How to Use Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights for Indoor Cultivation (Aspect Review)
On the other hand, you may already know of different types of full-spectrum LED lights. If so, the section in this guide on “Important Aspects of Full Spectrum Grow Lights” may interest you. It’s important because it will help you choose the right “aspect ratio” of red versus blue lights, for instance.
After that, you will need to learn how to use LED grow lights for indoor plants. Knowing how to set them up, how long to keep them on, etc., that’s what will get you the crops you want. If that’s the part of this piece of content that will help you the most, skip to that section.
You also may want to refer to the “Pros and Cons of the Aspect Grow Light” to determine if this LED lamp will work for you. If not, you may instead consider other available LED grow lights for indoor cultivation.
Important Aspects of Full-Spectrum Grow Lights
Full-spectrum grow lights appear like natural daylight. Two important measurements for mimicking sunlight include the CRI (color render index) and the color temperature (CCT).
It’s good to have LED bulbs that have a CRI of at least 90-95. This will allow objects placed under it to be shown as close as possible to their natural color. Many full-spectrum lights do achieve this rating.
Full-spectrum lights also have about a 6500K color temperature. This places them at the “cooler” end of the scale, with some incandescent bulbs at the opposite, “warmer” end of the scale.
Recommended Color Ratios
Another important mechanic of full spectrum LED lights is color ratios. A standard recommendation is 1:4 blue to red, but that depends on the crops you’re growing. Usually, the amount of sunlight matters more than the exact ratio, which you need to fine-tune. When in doubt, err on the side of adjusting the blue intensity rather than the red but keep mostly red.
How do grow lights work?
Grow lights emit a phenomenon called “photons.” Photons are tiny particles that perform a similar action as natural light waves, some of which are responsible for photosynthesis.
It’s possible to mimic the photosynthesis action promoted by sunlight in grow lights. This process activates a plant’s natural energy production, creating its own food it needs to develop.
How to Use LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
Several considerations will determine how to use LED grow lights for indoor plants. Assess these factors before installing your full spectrum lights for indoor cultivation. You can’t ignore this if you want to have a successful crop yield.
Depending on the type of plant you have, you need to make sure your LED grow lights are appropriate for the place you set them. This includes making room in the space you have for your plants to grow. It also means making sure you have space to place your lights far away from your plants, usually 12-36 inches from each crop you grow.
Size of Light
For smaller growing areas, you might need lights thinner in width or shorter. Wider or longer lights may work better in larger crop yielding spaces. Of course, it also may depend on if you’re concentrating on growing for personal or commercial use.
Type of Plants
One remarkable aspect of using LED growing lights is the ability to raise up crops not normally meant for your climate region. Still, oranges or bananas versus cucumbers, tomatoes or cannabis will determine your full spectrum lighting choice.
Certain full spectrum grow lights hang overhead. However, you also have others that can stand vertically or lie horizontally. Some are meant for placement near your plants, but others you need to have room to set up further away from your plants.
When working the soil before planting, that’s another time when you may need to dim or turn off your full-spectrum lights. However, you still need to see, so you ideally need lights bright enough to help you finish your cultivation processes and routine plant maintenance.
Sometimes, full spectrum LED grow lighting can strain your eyes. It’s important to have a way to switch them off, dim them or change the color temperature settings. This will preserve your eyesight as you look upon your plants, monitor their health, and perform maintenance on them.
Tips for Successful Indoor Cultivation
When learning how to use plant lights, it helps to have a step-by-step guide to follow. With a little practice, you will have healthy crops and large yields.
1. Get yourself a timer (or install programmable lights).
As of 2023, it’s not difficult to find LED grow lights with built-in timers. If you have a grow light you used in the past that doesn’t have one, you may need to get a timer.
This will remind you to shut off your lights and change them to dimmer lights for the “moonlight” cycle. What this means is, your plants don’t need light 24/7 and you can remind yourself to let them have their period of darkness, which also can save you money on energy costs.
2. Choose the right light temperature.
Full-spectrum lights usually come close to the same temperature rating of about 6500K. However, you may see them fluctuate in settings to a little bit lower or higher. Keeping your grow lights at about 6500K helps you maintain the similarity to daylight your plants need.
3. Inspect the lights and plants regularly.
You may have the guide that tells you what light you need for your plants. However, you still need to inspect the lights to make sure they’re working. In addition, it’s important to inspect the plant you grow regularly to determine how well your lights are working for you. For example, you may find that some seeds didn’t sprout in the time you expect them to. If not, it’s up to you to find out how to adjust the lights for that specific instance.
4. Assess the quality of your plants.
Assessments come after inspection. You need to assess the quality of your plants to determine how effective your full spectrum grow light for indoor plants setup is working for you. For instance, you might notice that your plants have yellow leaves.
Yellow leaves could mean they need watering. However, it also could mean that it’s time to turn down the light for a while. This relates to programming your lights, so they shut off. This will give your plants time to “sleep,” in the dark just like you do at night.
5. Keep LED lamps dusted and clean.
Dusting and cleaning LED lamps will prevent dust fires. It will also maximize the effectiveness of your LED grow lights, as clean lights emit their full capacity of lights required for successful plant yields. It’s not just the dust, but sometimes, moisture and dust together could create a sticky residue on your lights.
You usually can wipe off larger lamps with plain water, or you can use some mild detergent and water. Usually a soft or slightly abrasive towel helps in this case too. If possible, dust your lamps before it turns into a hardened layer of film that takes more time to remove.
5. Change bulbs when you need to.
If you have a grow light setup that doesn’t allow you to easily clean the lights, you may have to change the individual bulbs. Of course, grow light lamps eventually need replacement because they’ve run their course. They may last for several yeas, but you eventually need new ones.
6. Calculate the number of lamps you need.
Consider the space you need away from your plants for your lights. You also will have to determine how much space to have between each light. This does require some careful planning, and it does call for measuring the square footage of your growing area.
After determining the square footage of your growing area, you can divide that by the number of plants you have. Then, estimate how many LED grow lights you can place in that area.
Pros and Cons of the Aspect Grow Light
The Aspect grow light offers the 1:4 blue-to-red ratio that we spoke of earlier. This allows for as healthy stem and root development as possible by way of the right amount of blue light. The right portion of red light supports flowering and plant growth.
The Aspect also has an astoundingly high 97 CRI measurement. This means you can count on the appearance of your plants to not deceive you. Its visible light waves also stay within the optimal range meant for maximum photosynthesis production.
The Aspect grow lights come in attractive, sleek designs that look well in just about any room. It makes your growing setup more pleasing to the eyes. This works well if you’re attempting to grow in your living area and set up your plants as if you’re adding them to your room decor.
While achieving the CRI you need for being able to see your plants as they are, it doesn’t do as well with color temperature. Its 3000K tempurature reading might not be close enough to natural daylight to produce the effects you want as you watch your plants grow.
The Aspect grow lights for indoor cultivation may not serve as practical for commercial growing. You’d need quite a few of them and may not have the space for all of them. They might seem too far away, being mounted on the ceiling, to your plants to allow effective development.
You also would have to invest in the Aspect’s beauty as well as its effectiveness. It’s just not always practical for large-scale commercial growing.
Other Lights You Could Choose Instead
The Aspect Grow Light provides quite a few advantages, but it may not work for every growing situation. Here’s some other grow lights you could choose instead and why.
The PHDG Toplight
The PHDG Toplight is waterproof, which helps when you use a large sprayer to wet your plants. It also allows for advanced spectrum customizations and works in just about any growing environment.
The PHDG Toplight also has the ability to provide consistent light streaming. You don’t experience shadows, unlike some other types of lights. It’s also easy to install.
It’s perfect for commercial growth. However, it’s probably not as practical for residential plant yielding. You only have the 320W and 640W power options for this one too. The only practical space for it is the overhead and not on your plant’s shelves.
