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LED vs. Traditional Grow Lights - Which Is Best For Your Hydroponic Garden?

Although all elements of your hydroponic garden are important, light is the most vital. Without the proper kind of light, your plants cannot photosynthesize and will ultimately die of starvation. One of the challenges when it comes to your hydroponic plants is to select the correct light fixture and bulb. For hydroponic growing, the ideal grow light should meet all of the following criteria:

  • - Provide light throughout the entire spectrum
  • - Not give off excessive heat
  • - Consume as little energy as possible
  • - Have a long useful life span

LED grow lights meets all of these requirements. Typically consuming only eighty watts of power, this type of grow light has a lifespan of up to 80,000 hours, and can be used during all phases of the plant's growth process. It can be used in any application whether hydroponics or soil, home or greenhouse! When you consider the power savings (an 80-watt LED provides the same amount of light as a comparable HPS drawing five times that amount), this could easily offset some of the initial costs of purchasing LED arrays.

Another issue to consider is efficiency. Plants only use the blue and red parts of the spectrum; the yellow and green regions are essentially wasted. LED lights can be configured to provide only those parts of the spectrum that the plant actually uses for photosynthesis. Some models of LED lights allow the user to adjust blue and red spectrum independently, and allow the user to control the angle of the light beams in order to maximize coverage and more accurately reproduce natural sunlight at various times of the year.

Some drawbacks to LED lighting is its cost (some currently cost around $1,000), and the fact that LED lighting generates very little heat, so you may have to provide heating that might otherwise have been generated by traditional higher wattage bulbs.

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