LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights are fairly new to the cannabis 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 reasonable amount of electricity. With a high quality LED grow light and an average-to-good grow, you can expect yields of around 0.5 to 1g/watt.
The ultimate yield depends a lot on strain and grow skill, in addition to the quality of the lamp itself, but that's a good rule of thumb for most models. For example, a 200W LED (200W true power draw, not an "equivalent" wattage) would produce about 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 (rather than only 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 generally leads to healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED producers have designed customized lenses to aim light directly to the plants and boost penetration, leading to bigger 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 varying from model to model.
3 Main Kinds of LED Grow Lights
There are 3 major types of LEDs that are most often utilized for growing cannabis. Each kind of model has its benefits and drawbacks, so there isn't yet a "best" LED type. Some are better for some situations than others.
1. Spread Style
Many 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 currently sometimes used for any LED in this design. They tend to have relatively low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular recently, 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, however 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 typically have an incredibly high price, but cultivators that use them swear they get better results than any other kind of LED grow light.
2. Traditional Panel
The standard 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 style. They are kind of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of features from both.
3. COB Style
These grow lights utilize large COB (Chip on Board) LED "bulbs". Each COB is very bright and intense since they contain multiple LED chips in a small area. COBs produce more intense light than other kinds of LEDs, and each COB utilizes a considerable amount of electricity.
Instead of having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights typically only have a handful of huge COBs, each with strong lenses to point the light down into the plant. These are rapidly 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 referred to 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 create a customized spectrum for your plants by combining several AutoCOBs with each other. They are very configurable if you have an unusually shaped grow space, or would like to be able to accommodate various plants of different sizes at the same time.Some COB LED grow lights can be plugged into regular light sockets.
Pick LED Grow Lights If: