LED Lights and Growing - Dandelion
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LED Lights and Growing

Person viewing cube installation. Cubes are lit up in different colours with plants inside them.
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Photo: Andrew Cawley

The lights that have been used for the Dandelion Cubes of Perpetual Light and the Grow Cubes sent to schools across Scotland all use LEDs as their light source. In all the locations the cubes are across the country, inside or outside, these are the ideal lights to enable plant growth and experimentation.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are energy efficient, low heat and long life. If you are struggling to get enough natural light indoors for successful plant growth, it might be worth investing in these lights. Most LEDs you can buy are positioned in strips, so you are able to focus the light in one direction onto the necessary plants, which prevents wasted energy.

The most common colour sold is ‘white’ which would emit the full spectrum of light wavelengths. This is to closely replicate natural sunlight. They can also be bought as specific colours other than white, such as red and blue individually for different stages of growth. Blue light is absorbed and used for chlorophyll production and plant development. Seedlings in particular benefit from predominately blue light to assist with early growth. Whereas red light assists in plants flowering and is essential for photosynthesis.

However, it is worth noting that the positioning and intensity of the LEDs is important to not hinder plant health. Take notice of browning of the edges of leaves or spots across the surface and if they begin to curl inwards. This may be a sign that the plant is getting too much heat from the lights and need to be positioned further away. The general recommendation is 12-18 inches away from the plant. Be aware of moving the lights further away as the height of the plant increases.

Intensity of the light, such as different brightness levels, can be adjusted on most indoor plant LED lights. They may also have a timer included which can be adjusted to lower the intensity or switch it off completely at night. More light will be needed during early growth than once the seedlings are established.

LEDs do not emit any infrared light and also less heat, so it is important not to over water based on this. It is worth considering the room temperature, airflow, and soil quality in addition to setting up the lights. This is so you can create an optimal environment to grow your indoor plants!

Websites to buy indoor LED lights and more information:





Author: Damson Ellen