QBLZ Grow Light Board
The QBLZ Board offers durability, and it’s also waterproof. The built-in heatsink also keeps the lighting system cool and provides consistent light distribution. It also provides high-performing spectrum coverage for successful plant development.
When using the QBLZ, you may find it easier to concentrate the lights on a specific plant. It also allows you maximum plant coverage.
It’s not as “pretty to look at” as the Aspect lighting system might be. It also requires a bit more installation effort. You might not have room for all the panels, depending on your growing room design. This light may work best if you incorporate them into your growing project if you plan to remodel the place for your crops in advance.
The UFO Light
The rounded UFO light offers a significant illumination radius. Like most Boya grow lights, it’s also waterproof, so it works well in mass-sprayed growing environments. It withstands moisture and unintentional water exposure.
The UFO light does have an aesthetic appeal, as it could replace a standard room lighting fixture. It also doesn’t use much energy, which is ideal for large-scale growing.
It may miss the outer edges of some of your plants. That depends on the placement though. They’re not the easiest to install of all the lights we offer. The UFO light may not work as well space wise as vertical, horizontal or top lights.
The Veg Light
The Veg Light provides a way to grow plants without consuming too much power. It has quite a long lifespan, and it also provides as much photon emissions as you need. It can encourage photosynthesis more so than other light sources.
Its construction also helps prevent overheating. The Veg Light also has a heat dissipation system.
Although thin and compact looking, the Veg Light might still not fit in certain areas when turned a specific direction. You might have too many gaps in coverage if you don’t place them right.
The Interlight provides you with light converted from energy at an astoundingly efficient rate. Its construction also does prevent overheating. You’d want to use the Interlight to develop better fruits and flowers, which improves plant health.
You can also use the Interlight in settings where moisture would frequently accumulate, such as a greenhouse. It’s also easy to install, so it may work well for you if you’re new at indoor plant cultivation.
It’s large size might not suit you well for residential growing. Even in some commercial spaces, it might not fit if you need multiple sets of lights. It doesn’t have as man full-spectrum lighting options as similar types of lights would.
YTZD Bar Light
You can use the YTZD Bar Light in both indoor and outdoor settings, which is not always the case. It’s one you could use in a greenhouse, which feels like outdoors, for instance.
You can choose from one of three dimmer settings, which offers you the control you need. You can also collapse and store these lights when not in use. This light also can adapt to various stages of plant development, and they’re available in 6- to 10-bar units.
For increased lifespan, the YTZD offers dust and water shielding. That will aid in successful plant growth as well.
Two cons include the amount of space they take up. They’re not practical for small-scale home growing. The YTZD also might consume more power than some other LED growing sources.
The FDG Toplight
The FDG Toplight offers shadow-free coverage, which optimizes light distribution to all your plants. Its design prevents too many dark spots where they normally would occur. This ensures that all plants have equal light.
The FDG also provides some of the best light spectrum setting options of all the lights we supply. This includes advanced lighting customizations for specific plants. Just adjust the lamps how you need to for maximum plant yield.
It doesn’t have to take long to install the FDG either. It also has waterproofing qualities, and it will prevent dust damage for continual performance. What’s more, it offers relatively quick plant growth while not consuming excess energy.
This LED grow lighting system may take up more room than other lamps. You also may need to spend extra time in trial and error. It takes practice to get all the plant-specific settings right.
How long should you run a full spectrum grow light?
Most plants need at least 12-14 hours of sunlight, so you should keep your grow lights on for at least that long. You can save energy, however, when growing plants that don’t need direct sunlight. For instance, beats, carrots and potatoes don’t require much direct sunlight.
What edible plants require the most light?
When learning how to use grow lights, it’s important to know how much light each plant needs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers are some edible plants that require the most light.
Does cannabis need a lot of light?
It requires about the average amount of plants that most would. It needs about 13 hours daily, so set your full spectrum LED grow light timer for about that time, depending on the strain of cannabis you grow.