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Choose the right LED grow light for your houseplant

Choose the right LED grow light for your houseplant

Nowadays, more and more houseplants are being sold that do not actually fall under the heading of houseplants. It can be herbal plants, vegetable plants or, for example, fruit trees. These new types of houseplants need more care than the "old-fashioned" houseplants, we often get questions about this because the plant is not doing as well as they expected. A number of these problems can be attributed to the amount of light a plant receives per day. Monster plant

The "old-fashioned" houseplants such as the Monstera deliciosa and the Begonia originally come from the tropical rainforest where they grow on the ground layer. It is quite dark there due to thick vegetation, in autumn this layer only gets 0 to 100 µmol/m²/s. These plants can survive this well through many years of natural selection.

Vegetable plants, herb plants and fruit trees need much more light. Until recently, these plants were only grown outdoors or in greenhouses. Herb plants and vegetable plants have 200 to 500 µmol/m²/s for a large part of the day necessary for optimal growth. Fruit trees need even more light, more than 500 µmol/m²/s for a large part of the day. In the Netherlands and Belgium, these plants need extra light for most of the year, even in professional greenhouses. In the living room, the light is also blocked by the walls and ceiling and the plants can never produce enough energy to stay healthy.

If you want to keep these plants healthy for a long time, they are LED Grow Lights a good solution.

The properties of an LED Grow Light white full spectrum

There are a lot at the moment LED Grow Lights for sale and there are many differences between them. Nowadays there are also LED grow lights offered that are especially intended for indoor plants that need a lot of light. These lamps use different colors of WHITE light, usually an equal number of 3000K LEDS and 6000K LEDS. This is sometimes supplemented with a smaller number of red LEDs to stimulate flowering even more. In this way, a spectrum can be achieved that is very pleasant for the plant and also looks good in the living room.

A good example of a LED Grow Light with WHITE Full spectrum is the Apollo Falcon .

There are also LED grow lights that use purplish light, the spectrum is then made up of many different colors of LEDs. LEDs have been placed for each light color (in nanometers) and together they form a light beam that allows the plant to grow and bloom well. In the living room, this light is not pleasant since this light is quite intense in color, as you can see in the image below. It is sometimes difficult to determine which manufacturer supplies good quality LED grow lights. If a manufacturer is sure of his case, he will provide a lot of information about the lamp, the spectrum, the illumination surface and the amount of PAR light. PAR light is the part of the total light spectrum that a plant uses to grow. Below more information about PAR light.

A good example of a full spectrum LED grow light is the Apollo series .

12-band spectrum

What is PAR in an LED Grow Light?

Simply put, light consists of particles of light called photons, which move in waves from the light source. This can be the sun or any other light source. The frequency with which a light particle goes up and down determines the light color and also the power of the particle. A short wave (290 nanometer) particle such as a UV-B light particle has enough power to damage the cells in your skin. A light particle with an orange color has a longer wavelength of around 600 nanometers. It does not have enough power to damage the cells in our skin.

If we are going to apply this knowledge to the light of a LED grow light then we exclude light above and below a certain wavelength. Large amounts of UV light particles (<400nm) can damage the plant. A limited amount of UV light can promote the growth of the plant.

Light particles with a wavelength above 700nm, such as infrared radiation, do not contain much energy. Due to, among other things, the long wavelength, the light does cause the molecules and atoms to move. This movement creates heat, which is why infrared is also widely used in massage devices. Plants can protect themselves from overheating but too much infrared causes too much water to evaporate from the leaves. This can be noticed quickly by paying attention to discolorations on the leaves.

Plants do the most with light between 400 and 700 nanometers. The light within this area is called the photosynthetic active radiation or PAR for short. With LED grow lights, it is normally stated in the manual how many light particles, within the PAR area, the lamp emits. This is indicated by the number µmol /per second, which stands for the number of photons emitted by the lamp. The number of LUX or Lumen is not a good measurement value to determine the power of an LED grow light, because they are based on white light and how a person experiences the light.

In the next blog you will discuss the importance of the beam angle and the distance of the lamp. I also give tips on the installation and use of your LED Grow Light.