10w LED Grow Lights – Are they Better or Just a Gimmick?
We covered 5w LED grow lights in a previous post and discussed the truth behind this type of LED grow light, but now it’s time to cover LED grow lights with 10w LEDs. 10w LEDs are made by many different types of companies around the world for industry such as parking, tunnels and other commercial fixtures.
10w Single Chip vs 10w Array
Don’t buy into the myth that a single chip LED is more powerful or more potent than an array. Although this can be true sometimes, it is definately not the rule. Watt for watt many LED clusters provide more Lumens and more PAR than their single chip counterparts, and come with many other benefits. Although there are very few single chip 10w LEDs in the market they do exist, with 10w arrays being more available.
Wattage Per LED – What will last?
CREE makes a 10w LED that can be ran between 4.5w – 6w on the high side. Like 5w or even 3w LEDs for that matter 10w LED grow lights should never run at a full 10w each, even if the manufacturer has 10w as the maximum. The “maximum” provided by most major brands of LED chips is usually the “just before it fails” calculation and should usually be cut in half for the long term operating wattage of the LED.
Which is better? 3W, 5W, 10W or Higher LEDs?
This question will be asked by many growers over the next few years as technology grows and advances into the new age of LED. Although every company in the LED grow light field will have their own opinion that they promise to be the best, the answer is not cut and dry. At this time, 3w LED grow lights are dominating the market and will continue for quite some time but 5w will become more popular soon but there is one major factor we must consider: The number and wattage of each LED.
If you have 3 10w LEDs running at 5w each vs 10 3w LEDs running at 2w each, which is better? The answer is they will be very close to the same but the 3w will probably beat out the 10w because they have a 5w advantage is power and triple the number of emitters. Here is the formula for measuring any LED grow light against another:
Step 1. Confirm the LEDs are not being over driven: example: 10w@5w each, 5w@3w, 3w@2w. (correct watts)
Step 2. Multiply the # of LEDs by the wattage of each. (Actual wattage)
Step 3. Take the total cost per LED grow light and divide by the actual wattage. ($/w)
Step 4. Buy a Diamond Series LED grow lights. :) Diamond Series LEDs use 3w LEDs, run at the correct wattage for long term use and have an industry leading $2.80 per actual watt of power. Many other companies charge over $5 per watt for the same quality and performance.
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How much would more would you pay for LED?
LED grow lights are fast becoming the optimal choice for growers who want to avoid heat issues, or surges in power consumption. Although many people see the benefits over the costs, others still find it hard to justify the higher costs of LEDs. At Advanced LED we work hard every day to build lights that offer the lowest cost per watt consumed to give our customers the highest value and “bang for your buck” LED grow lights than any other.
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LED grow lights sold today are all built with similar LEDs, heat sinks and power supplies but the amount of money each company asks per watt the light uses is vastly different. Every LED grow light has two different outputs, heat and light. The amount of heat output and the amount of light output are very important and should be considered. You want to get the most light per watt of energy actually used (see below) and the least heat.
To determine how much heat a light puts out ask for the maximum operating temperature of the lights housing output point. This temperature should not be over 105 degree F. If it is over this temperature or the company refuses to give this information then you are probably going to have more heat per watt than you want. The other thing to consider is actual wattage consumed. The name of the light is means nothing unless you can confirm the operating wattage of the light. For example, a 200w Diamond Series LED consumes about 190w of power and costs $545. If you take $545 and divide by 190w ($545/190) you get an average of $2.87 per watt of actual power used. Don’t be fooled by companies who would lead you to think you are getting a great $/watt if the name says 450w but the light actually only uses 250w. Make sure you always divide the price by the actual wattage of the light. Example: Total Price/Actual Wattage = Price Per Actual Watt = Value
Make sure you get the best value or what many would call “Bang for your buck”. If you follow this rule among others to choose your light you can be sure you will not pay double for something you think is cheap or of great value. You can get the best LED grow lights on the planet (the Diamond Series LEDs) for less than $3/watt average and this is a true value when you consider the extended 3 year warranty and 90 day money back guarantee. Happy growing!
LED lights, or “light-emitting diodes,” were first developed in the 1960s and have become the preferred lighting for indoor gardening. New technologies have made LED grow lights the most powerful and cost-effective option for supporting indoor plant growth. Consider the following points:
To reap the benefits of LED lamps, however, gardeners must keep three variables in mind: the distance between their LEDs and plants, the durations of light and dark cycles, and fertilization.
The Proximity of LED Growing Lights & Plants
LED lights are prized in part for emitting virtually no heat. This helps gardeners avoid accidentally drying their plants and evaporating valuable nutrients too quickly. LED lights should be placed approximately one foot above plants, which is closer than the distance recommended for traditional fluorescent bulbs and HID lights. Your LED grow light vendor can help determine the best light placement for your particular indoor crops and LED wattage.
Controlling the Cycles of Light and Darkness
Different plant species require different cycles of lighting. For example, many indoor tomato gardeners leave LED lights on for 18 hours and then let plants “sleep” for six hours. For some plant species, gardeners use one light cycle length during the plants’ initial growth and another during the flowering stage. Be sure to research the best light cycle options for your particular indoor garden. In many cases you can strategically use LED grow lights to yield a larger crop than you’d get outdoors with natural light cycles.
Fertilizing an Indoor LED Light Garden
LED lights help gardeners make the most of their investments in plant nutrients. Compared with incandescent and fluorescent lamps, LED growing lights evaporate nutrients at a slower rate. Approximately half the traditional amount of fertilizer is required in an LED light garden.
Of course, not all LED grow lights are created equally. Be sure to read a reliable LED grow light review for each product that interests you. Some popular products include Extreme Flower LED lights, Diamond Series LED lights and the All Blue Extreme Veg LED.
Hydroponic gardening uses a nutrient solution to grow plants instead of soil. Plants are grown with their root systems immersed in either a nutrient-rich mineral solution or an inert growing medium such as sterilized gravel, clay pellets, prelate or rock wool. The advantages of hydroponic horticulture include:
Why Choose Hydroponics?
Indoor gardeners increasingly choose hydroponics because the growing techniques are easy to master and conducive to the do-it-yourself ingenuity of home improvement enthusiasts. Hydroponic gardening also has the distinct advantage of producing very high yields in a very small space, making hydroponics an attractive solution for the indoor home gardener.
When constructing a home hydroponics garden, choosing the correct grow light system improves the peak efficiencies a hydroponic garden can yield. Indoor horticulture requires a high-intensity light source that reproduces, as closely as possible, the spectral qualities of sunlight. Regular consumer indoor lighting lacks the intensity and spectrum width that plants need to grow and thrive. Plants evolve under the full spectrum of natural sunlight and use different parts of the full spectrum during various stages of their life cycles. Seedlings and younger plantings thrive best under the short-wavelength of the blue part of the full spectrum. As plants mature they require the longer wavelengths of the orange and red parts of the spectrum to induce flowering and fruiting.
To grow properly, traditional indoor horticulture relies upon energy-inefficient, high intensity discharge lamp systems to provide the necessary light intensity and spectral bandwidth. High pressure sodium and metal halide lamps create the proper light intensity and spectrum output by energizing vaporized toxic metals through the introduction of a high-voltage electrical current inside the sealed lamp. These lamps require heavy ballasts to regulate electrical flow and bulky reflectors to direct the light produced and usually require skilled tradesmen to mount and wire them correctly. Traditional HID systems also produce vast amounts of heat that must be drawn off using expensive and sophisticated ventilation systems.
Recent advances in LED lighting technology provide the home hydroponics gardener with an attractive and green alternative to traditional HID grow light systems. Modern LED grow lights use a fraction of the electricity compared to traditional HID systems, and also produce light of the proper intensity and spectral bandwidth for optimal plant growth. They are lightweight and easy to mount and do not require any special wiring. High-end LED systems can even be adjusted for spectral output to coincide with plant life cycles. As an added bonus, LED grow lights do not produce massive amounts of waste heat, providing an added cost benefit by eliminating the need for fans and venting systems.
5w LED Grow Lights are not a new invention, but what is new is fake 5w LED grow lights. A few companies actually do use legitimate 5w LEDs in their lights and we will discuss how you can spot a true 5w LED Grow Light.
5w LED grow lights are somewhat of a false hope for those who think each LED is actually going to be using 5w full watts of power. In reality there are only a couple major LED chip companies who can achieve such high wattage per chip safely without junction temperatures causing failures prematurely and most of the 5w LED grow lights on the market do not achieve these high watts per LED. The key is to find those who can.
So who does make a true 5w LED and how can you tell the difference?
The chips used in these two brands are able to run a true 5w and have junction temperatures low enough to be considered a long term option. These two brands are the leaders in high wattage LED chips and produce the highest overall light output for white LEDs and can produce very intense results for red and blue LEDs as well.
How do you know if the company you are looking at is using actual 5w CREE or Luxeon LEDs?
There is no full proof way of finding this information but here is out best advice for proving the brand of LED chips. First, ask for a close up picture of the LEDs themselves. Each LED has a chip inside and a tiny housing for the chip. If they refuse to provide pictures of these or they don’t show their LEDs on their website you may want to move on. If they do, compare those LEDs to the pictures of the actual manufacture (CREE). Second, take the total number of LEDs and divide this number by the actual watts consumed and minus the fans wattage. This number should always be well above 3w each and if not you are better off buying quality 3w LED grow lights. A 5w CREE LED can run at well over 6w each with the proper cooling (required) and you should have a minimum standard of at least 4w per LED in an 5W LED Grow Light. If the light you have found is not using 4w per LED and they call it a “5w LED grow light” then you need to ask yourself why. The reason is either they are not using true 5w capable LEDs or they are not cooling the LEDs properly (bad) which will cause a premature failure over a short period of time.
The next question to ask is “Why should I buy a 5w LED grow light instead of an all 3w LED grow light?”
3w LED grow lights are very powerful lights and if the spectra, optics and quality are all in check you can rest assured you have the very best in LED grow light technology. On the other hand, if you simply want a 5w LED grow light then you need to make sure you are getting a comparable light to the best 3w LED grow lights available.
Here are 3 ways to compare 5w VS 3w LED Grow Lights:
1. Number of actual 5w LEDs and 3w LEDs. (20 5w LEDs DOES NOT EQUAL 90 3w LEDs)
2. Cooling Technology and Heat Sinks (advanced cooling is critical for both, especially 5w)
3. Wattage per LED (a so called 5w LED run at 3w is not your goal)
5w LED grow lights are going to fast become the latest technology due to the fact that CREE and Luxeon are advancing the total light output at a fast rate. Look for more advanced LED grow lights using 5w LEDs in the near future and try to stay away from fake 5W LED grow lights.
All plants require light in order to thrive. The basic life process of the plant kingdom is photosynthesis, wherein light-sensitive cells in plant leaves convert light energy into chemical energy to feed the plant. Because of this, indoor gardening requires planning and the use of proper equipment in order to be successful. When growing indoors hydroponically, or even in good old-fashioned soil, there are many considerations to be taken into account, but of primary concern is the type of artificial lighting to be used.
Traditionally, indoor horticulture required the use of bulky gas-discharge lamps in order to produce light of sufficient intensity and of the proper wavelength to grow plants. Regular consumer lighting fixtures used in homes and offices do not produce light of the correct spectrum and intensity for this purpose. These types of high-output lamps consume excessive amounts of energy and produce massive amounts of waste heat, which require the additional expense of sophisticated ventilation systems to draw off all the wasted heat produced by the lamps. However, recent advances in LED lighting technology promise to change this paradigm of indoor gardening for the better, by exponentially reducing the amount of energy required per unit of light produced and by reducing or eliminating the need for complex ventilation systems in indoor gardens.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a simple electronic semi-conductor device that has been around since the 1960s. An LED is a diode, basically a one-way electronic switch, that produces light through a phenomenon called electroluminescence. A diode is a device constructed of two materials with differing levels of limited electrical conductivity, hence the word semi-conductor, with one of the materials having a net positive charge and the other having a net negative charge. Diodes are used much like transistors and resistors to regulate current flow in various electronic devices and machines. When a current is passed through a diode from the negative (N-type) to the positive (P-type) material, some the electrons in the current flow are captured by empty spaces in the atomic structure of the P-type material. This, as a side-effect, discharges the excess energy by producing photons of light.
