Can you use regular LED lights for grow lights? The answer is YES and NO. There is a high possibility that any old LED spectrum or color won’t be enough to help the plants grow.
Your plants need to receive light from a full color LED light and this is only possible with LED grow lights. What this means is your plant will survive with LED light but they won’t get all the elements and nutrients required to offer a satisfactory return.
Let’s understand the regular LED lights as grow lights.
Types of Regular LED Lights
If you only require lights for your normal houseplants, any light fixture or lamp will do the job. The best model will depend on your needs.
However, for the regular LED grow light, you need to ensure that the light you use has the right color temperature. This will improve plants’ yield to a large extent and offer better harvest.
The commonly used kinds of regular LED lights for growing plants are fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. You can also use traditional horticultural lights and halogen lights such as metal-halide bulbs and high-pressure sodium bulbs.
The latter two are recommended for a large grow house while the first two are perfect for a small garden.
If you intend to grow plants from seeds, you should consider getting hanging tube lightings that you can put above the plants. These lights come with special features such as reflectors and other fixtures.
These are the normal lights that we have in our residences. They are quite affordable but the least efficient.
Incandescent bulbs use more energy to provide the same output and produce a lot of heat. Due to this, we wouldn’t recommend you to use these lights for growing plants.
In case you use incandescent lights, ensure that you place them at a safe distance from your plants. You can use the hand test when placing them:
- Place your need where your plant is for a few minutes.
- If you start to feel the heat, then it’s too hot.
- Move the light further away.
They are the ideal choice as grow light since they are economical. These lights come in tubes (great for large gardens) or compact bulbs that attach to the normal lamp socket. Compact bulbs are perfect as supplemental lighting or for a few plants.
Fluorescent lights remain cool, meaning that you can place them near your plants. Besides, they use less energy when compared to incandescent bulbs – this will save you power bill.
Many people already have fluorescent bulbs at home. With that said, you should pay close attention to the hue temperature of the light to make sure they give you the right performance.
You can even opt to buy a specialized fluorescent light that will be better for growing plants. For this, you will need to spend more compared to normal fluorescent lights.
Understanding Plants and Light
A plant’s lifecycle features a vital process known as photosynthesis which facilities the plant to get the required sugars. Photosynthesis processes the light energy trapped by the leaves.
This sugar (glucose) passes several stages and plants continue to grow through these stages.
Growing Marijuana with Normal LED Lights
For instance, if you want to grow marijuana, the LED lights will play a critical role in the development process. Marijuana has different requirements and nature when it comes to sustainability and will need proper lighting.
Although the regular LED bulbs feature only a few colors and bands like white and sometimes yellow, weed plant requires light that is similar to sunlight. Sunlight offers different light wavelengths as well as different colors like red, purple, violet, green, orange, and more.
Similarly, marijuana requires almost all the above colors to grow better. Hence, it is not advisable to grow weed using the regular LED light as most of these colors aren’t present.
The LED grow light niche is a better alternative where you will get different brands providing different light for various purposes.
Lights Spectrum and Plant Growth Stage
Different companies manipulate sunlight colors in an LED setting to generate a real light effect.
A regular LED light with a blue spectrum would be perfect for the vegetation phase of your plants. It will create a purple effect by providing a strong blue spectrum to your plants.
A regular LED light with a red spectrum is recommended for the flowering stage of your plants. But, you should use light with lots of blue bands to ensure that your plants produce heavyweight and resinous flowers.
Although they are not the best for grow lights, regular LED lights can be used to grow your plants. However, you should know the growth stage your plants are to determine which light you need.
Regular LED lights are affordable and readily available in our homes.