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Do LED Grow Lights Get Hot? Consider This Before Buying

Features & Benefits at AdvancedLEDLights

At Advanced LED we always strive to educate our customers and provide them with the most relevant information regarding our products. It is important for us that you understand the higher value in our products but also that you make an informed decision when purchasing. There are many myths regarding LED grow lights which are based on the wrong interpretation of facts and insufficient knowledge about the way they function. This article is aimed at remedying this misunderstanding. (Especially when it comes to the claim that LED grow lights get very hot, which in turn makes them inefficient!)

Light Emitting Diodes

The first step of explaining heat emission in LED lights is to explain the process that makes them emit light. The most crucial component is naturally the LEDs, or light emitting diodes. LEDs are small light bulbs integrated in an electrical circuit. What makes them different from regular bulbs is the lack of filament that is prompt to burning out. LEDs rely exclusively on the flux of electrons through a semiconductor to create light. Light emitting diodes last much longer than regular incandescent light bulbs and solve many of the heat issues related to the latter.

Light Emitting Diodes

(Source: www.baldengineer.com)

Do LED Grow Lights Get Hot?

The answer to this questions lies in understanding the process that makes LED lights emit heat in the first place. Many believe that LEDs don’t produce any heat but that is not physically possible. LED lights create heat due to minor deformities in the crystal parts of the diode. Not all of the electricity that goes into the diode can be turned into light and the rest is exhumed as heat. The lamp might feel cool to the touch, but the heat accumulates on the inside and this is where most of the misconceptions about LEDs running perfectly cool come from.  

The primary reason that LEDs produce heat is slight imperfections in the crystal structure of the diode.  The electricity that passes through the diode that doesn’t get turned into light gets turned into heat. Due to the nature of the materials that make up the diode there is also high reflectivity inside of it which contributes further to heat emission. Highly efficient LEDs such as the ones used in our manufacturing process can convert close to 80% of the electricity that goes in, which means that 80% of it is converted into light. This light is then emitted by the diode, but small portions of if it gets transformed into heat due to the processes explained above. This leftover heat is then re-assimilated by the diode. This is why LEDs exhume heat. The better the quality of diodes and components used, the more efficient assimilation of energy and light emission. That`s why it is important to trust brands that use only quality build materials. At Advanced LED we offer only the highest quality LED grow lights for indoor farming, putting our extensive experience and knowledge behind every product.

Maximize crop production by taking into account the light intensity curves of your LED grow lights.

Maximize crop production by taking into account the light intensity curves of your LED grow lights.

Another important factor to consider is that heat production is a form of light absorption. When light is emitted from the grow lamp it is then absorbed by the plant or object it reaches. This process turns the light into heat as well. As the Law of Conservation of Energy dictates, energy simply changes its form and cannot be lost, so all light emitted from your grow lights will either transfer into energy for your plants or turn into heat.

The question then is what are the consequences of the emitted heat and how do LEDs compare to other lights on this spectrum?

LED vs HPS/MH/HID/LEC/CMH

When compared to other types of lights LEDs let off much less infrared radiation to the grow area. When compared to HPS, the difference is drastic. Take a look at the following graph showing how infrared light peaks with HPS lights.

(Source: https://www.wikimedia.org/)

Infrared Emission

HPS lights run very hot reaching a high of 53000F with a large portion of this heat transforming into IR radiation. Infrared is a contributing factor to heat emission and makes your plants hot as they receive the light. This is caused by infrared radiation causing the molecules of the plant to vibrate, which in turn generates heat. Because of this, HPS lights are an undesirable choice for proficient and knowledgeable growers.

Less Watts Used

When compared, LED grow lights run a lot cooler, with a maximum temperature reaching 1750F. This generates far less infrared rays and results in less heat for the plants. This is one of the main reasons why LED lights can be placed closer to the plants. One of the main factors that contribute to LEDs superiority is that they use less watts to produce the same luminosity as other lights- less watts used means that there is also less heat generated.

Better Light Assimilation

LED light is better assimilated by plants, which translates into better efficiency –less light to light is needed to achieve the same results as other lights. Combining this with the two factors we described above a conclusion can be drawn about LEDs efficiency and heat emission as compared to HPS/MH/HID/LEC/CMH. To illustrate with a specific example – a 1000 Watt HPS light can be replaced with a 600W LED light and result in 40% decrease of heat emission.

In summary we can point out the three main factors that help LEDs run cooler than any grow light type available on the market:

  • they let out less infrared light
  • they use less watts than HPS/MH/HID/LEC/CMH
  • LED light is better assimilated by plants

Yes LEDs do emit some heat, but compared to other types of lights they run a lot cooler and don`t get nearly as hot. When comparing different kinds of bulbs, a regular incandescent operates at 327, a CFL one operates at 167 degrees, whereas a LED runs at 107 degrees.

Heat Sink

XML 650 LED Grow Light - back sideWhen talking about heat emission and LED lights we should mention the role of the so called heat sink, an integral part of the grow light that helps the heat escape. Heat sinks are made so that they absorb the heat and prevent it from going to the diodes. This is a vital piece of the equipment because it helps it last longer, preventing any changes in the light spectrum and emission. At Advanced LED we`ve developed a special patented Dual Heat Sink system and a ColdFlo Heat Dissipation technology that reduce the emitted heat with more than 50%.

This is what excessive heat from low quality lights can do to your plants.

What to Consider Before Buying LED Grow Lights?

After explaining the heat emission factor behind LED lights we`d like to talk about some of the things you should look into before settling on a grow light model.

Weight

Weight is a vital indicator for the quality of an LED grow light. The general rule is that the heavier the light, the better it is. A good light should be heavy because it features a good, large heat sink. For every watt of LED light there should be at least 10 square inches of heat sink material. The higher the wattage of the light, the larger the heat sink should be. If you decide on a heavier model make sure that you have the necessary infrastructure to support that weight.

Easy Installation

A good LED grow light should be intuitive and easy to install. If you have to hang any additional pieces of equipment, reflectors or mount any ballast for weight then you`re looking at the wrong model. All Advanced LED models are easy to mount and simply need to be hung and plugged in.

Choosing the Right Amount of Lights

How many grow lights your purchase should reflect the size of your growing operations. Make sure that you check the light area and consider how close the plants are to each other. For example a regular grow light needs to consume 32 Watts in order to cover a square foot of cannabis in the flowering stage.

Easiness of Color Selection

The full spectrum adjustability of LED grow lights is one of their main perks. Make sure that the model you choose lets you change the color settings without having to perform any complicated tasks. All of Advanced LED`s models feature an easy to use switch between the different clone, veg and flower modes.

Daisy Chain Feature

The daisy chain feature in our products enables you to connect up to 4 grow lights at a time, which drastically saves space and allows for more flexibility.

Conclusion

We hope that we`ve managed to answer any questions you might have regarding LED grow lights and heat emission. In case you have any questions please use the contact form on our website or call us at +1-800-401-6307.

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