Illuminating Your Plants With Bar Style LED Grow Lights

Bar style LED grow lights are revolutionizing indoor farming across many nations globally. They are more energy efficient, last longer, and are versatile to adjust to a plant’s light requirement. 

Moreover, they have multiple advantages over traditional light sources that produce much heat and last less.

 Today‚Äôs article is for you if you grow your plants on an indoor farm. We are looking at bar-style LEDs and how they compare against other lighting systems. 

Let’s get going. 

Bar-style LED VS. Board-style LED Grow Lights

Board-style LED grow lights

(Board-style LED grow lights)

Generally, you can use bar-style and board-style LED grow lights to achieve the same results. 

However, when we consider light penetration, the differences in application become more evident. Let’s look at the differences between the two.

Bar-style LED Grow Lights

Bar-style grow lights have LEDs on a slim, rectangular bar that you can connect to form a longer light fixture. 

Additionally, you can connect them side by side to form a rectangular fixture known as multi-bar-style LED light. 

They are popular in indoor farms with crops having an even canopy. In other words, they work well when you illuminate plants with almost similar heights.  

Furthermore, they produce less heat with an even light distribution than the board-style LED grow lights while maximizing usable photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) light. 

Board-style LED Grow Lights

Board-style LED grow lights have light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on a rectangular circuit board.

 In other words, the board has multiple LEDs running in an analogous manner through a power supply unit. 

They are popular in cultivating plants with uneven canopies due to their high light penetration.

 On the downside, they tend to heat up a lot around the middle section of the board. 

Consequently, you must keep them further from your plants than a bar-style LED grow light.

Comparing Bar Style LED Grow Lights to Other Lighting Systems

An incandescent light bulb

(An incandescent light bulb)

Bar-style LED grow lights are quickly replacing traditional lighting systems such as fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.

 The reasons include that they are more energy efficient while generating less heat. 

Also, LED lights have longer lifespans that range between 50,000 and 100,000 hours. Here, let’s delve deeper into other lighting options. 

Incandescent Grow Lights

Incandescent lights were at one time so popular that most households and institutions had them. As grow lights, they were very inefficient on three grounds.

 First, their power consumption is high as they convert around 10 percent of their power supply to light energy. 

In contrast, LED grow lights convert as much as 90 percent of wattage to light energy. 

Second, incandescent bulbs rely on passing current through a high-resistance tungsten filament. 

The high impedance causes the filament to heat up, producing light and heat energy. The latter is undesirable as it causes heat stress in plants. 

Third, incandescent grow lights last approximately 1,000 hours. In comparison, fluorescent bulbs last anywhere between 16,000 and 20,000 hours. 

Fluorescent Grow Lights

A fluorescent tube alongside LED strips

(A fluorescent tube alongside LED strips)

Fluorescent grow lights have better luminous efficacy than incandescent lamps. They fluoresce to produce roughly 50 to 100 lumens per watt. 

Generally, they are less popular due to the fact that they consume more power than bar-style LED grow lights. 

Fluorescent lamps generate more heat per watt, making it harder to keep them close to the plants for long periods.

 Moreover, their narrower spectrum light means they have a narrow photosynthetically active radiation (PAR).

On the positive side, growers use them during seeding or to care for plants needing low amounts of UV wavelengths.

High-Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs)

HIDs are a popular alternative to LED grow lights since they are more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lamps.

 Moreover, they produce less heat than traditional sources but still more than LED lights. 

Typically, you can get them in two categories, namely metal halide and high-pressure sodium bulbs.

 To differentiate the two, know that light from the former is white, whereas high-pressure sodium bulbs produce amber-orange light. 

On the downside, they last about 10,000 hours, after which you must buy new ones. 

The Future of LED Grow Lights

An indoor marijuana farm under LED grow lights

(An indoor marijuana farm under LED grow lights)

LED grow lights play an important role in indoor gardens as they provide artificial light wavelengths that mimic those of the sun. 

In the near future, we shall get LED grow lights that consume less energy than the ones we have today. 

Surprisingly, even modern-day LED grow lights are power efficient, converting nearly 90 percent of wattage to light energy. 

Moreover, engineers are working to integrate indoor farming with smart technologies. 

One way of doing this is programming the LED grow lights to turn on and off depending on the specific plant’s light cycle.

 Additionally, the lights will detect patterns of heat stress in plants and adjust their height and intensity. 

Another future trend is lowering the heat the LED grow lights produce to eliminate the need for air vents and fans. 

They don’t produce as much heat as incandescent or fluorescent lights, but a little can affect some plants. 

Furthermore, LED manufacturers are working on grow lights that deliver specific spectrums to give a plant the perfect light calibration. 

Therefore, you will lose less light to the surroundings by optimizing the PPFD and DLI.

FAQ

Can I use bar-style LED grow lights for all stages of plant growth?

You can use a bar-style LED grow light for all growth stages of your plants if it can produce the full spectrum range. 

Important wavelengths include producing red, blue, UV, green, and far-red spectrums influencing plant growth at different stages. 

If your’s produces a single wavelength, like blue, you must replace it with another crucial at a particular stage. 

However, you may spend more resources tailoring your lights to a growth stage. It’s wiser to adopt full-spectrum bar-style LED grow lights for better yields.

How do I determine the size and number of bar-style LED grow lights for my garden?

You can use an LED grow light’s wattage to know the number of bar-style light sources to install. Typically, growers look for 20 to 40 watts for every square foot.

 For instance, you will need 180 to 200-watt LED grow lights for six plants, each foot apart. 

Additionally, you can measure appropriate light intensity using precise measures like Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density and DLI.

Are there any safety considerations or precautions when using bar-style LED grow lights?

LED grow lights are safer to use than traditional lighting systems, meaning there isn’t much to consider about safety.

 But first, you must ensure that all connectors, like power cords and supplies, are insulated. 

Additionally, ensure you install them well according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Secondly, consider their heat dissipation, especially when powering them with high voltages. 

To do so, keep the LEDs far away from flammable material, and have adequate ventilation. 

Third, wear eye protection if you work in indoor farms relying on bar-style LED grow lights. 

Remember, LEDs can be very bright, leading to temporary blindness when you look at them for a long time. 

Conclusion

LED grow lights are revolutionizing indoor farming as they are energy efficient, easy to install, and produce less heat. 

Chances are high that most growers prefer LED lights as you can keep them closer to the plants. 

As a result, the plants get important wavelengths without much wastage. However, the bar-style LED grow lights have a high upfront cost that you must be aware of.

Luckily, their longevity outweighs any amount you spend during procurement and installation.