Frequently Asked Questions
LED Light Information
They absolutely do! Various universities and government agencies like NASA have used LED Grow lights to grow a variety of flowering, fruit bearing plants and leafy greens. Many other indoor growers and hobbyists have documented their indoor grow with LED grow lights on the internet! Follow our indoor growing tips to help produce optimal growth and yield. Below you will find more detailed information about the vegetative growth stage of a plant’s growth cycle.
For optimal growth and yield you must use your LED grow light properly and follow best growing practices. The biggest mistakes people make with LEDs are overwatering, using too much nutrients, not having enough light and not placing the light at the proper distance. If you do not provide your working area with enough light coverage, you can expect less than robust growth. Similarly, incorrect light placement will not have optimal results. Placing a light too close will stunt growth, too far will cause stretching. Follow the recommended coverage areas listed on the Details Page of each light for optimal light penetration and coverage. Keep in mind that there are many variables to indoor growing, so you may want to add or remove some light depending on your own specifics.
Each plant species (and sometimes even particular cultivars within the same species) has a particular DLI (daily light integral) requirement for optimal photosynthesis and plant growth. Plants are generally grouped into low, medium, high and very-high light species, so ensuring you are delivering the right light intensity is imperative for plant health, productivity and year-round consistency.
Most plants need an average of 12-30 mols of light per day in order to produce a high-quality, high-yielding crop. For commercial growers, the use of supplemental lighting is essential, especially November through February when naturally occurring outdoor DLI values are typically between 5 to 15 mol/day.
Yes – today one in three households are growing their own food. Indoor gardening appeals to those who want fresh, healthy food year-round. Gardening indoors eliminates the challenges of unpredictable weather, poor soil conditions, pests and weeds.
Plants use the electromagnetic spectrum for photosynthesis, referred to as Photosynthetically Active Radiation, or PAR, that encompasses the wavelengths from 40nm (nanometers) to 70nm. In addition to the spectral range of PAR, we also understand plants can detect wavelengths of light outside of this range including ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths.
For plants, we use a term called Photosynthetic Photon Flux, PPF, which describes the quantity of PAR that is produced by a light source per second. This measurement is expressed in micromoles per second (µmol/s).
A more important measurement used is Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD), which describes the amount of light (intensity) used for photosynthesis (PAR) that arrives at the plant. PPFD it is given in units of micromoles of photons in the PAR range that is delivered to one square meter per second (µmol/m2/s). This unit is important because you need to know how much light is being distributed at the crop level from the sun and/or luminaires to ensure plants are receiving the correct amount of light to hit your target DLI. PPFD should be measured at the crop canopy. Multiple readings should be taken, across the canopy, to ensure uniformity and accurate readings.
To determine how much light is needed over the course of a day for your crop, we also use a measurement called the Daily Light Integral (DLI), a parameter describing the cumulative PPFD over an entire day. DLI is strongly related to photosynthesis, growth rate, and overall plant productivity. The units for DLI are similar to that of PPFD but extend over an entire day (mol/m2/day). DLI will change over the course of the year, based on your geography. Most plants need a DLI of 12-30 mol/day. More information can be found here referring to specific DLI maps for your region.
Note: When taking light measurements in a greenhouse, DO NOT use a Foot Candle/Lux sensor (which follows the sensitivity curve of the human eye and gives inaccurate information when comparing light sources with a different spectrum). Instead, use a quality quantum sensor (PAR-sensor) which is designed to follow the sensitivity curve of plants and measures the number of photons between 400 and 700nm in µmol.
There are undoubtedly many benefits to growing with LEDs, including significant energy savings, spectral tunability, reduced heat, low maintenance and long lifetimes.
However, converting to LED technology is a big investment, so growers should be sure to do their homework in advance.
An incremental cost of four to five times that of HPS, means you have to look at many factors to determine if the ROI on converting to LED makes sense.
Growers should consider not only the initial capital expenditure costs of the luminaires themselves, but also the incremental costs associated with a transition to LED lighting. Growers in northern climates, for example, will have to compensate for the loss of heat from the traditional light sources in the winter—so the additional heating costs should be factored into the ROI calculation.
A good way to get a true comparison between the cost of LED versus traditional lighting is to look at the cost per µmol delivered, as the outputs can differ from one product to another.
LED Grow Lights can be used to grow a wide variety of plants indoors including seedlings, lettuce and other leafy greens, herbs, flowers, and fruiting plants such as tomatoes and peppers.
Our LED Grow Lights work great in any area of the home, from a kitchen herb station to a basement workspace.
