LED grow lights are fairly new to the marijuana growing world, but they have become extremely popular over the last few years with their ability to produce excellent yields while staying cool and using a practical amount of electricity. With a high quality LED grow light and an average-to-good grow, you can expect yields of about 0.5 to 1g/watt.
The final yield depends a lot on strain and grow skill, along with the quality of the lamp itself, but that's a good guideline for most models. For example, a 200W LED (200W true power draw, not an "equivalent" wattage) would yield around 100-200 grams on average, or 3.5 to 7 ounces.
Today's LED models are much better for cultivating marijuana than the ones available even a few years ago. Many modern lamps are full spectrum or "wideband" spectrum (instead of just red and blue light diodes, which generate a bluish purple light and are occasionally called "blurples"). Full spectrum light is easier on the eyes and adding at least some amount of green light to blurples usually leads to healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED producers have developed specialized lenses to aim light directly to the plants and boost penetration, resulting in greater yields for the same amount of light compared to older models. There are also several form factors, with everything from the casing to the size of the diodes differing from model to model.
3 Key Types of LED Grow Lights
There are 3 major types of LEDs that are most often utilized for cultivating marijuana. Each kind of model has its benefits and drawbacks, so there isn't yet a "best" LED type. Some are better for some circumstances than others.
1. Spread Style
Several smaller LEDs are spread out over a large area. Examples of this design include Quantum Boards, Rack and "Spider style" LED grow lights.
The name "Quantum Board LED grow light" stemmed from Horticulture Lighting Group, though the term is now sometimes used for any LED in this style. They tend to have fairly low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular recently, and seem to give particularly good outcomes for the amount of wattage utilized.
The "spider style" LEDs are similar to Quantum Boards in that the individual diodes are spread out and tend to be on the smaller side, however they are set on a panel with "arms" like a spider rather than a solid board. One popular example is the SPYDRx line of LED lights. These typically have an incredibly high price, however growers who use them swear they get better outcomes than any other type of LED grow light.
2. Traditional Panel
The conventional panel LEDs have small to medium wattage diodes and the lamps have a tendency to be more compact. The majority of LED grow lights available today are in this design. They are kind of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of elements from both.
3. COB Style
These grow lights use large COB (Chip on Board) LED "bulbs". Each COB is extremely bright and intense since they have multiple LED chips in a small area. COBs produce more powerful light than other kinds of LEDs, and each COB utilizes a considerable amount of electricity.
As opposed to having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights generally just have a handful of large COBs, each with strong lenses to direct the light down into the plant. These are quickly gaining in popularity and are known for having deep penetration into the plant canopy.
It's also typical to see LED grow lights that only have one COB per lamp. These make it easy to spread out your light over a grow space, one lamp at a time. Occasionally known as "AutoCOBs". Some LED grow lights have a single COB LED. Several units can be spread out as needed.
Each COB has its own spectrum, so you can make a customized spectrum for your plants by combining multiple AutoCOBs together. They are very configurable if you have an abnormally shaped grow area, or want to be able to accommodate different plants of various sizes at the same time.Some COB LED grow lights can be connected to standard light sockets.
Choose LED Grow Lights If: