7 Myths LED Grow Light Companies Tell You

So you’re interested in buying the best LED grow light for indoor plants?  You have come to the right place.

To make an informed decision, you should understand how plants use light, especially from artificial light sources.  We are going to deconstruct a few myths in the industry to help you identify the best grow lights on the market.

If you’re more curious about how LED grow lights work, check out our new article here.

Myth #1: “HPS puts out over 50% wasted light”

“This is why our purple 12-band LEDs are more efficient! Our perfect 12-band spectrum puts out the only light plants really need.”

If you see this quote, run! 🙂  Some LED companies say that the reason why LEDs are more efficient than High-Pressure Sodium bulbs is because plants don’t use yellow or green light. In other words, the reigning champion of grow lights for several decades, the mighty High-Pressure Sodium, is putting out a lot of  “wasted light”.  What?

Here’s what the LED companies haven’t been telling you. There’s a phenomenon known as the green gap for narrowband LEDs — they can’t create green, yellow or infrared wavelengths very efficiently.  So when you look at the graph below, you’ll suddenly understand why we have purple grow lights. It’s because red and blue are the only colors narrowband LEDs are good at making!  Also notice how narrowband LEDs only create very small “points” of color, which is why you might see 8, 10, or 12 bands being advertised as a full spectrum led grow light – it’s a company’s way of trying to deal with LED technology developed in the 1990’s.

The efficiency percentage of narrowband LEDs at different colors (wavelengths)

Truth: LEDs are more efficient than HID bulbs because they create light directly from electricity, and do not have to heat up a bulb.

But really, where are they getting the idea that purple light is the best for plants? Read on to Myth #2…

Myth #2:  Plants Only Need Red and Blue (Purple) Light


Here is where the LED company will pull out their favorite chart – the Chlorophyll A/B absorption graph (see “Pigment Extract” in the below image).  They’ll show their spectrum on top of this chart and say that they’re giving plants only the colors of light that they can absorb, or 100% usable light!!!  Sounds great right?  It’s more like a marketing trick.

Remember the colors that narrowband LEDs could create from Myth #1?  Notice how red (~650nm) and blue (~450nm) conveniently coincide with the colors most absorbed by the “Pigment Extract” which is Chlorophyll.  In actuality, the leaf itself is absorbing more than just red and blue.  Green and yellow light (500-600nm) are getting absorbed by the leaf, too. In fact, these colors are very important for the full development of the plant since that is what they experience when growing under the sun.

Absorptance spectra of spinach leafs


If you look closely at the graph, notice how different parts of the plant leaf absorb varying portions of light. The “Chloroplasts” are the centers of photosynthesis — notice how much green, yellow, and orange they absorb. Green doesn’t just “bounce off” of the leaves after all!

If you can imagine green and yellow light as the “free agents” that can slip by Chlorophyll A/B to other parts of the leaf, think about how a red and blue spectrum could fail.  Red and blue light cannot easily penetrate past the first few layers of plant cells, into buds, or to the leaves below because Chlorophyll A/B is blocking those colors!  See the illustration below where the narrowband Red/Blue LED having most of its light blocked by the leaf (e.g. Chlorophyll A/B) whereas HPS or broadband light penetrates past the canopy through to the leaves below.

“[Red/Blue Light] hardly penetrates through [the] plant canopy compared with [High-Pressure Sodium] light”
Left: Narrowband red/blue LED
Right: Polychromatic Broadband Light
This image and quote come from a study where Red and Blue LEDs failed to produce the same results as High-Pressure sodium because of the lack of canopy penetration. If you’re in for a read, check it out.


Truth: Plants absorb and use much more than red and blue light.  In fact, other colors are critical to its development!

Myth #3: Blue is for Veg, Red is for Flower

This myth originates from the ritual of switching between Metal Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs when transitioning from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage of growth.  Growers use MH because it has blue light which is needed to prevent stretching.  HPS bulbs have more yellow/orange light, which is important for rapid growth during flowering.  Neither of these bulbs is designed for plant growth, but each is more suitable for a certain stage of plant growth than the other.

Since growers are in the habit of switching bulbs between veg and flower, LED companies provide two spectrum modes to increase marketability.  Usually, the veg mode is almost 80 percent blue light.  Studies show that giving your plants mostly blue light during veg is wasting the potential of your harvest.  Your plants will grow slower, create smaller leaves, and won’t be prepared to grow big for the final yield.

