The best setup for growing plants has always been HID bulbs and power supplies. These bulbs often end up producing the best end result, even though managing the power consumption and heat is an issue. Now that LED bulbs have gotten much better, people have started converting over to fixtures that are specifically made for growing plants. Unfortunately, many people have gotten nothing but negative results from the change, but there are some important factors and changes to think about when switching lighting methods.
Most growers know exactly the amount of nutrition and water to give their plants to obtain the greatest results. When changing to an LED light setup, many individuals make the mistake of keeping everything the same, which ruins their crops. Usually hydroponics systems are best for an LED light switch, since they offer additional control and visibility of what is occurring with the plant. Even if a blunder is made, hydroponics setups will show the degeneration and following regeneration much more clearly than standard soil setups do. Most people looking to save money through LED lights will usually feed their soil setups too much water and nutrients, and end up getting poor results or kill the plant along the way.
The difference in heat is the primary reason this happens. While LED grow lights generate almost no heat at all, HID setups produce massive amounts of heat that also affect the plant even when they are vented. A lot of stuff needs to be adjusted in order to better fit the new environment that lacks the massive amount of heat the previous type of lighting produced. Less is a lot more in almost all LED setups. HID grow lights generate so much heat that a lot of the water and nutrients that are put into the plant are evaporated to the air, so people converting over will often add too much water or add too many nutrients. LED bulbs are best experimented with over hydroponics systems because the main variable is nutrient intake and not levels of water. Including much less nutrients in each type of setup will reduce “nutrient burn” that produces discoloration of the leaves.
The biggest thing that needs to be done with each setup is experimentation. In an LED setup less is more, and the height of the light to the plant ought to be adjusted along with the frequency of water and nutrients. LED systems today can produce quality that is just as good as, if not better than, the quality HID bulbs produce, but in order to get these results, some messing around and keeping a journal of the changes are necessary.