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Are LED lights any good?

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by TylerG, Jan 25, 2010.


    TylerG Member

    comments opinions knowledge and wisdom welcome


    bbonging Member

    no!well let me rephrase that NO!!! not that I can tell ..a friend of mine used them and his grow was not as good as using good lights
    iron joint

    iron joint Active Member

    I hear that they are awful. Even if you get a good setup, their efficiency rarely manages to beat CFL's, if ever. And for the prices you are going to pay for LED kits, there's no reason you shouldn't just buy a HID

    jcdws602 Well-Known Member

    You will get a variety of opinions on this subject....and I am no pro when it comes to LED but in my experience which is not much with LED is that they work exceptionally well for vegetative period of a plants life better than regular fluorescent tubes I have led and fluorescent for my mothers...now for flowering I have not flowered under LED but from everything I have gathered from many led grows is that lack penetration power to produce nice nuges under the canopy....

    Attached Files:


    TheOtherGreenBud Member

    LED work wonders for veg growth, but switch to something else when you get into flowering, theyll grow nice and big in veg and then switch to an hps great results, the only reason LED suck for flowering is because they cant get everywehre, if u wrapped LED around the plant pretty much touching, you would get an amazing plant, but idk who can afford that lol

    TylerG Member

    thanks everyone!

    T.H.Cammo Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Are LED lights any good?

    Interesting that you would ask that question! I have been keeping one eye on "LED Progress" every since N.A.S.A. first brought them to everyone's attention, a few years ago.

    At first it was all "Hoop-la", but the results were really shabby. After a couple of years, a few people were reporting some success. For the last year, or so, a lot more people are reporting more and better success.

    I read a "Grow Journal" the other day that used only LED's and yielded well over a gram/watt, dry! I want to say like 1.5 or 1.75 gram/watt, but i don't remember exactly. IMHO, they need to do way better than that to warrant the high price tag; but that's just my $.02 worth!

    For the last couple of years, the trend has been to use fewer "Higher Powered" LED's. And, at last, they are using many wavelengthes instead of just a couple or a few! That has always been my main "drawback" (not enough wavelengthes). Some are even including UV-B LED's now!

    So, yeah, the tide is turning!

    secretforestgarden Active Member

    I agree generally with the other members in this thread. But, I'll put my own 2 cents in too.

    From what I've read, they can be a good source of supplemental light if used in conjunction with CFLs and HIDs. When used alone, results are hard to come by.

    I am however running a current experiment to see if a PC stealth setup with a good mix of LEDs and CFLs can yield good results. One thing I have noticed, is that even big LED panels generate virtually no heat--even much less than CFLs! This is a big bonus where I am using extremely quiet fans that cannot move super lots of air.

    Before I give a quick rundown of my setup, I'll give some tips, info, and recommendations on LEDs:
    1) Buy mixed-band LEDs. This means that that a given LED light panel should have a mix of blue and red and maybe deep red LED diodes. The blue for vegetative growth and red for flowering.

    2)Disassemble your LED product. Yes, you heard right. Unless you have a fancy UFO lamp (don't assemble those), you will be buying either a LED spotlight or a LED panel. These spotlights and panels have a ton of extra space in the lamp body or the panel body--taking valuable space from your setup. Take off the back of your LED panel with screwdrivers and you should see one of those green-looking electronic project boards. You'll probably also see the extra length of the LED diode contacts. You can clip this extra "wire" down to the solder. Then, cover all the electronics with duct tape--probably two layers of high-grade duct tape. Cover all the rest of the exposed wire and resistor contacts (duh!) You'll have noticed that you have decreased the thickness of your LED panel by up to 50%. This makes even one of those big 225 diode panels usable in a a stealth setup (PC, rubbermaid, small closet, etc.) NOTE: You are in no danger of overheating--LEDs run COOL!

    3) PUT your LEDs close to the plants.

    4) Buy a panel or UFO with big LEDs--it's better to have fewer LEDs which each output a lot of light than having more LEDs with a low wattage each.

    5) Buy a high wattage panel--look at 50w panels from SenLed. You probably don't wanna bother with those 13w panels--they're just not powerful enough worth buying.