Check out the image below illustrating the vegetative growth of lettuce under varying amounts of blue and green light.  Watch what happens when blue light passes about 20 percent — the plants shrink!  Think about the results that you might get from a grow light with more than 50 percent blue light.  LED companies that “match” the chlorophyll A/B graphs will provide this much blue light, seriously decreasing yields.  For curious minds, check out the study (quoted below) here.

As the fraction of blue light increased, leaf size and plant growth decreased significantly. However, while the addition of green light considerably reduced the leaf photosynthetic rate, it did not reduce plant growth.

The reaction of lettuce when exposed to certain percentages of blue and green light.
Unless you’re an advanced grower who is prepared and educated for what happens with changing the color ratio, you’re looking for one constant and efficient spectrum from start to finish! It’s part of the reason why we created our lighting systems.


Truth: A spectrum that does not change significantly from seed to flower will achieve the best results.

Myth #4: UV LEDS Help Plant Growth

First things first, UVB light has shown benefits to certain plants, but only when applied at the correct intensity, for the proper length of time, and at the right time.  Otherwise, UV light can be harmful to plants, let alone your eyes or skin — it’s the reason we use sunscreen and wear sunglasses when going outside.

All UV Rays can lead to eye damage.  If your grow light emits UV, wear eye protection!

That being said, if used properly, could UV LED’s help plant growth?  It’s a toss-up of whether it’s worth it when reviewing scientific articles.  Most UV LEDs actually only produce UVA light, which can be safer and less damaging than UVB. However, the reason why UVB light is beneficial to plants is because it introduces damage and the plant responds with a defense, so UVB light is ideal.

What’s more, UV LEDs are not as efficient, more expensive, and burn out more quickly than other LEDs. With that in mind, it bears the question if using UVA LEDs is worth it, especially if that power could be redistributed to colors that are proven to increase plant growth.

See the graph below from an LED chip manufacturer to see the limited output range of UV LEDs:



Some LED companies have realized this and incorporated fluorescent UVB lights into their LED fixtures since UVB has some proven and positive results for certain plant species.

Leading UVA/UVB LED supplementation bars last about 15,000 hours (vs the standard LED lifetime of 50,000) and cost hundreds of dollars, whereas a UVB bulb such as the T8 Reptisun 10.0 UVB cost about $15 and will last you an entire year if used for the flower period of your grow.

Truth: You can save money and experiment yourself by taking a trip to the pet store and picking up a reptile light!

Myth #5: 1000W LED = 1000W HPS

The LED “Wattage” claims are among the most confusing myths in the LED industry.  The numbers usually fall into three categories:
  • The HPS bulb wattage the LED fixture is intended to replace.
  • An addition of the “highest rated power output” of LED chips.
  • The actual power draw in watts.
When comparing LED lights, always search the specifications of how much wattage the LED light pulls from the wall.  Unfortunately, there are many LED manufacturers that are extremely misleading when using the word “watt”.  Watch out, stay informed, and make sure an LED company is telling the truth when it comes to how many watts a light uses.


Truth: A general idea of the intensity of the LED light is how much it uses from the wall.  LEDs can beat HPS systems by 30-40%, e.g. a 600Watt LED system could replace a 1000Watt HPS system if the form factor was correct.  Any company claiming they can replace an HID bulb with 1/3 or 1/2 of the power should be questioned.

Myth #6: The More Lumens, the Better

Lumens are a measure of how bright light is to the human eye.  Looking at the graph below, you can see that green/yellow light is the most visible to the human eye, with blue and red light being the least visible.

The sensitivity of the human eye to color. 400-500nm is blue 500-600nm is green/yellow/orange, and 600+nm is red


You may find white LED companies advertising Lumens because they can “beat” the other fixtures that emit mostly red and blue light. A Red/Blue light will score a low amount of lumens.

Each color of light has a different efficiency and plays a different part in a plant growth, so we need a plant-centric light measurement as a benchmark. This is called Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), which weights all wavelengths from 400-700nm equally.

