Recommended Distances with LED Grow Lights
HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR LED GROW LIGHTS WITHOUT HARMING YOUR PLANTS
To get the most out of your LED Grow Light it is recommended that you follow our basic guidelines on how to use our products. After all we are the experts on these things, as we've been testing these lights on plants for years. For seedlings and clones you want to use your light at 24-36" above your canopy (the uppermost leaves), as these plants do not require high light intensity in order to thrive or take root. After the plant roots and has several supporting branches you should lower the light 18-24" above your canopy until you are ready for bloom. Once your plants enter bloom you want maximum light intensity, so at this point lower the light 12-18" above your canopy until the day of harvest.
As with HID, LED Grow Lights do produce radiant heat, however in much smaller quantities. It is for this reason that we do not recommend using our Quantum LED Grow Lights any closer than 12" to your plants as it can potentially burn them if the ambient room temperature is too high. Likewise having the light too close can over-saturate your plants with light, which means you're just wasting light as the plant cannot absorb as much as you're trying to give them. Follow these basic guidelines with the hanging distance of your light to have the greatest success with Quantum LED Grow Lights.
Temperature, CO2, and Humidity
ADDITIONAL FACTORS THAT AFFECT GROWTH RATE AND YIELD
There are many additional factors that can affect the end results of any growing operation. A gardener must learn to monitor and control these factors in order to guarantee themselves success.
Temperature controls growth rate, and also controls the rate at which a plant can absorb CO2, however at a certain point a plant will exhaust itself at the CO2 levels of the natural environment, and temperature will no longer affect plant growth. The optimal growing temperature with Quantum LED Grow Lights is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If growing with CO2 Enrichment we recommend no higher than 88 degrees.
CO2 has a major impact on the growth rate of any plant, as CO2 is to a plant what oxygen is to us. Most plants have a maximum CO2 absorbance of 1100-1500ppm, however current atmospheric levels are only around 400ppm. When CO2 Enrichment is added to indoor growing environments it can promote up to 50% faster growth and up to 30% larger yields. CO2 has also been shown to increase toxicity in resin producing plants, which means it has an added value to money tree farmers. It is not recommended that you run more than 1500ppm in any indoor growing environment however, as the plants are unable to absorb the excess.
Humidity also plays a major role in how your plants grow. If the humidity is too low, plants will grow narrow leaves and close off stomata to prevent too much water from evaporating which will slow growth. If the humidity is too high stomata will have a difficult time evaporating water, which will also slow growth. Mold and other harmful pathogens will grow in your room if the humidity levels are too high, so maintaing proper humidity is very important to success. We recommend 60-75% humidity levels for indoor growing environments. We do not recommend going over 80% or under 50%, as this can cause drastically reduced growth rates or disease to your plants.
Water, Soil, and Over-Fertilization
LEARN HOW TO PREVENT THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN USING LED FOR THE FIRST TIME
Overwatering is the #1 cause of failure for first-time LED gardeners in soil. Unlike HID, LED Grow Lights emit much less radiant heat which evaporates the water in your soil much less rapidly. Monitor your soil frequently, checking at least an inch beneath the surface for moisture. You want to wait until the soil is nearly completely dry prior to your next watering to avoid over-watering your plants.
The water you use for watering (whether hydroponic or soil) should also be pH balanced so the nutrients you are feeding your plants can be properly absorbed. If a solution is too acidic of too basic it can block the uptake of nutrients which will cause deficiencies to appear in your plants. The proper pH for soil is 6.0-6.5, while the pH for hydro is 5.6-6.3
The saying "Less is more" also applies to your nutrient regimen. Nutrient manufacturers make multiple recommendations to their customers for standard or "aggressive" feeding. Most first-timers naturally think "bigger is better" and begin pumping their plants full of nutrients, but this can actually harm or kill them them. Plants that receive too high a concentration of nutrients will exhibit stress symptoms like yellowing of the leaves, wilting, or browning of roots. If you see any of these signs make sure to dial back your nutrients to avoid killing your plants. As a rule of thumb we recommend using 1/2 the amount listed for most manufacturer's "aggressive feeding" schedule. In this way you can always experiment with adding more nutrients slowly to see how your plants react, but you don't start off by harming your plants.i
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