Traditional light technologies like high-pressure sodium, metal halide or fluorescent lights produce distinct light spectrum and wavelengths that are effective, but not necessarily optimized for cannabis growth. LEDs, on the other hand, have the flexibility to deliver specific wavelength combinations and lighting strategies that may yield faster and more favorable results for growers depending on the spectrum type of LED used and the particular plant response they are seeking. The options for LEDs, however, are numerous and cannabis growers need to understand their own objectives in order to choose the right manufacturer, fixture, and spectrum.
The use of artificial light to improve plant growth by providing longer photoperiods and higher daily light sums (DLI) has been in use for decades. Lights are designed to stimulate plant growth by emitting an electromagnetic spectrum that drives photosynthesis, which is the process plants use to convert light radiation into biomass.
The advent of LED technology now allows growers to isolate and mix wavelengths that are most effective in promoting consistent and healthy plant growth. LEDs can alter a cannabis plant’s strategy for energy use during photosynthesis by transmitting different information from the spectrum. From the perspective of a commercial cannabis grow operation, LEDs typically offer longer lifespan, lower power consumption, and significantly less radiant heat directed at the plants. Read more below.