Be critical about videos comparing one LED light to another with a PAR meter.  Many PAR meters on the market incorrectly read LED lights.  If you’re really interested about this, check out Apogee Instrument’s superb presentation [Scroll down to “In-depth Look at PAR-Quantum Meters” click play and skip to ~15:00].  If you’re a grower, you should understand the concept of how light is measured.  And hey, pick up a quality light meter!

Truth: PAR is the correct light measurement for plants, and not lumens.

Myth #7: A High Center-Point PAR Reading Means the Brightest Light!

Most grow lights are only good at shining light directly below the fixture in a “spotlight”, so the most attractive light reading an LED company can advertise is the highest reading they can measure — the one right in the center of the light.

Plants easily burn with this type of focused LED light, which is one of the reasons you may want to pay attention to this reading: if a light is putting out over 800 umol.m.2s1 of PAR in the center, that is in the danger zone for burning your plants.  You’ll have to raise the light to the point where the center isn’t so “hot”, which actually decreases the brightness for the rest of your grow area.  Counterintuitive, huh?

Look for LED grow lights that cover the entire grow area like the our lighting systems.  These systems help eliminate plant burn while keeping your entire grow area at a uniform light level.

Truth: You should use the center-point par reading to understand how easily a light will burn your plants.


Whew.  We’ve learned a lot, and now you might even know more than some LED companies!
If you’re interested in discovering even more about light, go here to learn about how plants use light.
To recap, make sure you look for the actual power draw, a spectrum that gives your plants more than just red and blue, and a lighting system that evenly spreads light over your entire grow area.

Learn something new? Let us know in the comments below!

74 thoughts on “7 Myths LED Grow Light Companies Tell You

  1. Braden Bills Reply

    I want to get some lights for my indoor garden. It makes sense that I would want to ensure that I get lights from an LED company that knows what they are talking about! That seems like a good way to ensure that I put things together properly.

  2. Gopi patel Reply

    This is undoubtedly the best thing that I’ve come across today in the internet. It was a long time that I have been thinking on this topic but I couldn’t satiate my quench for knowledge through any post that I read. However, today that I came across your article, I seem to have learnt a lot and I have also gained enough knowledge on this topic. Thanks once again.

  3. Green Glory Reply

    Interesting article, but in my real life experience most of this is incorrect. The LED lights I use outperform other lights of the same wattage consistently, and the wasted energy of MH and HPS is the energy that is converted to heat, not the orange and yellow wavelengths. Fluorescents and compact fluorescents are the only lights I’ve used that have caused tiny leaves and stunted growth and that’s even when using sunlight bulbs.

  4. Jason M. Rashid Reply

    One of the best and comprehensive articles on Myths LED Grow Light, I am bookmarking it so I can read it again. Thank you, AUTHOR, You really inspired me to learn more.

  5. Chris Mal Reply

    I’m new to this. My new LED grow light has settings for blue light, red light OR full spectrum. Why would I chose to only use red light when I can just give my plants a full spectrum of light?

  6. Jasper Reply

    Good day,

    What would you guys suggest in growing carnivorous plants? Like venus fly trap?

    Tricolor; white blue pink




  7. Jeff Reply

    The cost is an issue, the cost of the light emitter and the electricity. Please give me suggestion for type of light emitter that is best value. Least usage of electricity and best light emitted. Best buck for the money?

  8. Ryan Wills Reply

    Thanks for a great post. Im planning a grow room. I understand the principle around light wavelength and how it interacts with the plant etc. Happy with that.

    My question is: provided the light is capable of providing a suitable spectrum, the Wattage then refers to the lights ability to emit the light. Ie a 18w light bulb would be able transmit the same spectrum of light further than a 9W and therefore if using a 9w light you may need to position it closer to a plant than an 18w while making sure you still get full canopy coverage?

  9. paul Reply

    when growing indoors everyone says led is better than hps for flowering is this true?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Brad, looks good. Don’t worry about the blue light, it will not cause cancer =)

  10. Rabbit Reply

    I’m mainly running the typical led purple grow lights but I’ve added 4100k daylight white lights as well. Is that a good overall mix? Or am I missing something?
    Also, to those who say green light isnt used by plants because its reflected isnt always the case. The color we see certain objects to be can also be an absorbed color.
    Usually, when all colors reflect, we see white. Also, when all colors absorb we see black. Regardless, we are still seeing all colors but in an additive or subtractive form, depending on the science that’s beyond me lol

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Yes that’s great. Very good insight about the green! You’re right about that.

