Light is a very important element for growth and development of any plant and the plants’ life entirely relies upon light source as being part of ecosystems. Absence of light can adversely affect the plant’s growth whereas a good arrangement of light can play a vital role in the plant’s morphology. The direction, quantity, and quality of light is sensed and responded by the plant. The operation of photosynthesis in which a plant processes and produces energy and food for itself, cannot be completed without the presence of light.(1) Primarily, the sun is the best source of light for plants placed outdoor; however, alternative sources like artificial lighting can also extend great support in the growth of indoor plants. In substitute light, the best source of light is from fluorescent bulbs which provide the advantages similar to sunlight. With the advancement of technology, the modern and energy-smart solutions like LED lights have been introduced which emits soft white light which can be visibly sensed by the plants light receptors and appropriate response is generated by the plants. LED light actually emits blue light which in the combination of yellow coating inside the light assembly converts into white light; the plants’ photoreceptors sense this blue sourced light which ultimately triggers numerous reactions in the plants. The most important reaction in the plant is activated by the blue light which is known as phototropism which opens the stomata regulating the plants’ capability to retain water and production of chlorophyll. A study has revealed that many plants grow under LED light far better than any other source of light particularly the fluorescent light.(2) Experiments under the same study concluded with results showing germination process got expedited in the plants put under LED lights as compared to those kept under the fluorescent bulbs. This study recommended the use of LED lights instead of fluorescent bulbs in order to accelerate the growth of indoor plants.
Are LED lights good for plants?
The indoor plants especially those which are grown in greenhouses need a controlled environment. The controlled environment along with recommended levels of moisture content, air pressure and other phenomena also requires specific temperatures and brightness. The LED lights emit very bright light with very less amount of heat which optimizes the photosynthesis process in the way desirable by most the indoor plants. The researchers across the world have concentrated upon LED-based grow lighting in the greenhouses after finding many of their advantages over conventional sources of light.(3) LED grow lights help to initiate and accelerating essential reactions and processes in the plants thus providing them safe and rapid growth.
What kind of led lights grows plants?
All green plants have small pigments which absorb the required quantity of light particles; usually known as photons. These pigments then convert this light energy into food for the plant needs. Additionally, plants have to acquire information about their surroundings and tailor their behavior and morphology in order to ascertain the need of energy and light. This process can be made more useful for the plant by ensuring the provisions of the correct spectrum of the light and better manipulation of the environment.(4) Every green plant has numerous common responses to the light spectrums which generally include development of great biomass, rooting, flowering, Anthocyanin build up and few others; these processes can be obtained best through identifying and providing them appropriate color spectrum of light which can only be possible by ascertaining the correct type of LED grow light. For example, for a normal rate of growth, White colored LED lights will work efficiently, however, for better performance *6 a mix blend of mix colors, maybe Yellow, blue and red with white can be employed. It is found that colorful lights are normally a bit costly than the white LED lights, in some areas these LED lights are not commonly available, in those cases, white LED growth lights can be used. For peak performance another type of LED grow lights is also available, this type is known as Hybrid LED light and possesses a combination of characteristics of above mentioned LED lights thus serving as Omni purpose LED grow lights. The only disadvantage of the hybrid LED grow light is their expensiveness.
If we talk about other types of lights, we find that Red LED grows light also plays a vital role in triggering the growth processes of a green plant; however, it may also leave some negative impacts upon the proper functioning of plant’s body parts.(5) Though in a lower ratio than red, yet in the natural spectrum composition, Blue LED grow light is also very important for the plant’s rapid growth. Blue LED light initiates and stimulates conductance of stoma in a plant which certainly capacitates the plant to store water into it ultimately helping the plant to avoid any kind of dehydration in adverse environmental conditions. Blue LED light also supports morphology, hydraulic conductance, and immunity in a few species of plants. While using the combination of LED grow lights one needs to be very conscious about intensity control of each color as the under or over the estimated provision of a certain color can severely harm the target plant. There are some common LED light bars are available in the market which is provided with various color combination with intensity control in order to maintain the required ambiance at specified time intervals. Various LED manufacturing companies have been carrying out researches just to ascertain the effectiveness of various types of LED grows lights; so far the best type of LED lights found most suitable for all types of plants is multifunctional hybrid LED grow lights. Hybrid LEDs are expensive yet those are durable, dependable and extremely effective to stimulate rapid growth of indoor plants.
How to Grow Cannabis with LED lights?
