As many homeowners do, I have many potted plants outside on my deck, patio and front porch. They add such beauty and pleasure that it is well worth it. However, then comes winter and what do I do with all of these plants? I have spent hundreds of dollars on them, but I do not have enough windows in my house to support all of my plants. Even the windows that I have are covered with window tinting to reduce fading, heat and glare. The solution is to use LED grow lights in a spare room or in my basement.
Two important things to consider in providing LED grow lights to house plants are intensity and duration. 16 hours of light at the correct intensity will promote strong stems, roots and abundant leaves. Incandescent bulbs provide little of the correct light spectrum to promote plant growth and should not be used for that reason. Fluorescent lighting comes closer to providing the correct light spectrum but there are drawbacks; the better solution is the LED grow light.
Why You Should Choose to Use an LED Grow Light on Your Plants
There has been much advancement in the production of LED grow lights. They can now be produced much cheaper. They are bright and long lasting. They emit the correct wavelengths of light for the plants photochemical processes.
Some reasons to choose LED Grow Lights are as follows:
- Energy consumption: LED’s are much more energy efficient and will save 50% to 70% in electricity.
- Heat output: LED grow lights product much less heat than conventional grow lights. Most now are even equipped with build-in fans to keep the chips cool. Less heat means less water evaporation and less watering and less drying out of the plants.
- Accessories: You will not require accessories such as fans for heat removal, reflectors or ballasts. Definite cost savings initially and in replacement costs.
- Life Span: LED life spans are from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. You can get up to 10 years from your LED grow lights. Can’t beat that.
- Efficiency: Other grow lights have efficiencies of around 25% to 35%. 2/3 of the light goes to produce heat and is the wrong light spectra for the plants. LED grow lights are 90% efficient. Most of the light falls within the optimum spectra for photosynthesis. There is also very little loss to heat.
Types of LED Grow Lights
There are now several types of LED grow lights, each designed to emit different colors in the light spectrum. Things to consider are: What kind of plants is it for? Do you need it for tall plants, short plants, leafy or flowering? What is the size of your growing area? Do you want an all-in-one grow lights solution? As for me, I prefer the all-in one solution, but your needs may be different. There are some great, easy to hang LED grow lights available, such as the multicolored one pictured above from Amazon.com that give great coverage for multiple plants.
Where to find more LED Grow Light Information
For more information on LED grow lights and to see what others are saying about them, you can search the term LED grow lights review online. Some of the best places to get information are local botanical gardens as well as commercial plant nurseries. They have staff members available who can give you more information on the use of grow lights in your particular area, such as when to take your plants in, when to get them back outside in the spring, and how many lights you will need for the number of plants you will be wintering inside. They will also be able to advise you on a personalized watering and fertilization schedule for the particular plants you have.
One thing to remember when you finally head out to purchase lights is to stay away from cheap LED grow lights. There are many on the market that are underpowered. If the individual LED light output is rated 0.06 watts or less, it is way too low. The best LED grow lights will have an individual LED output of at least 1 watt. If you really want your plants to thrive, invest in good quality lights!
With the best LED grow lights, you will be able to grow your own indoor herbs for your cooking needs, flowers and plants for your outdoor spring plantings, survival plants in case of natural disasters, and maybe even some medicinal herbs and plants. Maybe you turn your fire and ice firepit into a beautiful plant holder in the spring, filled with gorgeous geraniums and hate the thought of losing your beautiful, expensive plants every winter. You will certainly benefit from having an LED grow light in that case. Homeowners with specific patio designs depending on certain plants will most definitely benefit from utilizing LED grow lights, and me, I am able to keep all of my outdoor potted plants alive during the winter. Happy growing!