IS IT WORTH BUYING LED LIGHTING?
How did LED lamps evolve?
LED lighting technology has finally begun to become an equal rival to HID bulbs. It has been more than a decade since LED lamps first became commercially available, and it has taken the industry some time to adopt and take advantage of them.
In the early years, LED lamps were unpopular with manufacturers because they were considered too expensive and not powerful enough to produce a good harvest.
While it is true that earlier models are generally not as powerful or efficient as newer models are available today, it is also true that LEDs require a modified approach to what is required for sodium lamp lighting ( HPS) high pressure, industry standard.
So even today, with some of the most powerful light sources, some manufacturers are not getting the results they could get if they optimize their approach. Thus, the industry still adheres to the long-held belief that LEDs are not "good for flowers" and that it is impossible to get good yields.
But it is absolutely possible to achieve high yields, and the overall quality of the harvest can be extremely high.
What are the advantages of LED lamps?
There are various advantages to using LEDs, but there are some potential disadvantages - although they can be overcome with the right approach.
Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of working with LED lights.
Low energy consumption
Undoubtedly, huge energy reductions are the most attractive aspect of LED lighting systems.
With modern, efficient systems, comparable yields can be achieved using just over half the energy of HPS lights.
I would like to make a comparison between LED, HPS and MH, which are similar in strength and expected yield. The three systems I will use for this example will be Solar System 275, GIB XTreme output Pure Bloom Spectrum 400W and GIB Advanced Growth Spectrum 400W.
Let's look at the investment, the power consumption and compare these light bulbs next to each other.
1. Initial investment: This includes everything you need to buy the system. The price includes ballast, reflector, bulb and cables.
2. Daily power consumption: How much money does the operation of the lamp cost. In the case of HPS, we consider an example with 8 hours per night rate and 4 hours per day. With MH lamps we go for an 18 hour period. We repeat 8 hours for night, but this time we have 10 hours for day. (The bills are according to the CEZ tariff: 0.22 BGN / kWh for day and 0.13 BGN / kWh for night)
3. Monthly electricity consumption: What bill can we expect at the end of the month.
4. Annual expenditure: How much expenditure is accumulated by the end of the year. This includes both electricity costs and new light bulbs (HPS at 12 months, MH at 8 months)
LED systems are made of hundreds of individual LED chips that emit light in a narrow band of the visible light spectrum.
By assembling many chips with different bandwidth, manufacturers can create a fine-tuned spectrum that delivers light with the exact wavelengths that the plant needs most.
Some systems can even be fine-tuned for precise spectrum cloning, growth or flowering.
Low operating temperatures
Another great advantage of LEDs is their cooler operating temperature compared to HPS.
Especially in summer, room temperatures can become extremely hot when HPS lights are used, which requires powerful cooling systems.
LEDs offer the ability to control the pace with much less energy costs!
What are the disadvantages?
High start-up costs.
High quality LED lights are very expensive - that's for sure. But given the energy savings, start-up costs can pay off quickly.
Danger of slight bleaching.
This phenomenon also occurs in intense HPS lights, but can be more common with LED.
The coolness factor can help growers think it's good for plants to be very close to light (and with early dim LEDs they had to be very close).
But in fact it is very important to keep them at the right distance so that they do not receive a huge amount of light!
You may need to install heaters.
Especially in winter, your room can be too cold, while HPS lights will keep it warm and cozy.
With LEDs, you may need to use heaters so that your installation does not suffer - and at this point comes the question of which approach is more energy efficient. HPS lights and no heaters, or LED plus heaters?
LEDs are an expensive start-up investment that starts to pay off after the 3rd year compared to MH bulbs and the 5th year for HPS. However, in the long run, however, a lot of money can be saved that can be invested in other assets. The fact that the spectrum can be adjusted is a very underestimated plus, as each plant has its own different requirements that we must be able to please. Not to mention that with one lamp we can create the ideal conditions for each phase of the plant, which immediately eliminates the need to buy and install more systems.