Points To Consider When Buying High-Power LED Grow Lights

Growth Phase

While some users tend to cultivate only one batch of plants at one time, others believe in cultivating different batches, with some undergoing vegetation and others in the flowering phase. Under such circumstances, it is useful to have grow lights with varying PAR intensity ie lights that are dimmable because then these lights can be adjusted to each group of plants (depending on what is positioned where) without having to change the light fixtures.

Spectrum and Blue:Red Ratio

While some users prefer to use white LEDs and others blue/red LEDs, each grow light unit should contain provision for lighting for both the phases. While white lights (5500K color temperature works best) would work for the entire duration of the plant’s life, red and blue lights should be arranged in a manner that either or both can be used at one time, and either or both can be dimmed independently off the other.

Further, users should note that the ratio of red to blue lights should generally be 5:1 or 6:1 because more blue lights are needed to produce the same growth effect compared to red lights.

UV and IR lights

UV lights help improve the natural protection mechanisms that the plant possesses, thereby ensuring that it is better prepared against eventualities. Further, UV lights improve plant metabolism, thereby helping them develop at an increased pace. THC growth is also aided by UV according to some studies.  Look for UV lights in the 315-400nm range, though lights below 315nm are also acceptable.

IR lights tend to be important for improving flowering and vertical growth of the plant. They should be in the vicinity of -730nm. While purchasing lights, look for “far red” diodes with the above mentioned wavelength to figure out if the unit has true IR diodes.

Advertised and Actual Wattage

One of the common fallacies regarding high-power LED grow lights is that their advertised and actual wattage is the same. In reality, the actual wattage would be somewhere between 50-75% of the advertised wattage, since the companies can only manage to provide about 550 mA of power input, thus reducing the output that the lights can provide. Hence, when considering actual output vis a vis a HID or fluorescent light, calculate the actual output before carrying out the comparison.

Ideal Wattage

Most LED grow lights have a wattage of 3W (advertised), which is enough to penetrate the canopy of the average adult marijuana plant. Dense canopies, such as those created during the Sea of Green or Screen of Green techniques, require about 5W. However, one should be wary of going further than this, as lights above 5W require substantial cooling, and this may make them hardly less cumbersome than HIDs.

Cooling System

LED Grow Lights

While the high-power best LED grow lights convert only 15% of their electrical input into heat (and the rest into light) compared to 80% in case of HIDs, high wattage LEDs may need heat sinks. Such heat sinks should be fitted to the circuit board, be finned and be made of high quality metal.

Coverage Area

Coverage area is defined as the area covered by the light arc created by a single light unit (not a single LED bulb). Small lights can achieve up to 4sq ft. while larger ones easily reach 25sq ft. More importantly, it should be noted that the area covered depends not only on the wattage, but the lens angle. Angles below 60 degrees tend to concentrate light in a small area, and provide high intensity. Hence, they’re good for small, dense canopies. Angles above 90 degrees can cover a large area but the intensity suffers. Some growers suggest an angle of 78 degrees, though there may be some variation from brand to brand.

Read More “Points To Consider When Buying High-Power LED Grow Lights”

Electricity, Pollution And Solar Lights

How much energy do you figure you use on a yearly basis?  What considerations do you make with respect to energy (electricity) consumption in and around your home?  How much do you really understand about the creation of electricity and what happens when you continue to use it?  What kind of efforts are you making at home to cut your energy costs … why should you make any effort at all?  Well, enough with the questions, now let’s read a little about why you might want to ponder them.

Within the US, the majority of the electricity produced is created by the combustion of non-renewable resources.  Coal and natural gas are the two primary sources of electricity in America, and as you know, the combustion of these resources causes irreversible damage to our ecosystem.  Power stations that rely on fossil-fuel combustion release not only carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also sulphur oxides, nitrogen and nitrogen oxides.  When we take a look at power stations that rely on the combustion of coal, we can add mercury to the list of by-products created by the production of electricity.

Ok, so exactly how much of our electricity is derived from methods that are badly damaging our atmosphere?  Let’s take a look at the breakdown for the year 2009 below:

1- Coal was the primary source of electricity, responsible for 44.9% of the electricity generated in the United States.