Ambiance or lighting conditions are very important while planning to grow cannabis indoor; therefore, it must be ascertained and made part of the plan that what kind of grow lights with which light spectrum is to be used during the course of growing these fragile plants.(6) Ideally speaking, nothing better than natural sunlight can ensure the rapid and natural growth of cannabis yet it does not limit the farmers to only rely upon sunlight, rather technological advancement has introduced alternative light sources with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will briefly look into various grow lights options available for cultivation of cannabis and will put special emphasis upon the use of LED grow lights for growth of Cannabis. CFL lights or Compact Fluorescent Lights are normal to low energy consumption household bulbs in various shapes, types and wattage are easily available and can be used for growing some common types of indoor plants.(7) These lights are cheaper in price, compact in size with multi-spectrum light however, these are lights are not very efficient and too weak to use for growing cannabis. Then are the high-intensity discharge lights or HED lights or another option for indoor urban plantation. These are powerful than CFL, emit sufficient heat and are easy to install and maintain, however, these are expensive to buy and not that discreet thus resulting in leakage of light. Energy consumption of HID grows lights is also towards on higher side with the emission of excessive heat which may harm the plants with the fragile body. Both of these options are quite expensive in terms of affordability of electricity bills. By counting their advantages and disadvantages; few people are using these two options combine where it seems appropriate for the betterment of cannabis crop.
Another viable option of lighting the cannabis growing is LED grow lights. (8) Use of these lights for urban plantation and especially for growing the cannabis has magically been increased. Various LED grows lights manufacturers have carried out extensive studies and researches in order to determine the best grow lights for cannabis and as a result, LED lights, unanimously have been accepted as the best lighting source among the presently available lighting option for growing the cannabis plants. Many reputed companies are now manufacturing the LED grow lights with extremely good quality. Initially LED grow lights could not get popularity for cannabin production however, with the passage of time it became heart favorite due to its compactness, efficiency, and purposefulness. With the introduction of LED grow light, the bud of cannabis has gone much improved in terms of potency and extremely good flavor. With research-based improvement and innovative approach towards excellence; the use of LED lights has done wonders in the production and growth of cannabis from seed to sale. Another edge of LED lights over other types of lights is its good light spectrum with negligibly low intensity of heat; this makes it the most desirable for cannabis. Management of controlled environment of grow room was literally not possible due to the emission of excessive heat by HID lights which is now not an issue with very sophisticated LED lights. LED grow lights are extraordinarily efficient on power usage due to which electricity bill remains well under control and limits of the user. The installation, maintenance, removal, and replacement are such easy tasks that any layman can do these easily without using any specialized tool or equipment. A lot of extensive researches have been carried out and still, it is being improved to the best standards in terms of efficiency, performance, and economy. As a nutshell, the LED grow light is becoming more attractive for increased production of cannabis with much better quality and flavor of the bud.
While making lighting arrangements for cannabis, it is best practice to have the fixtures which are generally convenient to adjust and reposition according to the requirement when the plants grow in height. For the cutting and seedling, however, recommended settings are 600W MH with an overhead separation of around more than 60 cm. The light rails are designed with special calculations and are not to be readjusted unless an engineering solution has been well worked out. The fixed stationary lights also not needed to be played with otherwise they might get displaced resulting in throwing uneven light thus damaging the growing process of cannabis. the entire available area is to be used for cultivation of cannabis by using a large reflector as large as to compress in grow place.(9) The care is supplemented with glass filters, air cooling lamps, and other lights; however, to make it budget-friendly alternative solutions like cool tubes can also be used. The best classical practices of growing cannabis when used with modern concepts and contemporary equipment; it brings awesome results with rapid growth and increased the production of ultra high quality of cannabis with an extremely professional finish and careful handling. The most important thing to remember is how to use the LED grow lights judiciously and optimally by exploiting the natural light conditions, the actual need of various colors of lights in the light spectrum and recording all the facts and figures in order to apply midcourse corrections and getting maximum benefits out of it. It is very much certain that use of these efficient and effective LED lights with recommended modern principles will bring new dimensions in the production of cannabis with everyday improvement and journey towards excellence.
- *6. https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_best_LED_set-up_for_plant_growth_room
- *7. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yuan-Yeu_Yau/post/Use_of_LED_light_system_in_Indian_plant_tissue_culture_laboratories_research_and_commercial/attachment/59d63026c49f478072ea05f6/AS%3A273599334682646%401442242572608/download/general-booklet-philips-led-lighting-in-horticulture.pdf
- *8. https://www.growweedeasy.com/beginner-led-cannabis-grow-setup-tutorial
- *9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y54dxc-kpjc