This depends on the type of plant, size of plant, and how many plants you are trying to grow. A single light might be appropriate for a small pot with a single plant or a small seedling tray. As plants get larger or the required coverage area expands, more lights may be needed. Generally, if plants are growing well and have a compact, robust structure, they are getting enough light. If plants are weak, with elongated stems and many small leaves, this may indicate additional light needs to be provided.
When the knob is in the EXT state, it can be networked to control the joint dimming of lamps. A maximum of 60 LED grow light lamps can be connected to one controller using a daisy chain setup.
Up to 500 lamps per daisy chain can be connected using splitters, which is beneficial for large area of indoor growing and commercial planting.
Our LED Grow Lights deliver two different light wavelength spectrums to maximize plant growth potential based on the type of plant being grown and its growth stage, all inspired by best practices used by professional growers.
Our Balanced Spectrum LED Grow Lights, used for Seeds & Greens, provide nourishment for the early and mid-stages of plant growth in seedling trays. This mix of blue and red is appropriate for growing leafy greens and herbs through maturity to harvest.
Our Advanced UV & Far Red-light Spectrum LED Grow Lights, used for Flowers & Fruits, provide the most appropriate nourishment and improve the taste and smell for plants entering the flowering stage of their growth.
Ultra Violet (UV) light plays a significant role in all aspects of plant growth. Plants, in their natural environments, are exposed to natural sunlight which includes UVA and UVB light. Many of the lights used for indoor plant growth produce very small amounts of UV and some produce none at all.
What Is UV?
Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation present in natural sunlight. This light is broken up into three different sections of wavelengths:
UVA = 400-315nm
UVB = 315-280nm
UVC = 280-100nm
Natural sunlight produces these three sections of UV, however, UVC is not naturally present on earth because the atmosphere blocks the extremely harmful light from reaching the earth’s surface.
Manufactured UVC is used in small doses to sanitize the air in places such as hospitals.
What Does UV Do for My Plants?
Think of what happens to your skin when you are exposed to the sun for long periods of time. It begins to burn and sweat. Plants are no different. UV light activates a plant’s defense mechanisms. UV causes plants to produce oils, antioxidant vitamins and flavonoids to protect themselves from the damaging effects of UV. These compounds produce the vibrant colors, smells and tastes of plants.
When the correct amount of UV is present, it:
◎ increases oils and resins
◎ increases root mass
◎ causes more branching and less stretching
◎ improves taste and smell
◎ creates higher potency plants
◎ increases resistance to insects, bacteria and fungus
◎ can speed up the seed germination process
Keep in mind lighting measurements such as lumens, PPF and kelvin temperature do not measure UV (PBF includes UV). Only a UV meter or a spectral distribution chart can provide information on UV output.
Far-red light is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 700-800nm and it falls between the red and infrared regions of the spectrum. The inclusion of far-red energy in a grow light has been shown to provide benefits within the flowering stage of plant growth and boost photosynthesis when combined with other wavelengths of light.
Additionally, plants are extremely sensitive to the ratio of red to far-red light, which can give your crop very specific instructions on how to grow. As night starts to fall and the sun’s spectrum shows more far-red light, the plants begin to fall asleep so the night time processes can start. During that night interval, the plant develops chemical ratios that help trigger and retain the flowering stage.
What Does Far-red Do for My Plants?
When far-red is present, it:
◎ increases plant biomass
◎ encourages and triggers flowering
◎ promotes plant stretching
◎ enhances flower size and cell expansion
◎ increases the efficiency of other wavelengths
There are misconceptions about far-red light and infrared light. Some assume the two are the same. While far-red light can produce some heat, as does any light source, it produces significantly less heat than infrared light.
UV Can Increase The Production of Terpenes in Cannabis Plants
Like with human skin (i.e. sunburns), cannabis plants are damaged by exposure to UV light. However, if the plants only receive a small, tolerable amount of UV light it can trigger defense mechanisms that may be appealing to growers. One example of this is increased terpene production which can alter the color and aroma of the flowers.
Additionally, UV has been seen to draw resin to the exterior of the flower giving them a frostier appearance. It is believed the plant uses the resin-like we use sunscreen to protect its cells from the damage of UV light. Both of these defense mechanisms have the convenient side-effect of making the flower buds seem more desirable and have a better curb appeal in dispensaries, however, this is not to get confused with the cannabis being “stronger” or more potent.
Far Red Light Increases Cannabis Yield
On the other end of the spectrum, research has shown a direct positive effect of far-red light on cannabis plant growth. Far-red light is currently not included in the PAR range (light that can be used by plants for photosynthesis) which includes light with wavelengths between 400 to 700 nanometers. Testing has shown that far-red light is being used by the plant and does in fact contribute to photosynthesis. It is also better at penetrating deeper into canopies since it is harder for plants to absorb. It has been seen to have positive effects on plant morphology, specifically increasing the size of leaves.
