Alot of people ask me why should I use LED lights to grow my plants?
This is a very good question, let me start with the basics and then I will work through the benefits. For hundreds of years plants have been grown outdoors using natural sunlight and they've had to adapt to survive and thrive. Unfortunately unpredictable weather events are only increasing in frequency causing entire crops to be lost due to natural disaster, then one day a man named Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Little did Thomas Edison know that his incandescent bulb that was designed to provide lighting for a dark room at night would later be adapted to grow plants indoors as if it was daylight.
The first recorded person to grow indoors was a Russian botanist named Andrei Sergeyevich Famintsyn in 1868, since then technology has evolved. it was almost a hundred years later In 1964 that Elmer Homonnay, William Louden, and Kurt Schmidt developed the first high-pressure sodium lamp using Lucalox, this lamp technology saw the arrival of commercial viability for indoor growing with High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide being two popular forms that to this day continue to have wide spread commercial use.
In 1994 Philips developed a new high intensity discharge bulb technology called Ceramic Metal Halide or CMH for short. CMH lights were developed to reduce the costs of growing inside as even in the late 1990's it became evident that due to an explosion of human population that we were going to need to come up with better and more efficient ways to grow crops indoors to address the growing future need for indoor lighting. this light provided better color spectrums for plant growth and increased efficacy, even to this day Philips is supporting and developing this technology and it continues to be adopted by many indoor plant factories.
Consequently we have to head back to 1962 when the first light emitting diode(LED) was created. LED's have seen incredible advances since then, achieving widespread adoption throughout the 2000's in televisions and portable devices, unfortunately HPS, MH and CMH continued to provide vastly superior efficiencies and reliability until around 2010. Since then we've come what feels like light years. Current LED lights are far superior to all existing technologies. I will list them below.
Cost - LED lights save on electricity to comparable lights; what this means is that with a 650w commercial light it is possible to grow the equivalent of a 1000w HID light, meaning you save money on electricity, bulbs and produce more plant matter, for the average commercial fixture this number is around $6000 over its 5 year lifetime.
Efficiency - LED lights produce more photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) per watt of energy used than any other type of technology
Plant Health - Current generation white LED's (technically green to those folk's in the know) allow growers to monitor their plants more closely for signs of stress and disease, ensuring healthier crops.
Crop Manipulation - Using certain combinations of LED temperatures(or colors) can lead to crop biology changes in your grow area, meaning you can manipulate the plant to be stronger or taste better or a different color for instance, each plant species have their own requirements.
No maintenance - No more changing bulbs, ever. A typically LED light will have a life time of 5+ years, with commercial lights lasting 8 years or longer. Certain types of LED lights are also user serviceable which could mean that a LED light sold today could literally still be in operation in decades.
Less Heat - Resulting in a healthier grow environment and reduced HVAC costs
Less electrical fittings - Because the lights run more efficiently you can fit more fixtures on the same line without having to upgrade circuit breakers, reducing installation costs.