Can We Use LED Strips to Grow Plants?

It is a well-known fact that plants require light to survive and make food for themselves through a process known as photosynthesis. 

Outdoor plants usually have easy access to lots of sunlight, which is necessary for their proper development and growth. 

However, you must replicate this light if you are growing plants indoors since they sometimes cannot obtain an adequate amount of it just through an open window or door.

Fortunately, plants can utilize light of all wavelengths for carrying out photosynthesis. Although natural white light is ideal, stronger light colors can also encourage plant growth during the lack of white light. 

Still, it is recommended to have both blue and red lights in the presence of your indoor plants to promote their healthy growth. But the main question is, “how can indoor plant growth be aided in the absence of sunlight?”

Importance of Light for Plants

Like all other living things, plants require various resources for their growth and survival. This includes light, water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and a nutrient source, such as the soil surrounding their roots. 

Plants depend on sunlight in a natural outdoor setting for photosynthesis and growth. However, all plants must be kept in an environment similar to their natural habitat, even when cultivated indoors. 

Most plants require the artificial duplication of natural sunlight like Led lights to flourish and develop at a healthy rate. It is usually recommended to have the light of a minimum brightness of 2,000 lumens/sq2 to help plants go through a successful growth cycle. 

Lumen measurement, nevertheless, is based on how we tend to perceive light, especially yellow light, which is not particularly necessary for the effective growth of plants. 

Thus, ensuring that the entire color spectrum is available is preferable to placing excessive emphasis on lumen measurements.

LEDs for Plants

LED lights are incredibly energy-efficient and offer a broad range of colors. Another advantage of using LED lights for growing plants is that they create little heat while providing uniform, directed light distribution, resulting in fewer expenses with higher yields or more vigorous development.

While LED strip lights can help indoor plants grow healthily and are useful for adjusting the color of light for these plants, they are typically not sufficiently bright on their own to support the development of plants at earlier stages, aka as seedlings. 

Thus, these LED strips must often be used with more powerful light sources.

Using LED lighting for plants has various advantages. Since LEDs do not produce much heat, they don’t result in the burning or drying of plants. 

But the majority of regular LED strips produce about 450 lumens/ft. Brighter LEDs, i.e., 5050 or higher, are required for lumen output of more than 2,000. 

The 5050 LED strips are substantially brighter as compared to ordinary LEDs and are thus, more suited for plant development since they measure 5 mm x 5 mm and include three LED chips in one strip.

Do LEDs Provide Necessary Color Spectrum for Plants?

When growing inside, plants need the complete color spectrum to survive. This is provided by natural sunlight, being white light that includes all seven-colored waves, yet you would require a range of these colors in your interior lighting. 

For instance, red light promotes flower development, whereas plants need blue light to flourish healthily. Also, intense blue light is essential for a seedling to grow throughout its early development phases. 

Indoor plants might not grow if you don’t give red and blue light wavelengths.

Additionally, because it is nearest to natural sunlight, the light around 6500K is best for the growth of plants. Lights of about 3000K are needed for fruit development, budding and blooming. 

The necessary red and blue light wavelengths can be produced using LED strips. The strip lights you are planning to use, however, should emit the precise wavelengths required for the plant (usually specified on the packaging).

Single-color strips generally provide white light with a range between 2200K and 6500K, which is perfect for all plants’ growth phases. 

You may alternatively select a dynamically adjustable LED light and concurrently set it to operate at low and high wavelengths. Other choices involve getting several RGB strips and switching between red and blue lights.

Using LED Strips for Plants 

A plant’s ability to develop successfully relies more on the color wavelengths it gets than on how intense the light is. Due to this, LED lights are becoming more common as growth lights. 

Energy-saving LED strips are easily available in the market, including the entire color spectrum. 

These may be used to grow plants indoors; however, to increase your chances of success, you should be careful to choose the proper lights.

The best strips are the ones that are of one color since they cover the complete spectrum range. 

You’ll require lights that include both the blue and red wavelengths otherwise. If you are using just one RGB strip, it should be 5050K and purple so that the proper proportion of blue and red is present. This would promote both seedling growth and blossom at an early stage. 

Of course, certain plants, like tomatoes, won’t be able to grow or even survive with only LED light since they need a higher amount of light and heat for proper development. 

Still, if an LED light strip is almost 5050K with a full spectrum range, most plants ought to thrive under their light.

Benefits of using LEDs for Plants:

  • Control of light quality
  • Control of light exposure
  • Flexible positioning (can be used anywhere in any direction)
  • Higher control over plant morphogenesis
  • Better environmental control for seedling growth
  • Better wavelength exposure
  • Constant light even on cloudy or cold days
  • Decreased emission of heat
  • Decreased energy expenses
  • It prevents over-drying and burning of plants due to lesser heat 

Final Words 

You may use LED lights for growing your plants indoors as a substitute for natural sunlight. Their adaptability may be quite helpful, giving you more precise control over the placement of these lights and your plants. 

You can be sure that plants would get what they require with a full-color spectrum LED light strip. 

However, you should ensure a strip of at least 5050K to increase the chances of the successful growth of your indoor plants and optimal seed germination.

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