Many novice marijuana cultivators are wondering if they can use regular LED lights for growing their crops; after all, LED is LED, right?
Not really, no.
Key Differences Between LED Grow Lights and Regular LEDs
LED lights and LED grow lights are two terms often used interchangeably, but in fact, they are worlds apart from each other when it comes to growing cannabis indoors. LED lighting is actually a very broad term and can refer to almost countless types of lights, such as a LED flashlights, LED headlights, and LED aquarium lights. All of these lights serve different purposes, which brings us to the following conclusion:
LED Grow Lights Are Designed for Growing Plants
Let’s talk about running for a moment. It’s totally possible to run in sandals, and if you’ve never had a chance to try other shoes, you might try to convince everybody that sandals are the perfect running shoes. However, if you’re watching a marathon, you’re going to have a hard time finding someone in sandals.
LED lights are similar. Regular LEDs have a plethora of utilities that make them perfect for illumination in general. They’re bright, last longer than traditional lighting, and energy-efficient. Nonetheless, in order to grow cannabis effectively and efficiently, you need a dedicated lighting system specific for growing cannabis.
LED Grow Lights Come with a Better Light Spectrum for Cannabis
Regular household LED lights emit mostly yellow and green light, which are very visible to humans. Cannabis, like many plants, doesn’t use these wavelengths for most of photosynthesis, so with a normal LED lamp, only two thirds or less of these bulbs spectra will be used by the plants. The rest is simply wasted energy, which translates into heat. Hence, it will take longer to grow plants and produce smaller yields.
LED grow lights, on the other hand offer a fuller, more optimized spectrum of light, with more blues and reds; some manufacturers even add UV or IR to further expand the spectrum and improve growing patterns. Blue and red wavelengths of light are critical for the process of photosynthesis, so buying a set of dedicated lights provides plants the perfectly tailored spectrum.
They Are More Customizable Than Household LEDs
While it is tempting to buy regular, consumer LED bulbs to minimize the upfront cost, think about the customization options that LED grow lights offer. Some high-end commercial LED companies offer lights with 10 emitter types at different wavelengths, which makes it easier to make the most out of the full spectrum of light they provide. Some even give you the ability to customize the spectrum, so you can provide your plants the ideal spectrum throughout the plant’s development. Supplementing the lighting system with some deep blue and far-red wavelengths can help grow big, healthy plants.
They Use More Durable Components
Cannabis plants require almost constant access to light in the vegetative stage when they grow stems and leaves. Lighting systems need to be designed to meet those requirements. There’s simply no guarantee that regular LED bulbs will make it to the harvest. Furthermore, cutting down on the light supply, even for emergency reasons, puts both the quantity and quality of your yields in danger.
Last but not least, household LEDs need to be placed much closer to the leaves of the plants than LED plant grow lights, which can burn the surface of the top leaves and stress the plants. Since stressed crops produce smaller buds, regular LED bulbs are not the best option for growing top-quality weed indoors.
Given the above, the grow-specific lights win. They offer greater efficiency, the perfect light spectrum, and will last much longer than normal bulbs. Just like running a marathon in sandals, just because you can grow marijuana with regular LEDs doesn’t mean you should.
An Interview with Dr. Matt Brecht of Marrone Bio InnovationsAugust 27, 2019
Preventing and Treating Mold, Mildew, and Pests: Tips for Creating a Successful IPM StrategyAugust 27, 2019
Determining the Sex of Your Cannabis PlantsAugust 7, 2019
CBD & Hemp Oil Products for Mind and BodyJuly 17, 2019
Do you want to receive the next Grower’s Spotlight as soon as it’s available? Sign up below!
- Want to learn more about subjects similar to those touched upon in this article? Check out our articles on subjects such as:
- Want to get in touch with Kind LED? They can be reached via the following methods:
Do you have any questions or comments?
About the Author
Kind LED Grow Lights was formed and founded by age old growers who have utilized traditional High Intensity Discharge lighting to attain amazing yields and top quality results harvest after harvest, for decades on end. When LEDs first entered the scene many years ago, the folks at Kind LED were skeptical to say the least.