The light produced by early LEDs was not very bright, being of a very long (red) wavelength. The good news is that it takes a miniscule amount of current to produce a unit of light. The better news, from the standpoint of the indoor gardener, is that as the science behind the technology has advanced, the output capabilities of this very efficient lighting system makes LED grow lights a viable alternative to the old gas-discharge systems for indoor horticulture.
LED grow lights have been commercially available for a number of years now and, as the technology and production infrastructure continues to expand, the cost of these super-efficient LED lighting systems will surely come down. The advantages of LEDs are clear: They provide highly reduced energy consumption, the elimination of waste-heat and long-term cost-savings through the extreme durability of these devices. They can be rated to last as many as 100,000 hours, or 12 years under normal usage conditions.
Both hydroponic and soil-grown indoor gardening were once the specialty of professional horticulturalists with specialized knowledge and sophisticated equipment. Today, as interest in organic food production becomes more widespread and the technology of indoor horticulture becomes more accessible and affordable, indoor growing extends down to the home enthusiast who can set aside a few square feet of space.
One of the most important aspects to consider when setting up an indoor garden is the type of lighting to be used. Plants require lots of light for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the reaction that takes place in the cells of plant leaves which allows the plant to convert light energy into chemical energy. This is why the type of grow lights used for an indoor garden is so important. Regular incandescent or fluorescent bulbs used for indoor lighting are not suitable for indoor gardening as they simply do not produce light with the intensity or spectral qualities that plants need to properly thrive. Below are several types of grow lights to consider for the indoor garden.
Gas Discharge Grow Light Systems
There are several types of gas-discharge lamps that are suitable for indoor horticulture. These types of lamps are called gas-discharge devices as they all produce light by creating an electrical arc inside of a tube containing various proportions of gaseous vapours that create light at the intensities and spectral signatures necessary for plant growth. These include High Intensity Discharge (HID), High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) lamps.
Gas discharge grow lights have been used for years by professional indoor horticulturalists to produce vegetables and flowers commercially. Although they are extremely energy inefficient and produce large amounts of waste heat that must be dealt with through the added expense of sophisticated ventilation and cooling systems, they are a reliable and proven lighting technology for indoor growing.
LED Grow Lights – the New Paradigm
Recent advances in the technology of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) promise to create a new paradigm of efficiency for indoor gardening, especially for the home enthusiast. LED grow lights use less than one-quarter of the electricity per unit of light produced than conventional gas discharge lamps, are extremely durable, create no waste heat, and are engineered to produce the full spectral range required for proper plant growth. LED grow lights have a higher initial cost, but over the life of the device the total cost-savings over conventional systems can amount to upwards of 80 percent.
What are your gardens limitations or constraints?
The first thing to find out in any garden space is your limitations or constraints that may determine lighting, growing styles, plant types and many other factors. For example, if you live in a hot climate or a part of the world that has seasonally high temperatures you may be limited by temperatures in your grow space. Heat concerns would limit your lighting without air conditioning since HID lights get very hot and would need an A/C system to cool the space. Advanced LED grow lights can eliminate these issues and provide a cool growing solution that makes growing easy.
Common constraints for many gardeners:
Heat – HID lights are the hottest of all grow lights with florescent lights being a warm second. LED grow lights are much cooler and able to produce the intensity you need while offsetting the high temperatures your area may have.
pH - High or low pH is a major cause of problems in any garden and you must learn to measure and adjust your pH correctly.
Pests - Pests such as mites and other bugs love indoor gardens since they are the ideal environment and there are no predators to worry about. Keep a clean garden and a close eye on the underside of your leaves and kill pests early if they do arrive.
What are your goals?
Yield - If your main goal is yield and you need to have the biggest harvest possible then pay attention to watts per foot. If your lights are too weak or the total wattage of your garden is below 30w/ft2 you will find your yield is lacking and not in the optimal range. Also pay attention to your pH, nutrient levels and temperature.
Quality - Quality and yield often go hand in hand but not always. If yield is your main goal it may be easy to overlook quality. Quality is usually created with patience and paying attention to details. Make sure your wattage per foot is high enough but many times quality is determined by light height, light color (spectra) and nutrient uptake by the plants.
Play to your strength, choose wisely.
