Are White LED Grow Lights Good for Growing?
Is the spectrum of light generated by white LEDs ideal for growing? This is not a simple yes or no answer. Let’s take a moment and look at the science behind it without all the all the hype.
White light is a combination of lights of different wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. White light can differ based on the specific Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) of light that is being produced. Here is an image CCT chart in Kelvin that shows what type of light is produced at different Kelvin temperatures:
The lower the Kelvin temperature the more red or infra-red light is produced. The higher the Kelvin temperature the more blue light or UV light is produced. Depending on the light source and color temperature of the light different types of whites are available.
Photosynthesis is the basis for plant development and uses multiple pigments within a plant to absorb light. Green Chlorophyll A and B are the most prominent pigments within a plant and mostly collect blue (400-500nm) and red light (600-700nm) for energy. Green light (510-580nm) is mostly reflected back and has weak light absorption by chlorophyll and little morphogenetic effect. But that doesn’t mean that green light isn’t used in plant development! Accessory pigments such as Carotene and Xanthophyll, aid in the photosynthetic process, and do absorb certain levels of green light, just not in great quantities.
White LEDs & COBs
There are two types of LED technologies that produce white light that generally used to grow plants, white LEDs and COB (Chips on Board). White LEDs can be found in a variety of different CCT ranges and a most commonly produced by using a blue LED with a phosphor coating that emits yellow light. The blue light emitted from the blue LED hits the phosphor coating, which releases some yellow light. The yellow light mixed in with residual blue light that has not been absorbed by the phosphor makes a shade of white light.
Another common way in which white LED’s are produced is by combining 3 colored LED’s into one diode, normally red, green and blue (RGB), producing the white light.
Why are quantum boards better than “blurple” lights?
Quantum boards have a much more even coverage, due to their large size. This means plants throughout the grow area get large amounts of light, which also leads to bigger and better yields. As good as the all-white spectrum is, there is an even better mix of colors. That is the all-white spectrum mixed with additional red and blue diodes, as well as UV.
Morsen Quantum board Led grow light uses Samsung warm white 3000K diode for supplemental light. This light can be used for both vegetative and flowering stages of plant development. Learn more here: https://www.morsenled.com/products/quantum-board