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LED Grow Lights and Fixtures

A 400W panel of LED grow lights from Hydroponics Hut. This is just one of the many configurations possible with this type of lighting.

Welcome to our webpage on LED grow lights and fixtures. You've landed on this page for one of two reasons: 

1) You already know that you want to use LED lights for your hydroponics, aquaponics or indoor gardening projects, and now you need to find lighting suppliers,

or...

2) You want to learn more about whether LED lights would be the best choice for your fruits, veggies, herbs or fodder crops.

We have compiled the following resources for both searches. Please see whichever section is applicable. 


Advantages and Disadvantages
of LED Grow Lights

A few years ago I worked for a farm which had LED grow lights in one of their seedling houses. Their setup was interesting, because they had the standard grow benches for the bulk of their seedlig trays. Underneath the benches, in space normally wasted because it's too dark for growing, this farm had installed LED grow lights to provide for more growing area. And that is where these new lights shine the very brightest, no pun intended. They are so small, lightweight and intense, they can provide a whole lot of light in very small places, where other light fixtures wouldn't fit and/or would quickly overheat.  LED lights allow growers to make the absolute best use of every last nook and cranny available in their greenhouse or grow-house.  Instead of measuring grow space in terms of single bench rows, growers can measure grow space in terms of volume - multiple shelves of seedlings in a single greenhouse, all receiving the light they need for good germination.  It would be like having multiple grow houses, but without the extra heating requirement.

The advantages don't stop there.  These lights are super-small in profile, and do not have heat buildup issues like some other forms of HID lighting.  They can be configured in a amazing variety of shapes, all the way from a single strip of lights for a very narrow area, to a panel of lights like in the photo above.  I've even seen some products where LED light strips are located between fluorescent tubes within the tube fixture, so that the single fixture light output is vastly higher than with fluorescent tubes alone.  For putting the max amount of light in the smallest possible area, without heat buildup, nothing compares with these little gems.  Another advantage is that they last, and last, and last awhile longer.  Fluorescent tubes, HPS and metal halide bulbs all eventually burn out; LED lights supposedly last 10x longer than any of them.  As if that wasn't enough, LED lights can be configured to emit exactly the portion of the spectrum wanted or needed, ranging from the particular wavelengths needed for fruiting, to full spectrum for any stage of growth.  If there was one light that "does it all", this little light is it.

The main disadvantage of LEDs so far is their cost. They are still so new and so few people are using them, that production costs are still relatively high. I have spoken with a few growers who are using them as their primary supplemental light source, and they are very happy with their fixtures. Some are so happy that they strongly encourage others to pursue this form of lighting, rather than going with older forms of lighting such as metal halide, HPS and compact fluorescents. While I can appreciate the efficiency of these units, the cost is still a big issue for a lot of growers, including us.  At present, until that cost comes down, the only time I'd use them is as described above, to make the most of growing space where small, lightweight fixtures are the only ones that would work. Even then I'd have to make sure the cost of the fixtures would be offset by the income from the increased growing space and/or the extended lifespan compared with other bulbs (which may already be the case).


Where To Find LED Grow Lights

These are the newest commercially available HID lighting source on the market, and as such they are fairly hard to find. Specialty shops and LED manufacturers are generally the only two sources for these lamps. Happily, these sources are almost always willing and able to do mail order. LED lamps are also very lightweight, not needing the heavy ballast required for metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps. If you already know that you want LED lighting for your growing needs, doing a Google search on "LED grow lights" will help locate both local and national retailers that can provide what you need.  On the right side of this page, we've listed a variety of LED grow lights from various manufacturers, all of which are available through Amazon.com.