Some researchers theorize this is because in nature when a smaller plant is underneath a larger plant or tree, they are hit with a higher ratio of far-red light, as other more easily absorbed spectrums are taken by the larger plant above it. This results in the plant increasing its leaf size so it is better able to capture what light does reach it. Therefore, including far-red light in the light spectrum would increase cannabis growth and yields.
There are many different factors that should be considered when selecting the best type of lighting system(LED/HPS/MH/CMH/Hybrid) for any application. The decision should always be based on a carefully considered light plan that is specific to that particular application. Most reputable lighting manufacturers offer light planning services. Growers, however, should be aware that a company who manufactures only LED or only traditional-source lighting products will, for obvious, reasons try to “sell” growers on the technology upon which their products are based. So working with a manufacturer who offers multiple product technologies will ensure an unbiased recommendation so the grower knows they are getting the product/technology that’s the best fit for their particular application.
Different types of plants need different amounts of light. Check your seed packaging or plant tags or ask at the nursery for specific suggestions. While seedlings or vegetative plants can require as much as 18 hours of light exposure each day, flowering plants benefit from at least 12 hours. Our master controller can help manage or automate these cycles.
As a general rule, you will have more even coverage and higher penetration if you hang your lights higher vs lower. Also, hanging lights to have overlapping canopy coverage would be better vs non-overlapping hanging arrangement.
Of course, if you are height limited then you must make due with the growing environment you have to work with. When height is restricted try to use a higher quantity of lower power units and arrange them to provide even coverage at the highest possible height your room allows.
Other LED grow light companies would answer this question by telling you the main advantage is in energy savings or lowering of your power bill by replacing HPS lighting with lower wattage LED lighting.
We have a completely different answer: your main advantage with our LED grow lights is in the increase in yield and profits by replacing your HPS grow lights with the same wattage LED grow lights.
Our LED grow lights produce significantly more light output per watt than HPS grow lights (and more light per watt than most other LED grow lights on the market, for that matter), replacing watt for watt would provide much more light output even though you are using the same amount of electricity as with your original grow lights.
As you know, plants grow better, faster, stronger and produce higher quality and larger crop yields when exposed to more light. Just think how poorly plants grow in the shade or overcast weather vs direct sunlight.
Our LED Grow Lights feature a prescribed light spectrum with high Photosynthic Photon Flux (PPF). Within Grow lights, the higher the PPF number, the more light generated for photosynthesis and growth. Within an indoor environment with high PPF, plants can reach their full growth faster than the time it’d take under direct sunlight.
Our LED Grow Lights feature the highest PPF in the industry when compared to comparable models with more PPF per watt, combined with greater efficiency, for higher efficacy.
Unlike other systems on the market today, our LED Grow Lights emit a natural white light vs. an artificial purple light found in most grow systems, so the indoor garden is pleasant to be around no matter where you decide to grow.
◎ High PPF (exceeds comparable competitive models)
◎ High Efficacy (true 660nm red LEDs – not red phosphor)
◎ Adjustable Growth Spectrums for optimized growth given stage and type of plant
Hydroponic gardening is simply growing plants in a water and nutrient solution without soil. Hydroponics allows you to grow plants and fruits and vegetables in a more efficient and productive manner; literally anywhere, with less labor, time and gardening area needed.
Hydroponic gardens can be grown indoors, outdoors, and even in small spaces, using several different methods. These methods include growing plants in containers of water or in other soil-less mediums, including sand, crushed rock, gravel and vermiculite.
The science of hydroponics proves that the only things needed to grow plants are water, nutrients, and a method of delivering the plants food to the root system. The soil itself is simply the backbone for the roots so they have a stable place to grow.
Although hydroponic gardening can be done outdoors, most gardens are indoors or in a greenhouse. Because hydroponic gardening is so efficient, very little space is needed compared to a conventional outdoor garden. In hydroponic gardening, you provide the exact nutrients that your plants need by directly feeding the root system, without ever having to stress the plant due to lack of nutrients or water.
Hydroponic gardening is superior to traditional gardening in most cases. If soil everywhere was of high quality, and if everyone who wanted to grow plants owned the ground to plant it on and had the time to cultivate it, then hydroponics might be rarely used.
