Are LED plant lights any good?

lwc4March 28, 2008

Good day everyone.

My question is based on the fact that the current cost of electricity is going up and I am wondering if these "new technology" LED grow lamps ( Hydroponic Lamp 225 LED Grow light Panel Red Blue 110 V ) that are being sold now are only a gimmick that takes advantage of this fact. Last month I started my tomato plants and I was using a 250watt mh lamp for my seedlings. Last week I bought a LED grow lamp from a company that states: (The design of this new Full Spectrum plant lighting panel allows maximum level photosynthesis food production, growth and flowering all in one. It is the new Full Spectrum system providing maximum plant health, beauty and productivity.) Is this a hoax or the truth? Are these 15Watt LED grow lights just as good as the proven MH lamps or am I putting my plants in jeopardy?

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It's a LED system AND it claims to be a full spectrum? Sounds like they don't know what they're talking about! LED grow lamp's energy saving come from being able to fucus only on specific part of the spectrum that the plants use the most and ignoring the rest that is not used as efficiently (like the green that gets reflected); usually a red and a blue combo. The resulting light should look purplish in colour.

There are some legit LED grow lamps out there that actually work, but there are way more that just don't measure up. The ones that work are still a bit on the expensive side though. There's a guy that's doing a whole bunch of tests with various LED grow lights. Check him out at

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: greenpinelane

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:37AM
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I was wondering the same thing: on eBay i see these Red LED
Grow Lights (also see Blue, and Red/Blue mix). They seem
really expensive for what you get...i could get a bunch of
Red LEDs & build my own for less (thinking i might even try
it in the summer)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:14PM
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I'm new to this and for the past week, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding LED in an effort to determine the best lighting solution. As best I can tell, most LED companies are greatly exaggerating the effective coverage area. It looks like, because you can place them so close to the plant and because of their focused spectrum, that you can replace an MIH with an LED of roughly 1/3 the wattage. But power is power (or should I say footcandles are footcandles??) and the empirical data seems to show that, despite the range focus, LEDs aren't great at the flowering stage. I'm thinking that I'm going to setup a combo of T5 + blue LED for growth and T5+ red LED for flowering.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Why is it that I can see absolutely no data on either the smartlamp or the procyon. the literature of the smartlamp claims the smartlamp spectrum is better, but we all know the plant lumen photoactivation spectrum is extremely broad. the pictures on look very scraggly. Any statement by the manufacturer that their spectrum is better means they are pulling your chain. I think this is a scam.
It will grow plants, but so far, it is not a replacement for HID. The only use for LED grows, is if you want to grow cannabis in a little drawer, or in a computer case, or for a novelty demonstration. please show me some real data to indicate otherwise, and some real grow pictures. Sativa.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 2:53PM
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Well I suppose a starting point would be the letter they have on their site from Agriculture Canada (the government research department) which you can see at the following link :

We will certainly have a better idea once greenpinelane finishes its tests.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:08AM
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Hi, they did not specify the wattage of the leds nor the wattage of the hps lamp they used. Absolutely no data is shown, and no details.
both HPS and CMH lamps, if run 12/12 will have a lifespan of over 4 years. pulse start metal halide will run continuously 24/7 for over 3 years before failing. Sativa.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:07PM
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Of course led plant lights are good. I would stick with patented products, hopefully made in the USA. 1 watt and 3 watt LEDs seem run too hot, even though lpl makers claim 'emits no heat', they still need fans to manage heat.
Consider adjusting your system to the new light source, replacing dual intensity (emitted heat and light) hps/halide lights indoors with a lpl, without adjusting water/wind/temperature/humidity/co2/nutrients, will render over illuminated over watered plants.......mthdmttrs lpl = led plant light

Here is a link that might be useful: Google it!!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 11:08AM
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I bought mune off of e-bay for $22.00 and free shipping my herbs are doing better then when I have them outside during the summer. Last winter my planets where all dead by spring with a high doller "grow" light from a plant shop which cost me 4 times what I paid for the one from e-bay.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:56AM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Skip the two different $22-$25 models on ebay are well known and have been around for a few years now, we've all tried them and figured out that they aren't good for anything except growing little tiny herbs, or to provide supplementary lighting to a real set of lights.

Just saying...

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 7:30PM
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Whether these are good or not or worth the money depends on what you want to use them for. After viewing a couple LED grow lamps in action, they definitely have their applications. Most of the higher power models put off less heat than comparable powered MH/HPS bulbs and are more compact, allowing them to be placed closer to the plants. They focus most of their energy into the PA regions of the spectrum, making them more efficient for the amount of power being consumed.
That being said, the next question is, in what application you want to do use them? If you compare the transmission of the LED light through multiple layers of foliage, you'll notice that most of the energy is stopped within one or two sets of leaves, where as with a comparable HID light, there will still be some light shining through after several layers. So if you're planning to grow herbs or lettuce/vegetative plants in a small footprint, the LED grow lights are great. Fruiting plants will grow and eventually produce fruit to some extent in almost any lighting condition; however, the quality will not be optimum if sufficient light is not provided. That is where using LEDs to supplement other light sources would be useful.
Also, if you're relying on HID lights to augment the temperature in a colder area, the LEDs will not perform this function, requiring additional energy to be spent on heating. Not a concern for most people, but its something to consider when totalling the energy costs.

Bottom line: The LED Grow Lights have their advantages in certain applications, but are far from being a cure-all alternative to HID. As for buying lights on eBay or other bargain vendors, if the deal seems too good to be true, 9x out of 10 it is...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 3:07PM
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i am starting my first LED grow. I am growing two jalapeno plants in one 5 gallon sterilite tub (DWC).

the led array is a 150 watt WEX-C150, fan cooled and the following LED specs:
50% 660nm deep red
10% 630nm red
10% 600nm orange
10% 3500K warm white
20% 460nm blue

52 3w diodes total

the array is about 6" wide x 40" long and will cover an area about 18" x 48".

i look forward to the results ;)

will be putting them into the DWC tub this evening...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 2:40PM
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