LED grow lights are relatively new to the marijuana growing scene, but they have become extremely popular over the last few years with their ability to produce excellent yields while staying cool and using a reasonable amount of electricity. With a 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 ability, as well as 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 produce around 100-200 grams on average, or 3.5 to 7 ounces.
Today's LED models are much better for growing marijuana than the ones available even a few years back. Many modern lamps are full spectrum or "wideband" spectrum (instead of just red and blue light diodes, which produce a bluish purple light and are sometimes called "blurples"). Full spectrum light is easier on the eyes and adding at least some amount of green light to blurples usually results in healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED manufacturers have created customized lenses to point light directly to the plants and increase penetration, resulting in greater yields for the same amount of light compared to older models. There are also several form components, with everything from the casing to the size of the diodes differing from model to model.
3 Main Types of LED Grow Lights
There are 3 key kinds of LEDs that are most commonly utilized for growing cannabis. Each kind of model has its advantages and disadvantages, so there isn't yet a "best" LED type. Some are better for some situations than others.
1. Spread Style
Several smaller LEDs are spread out over a large space. Examples of this design include Quantum Boards, Rack and "Spider style" LED grow lights.
The name "Quantum Board LED grow light" emerged from Horticulture Lighting Group, though the term is now occasionally used for any LED in this design. They tend to have fairly low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular lately, and appear to offer particularly good results for the amount of wattage utilized.
The "spider style" LEDs are similar to Quantum Boards because the individual diodes are spread out and tend to be on the smaller side, yet they are set on a panel with "arms" like a spider as opposed to a solid board. One very popular example is the SPYDRx line of LED lights. These usually have an incredibly high price, however cultivators that use them swear they get better outcomes than any other kind of LED grow light.
2. Traditional Panel
The standard panel LEDs have small to medium wattage diodes and the lamps tend to be more compact. Most LED grow lights offered today are in this design. They are kind of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of components from both.
3. COB Style
These grow lights utilize huge COB (Chip on Board) LED "bulbs". Each COB is very bright and intense because they contain several LED chips in a small area. COBs produce more powerful light than other kinds of LEDs, and each COB uses a significant amount of electricity.
Instead of having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights generally only 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 common to see LED grow lights that just have one COB per lamp. These make it easy to spread out your light over a grow space, one lamp at a time. Occasionally called "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 create a custom spectrum for your plants by merging multiple AutoCOBs with each other. They are very configurable if you have an unusually shaped grow space, or want to be able to accommodate various plants of different sizes at the same time.Some COB LED grow lights can be connected to standard light outlets.
Select LED Grow Lights If: