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Author: Danny Donello / Category: Article / Published: Aug-03-2019
s LED lighting technology continues to progress, more growers become aware and witness the benefits of replacing old-fashioned HPS grow lights with smart LED grow lights. The significant reduction in energy consumption and utility costs is not the only reason ambitious growers are eagerly looking to do more than just replace HPS with LED. They are looking towards LED to outperform their yields and gain more efficiency in their supply chain.
Whether you are a beginner grower or just interested in replacing your HID with LED grow lights, we have generalized up 7 handy tips for a shocking high-performance of your LEDs. And they work like magic.
1. Mount Your LED Grow Lights on Optimal Height
While most of grow rooms will have different number of factors that must be accounted when installing your LED grow lights, you want to make sure your LEDs are able to emit a wide, uniform light distribution array beamed deep into your plants. Too high will dramatically reduce the light’s intensity, too low and the intense proximity of the light could stress your plants. Starting with the LED manufacturer’s installing height recommendation and understanding your Daily Light Integral will do the job fair enough and give you approximate figures.
2. Monitor Your Water Consumption
While switching from HID grow lights to LEDs, a common mistake often made by indoor growers is the overwatering. HPS lighting generate tones of heat and emit high levels of Infrared light (IR), which extensively dry out the soil and plants. At the same time, LED grow lights don’t produce the same amount of heat and no IR. Be vigilant and do not overwater your plants.
3. Start the Heater
Gardeners coming from HPS lighting often rely on the heat generated by the traditional HID grow lights. If not taken in consideration during installation of the LED lights, often a great drop in temperature might be experienced, as LEDs don’t emit the same amount of heat energy. This means that gardeners may need to heat up the temperature inside their grow room in order their crop to flourish. But don’t let this discourage you, due to the high efficiency of LED lighting, net savings will still be of an unbeatable value.
4. Adjust the Light Periods
Light cycles define your crop’s biological rhythm. Indoor gardeners can exploit these light cycles by changing the duration of the hours if light and darkness, stimulating plant’s photoperiod whenever required. The most popular light cycle during the vegetative stage is 18 hours of light per day with 6 hours of darkness for flowers. A 12/12 light cycle will trigger flowering for most flower crops since the increased amount of uninterrupted darkness signals to the plant that fall is approaching. For vegetative crops (such as herbs and salad) 17-18 hours of light per day is often most popular.
5. Define Your Plant's Light Diet
Just as you can manipulate the photoperiod with LEDs, you can also manipulate exposure to blue, white, red and far-red spectrums at different stages in the growth cycle. While the flowering cycle can be influenced by multiple factors, crafting a custom light diet that taps into the far-red spectrum has been shown to reduce the flowering cycle of plants, which expedites the time until harvest. A light recipe also allows you as a grower to set the light intensity throughout the day. For example, in a greenhouse, growers are able to calculate the DLI(Daily Light Integral) for their crop and increase or decrease the output depending on the need for supplemental lighting throughout the day.
6. Use More Units per Plant
Thanks to LED grow lights’ ability to create a targeted light output using optics, you can spotlight one section of your grow with one LED light, and repeat the isolation for each cluster in your grow room. However, your plants are better served when you calculate and implement multiple units in your indoor garden. This allows the beams to overlap and maximizes light distribution across the canopy. This could save you a lot of money in the end, while still obtaining optimal light conditions.
7. Craft New Nutrient Recipes
When you water your plants, you’ll normally do so with an infusion of nutrients. In addition to watering less, your plants will also need less nutes than they would before. In addition to some nice savings on nutrients, the less-frequent watering and feeding schedule will also decrease nutrient buildup, so there’s a lower risk of nutrient lockout and plant deficiencies.