Published: Oct 31, 2021
Everything you need to know about LED grow light strips
For years, growing herbs and vegetables has occurred outside. We all know that plants need heat, light and water to be able to thrive for the most part. The options for planting vegetation for thousands of years have included being outside in the dirt and planting seeds - or die. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then and while we do still plant outside, there are now other options. The advancement of LED grow light strips has meant that we can grow almost any plant inside. We can still provide the plant with the right light and water, and we’ve learned what it means to have environmental control of our planting area.
The great bit about all of this is that with the help of modern LED grow light strips, plants can be grown at an affordable price point. With the right indoor farming techniques and the best LED grow light strips on the market, you can grow the plants you want to grow!
What are LED grow light strips?
There is a lot that you can do with LED grow light strips and one of the most important things is in growing plants. LED grow light strips are used - in some operations for growth - as a sole means of lighting. The results are incredible and it has an advantage when compared to other lighting options, too. You can focus the LED grow light strips on a plant and no light will be lost elsewhere. LED grow light strips don't use a filament to illuminate the plants. They use semiconductors that produce light, instead.
Why may this article benefit you?
Are you planning to grow your own vegetables, herbs and other plants? If so, then keep on reading! LED grow light strips are becoming more popular by the day and you won't be able to avoid switching to LED grow light strips from other light sources. These may be more expensive than the traditional lighting options, but these are a practical solution. Let’s read on and discover more about LED grow light strips!
How practical is it to use LED strip lights as grow lights?
For a plant to grow successfully, light needs to be a considered factor. It’s not always about how bright the light is, however. It’s also about the wavelengths of color that the light receives. LED grow light strips are increasing in their popularity for plant growth for this very reason. These are an energy efficient lighting option that cover a full-color spectrum. There’s no excess heat emitted that can burn the plants and you don't have to worry about any plants dehydrating because of the light, either.
You can grow your plants of choice with LED grow light strips, but it really does depend on the lights you choose as to how successful you will be. Plants need more than LED grow light strips alone, of course, especially as there are some plants that require heat to grow successfully. For example, you would be hard-pressed to grow a full tomato plant under LED grow light strips, but there are other herbs and plants that can grow successfully under LED grow light strips if they’re close by.
Why do some growers use LED strips?
Some indoor growers choose to use high intensity discharge lights but the problem is that these can generate a lot of heat and eat a lot of energy. There are increased costs for air conditioning as the house will become hot, and you then have to vent it out, too. The other problem is that you can burn yourself pretty badly on the bulbs. When you choose LED grow light strips instead, you choose something easier and less painful!
Pros and cons of using LED strips
As with anything, there are plenty of pros and cons to using LED grow light strips compared to other lighting types for your indoor plants. LED grow light strips may not be your initial choice of lighting, but when you look at the below pros and cons, we’re willing to bet you’ll change your mind.
- Your plants will thrive. The very first reason to choose LED grow light strips is because the light here makes for thriving, healthy plants. There is a high yield with these lights, and this can be profitable should you choose to sell the plants, too.
- They’re efficient. One of the biggest pros for LED grow light strips is that they don't eat up too much energy. LED bulbs in general are better for the environment due to their levels of energy-efficiency, so it makes sense that you will lower your energy bill with LEDs.
- They’re not too hot. LED lights give out much less heat due to the fact that there is no filament to consider. The semiconductors they use are what produces the light.
- They’re good for the environment. LED grow light strips don't contain any mercury or similar toxic substances. They’re 100% recyclable, too, and if you want to be truly environmentally friendly, you can buy solar-powered LED grow light strips for the same quality and efficiency.
- The cost. All of the advantages of LED grow light strips are one thing, but it’s the cost that puts people off. They are a more expensive alternative in the face of it, but in the long run these lights are the most cost-effective option. You’ll save so much money in the costs of energy that you have, you won’t worry too much about the cost of the LED grow light strips themselves.
- Not great for humans. The blue light technology that LED grow light strips use means that they’re not the most human friendly lighting option. If you have separate rooms for your plants, this won’t be too much of an issue, but otherwise they’re not the best option for people to be around.
- They don't age well. Did you know that the older LED grow light strips get, the worse the quality? It happens with many things over time, and they’re still worth the investment!
- They produce directional light. LED lights offer a much smaller coverage than traditional light systems. This isn't always a good thing, so while they are great to concentrate on individual plants, if you want bigger coverage, you’ll need more lights.
Differences among other types of grow lights
There are a range of differences between grow lights and LED grow light strips. LED grow light strips are more expensive up front, but they do last twice the length of other lights out there. They also require less energy, saving you money. There’s no lead, mercury or gas, and the LED grow light strips are much tougher and more difficult to break. Compared to other grow lights out there, LED grow light strips are cooler than most and you can sit them closer to your plants.
Can you use LED strips to grow plants?
The answer is a resounding yes but, you can use LED grow light strips to grow plants. You might not be able to grow them on a grand scale with one strip of light, but you can add more and more light to expand how much you can grow at the same time.
How to use LED strips?
The process for using LED grow light strips is pretty easy! Here are the steps:
- Adjust the height of the lights above the plants depending on the state of growth. So, for plants in their early vegetative state, you might have the light hung just 300mm above the plant itself. For flowering plants, 400mm would work better. So, consider the height first before anything else.
- Change the way you water the plants. When you’re new to using LED grow light strips, watering may take time to understand. Watering guides are based on the older HPS lighting sequences, so you don’t need to worry about watering with LED grow light strips.
- Don't forget about feeding. You need to feed any plants you plan to grow. There is a specification when it comes to LED grow light strips. Comparing this to HPS lighting feeding, you only need 30% of this for LED grow light strips.
- Don't forget to add heat. In the winter months, you want to be able to boost plant growth without burning the plant itself. So, don't forget to add heat to the growing area. If you use LED grow light strips, heat will be an issue that you shouldn't forget about!
- Don't stop at one unit. You can buy multiple LED grow light strips and this can help you with creating a targeted lighting output to encourage plant growth.
What types of plants can benefit from LED light strips?
There are a range of plants that can benefit from using LED grow light strips, and these include things like lettuce, spinach, basil, peppers, carrots, and more. Flowers, veggies, herbs and more can be grown with LED grow light strips helping out!
If you don't find that LED grow light strips are the best option, the next best thing are the quantum board LED grow lights. The Growealth LED grow lights are the option of choice, and as LED grow lights remain a topic of interest to all plant lovers, they are a wonderful option. There is a lot to offer in terms of energy efficiency, and there are a range of sizes, shapes and colors from which to choose, too.