January 17, 2019
Don’t Make These 5 LED Mistakes
LEDs are regarded as the premier light source for agriculturalists. Whether you are a seasoned cannabis cultivator or a hobbyist hoping to boost your herb garden, this advanced lighting technology can give your plants the love and light they need. Furthermore, LEDs are easier than ever to use. But, admittedly, even industry professionals misstep from time-to-time. We are here to help you avoid making five of the most common LED mistakes.
1. Overwatering your crop
Making the switch from more traditional incandescent lighting fixtures to LEDs make an immediate and noticeable difference in any indoor grow facility. One of the most obvious changes is the temperature. As we have explored on our blog, LEDs run much cooler than older lighting technologies. This means less evaporation. Of course, we celebrate this aspect, because less evaporation means less water wasted. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will have to adjust the frequency and amount of water to prevent your crop from becoming completely water-logged. Definitely switch to LEDs for the water and money-saving benefits, but don’t drown your plants!
2. Not adjusting the spectrum based on species or plant growth cycle
Spectral tuning is one of the most exciting aspects of LED technology for advanced commercial operations, putting the grower in complete control of the indoor environment. Don’t let this incredible benefit go to waste. Make sure to adjust your LED lights’ spectrum based on plant species and growing cycle. Some might assume that a crop requires the full light spectrum at all times, but research has revealed more nuanced requirements for the happiest plants. Skilled cultivators are able to elicit different outcomes with the smallest spectral adjustments. Curious? You can read more about the benefits of spectral tuning on our blog.
3. Using the wrong light-dark schedule
We know it is tempting to up the intensity and leave your lights on for long hours to encourage growth — especially when LEDs use much less energy than their lighting counterparts. Yet, plants need some darkness too. Remember you want to create an environment that is similar to an ideal outdoor environment, meaning there is ample light, yes, but this is balanced by enough darkness as well. This is especially important for photoperiodic plants. In their natural environment, these plants respond to the gradual lengthening of the days leading up to the summer solstice. As a grower, though, it is important to understand that not every day is June 21st. Rather, you want to recreate these natural, seasonal transitions in light intensity, working with the plant’s biology rather than against it.
4. Putting too many or too few plants under each light
Putting some thought into the layout and design of your indoor facility can pay off with time. You want to ensure there is an appropriate light-to-plant ratio — avoid overcrowding your space with too many plants and too few LED lights. With an ideal layout, each plant receives an appropriate amount of light and doesn’t wilt in the shadows. A thoughtful grower also sees their facility in terms of cubic footage rather than just square footage: what can be done with the vertical space as well? Our ProGrowTech lights can be easily vertically racked to take full advantage of the space.
5. Settling for less-than best
Impressive harvests require the right tools, technology and approach. When researching what LED lights to purchase for a facility, there are a few aspects to keep in mind: Do the lights offer uniformity across the canopy? What about producing an appropriate amount of photosynthetically active radiation? Are the lights waterproofed? An easy mistake is to settle for cheaper, but maybe not as effective, lighting options. Keeping these qualities in mind will lead you to the best possible lights for your grow.