  11. Mythbuster Reply

    So, let me see if I understood well; by dumping a pile of rubbish onto horticultural lamp makers, all of the sudden your luminaries end up being the best in the market? According one of your remarks, green light is needed because plants not only ‘absorb’ it but it also penetrates deeper in the plant canopy. Neither ChlA or ChlB absorb green light in any significant amounts and yet, these are the two driving molecules within the light harvesting complex. The role of green light is not well understood and most of the time plant responses to green light are very subtle and mostly mediated by cryptochromes and phytochromes, which may mean that such function works as a signal transduction,.e.g. a signal for the plant to regulate certain behaviour, rather than having a direct impact in photosynthesis itself.
    Your assertion that “…In fact, these colors [green and orange] are very important for the full development of the plant since that is what they experience when growing under the sun” is entirely incorrect. Light harvesting in plants has nothing to do with ‘experience’. It is in fact, a Physics phenomenon dictated by quantum mechanics. Also, do you mind to backup your assertions with some peer reviewed papers?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Thanks for the comment! This article was originally written when purple (red and blue) grow lights were commonplace. Now, most of the industry has moved towards White LEDs with lots of green light. Here’s a study that shows that (it’s also linked to in the article) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304423815301400#fx1.

      Green light has a significant role in photosynthesis, it’s how the “PAR” chart was created. You probably would like to read this article “Green Light Drives Leaf Photosynthesis More Efficiently than Red Light in Strong White Light: Revisiting the Enigmatic Question of Why Leaves are Green”: https://academic.oup.com/pcp/article/50/4/684/1908367

  12. Greg Sant Reply

    So I’ve looked at led lights that offer red blue and white full spectrum. These are what has been recommended for indoor growing of my Carolina reapers and death spiral plants. Once winter hits and I trim them back and take them in my garage for winter I was told these would be best. Do you have a recommendation for these types of specialty peppers. I have death spiral Carolina reapers dragons breath and scotch brains.

    • davidm Reply

      We’ve had many of our customers grow some gorgeous specialty peppers under the Electric Sky.

  13. Alicia Clough Reply

    I’ve been trying out a few different plant bulbs for growing flowers from seed as well as a little extra something for my houseplants in the morning and at night. I’m wondering if pink bulbs are ok if the plants are getting sun throughout the day as well. I have the seeds in front of a south facing window and my houseplants various distances away from the same south facing window. Does the natural light give them enough of the yellow/green light for a pink bulb to be ok ? Sorry I’m new haha


    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Alicia! Yes a pink bulb is just fine if there is sunlight! -Dan

  14. Conrad Reply

    Great Articles, it cleared up some confusion I had regarding spectrums.

    I’ve been growing microgreens at home under might last for a year now. I use T5 LED 6500 at around 3000 lumens. The more delicate greens, like broccoli, radish, and mustard, always have tiny leaves. I’ve played around with different light height and planting density, but it doesn’t seem to have much affect. Do you believe lowering down to 4000 will possibly allow for larger leaf growth? What about using different bulbs at the same time, for example I have 6500 and 3000 shining down down at once?

    Thanks again!

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Conrad — Try a 2700K bulb! More red/yellow and reduced blue will help a bit with plant size.

  15. AltarP Reply

    So… i have 250w hps with 50w 6400k led light which is not COB, tiny little smd’s i’m considering to using them simultaneously to match up with the wavelenght ratio. what do you think?

  16. Angharand Reply

    Greetings! I’m trying to learn as much as I can about grow lights & came across your article. I grow brugmansia (tropical cousin of the tomato family that can get 10′ or more & has large beautiful scented flowers). Mine like morning sun & filtered afternoon light. I grow them in the ground & dig them up before the first frost for overwintering in my house. The mature plants (ones that get over 5′ & bloomed) are able to go dormant inside with no issues – but I usually have a few plants that are not able to reach maturity before they are dug up & therefore cannot be allowed to go dormant, so I always lose them once they are brought inside due to lack of adequate sunlight. Was wondering if you could kindly guide me as to whether I need a warm or cool grow light for this plants’ needs? I am not trying to get these immature brugmansia to flower, just keep them growing over the winter so they don’t go dormant. I live in the Northeast & don’t have enough natural sunlight to sustain them during our winters. Cheers!

