Eight months into the proclaimed pandemic and I was running low on my stash and knew I had to get a crop started. So, I broke down and bought a pair of variable digital ballasts, halide lights and shades. It came to $950. I toyed with Light Emitting Diode (LED) but still stuck to the tried and true way of doing things.
Maybe it is fear of change and I’d never used them before or know anyone who had. But when I saw some pictures recently of the bud the LEDs were producing, I doubted my decision.
There’s lots of advantages to replacing your metal halide and HP sodium lights with LED. First is the need for two types of bulbs. It was a real pain before digital ballasts switching to the flower stage because the ballasts had to be swapped out along with the lights!
It’s super easy to set the LED from very low photosyntheticlly active radiation or PAR for the starters stage, to the veg or leafing stage and on to the flower stage. The innovators have researched extensively to understand how light can be used to optimize crop production. The system makes the calculations and provides the spectrum best for growth at the flick of a switch. I love that!
Also, less heat is generated by the LED light so there’s big energy saving on cooling and venting and less chance of overheating and stressing the plants in warmer weather. If you’d ever grown indoor in warmer you know what I mean. One day you think you’re fine and the next day you find them keeled over. Lesson learned.
A 76 x 59 cm LED has a wattage range of 650-950 and boasts an energy saving from 40-70% while producing a greater yield. And while the LED I was looking at retail online at $1379US, and I needed two, it was a bigger outlay than I wanted to spend but overtime I can see that there’s savings to be had.