LED Grow Lights – Review
I was very interested to learn that plants only need to absorb red and blue light to grow successfully.
The reason why their leaves are green is because green is the colour of the spectrum they don’t need – so they reflect it back!
Blue light is used for leaf growth and red light is used for flowering – generally speaking.
Flourescent & Incandescent
Flourescent lights give off a blue-ish tinge and incandescent lights (standards light bulbs) more of a red tinge as well as other colours of the spectrum that plants don’t really need.
However, many LED grow lights contain a mixture of only red and blue, as required for plant growth.
The Benefits of LED Lights
Cutting The Cost
Tomato plants only need light from the red and blue spectrum which means you won’t have to spend as much on electricity. You can give plants exactly the colours they need in LED form which is more energy efficient.
Helps Avoid Leggy Seedlings
The led grow light I bought recently is only 12 watts and my seedlings seem very happy sat under the red and blue lights from tea-time to around 9.00pm in order to extend the daylight hours of the early spring. This helps prevent them from becoming too leggy.
My first concern was that the brightness may not be sufficient to keep the seedlings happy but the results have been very good and my seedlings have developed good leaf growth without becoming leggy.
Cons of LED Lights and Supplementary Lighting
There are very few disadvantages when it comes to using led lights with seedlings. The biggest two issues I have found are finding enough space indoors for all my seedlings and controlling temperatures indoors.
- There is a temptation to put seedlings too close together under the lights – this will cause legginess as they compete for light.
- You don’t want seedlings to become too cold or they will stop growing, but on the other hand, if seedlings become too warm, above 21C, even with grow lights they may become leggy.
Pro Tip: One way to help prevent leggy seedlings is to avoid over-watering. A combination of high temperatures and too much water will produce the results we are trying to avoid – they’ll grow tall and spindly!
A Light Above a Propagator or Seed Tray
A good set-up would be to have seedlings and small plants in a heated propatator or sat on a warm grow mat at night, when temperatures drop.
During the day, they could be sat in a propagator without a lid, and a grow light above. The light working at the beginning and end of each day to extend the daylight hours.
Would I recommend an LED grow light – absolutely! I would consider it essential if you like to sow early in the season like me!
More information and Grow Lights for sale on Amazon UK.
For Amazon.com – USA visitors Click Here.
Looking for Tomatoes Seeds? Check these out at Thompson and Morgan.