2- Natural Gas is the runner up at 23.4%

So, the top two producers of electricity in the US are non-renewable resources, both of which cannot be replaced (so, we’ll eventually run out) and their combustion creates a significant contribution to the alteration of our atmosphere’s composition.   Sixty eight point three percent of the electricity produced in America has a substantial negative impact on the entire planet.  Additionally, a further 1% can be added to this total, thanks to the combustion of petroleum to produce electricity.  69.3% of 2009′s electricity produced in the US was derived from these non-renewable energy sources.  That’s pretty shocking, and globally it’s quite devastating.

Let’s think about our own use of electricity.


Most of us are connected to the grid, that’s just the way things are.  We haven’t really given a whole lot of thought to what the consumption of electricity really means, other than its impact on our bank account when it’s time to pay the electric bill.  We now have a few more things to consider when turning on the dryer at a time when clothes can be hung outside, or turning the lights on in the evening when most of them are likely unnecessary.  Interestingly, the electricity burned by using just lights can account for nearly one fifth of the electricity used within the United States.  Would you agree that a good portion of that is pretty needless?

We’ve now learned a little about how the use of conventional electricity comes at a cost that far exceeds just dollars, but what control do we really have over any of what we’ve covered in this article?  Our best response to that question is pretty simple: reduction.  It’s pretty obvious that the majority of us are dependent upon electricity to run our homes – this is just a reality of today’s world – however, it is well within our grasp to not only reduce our consumption of fossil-fuel produced electricity, but to also increase our consumption of electricity produced by clean, renewable resources.

Our sun’s rays transport an incredible amount of energy to our planet.   Just to put it out there, the energy we receive from the sun, for free, is roughly equivalent to one thousand times the energy consumed on our planet on a yearly basis.  Evidently, we’re burning up dwindling resources to create expensive, dirty energy while free, clean energy is available in quantities that far surpass our needs.  How are we turning a blind eye to this?  Who really thinks this is a reasonable, logical, globally-feasible choice?

Solar power is certainly not a new concept, and I’m willing to wager that everybody is well aware of its existence, including the use of solar powered lights and solar panels (PV).  Most of us aren’t in a position to relinquish our dependence on the power grid, but most of us are in a position to make an impact by reducing our consumption.  As mentioned earlier, almost 20% of the electricity used in the US is consumed by lights, and seeing as the use of lights is largely optional, it would stand to reason that using them far less is the best, and easiest place for all of us to start.

Solar lights are one of the most readily available, and affordable, means of capturing some of that free energy the sun has been providing since the dawn of time. Make no mistake when you read here that solar lights can definitely make a huge impact on not only your electricity bill, but more importantly, our life on this planet.  Take a look at civilization the next time you’re out and about at night – everything is illuminated!  Driving through communities, you won’t help but notice that most homes are lit up … pretty well everyone has exterior lights powered up on their homes.  When have you ever been driving through a community that was in complete darkness, regardless of the time?

solar lights 2

In the past, I’ve been guilty of succumbing to the notion that solar lights were a merely a neat little novelty item that I could simply stick in the ground to pretty things up, and I’m sure I am not alone.  The fact is that these days, best solar lights are available in varieties that surpass my former ill-informed notion.  Outdoor garden lighting is simply one way to introduce solar lights to your home, but did you realize you can easily install solar yard lights to illuminate your home and property, or that you can implement the use of a solar security light with a motion sensor for use, at say, your front door?

Many new homes are now built with exterior lighting that’s designed to add decorative value to the homes’ exteriors.   We’ll often see homes drenched in light for the purpose of showing off the architectural value and design of the home.  The use of low voltage lights is favored by many for this purpose, but I still beg to ask why ANY exterior lights are powered by “electricity”.  Although low voltage lights are a far better alternative to ordinary lights, they still rely on power provided by fossil fuel combustion.  Solar powered lights are available to replace virtually any light you turn on outside, and obviously only rely on the power of the sun.

