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How To Use LED Grow Lights?

June 12, 2020

How to use LED Grow Lights?

The LED Grow Light must be used properly for optimum growth and yield. The most common mistakes with LEDs are not having enough light and not placing the light at the proper distance. If you do not provide enough light, your plants will not grow to their full potential. Similarly, incorrect light placement will also not allow plants to grow to their full potential. Placing a light too close will stunt growth, too far will cause stretching. Follow the recommended coverage areas listed on the Details Page of each light for optimal light penetration and coverage. Keep in mind that there are many variables to indoor growing with lighting being one of the most critical.

Keeping the proper distance between your LED grow lights and your plants is important for robust photosynthesis and growth. The process of using LED grow lights are given here. Follow the steps:

Step 1:

  • Adjust the height of the light as they are hung above the plants.
  • Early vegetative stage – fit the light approximately 300mm above the plant. Thus it ensures the lowest inter-nodal length and provides inter-nodes.
  • Vegetative stage – now increases the distance between light and plants, which may be between 300-600 mm. Plants that have a lot of leaves need the light to be lower so the light can reach the lower branches of those plants. Also, if your plant needs higher light levels, then keep the LEDs 300 mm above, and if we need lower light levels, then keep the LEDs 600 mm above.
  • Flowering, budding stage – here also, you can maintain a height of 300-600 mm from the canopy. But 400 mm is the favorable height above the canopy.

Step 2:

  • Alter your watering. If you newly start with the LED, then watering may cause some problems.
  • Watering guides mostly are based on HPS lighting. In this process, evaporation occurs; that’s why watering is necessary. But watering or feeding is not the issue when it comes to LED grow lights. So watering may cause danger to the plants.

Step 3:

  • Then feeding the plants is necessary. But it can’t be as you want. There has a specification of feeding in the presence of LED grow lights.
  • You need to feed your plants 30% of HPS lighting feeding. Add Cal-Mag when your plants are growing under LED lighting.
  • In a hydroponic system, evaporation has reduced, so you must provide less topping of the nutrient.

Step 4:

In winter, you need to supply additional heat in the room. It will boost the growth of the plants. Heat in the growing area is much less than that of HPS lighting. So in winter, this may cause some problems, so you should keep an eye on the plants if you are using LED grow lights.

Special tips

  • Install multiple units

LED grow lights can create a targeted light output. It is possible by using optics. So you can spotlight a particular section of the grow, and thus you can repeat for each section. Plants will be under conservation if you implement multiple sections. It will maximize light distribution, and you can save money. A qualified light company can help you, and if you ask, they will plan everything.

  • Define light cycles

The life cycle is a crucial one for a crop’s biological life. Growers can manipulate it by increasing or decreasing light hours. Greenhouse growers can do this by using blackout curtains and extra lighting. In the vegetative stage, 18 hours of daylight per day is necessary for flowers. Vegetative crops will grow well at 17-18 hours of light per day.

  • Light

The sufficient light level for flowering is 400 and 700 uMoles/m-2s. The light should be distributed evenly over the canopy. As LED grow lights’ lighting is directional, so keep an eye on it. Light closer than 10” can cause bleaching.

SOG and SCROG techniques will help to develop flowering canopy depth between 12”-16” and light will reach to all the sites. Prune by the end of week two if any flower is lower than this level. By week four, remove all large fan leaves so light can reach. It is crucial to ensure that light access consistent.

  • Temperature

78F is the most appreciated optimal temperature for any plant. Then the carbon dioxide level should be 360 PPM. You should monitor the root zone temperature. Air temperature higher than 85F needs cooler dark period air temperature.

  • Nutrients

As the temperature has become higher, nutrient concentration gets higher in the drier regions. It can create toxic levels in the root zone. So, reduce 25-30% nutrient concentration.

Safety measures

  • Wear eye protection when working with equipment in a greenhouse. Because some of those light can emit UV radiation.
  • Protect your skin when working in the LED grow light for any duration of time.
  • If the surface got too hot, then increase the distance between LED light and surface. For a low wattage system, 2 to 3 feet difference between lights and top of the plants is alright. The high wattage system needs 4 to 6 feet.
  • Keep cords and fixtures away from the irrigation system.
  • When you prefer to use fluorescent bulbs, select grow light bulbs that don’t have any toxic coatings. So chemical hazards will not happen because of the breakage.
  • Install the lights properly with the protective lens to minimize the danger of toxic material like mercury.