According to High Times:
“As the cannabis industry grows all over the world, more and more growers, both commercial and home, are using LED grow lights.
“There’s no doubt LED grow lights use less energy. But buying LEDs just for the savings is not the best route, no matter what size grow you have.
“When it comes to massive opportunities to make a quick buck—just like the gold rush, the dot com rush, or the cannabis green rush—there will be tons of people selling low quality, cheap products. Now, wanting to buy something for less isn’t wrong, but buying something just because it costs close to nothing is, unless you want to produce yields that are… well, close to nothing. You get what you pay for.
“All LED grow lights are not the same. There are many players in the market but most of them sell regular LED grow lights, while just a few make and sell full spectrum LED grow lights.
“What is the difference between full spectrum LED grow lights and regular LED grow lights? The sun.
“We all know the best light source for plants is the sunlight.
“Natural sunlight includes all spectrums, even beyond what we as humans can see, such as ultraviolet and infrared. Traditional HPS lights put out an intense high band of limited nanometer wavelengths (yellow light), which activates photorespiration, which is why they have been so successful in agricultural applications to date. LED grow lights that provide only two, three, four, or even eight colors will never come close to reproducing the effects of sunlight…
“Traditional LED arrays tend to only emit the spectrums that activate after the photorespiration period takes place (LEDs with dominant red and blue lights). This is the reason traditional LED lights sometimes finish cycles with immature plants that produce low yields. By supplying plants with only the limited ‘beneficial’ spectrums (pink light) from traditional LED arrays, you are essentially putting them into a permanent chill mode. You may end up with some healthy plants, but they will not yield as much or be as healthy as plants under a full spectrum LED grow light. If red and blue light were truly all that plants needed, then why do HPS lights, which don’t have much of either color, outperform them? The answer is that it’s intensity that plants go for first—then spectrum. When you give your plants both intensity and full spectrum light, they will pay you back every time…”