Today, there is simply no need to use conventional electricity to power outside lights.  Solar powered lights are available for use in pretty much every outdoor and home exterior application that you can imagine.  Solar lights our way to a future that is clean and free, but we first need to take advantage of the opportunity solar power provides in any way that we can – we’re starting to run out of excuses.


Attractive Outdoor Step Lighting

Outdoor step lighting serves one main purpose in your home, to keep you and anyone else who happens to be using your steps safe from trips and falls during the night. But just because the lights serve this mundane purpose doesn’t mean that they have to be equally boring. Depending on what look you want to achieve, step lighting can be unobtrusive or decorative or just entirely functional. There are many different types of deck lighting features and designs out on the market, it is up to you to decide what is best for your home.

When you’re designing your outdoor landscape lighting, step lighting is probably not the biggest highlight that you are worried about, but it still carries an important function nonetheless, so you should still put some thought into installing them. Try to look at your steps and plan out the traffic pattern that will most likely be used. This is especially true on wide staircases. Also keep in mind the general theme that you are using in all of your garden lights and try to keep this theme in your stair lighting as well. Generally, your stair lights should eliminate all of the shadows on the steps and provide a lot of clear light so that people can see while navigating around your steps. Depending on the layout of your property, there are two different ways to achieve this.

The first way to light up your steps is by downlighting. The most effective downlighting is going to be outdoor flood lights centered right above the steps in a fixture hidden in a tree or roof. However, the lights can also be mounted on a pole near the steps, on the railing of the stairs themselves, or even on a nearby wall. No matter how you decide to install your step lights outdoor, keep in mind that the higher up the light is mounted the more steps you can light at one time, but the softer the light will become. The goal is to balance these two competing aspects to create the right look and feel. Read More “Attractive Outdoor Step Lighting”

Outdoor Pendant Lighting: Classy Looks for Outside Your Home

An outdoor pendant light can bring interest, style and chic design to any outdoor space. Whether you’re replacing your existing light fixture or are building from scratch, it’s important to consider the amount of illumination necessary to light up your outdoor space as needed.

An outdoor lighting pendant will work great anywhere where you have an overhang and need some extra light.  Some of the best areas to install yours include front porches, carports, patios, decks, and back porches.  Even outdoor kitchens can benefit from grouping a few pendants along a bar height counter.  An outdoor hanging pendant will give you a fabulously decorative look that really makes guests feel at home while making sure the entire area is softly, yet adequately well lit.  They are some of the best outdoor ceiling lights that money can buy and the lights listed to the left are some of the most popular affordable options to you.  They’re sold and shipped from Amazon, so you’ll be sure that you’re getting a quality product for rock bottom prices.

Outdoor pendant lights are available in a dizzying array of styles and are created from various textures and materials that make them true works of art. They come in anything from nautical lighting themes to colonial styles so you can find one that will fit into nearly any contemporary outdoor lighting plan. Even if you can’t find on, the discerning homeowner who spares no expense can even create custom outdoor pendant lights just for them. Of course, custom styles are likely to break the budget but then, some very lucky homeowners are able to pay more attention to design style than they do to the budget! Luckily though, if you don’t want to break the bank, you can still find affordable, quality pendant lights online, like those from Amazon listed above. Read More “Outdoor Pendant Lighting: Classy Looks for Outside Your Home”

Solar Lights Will Save You Money on Your Utility Bills

The sun produces enough solar energy to the United States every 20 minutes to take care of our energy needs for one entire year.  This is free energy that just needs to be confined.  As the energy supply we have been using until now is beginning to be in shorter supply, solar power is beginning to be recognized as being able to meet the challenge and take over the control of some of our loss. This is where solar panels for your homecome in to play. 

Solar heat occurs by capturing the sun’s radiation then changing this in to heat energy.  Air movement is an essential element for the success resulting in helping the hot air to rise and the cold air to fall.  The result is a comfort level beyond our expectations.  There are numerous benefits to having solar heating in your home; it is environmentally friendly, does not pollute, a great choice for people with allergy problems, stable in price and conserves the earth’s energy.