    6) Buy big LEDs. I'm running 10mm diodes on my 50w panel.

    7) LEDs are HIGHLY-directional. This means that they really only emit a considerable amount of usable light in one direction--directly out from the diode. Put your LEDs in direct line with your plants.

    Ok, enough tips--these should guide you in your purchase and implementation of a LED light supplement. Now, for a word on my setup.

    My stealth PC box can run up to 4 CFLs and has a 13w LED spotlight-converted-to-a-panel and a 50w panel converted in the same manner. I have the 13w directly on a seedling. It likes it. The 50w is mounted on the side of the case to get the entire side of my plants. One CFL is movable and the rest are mounted at the top of the case. I'm always fooling around w/ my setup but a LED supplement can be a nice addition where HIDs are cost-prohibitive and CFLs and HIDs generate too much heat. My general approach is use a few less CFLs for heat and fill in the gaps with LED. I'm not going to lie--I'm expecting big yields.

    Check out my grow in my signature for more details and pics.




    110100100 Well-Known Member

    Best LED lamps I've seen so far have been these. They are by no means cheap by any means but I think they are the best money can buy at the moment. The prices have to come down as they get better and more people take the plunge just like any thing else. Check them out.

    600W LED Research Grow NASA would be proud of!

    540 grams dry from 600 actual watts of LEDs and he was growing different strains not trying to max yield for the space and wattage.

    I'd say that's pretty damn good. LEDs might not be for you but if you have the cash or understand the need to tune the spectrum like they have done with these lamps and can build your own, LEDs might be the way to go for you!

    Here's a video of his grow.


    blade9z Active Member


    jawbrodt Well-Known Member

    From what I've read, it seems that you need almost as many watts LED as you would need HID's, to get the same results. I'd love to make the switch someday, just for the heat reduction in the summertime, but the prices are simply too far out of my range. It would cost like $3000+ to replace the 1800 watts HPS I'm running, and I can't afford that. So for now, I'll invest a couple hundred on a decent A/C, and make sure my air cooled hoods have good fans hooked up to them.LOL

    secretforestgarden Active Member

    That seems to be the problem a lot of people are having with converting to LEDs--price. There is a cool article out right now on the high times website that goes really in depth about LEDs and lists some cool recent grow experiments carried out in controlled environments:


    xxhawk Member

    Not sure how its gona do but i added a few red blue spectrum lights to my 600 watt hps grow .lets see how it will do i will post results

    toris1981 Well-Known Member

    IMHO and experience, yes. But make sure you use them in the ways that will get you the best results. At the expense of repeating what others have said, LED's are much better for vegging than flowering, mostly because of light penetration. However, they do make LED lights that are specifically meant for flowering, meaning they have more lights of the red spectrum which flowering plants love.
    If you're new to LED's and want to start at the top, check out cree led lights, or manufacturers that use primarily cree LED's. The reason for this is that many LED's have gotten a bad rap from knockoff's and low quality manufacturers in China. I currently use a Blackstar 180w LED for my veg tent, and I'm so happy with it I plan on getting two more to break up my veg tent to one mother/clone tent, and another tent dedicated to growing larger veg plants before I put them in my flower tent. So in the end, I'll have one 180w over the two mothers I have, and cfl's over my clones and two 180w over the vegging plants (in two 2'x4' tents). Its important to remember that the big benefit of LED's is the low power usage and low heat, which means that you can get the plants within inches without any adverse effects! But the big benefit also means that the closeness will keep your other plants not in direct light from reaping the great benefits so your footprint will be smaller with LED's vs. HID.

    Also, make sure you look for the 3w diodes. Someone referenced 1w or more, but IMO 3w's are the standard you should be shooting for. And again, I'm repeating someone else's thoughts but make sure they have multiple spectrums since each diode puts out one specific wavelength only and your plants use a variety of the visible (and nonvisible) light.

    So to sum, yes! An emphatic yes! But do your homework, stay away from brands you can't find reviews for, and use the lights for their best purpose! Have fun, I know the heat and electricity savings I'm getting have changed my whole setup and understanding!

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