  17. Kevin Reply

    After reading the article and comment
    Is it right if I conclude that the best lighting for indoor planting for all different stages is an LED with warm white spectrum with 3000-3200K?
    And perhaps for faster vegetation phase, we can add more red/yellowish white light after the germination stage?
    And can you give me some link which plan need the UVB and the PAR needed for each plant?
    I plan to plant greens with hydroponic / aquaponics sytems and i am very curious with this lighting science, since there are very few to none of this knowledge in my country.

    Thank You so much for replying

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Yes that is correct! No need to worry about UVB for plants. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  18. RickS Reply

    Regarding Yellow/Green and Green light photon spectrums !

    Plants (And Trees) do “not” absorb the above mentioned light/photon frequencies, they “reflect” them/these frequencies, that is why you see the vast majority of any growing plants/trees as the color GREEN !

    Because again, GREEN is reflected light and plants use virtually none of those frequencies !

    So throw out that/those spectrum/frequencies, and don’t use any lights regardless of there Kelvin/Color if their range is between 3800k to 4500k (I could argue the 3800 should start at 3500k) because growth will be virtually “0” in those ranges and while as the weeks go by, your plants just sit there waiting for your help to live and grow like other plants !!!

    Yellow is important (If not very important) to plant growth so a solid 3000k to 3200k light/lamp must be included (Notice by and large that our Sun shines more at (And within) the Yellow Color Spectrum) so plants feed off of that color and is built into them plant/tree through evolution via time (Blue light also is scattered when entering the upper Earth atmosphere while letting Yellow and Red photons pass through causing the Sun to shine mostly in those colors) [ UVA and UVB are especially important at the end of a grow, without those frequencies, you will wonder how it is that others grows easily beat yours hands down !!! ].

    Light/Photon/Color/Spectrums matter, know them or you will find that learning on the job sucks (And is costly)…


    Rick – SoCal

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Rick,

      Great comment. Yes, plants are green, but they only “reflect back” a small portion of green light.

      Green light is actually a very important colors for photosynthesis. Plants use GREEN light in abundance! Even though it is counter intuitive. Studies show that without green light, plants will not grow as healthy (or as strong). Green light penetrates the canopy very well and illuminates the entire plant.

      Yellow and Red light are the most photosynthetically active as you say, and yes, plant science is fun!

  19. Mike Reply

    I saw from your blogs that these electric sky lights don’t have any UVBs but do they have any UVAs or UVCs? I know the uva and uvc are good for plant growth and considering grabbing some of your lights.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Mike, We don’t have UVA or UVC. UVC is actually very dangerous for humans. UVA has does have slight benefits to plant growth, but blue light produces the majority of the same effects due to its close wavelength.

  20. Mark Reply

    What are your thoughts on SAD lights used as a plant light? Great article by the way, so much info I didn’t know.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Somewhat similar! Working in the garden certainly is healthy in that regard 🙂

  21. Artem Demenchuk Reply

    This article opened my eyes, but I’m confused why so many reviews for some grow lights on Amazon were positive about their growth (blue and red lights, uv light, etc). Do they still work sufficiently, but as you explain it would be better to have a larger spectrum? I just don’t want to waste my money and time on some scam on Amazon; my Clementine tree is too delicate to experiment and play with lol. If so, any recommendations for grow lights?

  22. Bryan Reply

    First time cancer survivor! First time grower. I’m using a led 65 watt lightbulb my plant is getting bigger, should I get s bigger light? 600 watt 1000
    watt ?

  23. Joanne Reply

    I am going to grow wheat shoots in coolroom type fodder shed.
    Should I use red and blue led lights
    or would I be better to use white led lights

  24. Bex Reply

    Hi! I have a couple full spectrum LED grow lamps that put off a white/yellow light and they seem to work great for my plants. But now I’m afraid these will hurt my eyes…and more importantly my children who don’t understand they shouldn’t look at them. Will these lights cause us to lose vision? Are they emitting UVb rays? (Including links to lamps and overhead light I am considering getting if not harmful) Thank you!



    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Bex, those aren’t emitting any harmful rays like UVB. Like any bright light source, it’s not recommended to look directly into them, so I’d be sure they were out of eyesight or pointed away from where you work on your plants.