Solar products range from solar landscape lighting like solar rock lights, to outdoor water fountains, garden sculptures, statues and even a solar bird bath.  These are more than likely the most inexpensive and easiest way to light your pathway, garden, or pool. Using solar lights is low cost and you don’t have to run any wiring to them.  These can range from gorgeous accents lights highlighting a pathway or floating lights in your pool, to more adequate lighting that would cover security concerns.  Solar lights can be found in several varieties of styles and finishes, copper, black, or plastic to name a few, and the lights can be a very stark white or changing color bulbs.  No power source is required so the lights can be installed anywhere, they are easy to install, no electrician is needed, no digging is necessary, no batteries need to be used, they are easy to rearrange and best of all, they cost nothing to operate.  The sun does all the work!

Solar lights have been improved immensely over the past years.  No longer are they the cheap plastic materials that fade that the light goes to nothing in just a few hours.  Now with most of them using the LED globes, they are very bright and last for 1000’s of hours.  There is a one time start up cost on installing these solar lights then just sit back and reap the benefits.

Now is as good a time as any to start adding solar lights.  Not only will you be saving an immense amount of money over the years, but you will be reducing the impact on the environment.  Every little bit adds up, and solar lights will make both your life and the world a better place to live.

Patio String Lighting is an Affordable Outdoor Lighting Option

Patio string lights have recently seen an increase in popularity on the outdoor lighting scene.  Whether you want something to light a path or an accent for your porch, deck or patio, string lighting offers many options.  In addition to the versatility, they are also quite affordable, as well as durable and long lasting.  You will find various colors, styles and designs to choose from as well.  Before you head out to buy patio string lights, you should learn a little more about the different types that are available.

Of course, everyone is familiar with the traditional string of lights that we associate with Christmas decorating.  While the multi-colored lights are best left to holiday decor, a similar styled string of white lights can provide a beautiful look when wound in the branches of a low growing tree or shrub.  These strings of lights are very inexpensive and when used well can add a major impact to your landscape.  One drawback that most of this type of string lighting has is the fact that when one bulb burns out, the entire string stops working, although there are some models of string lighting in which each bulb operates independently so even if one bulb goes out, the rest of the string continues to burn bright.

Patio rope lighting is a step up from holiday string lights in that the bulbs are protected by a clear tube made of flexible plastic.  The bulbs on rope lights are generally LED bulbs which are very bright, as well as energy efficient.  Because the tubing that encases the lights is quite flexible, you can use these in many of the same ways as the traditional holiday-style string lights. Read More “Patio String Lighting is an Affordable Outdoor Lighting Option”

Outdoor Patio String Lights

If you are looking for a surefire way to add a festive atmosphere to your patio, then outdoor patio string lightsare just the thing to liven up the mood and add a fun and festive feel to your backyard when the lights go down.  Whether you are having a party for many or are simply enjoying your patio after dark with your family, patio string lighting is a welcome addition to any patio.  And the best aspect of patio string lights is that you can find a style to suit your home, no matter what your mood, or what time of year it is.

Patio party string lights

Patio string lighting comes in many different decorative styles.  From flowers and chili peppers to snowflakes and Christmas trees, you can find many types of theme-related string lights for patio use.  If you want something a bit more subtle, you can find paper-style lantern string lights, patio globe string lights, or simply solid color or multi color patio string lights in various shapes and sizes.  Even just a string of basic clear patio light strings provides a sparkle to the nighttime air when lit. Read More “Outdoor Patio String Lights”


Outdoor lighting can add a special touch to your gazebo and the surrounding area.  Illumination enhances everything from obscure shadows to areas that are punctuated by the soft glow of lights.  Electric gazebo lights or string lights can be purchased and strung along the ceiling of your gazebo or along the vertical side rails, if you have a gazebo with that type of set-up, or you can add some outside lighting to the area around your gazebo to enhance the space.  You can also add outdoor chandelier style lights that gently illuminate the interior of your gazebo and add a charm all their own.

