Regardless if you live in a cold area, or a place where your windowsills are just too narrow to allow you to place a flower pot, a grow light can definitely be your lifesaver. Even with the use of a small and simple setup, you can have your plants seed early, maintain a garden all year round, or nurture exotic blooms of flower. During the process of choosing which grow light system to install, you should consider energy efficiency to be one of the major factors. This is because your grow lights will be up and running for a span of 12 hours a day. Energy costs and effectiveness should also be considered since you want to produce maximum yield for your money.
In this article, we are going to make an assessment over which grow light is better – best LED grow lights or fluorescent lights.
A light bulb’s efficacy can be determined by how much light in can produce for every watt of energy consumed. Both fluorescent and LED grow lights vary according to the type, with cool white LEDs and straight-tube fluorescents to be the most efficient. Meanwhile, warm white LEDs and circular fluorescents tend to be the least efficient. In terms of longevity, LED lights last longer compared to fluorescent bulbs, thus producing less waste. A fluorescent light’s quality often decline long before the bulb burns out. With that, they would need replacement once the end of the tubes darken, usually once a year.
LED grow lights and fluorescent lights both come in cool and warm light varieties. After all, plants require both warm and cool light for optimal growth and health. If you only install cool light, it could result to your plants being spindly. Meanwhile installing only warm lights will result to them being short, bushy and without any bloom. Most growers resolved the issue by fitting a two-tube fluorescent fixture with a warm bulb on one side and a cool bulb on the other. However, LED manufacturers have solved the issue by combining both individual warm and cool LED diodes to a single bulb, allowing it to produce a beneficial light balance. Such lights are marketed as specialty grow lights other than regular indoor LED bulbs.
Fluorescent grow lights are much cheaper than LED grow lights, especially the cool tubes. There are those specialized fluorescent bulbs which contain a full spectrum which sell for a slightly higher price, but is still cheaper than a full spectrum LED grow lights. However, in terms of saving costs in the long run, LED grow lights are the better choice. While more expensive initially, they require less replacement and consume less energy.
Fluorescent grow lights are considered the standard for indoor gardening due to their effectiveness. However, the introduction of several lighting options such as the HPS lights have caused fluorescent lights to decline in popularity. Moreover, LED grow lights are way more effective than HPS lights as based on several studies.