LEDs - Making your Investment Worthwhile
LED lights are flooding the market with the promise of saving energy, long life cycle. Here's how to choose the best LED lights and make your investment worthwhile.
What to look for when buying LED lights
LED bulbs (or chips) are the most important components of your new light. Cree, Osram, Bridgelux and Semiled are the world's leading providers of high- performance LED chips, this will ensure that your lights are bright, efficient and long lasting. Some manufacturers keep costs down by using poorly designed LED chips, and these will not provide optimum illumination and will die very quickly.
Small, precious LED chips need protection from their power supply, so specially designed circuits protect the chips even in the event of a power failure. If One LED fixture power supply is replaceable, it is a factor of good design, since in case of failure of power supply, you can easily replace that with very low cost. After all, for bigger led fixture, LED chips are the most expensive parts, LED chips are meant to last 50,000 hours, and in most cases the power supply will die before that.
At this point you are beginning to see a trend—you really have to care for that little chip. LED chips are very sensitive to heat, and if the design of the chip and the material used allows heat to build up, the light will burn out very quickly. The chip needs to breathe—it needs air circulation. A heat sink base houses the chips internally, and while some manufacturers use thin pieces of flat aluminum board or plastic to increase surface area, this configuration does not allow heat to dissipate, and in this situation the chip will overheat and dim or die in a few months. A solid lighting fixture, on the other hand, will use a solid metal heat sink with fins or a column structure to ensure the chips have proper airflow. Better heat flow equals peak performance—and a longer lifespan.
What about LED grow lights
LED light can grow the plant efficiently, Lower efficiency ratings on HID bulbs stem from the fact that their light wavelengths are not directed 100 per cent onto the subject—instead, they emit their light at a full 360 degrees. The beauty of LEDs is their direct wavelength—there is no wasted light bouncing off the top of the housing and reflecting back, or spreading out in other directions away from where the growth is happening. Your LEDs should boast a strong, direct wavelength with a chip housing designed to reflect directly onto wherever you position it, thus ensuring the output is being used efficiently and is keeping your plants as strongly illuminated as possible.
I'm sure you've noticed that LED grow lights are not cheap—and if they are, you need to know why. An educated consumer ends up with the best value for their dollars spent. The LED grow light market is filled with manufacturers churning out plastic models that are inefficiently designed in order to lower costs. The consumer buys an LED light with no ventilation that burns out in a few months,just when the warranty expires—perfect. In order to prevent this frustrating scenario, you need to know who you are buying from and develop trust in the company before purchasing their LEDs.
LEDs are the future for indoor growers who are serious about consuming less energy to produce higher crop yields of strong, healthy plants. Replace those lights that make your meter spin like crazy now, and invest in LEDs that'll save you energy, time and money—but first be sure to do your homework. Follow these guidelines and find a reputable company that uses state-of-the-art technology and the best materials available to produce the high-quality LED fixtures you'll need to achieve your best crop.
Full article published by Maximum Yield May 2011, Author, Theresa Ryan, director of operation, AIBC International