There are many choices when it comes to actually purchasing a gazebo.  If you are planning ahead on adding lights to the structure, you might want to choose a model that will facilitate hanging the lights up around the top or rails.  Make sure that you have an outdoor electric source nearby to where you set up your gazebo if you are planning on using electric powered gazebo lights.  If you don’t have electricity nearby, or are looking for a more energy efficient choice, there is also the option of using some of the new solar powered string lights that can be found at many stores.  You can also buy low-voltage lighting kits that will give you the kind of lighting effect surrounding your gazebo that you may be looking for, and they are easy to install as well.

Try deciding on certain areas on and around your gazebo that you would like to light up.  By not lighting up the whole area, you will be able to focus on just a few places that will be accented and that will create more interest and atmosphere.  You can light up just the interior ceiling of the gazebo, string lights just along the gazebo rails, or simply dot the area surrounding your gazebo with a few landscape lights that subtly and dimly add warmth and a bit of brightness.  Lighting can also be installed along pathways or decked areas that you may be entertaining in that are nearby. Read More “LIGHT UP YOUR GAZEBO”


If you are looking for answers to the question “why would you want to buy solar lights?”, then there are plenty of places where you can look to find out about some in-depth benefits that these lights offer.  There are many reasons to choose solar lights for your home.  For instance, the cost, the environment, and the ease-of-use and installation, are just a few reasons why solar lights keep getting more and more popular.

You can use solar lighting both inside your home and especially outside your home, in the form of solar deck lights, solar driveway lights or solar garden lights, among others.  Here is a more in-depth view about why you may want to consider solar lighting for your next lighting purchase.

Save Money

One excellent reason why you would want to purchase solar lights is that they could be instrumental in saving you some money.  How is this possible just by using a few solar lights?  Well, let us recall that since solar lights use solar energy as their source of power, then these lights mainly depend on the sun and the energy that it supplies to the earth each day.  Solar lights recharge all throughout the daylight hours as they continuously absorb the energy coming from the sun, storing the energy in batteries.  At night, they use that charge in order to give the best possible illumination to whatever dark spaces you have.  Because of this, solar lights do not eat up any electricity, so they do not increase your electricity consumption and they do not add to your electricity bills.  As a result, you can save money because the lights do not cost you anything to run, apart from the original purchase price, and maybe some occasional maintenance. Read More “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BUY SOLAR LIGHTS?”


One drawback to outside lighting is that the light fixture covers tend to get dirty over time. This happens simply from being subjected to the elements of the weather day after day, as well as dirt and debris that is constantly in the air. The problem is that when light fixture covers get dirty, they can negatively impact your outdoor lighting in a number of ways. That is why it is worth taking the time every once in a while to clean outdoor light fixtures to keep them looking and functioning at their best.

Negative Impacts of Dirty Light Fixture Covers

We all know that dirty light fixture covers can detract from the look of our outdoor lighting, but did you realize that there are other impacts to your lighting as well? These include:

  • Reduced light emittance– If your light fixture covers are dirty, your lights simply won’t emit enough light. This can be a problem, especially with some outdoor lighting fixtures that don’t emit a lot of light in the first place and are designed for safety purposes, such as step lights or pathway lights.
  • Increased heat accumulation– If outdoor light fixture covers get too dirty or are covered with debris, it can allow too much heat to accumulate within the lighting fixture. This can lead to malfunctioning of the light, premature burning out of light bulbs, or worse yet, it can be a potential fire hazard.
  • Breeding ground for unwanted pests– Unclean light fixture covers can not only be an eyesore, but can become a breeding ground for unwanted pests, such as insects, bees, birds and even small animals. If an animal can find a way to nestle in a small pile of debris, shielded from the elements and predators by your light fixture covers, you may get more than you bargained for when you go near your light!

How To Clean Light Fixture Covers?

Cleaning light fixture covers is relatively easy to do (as long as you can reach the light!) and can be a super-easy job if you keep to a regular maintenance schedule so the covers on your light fixtures don’t build up too much dirt and debris on them between cleanings. Here’s what you need to do: Read More “CLEANING OUTDOOR LIGHT FIXTURE COVERS”