Author: Aqua Gardening

Growing Under LED Grow Lights | A Test of 700W LED Grow Light

LED grow lights

LED Grow Lights for Hydroponics

Using the right LED grow lights can be one of the most crucial choices you make in Hydroponics. You can feed your plants the perfect nutrient balance, have the right temperature, the right humidity and fill the grow room with the right amount of air, but without proper LED grow lights none of this really matters too much, if at all. Light is one of the most important factors when growing plants indoors and having the right spectrums is just as important.

The Advantages of Using LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights operate using a lower wattage and put our more lumens per watt than Metal Hallide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) grow lamps. As a result they actually save on power. There is no need for using ballasts and reflectors or running cables in between since all the electronics are contained within the unit itself. Simply plug them in hang them up and you're good to grow!

The low profile of LED grow lights means that they can be used efficiently in tight spaces such as a cupboard grows and grow tents. LED's operate at a lower temperature which means that controlling the temperature of your grow room is also a lot easier.

LED grow lights

LED Grow Lights do they Really Work?

At first we too were a bit skeptical about LED grow lights. They seemed too good to be true. Low wattage, low heat output, long lifetime, compact all for a reasonable price (when you consider the costs of a ballasts, reflectors and lamps). But do they work? We had to try them out for ourselves.

From our tests with a 700W LED grow light we have seen impressive growth rates of tomatoes during the vegetative and flowering stages. The recommended height of the lamp above the plants during the vegetative stage is 2.5-3ft which seems like a long way away from the plant. The tomato plants grew steadily within this recommended hanging distance with no signs of the plants overshooting to reach the light. This tells us that the plants are getting a sufficient amount of light.

A gap of 2ft (60cm) is maintained through the flowering stage and the plants have flowered well and produced fruit. During May the daytime temperatures in Brisbane averaged 24 to 25 celsius which meant the intake and exhaust fans were not needed while the light was on. The exhaust fan was used just to control humidity to around the 50% level (under 50% is best during flowering). Clip-on fans are still used to ensure air is still circulating and to help prevent mould.

Flood and drain hydroponic system

Thick stems

Flood and drain hydroponic system

Tomatoes started on 11th week

LED Grow performance

Hydroponic tomatoes under LED lighting

LED tomato with camera flash

Tomatoes (flash on)

LED tomato with LED light

Tomatoes (no flash)

The results were good, but a little slower than with a 600W HPS lamp. For the power and ventilation saving it makes sense to use LEDs, but for faster production we would recommend HPS lamps, or using LED along with smaller HPS lamps. These LED grow lights have multiple purposes as the focus on a variety of light spectrums is ideal for all phases of plant growth from seedlings, through vegetative, to flowering. They are suitable for use indoors, in grow tents, greenhouses and any hydroponic system that is undercover (they cannot be exposed to water).

Categories of LED grow lights

There are different categories of LED grow lights depending on the spectrums of light that are needed. You can use standard spectrum LED grow lights throughout all stages of growing, however better growth rates and yields can be achieved by using LED grow lights that focus specifically on the vegetative stages or flowering stages of plant growth. Standard spectrum LED grow lights = Full spectrum: 430~440nm, 450~475nm 620~630nm, 650~660nm, IR, and White\nVeg spectrum LED grow lights: Blue and White\nFlower spectrum LED grow lights: Red, White and Infared

Brisbane Supplier of LED Grow lights

At Aqua Gardening, we supply Grow Candy LED Grow lights. We have completed a test with the standard spectrum in our grow tent with Canna nutrients and using a flood and drain hydroponics system. We achieved great results in the flowering stage - thick stems and healthy plants. We also produced a great crop of tomatoes, with the first produced after 12 weeks and most of the crop after 14 - 15weeks. All LED's come with a 3 year warranty so if there's any LEDs not functioning within that timeframe we will replace parts or the entire unit as necessary. See our Grow Light Category for options.