Rumors and hearsay surround LED grow lights wherever they are implemented. Growers must examine these misconceptions and consider how environmental factors may need to be adjusted in their grow room after making the switch. Here, FOHSE will address some of these factors that need to be considered and shed light on common misconceptions about LEDs.
#1. If you change from HPS to LED, your yields will increase.
Yield increase claims are met with many gimmicks and fallacies, which has made it one of the most common misconceptions that plague the cannabis lighting industry. Let’s be clear: switching from HPS to LED does not automatically denote higher yields. Like other plants, cannabis is highly complex. Several variables besides lighting must be considered concerning plant health to attain higher outcomes and extraordinary results.
Increasing light levels without adjusting feeding and other environmental conditions can be detrimental. Some of these factors include:
- Nutrient Delivery/ Irrigation Strategy
- Environmental Parameters
#2. LEDs grow larfy or airy flower.
It’s a common misconception that LEDs grow airy flower, but that isn’t the case. There are many reasons that flower may not reach their full potential. Enough grow space alongside water and nutrient delivery is a significant factor when growing under high light levels.
Older generations of LEDs were underpowered, leading to lower yields and canopy penetration. Newer generation LEDs, specifically lights like the 1500W A3i, are higher powered and incorporate spectrum tuning, which provides more than enough light and spectrum control to achieve dense buds deep into your canopy.
#3. LED flower can’t compete with the quality of HPS flower.
In the past, HPS has been the industry standard and the “tried and true” lighting system for many growers. As technology advances, cultivators have been left searching for more efficient lighting systems to keep up with the growing cannabis demand. While there is a learning curve when adapting to new grow systems, LEDs have been proven to be more efficient for facility operations.
The radiant heat produced by HPS has a greater chance of burning off volatile terpenes.
LED preserves the terpenes and cannabinoids by not overheating volatile compounds.
Achieving higher light levels with HPS lighting hits the product harshly and affects medicinal compounds that you’re trying to preserve.
To put into perspective, after 110,000 hours of use, the FOHSE A3i’s fixture’s output will have diminished to 2,940 umol/s, which is still 47% more powerful than a fresh-out-the-box 1000W DE HPS bulb.
#4. LEDs don’t have the penetration of HPS.
HPS has been the tried and true lighting system for many cultivators for years, but the trend has been moving toward high-powered LEDs for a good reason. Lensless LEDs and HID emit light in an undesirable distribution. In contrast, lensed fixtures emit light more directly, focusing more photons on your canopy and not on wasted space. This is advantageous because the light only covers the desired target area.
LEDs with spectrum control like the FOHSE Aries, Scorpio, and A3i, have three preset spectrums, with autumn having a higher concentration of reds and far-reds for greater canopy penetration. FOHSE LEDs are also equipped with swiveling light bars to achieve maximum penetration via cross illumination to neighboring grow plots.
#5. LEDs don’t generate enough heat.
This is a very common deterrent for growers when it’s the furthest from the truth. 3.41 BTU’s is generated per watt no matter what lighting system is implemented. Here’s why:
Controlling environmental conditions in hot, arid conditions – think Nevada, California, and Arizona – can be a big challenge when using HID lights.
Growing with LEDs typically requires higher ambient temperatures because you eliminate the radiant heat produced by HPS.
The intense heat that radiates from HID systems is also a significant fire hazard, primarily when implemented in small confined grow spaces with hazardous materials. LEDs will produce the same amount of heat with approximately 30% more light than the energy-efficient diodes, which also saves your facility money – and is suitable for your pockets and the planet.
#6. LEDs lack spectral options.
Typically, with HID and HPS lighting, you have several companies with similar components and a slight variation in efficiency and spectrum. When it comes to LED grow lights, there are a wide variety of styles, designs, configurations, spectrums, lenses, and housing available for growers.
Many are unaware of the spectral options available, which leads to many misconceptions that they may not be able to switch between spring, summer, and autumn as their crops mature through the life cycle.
Each FOHSE spectrum has been designed specifically to help control cannabis plant morphology based on the grow stage. For example, blue elicits a more compact structure, whereas a higher concentration of red is better for flower development and can increase internodal spacing. The FOHSE flagship series also allows spectrum tuning, and the non-flagship series provides a fixed spectrum based on the specified grow stage.
#7. LEDs are not built to last.
The durability of grow room equipment is at the forefront of every cultivator’s mind. Since HPS has been an industry standard for many years, it’s a common misconception that they are the most long-lasting when, in actuality, this is far from the truth.
On average, LEDs can last 50,000 hours, about ten years of use, and even longer if not run at full intensity, compared to HPS lamps that last 8-12 months. HPS System efficiency is also often much lower due to losses associated with omnidirectional output and radiant heat and the fact that HPS lights have to maintain a greater distance from the canopy, so heat stress doesn’t become an issue.
The fixture efficiency and spectrum control offered by LEDs can’t be ignored. While there are environmental factors to consider before switching from HPS, your facility can expect to see bigger buds and lowered costs over time.
Fohse customers new to using high-intensity light can take advantage of the expertise of our long list of cultivation experts who have had success with our fixtures. To find out how, visit FOHSE.COM, and request your free light plan.