However, soil varies greatly in its quality and consistency. When we plant outdoors in the best of soils, large amounts of fertilizer are not needed for proper growth. Many of us, especially city-dwellers, townhome owners or apartment and condo dwellers lack even a small plot of land to grow plants. Even if you live in the tiniest of apartments you can raise fruits, herbs, vegetables and flowering plants. You can raise plants hydroponically in pots or individual containers and adapt your hydroponic garden to any size space available.
As the amount of arable land continues to decrease (over 10 million hectares per year are lost), an environmental benefit of hydroponic gardening will gain attention: Hydroponic gardens can produce the same yield as soil gardens in about 1/5 the space. And because artificially lit hydroponic gardens are not dependent on growing seasons, they can produce yields several times a year rather than just once. It has even been speculated that in decades to come, hydroponics will become a significant food source for over-populated urban regions, with people growing food on rooftops or in basements.
Hydroponic nutrients are one of the most important components of your hydroponic growing system. This method of growing plants without the use of soil supplies food to the plants by using nutrient media.
Every plant needs to receive the right amount of phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, and many different trace elements. The wrong nutrient balance, or a solution without enough hydroponic nutrients in it, could cause serious problems for your hydroponic system. Lets take a look at hydroponic nutrients and how to pick the ones that are right for you.
There are all kinds of different commercial nutrient options out there. Some claim to help your plants smell better. Others will allow you to produce plants more quickly, to get more blooms on your flowering plants, or to produce sturdy plants with significant root systems. The right hydroponic nutrients for your garden will depend in part on what you want to grow, and what the primary focus of your growing might be. Someone interested in producing greens quickly won’t want the same hydroponic nutrients as someone who wants to get a big yield from their tomato plants
Price will be another factor in the hydroponic nutrients you decide to purchase. Not all brands are priced the same, and some of them could make your growing process extremely expensive. On the other hand, the cheapest hydroponic nutrients on the market might not produce high quality plants. You need to set a price range appropriate to what you can afford to spend, then buy the highest quality hydroponic nutrients you can within that price range. That is the best way to get a great hydroponic garden without spending too much.
What about PH? You will need to pay attention to the PH level of your nutrient solution. An overly acidic or overly alkaline solution could be bad for your plants in the long run. The majority of plants prefer an acidity within the 5.5 to 7.5 range – more alkaline nutrient solutions may prevent them from absorbing all the nutrients available. Overly acidic solutions may cause damage to the roots.
Most nutrient solutions are a little acid, and the majority of tap water has a PH of about 7 to 8. This means that you won’t have too much trouble dropping your hydroponic nutrients solution into the correct range. However, you will still need to test the PH from time to time if you want to get the most out of your hydroponic garden.
Following a good nutrient regime and
keeping it simple will go a long way to ensure adequate uptake of all
the essential nutrients. It is advisable not to use too many
formulations, as it may be very difficult to trace the exact cause of
the problem if there are many additives and supplements in the nutrient
The right nutrients are essential to an effective hydroponic
garden. Take a little time to check out your options and see what is
likely to be right for your needs. You might be surprised what a change
in nutrient solutions could do! By coming in to our retail store or
calling us, we can go over all the options when it comes to nutrients
and what might work best for your gardening needs.
Yes, it is very beneficial to your garden. It increases the plants resistance to disease as well as salinity. It also increases the pant in strength and health. Use potassium silicate in your reservoir in small doses always to maintain a strong resistant plant.
We would recommend No. The water that comes out of a dehumidifier can contain many fungal spores especially if the unit is older. The high microbial contamination is not suitable for growing plants unless boiled first.
The best would be distilled, and is also very readily available. Tap water has a high chlorine content but if left out for 24 hours it will have enough time for the chlorine to dissipate and will be suitable swell, providing it’s not well water. But distilled is definitely the way to go.
The ideal temperature for the nutrient solution to be at is between 55-65F.
Yes, there is actually quite a difference. Tap water may be suitable to drink but can contain high levels of minerals that may not be suitable for plants. You can have your water analyzed at the local waterworks company to find out a break down of what’s in the water. Usually tap water is usable for growing but using distilled water is much better. Distilled water is totally pure and is the best water to use to feed your plants. Growers who use well water will often have to use a reverse osmosis machine to clean their water and remove almost all impurities.
Because the hydropon and rock wool mixture will retain some water, watering once an hour for 2-3 minutes would be a sufficient feeding cycle. When the plants are very young the time can be reduced to every 2 hours instead of for every 1 hour. Watering in the night cycle can be reduced to every 4 hours. Many of the cycle stat timers now come with photocells and a night mode which will automatically reduce the feeding cycle for the dark periods. They are a definite must in any indoor garden running on an automated feeding system.