If your garden is small and needs low heat and efficient growth then you would be best served with the Diamond Series LED. Small gardens all growers focus on height and the fine details of growing to ensure a high yielding, premium quality garden. The Diamond Series LED produces quality harvests that rival any organic outdoor garden by limiting stress on plants.
HID vs LED vs Florescent
HID lights are great for growers who can afford the high electricity bills and the high level of maintenance involved in keeping them running over time. HID lights produce very intense output but also very high temperatures above 350F.
Diamond Series LED grow lights produce the same PAR output and growth as larger HID lights without the high temperatures and extreme cooling systems. The drawback to LED grow lights is their high initial cost and a careful calculation of long term cost is required to see the actual cost difference. All Advanced LED lights have been proven to produce better quality harvests than HID and florescent with at least 50% cost savings over 2 years.
Florescent grow lights are often used only for vegetative growth due to their lack of spectral intensity and flat spectral distribution. Florescent grow lights do produce more heat than the Diamond Series LED grow lights but struggle in flowering with quality lacking in many cases.
When does an LED grow light Payoff?
Your lighting should be able to pay for itself over a 2 year period or less. If you choose HID lights be sure to include power savings, cooling costs and bulb replacements every 6-12 months. The average Advanced LED grow light will compare to HID at a 60% ratio (60w LED = 100w HID) which provides a power savings of 40%. The cooling difference can be roughly estimated at 70% lower with the high temperature of the Diamond Series LED housing being 104F and the HID housing being 350F+. Advanced LED lights run for 3-7 years and the average HID bulb lasting 12 months.
Buy the Best or Grow Less
Regardless of which type of lighting you choose, make sure to buy the very best you can afford. The best LED grow lights are the Diamond Series LED grow systems. The best HID grow lights are Hortilux and Lumitek products. Many growers think that a cheap HID system will work but many times those “made for ebay” systems are poorly made and often fail prematurely. Buy the best or you will often times grow much less or have a frustrating experience.
If you have any questions about which LED grow light is best for you contact our team at 1-800-401-6307 or email us at email@example.com
While Light Emitting Diodes (LED) have been around since the early 1960s, comparatively recent improvements in the technology and production infrastructure has expanded the use of LEDs into a variety of commercial and consumer lighting applications, including the use of LEDs as grow lights for the indoor gardener.
For the indoor gardener, the latest advance in grow-light technology is always of paramount interest. Traditionally, indoor gardening has been hampered by the necessity of using specialty lights, such as High Intensity Discharge (HID), Metal Halide (MH), and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps. While these types of lights are quite effective for indoor horticulture, they can be quite expensive, heavy and bulky, and inordinately power-hungry.
Lightweight and Convenient
Unlike HID, MH and HPS lamps, LED grow lights eliminate the use of ballasts that are needed to regulate the flow of current in gas-discharge lighting systems. Nor do LED lights require the use of bulky reflectors to focus light scatter, as is necessary in conventional bulbs. LED fixtures do not require special wiring or advanced tradesman skills to mount. This makes LEDs significantly lighter and much easier to incorporate into indoor garden arrays that need to be periodically adjusted to accommodate plant growth.
Cost Effective Energy Efficiency
Another significant advantage to LED grow lights is their superior energy efficiency. LED fixtures consume significantly less electricity per unit of light produced than do incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and over the course of device-life can realize an energy-cost savings of 70 to 80 percent. Nor do LED lights produce excessive waste heat, obviating the need for elaborate ventilation systems, especially in smaller, enclosed indoor gardens.
The latest LED grow light technology is engineered to emit a broader spectrum of light than all other artificial lighting sources yet devised. Plants respond better to the wider light spectrum offered by LED grow lights, which provide the full range from the shorter wavelength blues, which promote early plant growth, to the longer wavelength oranges and reds which many plants require for the mature flowering and fruiting life stage.
Advanced LED grow lights even feature quantum growth factors that improve quality and ripeness while minimizing the length of flowering times. This quantum factor is a huge benefit of LED grow systems and their abilities that have only just become available in the last 12 months.
Have questions? Post your comment below or simply give us a call at 1-800-401-6307 or you can email as well using firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to helping you create the very best garden and selecting the best LED grow light for your space.