
Sometimes you will see a negative feedback loop of HID due to a large amount of heat emitted by the fixtures. This excess heat requires more cooling, which requires you to cool and dry the air and remove moisture.
With that said, HID rooms usually require more cooling, while LED rooms sometimes require more dehumidification. Some growers may need to purchase a dehumidifier after switching to LEDs.
Vertica Planting Direction
With less radiant heat, the best LED plant light paves the way for vertical farming, maximizing indoor space and crop yields.
This type of farming is quickly penetrating into herbaceous crops and cannabis. Some vertical farms have increased yields by 10-100 times per acre while reducing water use by 90%.
The vegetable industry has noticed that vertically layered facilities are becoming more popular and will continue to dial in to increase efficiency as this method is improved and refined. 2-3 tier facilities and even 5+ tier facilities are popping up and growers and investors worldwide are paying attention.
When converting from HID to LED, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
In fact, if you are running a large-scale operation, then you will need to discuss options with a planting specialist. Factors such as temperature, PPFD levels, humidity, and changes in plant height and with all come into play when adjusting LED plant growing lights.
If you are going into a new system, you will be able to perform the same operation using LEDs. And after a few runs, you should understand why most cultivators are also making the switch.
The two are different, and while the transition may be a little difficult, you will save money and get a high-quality yield in the long run.