Yes, lots of air movement is essential for a productive indoor garden. Oscillating fans push the air through the leaves and the tops of the plants which is where good air flow is a must. Leaves take in the air on there underside through tiny microscopic pores known as the stomata. Oscillating fans help keep a constant supply of air movement within the plants which really helps the plant replenish itself with fresh air.
Charcoal filters are very efficient in removing unwanted odors. They remove 99% of all grow room odor when used correctly. Nothing on the market can compete with a high quality charcoal filter for grow room odor removal.
Yes. Not nearly as effective as a charcoal filter but they do work to some degree. They do kill bacteria and fungi very well.
That depends on the manufacturer. High quality filters such as Can filters or PHAT filters will last from 2- 3 years of continuous use. They can be repacked but its really not worth it by the time you by the carbon and get it in the odds of it working as well as when you got it are slim and none, These filters are professionally manufactured for long lasting unsurpassed duality while the average Joe at home cant possibly pack the carbon properly. After 3 years of use you should feel no worries about replacing it. I’m sure it has given you your moneys worth from it long ago.
Yes, it is. Growers on average report 20-30% increase in their yields when using C02 properly. C02 is what your plant breathes and requires for photosynthesis. It is truly amazing how well your garden will do when adding C02. It is truly the best thing you can add to your garden to really get it growing in high gear. I cannot say enough good things about it. It is expensive to set up, but once you’re going look out because it’s going to get out of hand! Save your money from expensive additives and supplements and invest in a C02 system and you will be seriously impressed.
That depends on the light levels your plants are being grown under. The higher the light levels, the higher the plant's need for carbon. So if atmospheric C02 is enough for your plants at the light level they are receiving then you would not need to supplement C02, provided there is enough fresh air exchange in your grow room to replenish consumed C02 by your plants.
On the other hand, if your light level is higher than what can be supported by atmospheric C02 levels for optimal plant growth, then you would need to raise the C02 level higher. This will prevent your plant's growth from being carbon limited, which would cause the extra light to just be wasted, as plants need proper ratios of light and carbon (along with other factors) for optimal plant growth rate.
There are 2 very good options. 1st being propane or natural gas C02 burners. 2nd being C02 tanks used with a regulator and solenoid hooked up to a timer. The propane and gas burners produce high amounts of heat, but are definitely more efficient cost wise to operate compared to the cylinders. Propane is easily available at local gas stations while cylinder usually has to purchase at a welding ship. Some hydro stores carry them for lease. If the room is large then the propane or gas burner is much more efficient. If heat is a serious problem then the cylinders definitely have an advantage in that they produce no heat but can get costly to operate on a large scale. The burners have been known to cause high humidity in the room so growers will have to really keep an eye on humidity when using a burner.
The ultimate temperature your roots will be most productive is 75°F (23°c)
YES! When using our LED grow lights you should raise your air temperature higher, to around 85°F.
Why? Because HPS lights produce a significant amount of radiated infrared heat that warms your plant canopy well above your room air temperature. This is the reason why HPS grow rooms are usually controlled to around 75°F. Our LED grow lights have very little radiated infrared heat output, because most of the energy is focused on generating light that the plants can actually use. So to keep your plant metabolism high enough in order to utilize the light they are receiving, they need to be warm enough. To do this you would simply turn down your AC so that your air temperature climbs to around 85°F.
As a side benefit, this also means less need for cooling and when it is needed, it operates more efficiently due to the higher air temperature. The same goes for dehumidification, the higher the temperature, the more efficiently you can dehumidify your room. All of this leads to lower energy bills, without having to lower the wattage of your grow lights.
Based on CFM per amperage inline fans are usually most efficient. They have been designed with maximum air flow at a minimum wattage leaving the grower with a very efficient product. Squirrel cages are becoming a thing of the past now with the evolution of inline fans taking over the market. That delivers so much more CFM per watt than the typical blower that only makes sense to invest in an inline fan.
Yes, this is very easily done. It is very simple and works so well. First measure the dimensions of the rear of the unit. Call a heating and ducting company and have then fabricate you a box. Most ducting companies will do custom fabrication for very reasonable prices. Have them construct you a box 2 feet deep with a 4 inch round duct at the end. Have the box built so it fits perfectly over the rear of your window AC unit. The idea of the box is trap the heat produced from the rear of the unit. Once you have a fabricated steel box fasten it with self tapping screws to the AC unit. Attach a 4″ inline fan to the 4″ duct on your box to suck the heat from the AC unit. Vent the 4″ duct out a dryer duct or through the furnace to remove the heat the AC unit produces. It may seem like a lot but it is a simple procedure and it will really reduce the heat in your grow room.