  25. shirley ann Simons Reply

    In regards to “Curtis” question and your response, are you saying those red/blue strips are dangerous to my eyes? I have a set up like that with only 2 strips and it casts an ugly purple color on my african violets but I don’t want those lights on if I’m going to go blind. I walk by this everyday in my living room. I’m hoping to get something that will show their true colors, not that “dangerous” purple color.

  26. Thomas Reply

    What is your take on using reflective verticals (aka walls) vs vertical lighting? Is top down lighting sufficient when sized correctly?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Top down lighting is usually sufficient! Reflective walls like in a grow tent help the intensity immensely coming out of a grow light.

  27. GoGreen Reply

    First off excellent article for people to start to understand the spectrums.
    I recently purchased a HLG 135 v2 in 4000k for a 2×2 tent. I am new to LEDs and to me the spectrum looks well rounded but the graphs xan be confuaing.
    What do you think of it for a seed to harvest light. For either autos or photo period plants?
    I have a mars Eco49 as well

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hey GoGreen — 4000K is a good all-around spectrum!

  28. greensunshine Post authorReply

    Hey Clarity Cananbis, this article represents some of what previous LED technology failed to do. Current LED technology that adopts current science works very well.

  29. Andrew Weitzman Reply

    I have a metal halide HID. After reading myth number two I’m wondering if using my ‘full spectrum’ LED during blooming is a waste. Is it even worth buying a red supplemental light for my metal halide light during flowering?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Andrew,

      That’s a great question! Red light in the presence of a full spectrum light source would help. Most red-only LED light sources I know of are rare to find a good quality light. You might be better off supplementing with a “warm white” LED if you’re looking for more growth, or check out our store for other LED replacement options.


  30. NoTTaTWEEKA Reply

    So if running a light that has two channels one being for white light cob leds and the other being the bloom enhancer 5w chip leds that are a mixture and specific ratio of seprate uv, ir, 6000k, blue, orange, red, and far red should be both on during the entire grow? What if the bloom enhancer channel has more red and far red,Should it still be used during vegatation?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Notta — You are correct. If you would like vigorous vegetative growth, red and far red should be used because those are the colors that most efficiently drive photosynthesis. If you want your plants to grow more slowly, turn that channel off and go heavy blue. Best of luck!

  31. Scott Reply

    Are you selling those cool Green Sunshine T shirts?
    First grow going great with the 180! Thanks

  32. Ronald Anderson Reply

    I am not a grower, but some of your rhetoric simply doesn’t make sense. If a car is red, that means that the car’s paint is absorbing all the green light striking it as well as all the blue light that strikes it. If all three colors were reflected back equally we would say the car is white. Now if we look at the leaves on a typical plant, we say the leaves are green, what this means is that the leaf is absorbing red light and blue light but not green light. The plants have been around for far longer than mankind and have evolved their own needs and apparently one of those needs is not needing green light. This is the reason that we say the leaf is green, green is reflected and rejected by the plant. If the plant was using and absorbing all the colors that are striking it we would say the leaf color is black. If the plant is using any green light, then its dam little because the overwhelming majority is reflected and not used.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hey Ronald!

      Great comment. I agree with your logic, but there’s more that meets the eye than simple color of plants. That’s why we need to turn to science rather than working off of the assumption that if an object is a certain color, than it is reflecting all of that color and absorbing none of it. If plants reflected all green light, they would look like tiny green mirrors.

      Plants absorb all colors of light as you can see in the graph on point #2. They only absorb slightly less green light than all other colors (Look at the “Whole Leaf” line). Most of the green light actually goes through the plant rather than being reflected.

      Total absorption of light is not the goal, since green light is able to pass through more of the leaf it’s able to light up more cells from the top to the bottom of the leaf, and also to the leaves below so the whole plant gets light.

      Here’s another great article that touches on this: https://view.joomag.com/maximum-yield-usa-november-2018/0009488001540853689/p56?short&fbclid=IwAR1HDBtNEBLgVutD4MfQim6IbyqGYYtppREce_e9rFQZZye0Sve2FQfZWw8


  33. Stan Reply

    What about best light for aquarium plants while also giving true colors to the fish?
    Amazing that I have yet to see the final formula in various tests. No verdict.
    And,Fishkeeping is this country’s biggest hobby..so don’t sniff.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      I’m not entirely sure about aquarium plants, but heavy blue spectra seem to win in those environments.

