There was a time when most indoor growing was done with High-Intensity Discharge bulbs like HPS and Metal Halides but LED grow lights are the preferred technology for indoor growers today. Although the upfront cost is more with LED grow lights, the savings enjoyed and the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs.
If you have made up your mind to use these lights for your indoor growing project, here are some essential things you should remember.
1. Know the Watts per Square Foot You Need Per Area
In general, plants grown indoors require about 20 watts per square foot (power draw) of grow area coverage. The wattage can be increased to a maximum of 50 watts per square foot. Just make sure that the intensity doesn’t go above this amount or else it will become too strong and cause stunted growth of the plants.
When you buy a Dorm Grow LED, check the recommended coverage area for the LED grow light. For example, the G8-900 Veg/Flower covers 24 square feet. When planning the growing area, you should also consider the Photosynthetic Active Radiation or the PAR, as well as the Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density.
Consider the Power Draw
The nominal wattage is typically more than the actual power draw of the light. For example, the G8LED 900Watt light has a real power draw of 540 Watts. The power draw is less because the chips of the LED grow lights are not pushed to 100% capacity to avoid thermal breakdown. A 3-watt chip draws 1.8-2.5 watts of power depending on the color of light emitted. A 5-watt chip draws 2-2.8 watts of power, and a 10-watt chip draws 2.5-3.3 watts of power.
Choose the Right Chip Size
Before you buy the LED grow light, you need to know that the chip sizes are different. These include 0.25 to 10 watts, sometimes even more. There was a time when LED grow lights had small wattage diodes like the 0.25-watt chips. The strength of these lights was too low and not very useful. However, the new versions you find today come in different ship sizes.
The best size for indoor growing is the 3-watt chip. This is an excellent choice for indoor growers because it balances the penetration of the light into the canopy of the plant against the excess heat generated. The 3-watt chip can be built into a dense network of diodes, allowing a very high light intensity per square inch. As these chips grow in size, they emit more heat, become unstable and less efficient. Larger chips such as 5-watt or 10-watt chips are inefficient, require more power drivers, and more massive heat sinks.
Growing with G8 LED grow lights is a wise choice for indoor growers. These lights are ideal for successful results; they guarantee maximum yields and better quality of plants. You should also pay attention to the light distance. Install them just close enough to the plants so they can grow well. Placing them too close will cause yellowing of the leaves; too far will cause stretching and elongation of stems. Enjoy the benefits of indoor growing with the power of LED grow lights.