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How to Use Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights [A Quick Guide]

full spectrum LED grow lights

What are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?

Full spectrum LED grow lights are a type of LED light that emit a wide range of wavelengths of light - the idea is to mimic the natural spectrum of light that plants would receive from the sun, should they be growing outside. 

These lights typically emit a combination of red, blue, white, as well as infrared and ultraviolet (UV) light, however the specific combination of wavelengths can vary depending on the manufacturer and whether or not the grow light has been adapted to a certain type of plant.

Full spectrum LED grow lights allow for greater flexibility in growing different types of plants, as not only do they mimic the natural light spectrum for different stages of plant growth, but they can also be left on as long as you want - even 24 hours a day - meaning you are not limited by the number of daylight hours where you live (and don’t worry - they are not expensive to run!).

As well, it also allows for greater control over the light spectrum, which can be adjusted to optimize growth and yields.

 

Tips for Using Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights

Use a timer to switch between light wavelengths

Different stages of plant growth require different wavelengths of light.

For example, during the vegetative stage, plants need more blue light to encourage leaf growth and stem development. During the flowering stage, they need more red light to promote blooming and fruiting.

So, we suggest using a timer to switch between the different wavelengths of light a full spectrum LED grow light can provide. Doing this means you can provide your plants with the specific light spectrum they need at any given stage of growth, ultimately leading to healthier plants and greater yields. 

Which leads us on to the next tip:

 

Test different amounts of light on your plants to see which gives the best yields

As with many things in life, you should be testing, testing, and testing some more. And this applies to the amount of time of each wavelength of light you are giving your plants too.

We would recommend using the averages to start with, and then tweaking this with each planting season to see the effect it has on your plant health and yields.

For example, you might find that an hour more of the blue light each day leads to better growth, or maybe its that your daily light hours should be an hour or two longer each day.

Keep testing, and keep a log of each test so you can see what works best and what didn’t work for the next time.

 

General Tips for Using LED Grow Lights

Keep the lights at a proper distance from the plants to avoid burning

Keeping your grow lights too close to your plants can cause the leaves to burn and scorch.

We’ve written a whole article on this here.

In short, excessive heat can be detrimental to plants, as it not only causes the water in their leaves to evaporate, resulting in dehydration and damage, but it also damages the plant's cells.

This can lead to discoloration, wilting, and in severe cases, plant death.

As well, when your grow lights are too close to the plants, it can cause the plant to stretch and become spindly. This is because the plant will try to reach for the light, causing it to grow taller and thinner rather than bushier. 

Not what you want!

 

Keep your grow space cool

You should also keep your grow space cool by using fans and air conditioning to dissipate the heat generated by the lights. 

Keeping your grow space cool is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy environment for your plants.

So, it is recommended you make use of both fans and/or air conditioning to dissipate the heat generated by your grow lights.

The fans will help to circulate the air, which will help to dissipate the heat and also provide your plants with fresh air. As well, air conditioning will help to lower the temperature in your grow space, which will provide your plants with a cooler, more comfortable environment.

 

Take care with your lighting placement

Lastly, you should make sure you place the lights in a way that allows them to cover the entire grow surface.

LED lights are directional lights (as explained in our article here), so its important you position them in a way that allows the light to shine on all of your plants, not just the ones in the centre at the expense of those at the edges.