  34. Susan Reply

    I am a terrible novice looking for good advice. I have a 5 foot plush lemon tree i brought indoors for winter. It hates being inside because it doesnt get enough light. It drops leaves all winter. I need a tall floor lamp/bulb suggestion that will be best to give my citrus plant the best light without costing a fortune.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Susan,

      Great question, my suggestion would be to find any “warm white” LED bulb that is a little higher powered. You might be able to find a “spotlight” LED at your hardware store that is higher powered and you could hang above your citrus tree. Good luck!

  35. Doris Kennedy Reply

    Dan: I have a flexible, three-pronged, inexpensive LED 15W red/blue spectrum grow light that I have just bought to supplement a white light system for my geranium cuttings. Twently-two cuttings out of thirty are growing lots of small new leaves so I’m optimistically thinking that they have grown roots. (Best results I’ve ever had!) Now, after reading everything you wrote about lighting “Myths,” I am concerned about the possibility that the new red/blue light fixture will burn my cuttings. Because the prongs are flexible, I can attempt to control the spread of light to, maybe, keep it somewhat even and because I feel very minimal heat when I hold my hand next to the bulbs, I figured they wouldn’t burn my plants, but now I’m really worried . Do you think it is possible that this apparatus I bought might burn my cuttings even though the bulbs do not get hot? Is it possible to provide too much light to a plant? Any advice would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      No worries Doris! Your plants will do just fine. Most of the issues only crop up with very high intensity lighting. A 15W red/blue spectrum grow light won’t exhibit those problems.

  36. Tweeka Reply

    Hey dude, i’ve just started growing, so greener than my non-existent leaves. I have just acquired the recordcent 600W (100w real) LED grow light and was wondering whether it was critical I get protective glasses if only in the room short periods of time – like max 2/3 minutes… At what stage is glasses a MUST purchase?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Tweeka!

      Eye protection is important, I would just use normal polarized sunglasses and you’ll be fine. If you want to see your plants in true color, then you can spend some extra money on special LED Glasses.


  37. Curtis Reply

    Pardon my let understanding of these charts, as I’m a relatively novice casual home grower. I have purchased some multi-headed red/blue spectrum LEDs. Three Head LED Grow Light Balleen.E 27W Clip On Plant Grow Lamp Lights https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0791WS3PV?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
    Are these a good option for small setups growing multiple species of bonsai and or garden starts? I was always taught to look for lumens however that’s about the only spec. not listed. More specs can be provided. Thanks for your knowledge!

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Curtis!

      Great Question. Lumens are used for almost all LEDs, because LEDs are primarily used for illuminating the world for human eyes.

      PAR and EPAR are measurements to determine how much of the light plants will use, which are much wider spectrums than what your eyes can detect.

      Those strips are fine, however I would also suggest adding white light to your setup since plants love yellow and green light too. A small LED desk lamp or something similar on Amazon will do!

      Thanks for stopping by,

  38. Jerome Reply

    Your “myth” about UVa light is incorrect. UVa rays penetrate living tissue much deeper than UVb and it has been found to be helpful in even vegetative growth of high-land plants. It has also been proven to have similar effects as UVb – increasing cannabinoids in tested plants by as much as 5%! So if it benefits the plants photomorphogenesis and resin production, what’s wrong with it?

    Also, not all companies that use UVa are the same. If you isolate the UV diodes, they can last for just as long as any other 3w or 5w chip. They’re just as reliable and claiming otherwise without any point to back up your claim is silly.

    Furthermore, UVa is the overwhelming majority of what’s in the atmosphere. I have no doubt UVb can be helpful to plants too (and it is far more damaging), but which is more likely that plants adapted to receiving? From a “plant evolution” standpoint, UVa seems to make the most sense.

  39. Pingback: HPS vs LED Grow Lights: The Ultimate Efficiency Showdown – The Green Sunshine Company

  40. paul lewis Reply

    Very interested in this system. I own a California light works solar system 550 which is the old technology plus a lot of bells and whistles along with the controller. It will not grow big plants even during extended veg period.

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