8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights


LED grow lights have become a lot more popular in recent years because of their low cost and how easy they are to use. They are great tools for making the growing process more efficient and maximizing yield. However, we all know how difficult it can be to keep your plants healthy throughout the growing cycle and even minor changes in the environment can have an impact. That’s why we are putting together this post—we want you to have full confidence when using your lights!

Here is a list of 8 mistakes to avoid when using your LED Grow Lights, these tips are extremely important key points for all beginners. Be careful to avoid these mistakes when using LED grow lights! We hope these tips will help you grow healthier plants and avoid any unnecessary inconveniences! Let’s get started.

Keeping the Right Distance Between Your Lights and Your Plants – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

Before you begin growing, you need to consider the distance between your light and your plants. If the light is too close to your plant, it may get too hot and can damage your plant. If your plant’s leaves start to turn yellow or brown or are starting to curl up, your light may be too close to your plant and may be burning your plant! (Although there are other reasons that curling and browning might happen, those are for other articles!)

You have to avoid the mistake when using LED grow lights. If your grow space is too hot, try using a ventilation system to decrease the temperature in addition to hanging your lights a bit higher.

On the other hand, If you hang your LEDs too far away from your plants, their bodies (the stalks, stem, and branches) might become distended and elongated, what is called “stretching” as the plant tries to reach up to the light. Additionally, you won’t be getting great canopy penetration if your light is too high.

Then again, this depends on how many plants you have (the more plants, the higher you’ll want to hang your lights so that you can get enough light spread) and how much wattage/power conversion your lamps can put out (high-wattage lights can be hung a bit higher because they don’t lose as much energy over distance).

The question can be a bit complicated, so we’ve put together an entire article on this topic specifically, just click these words to go to the article! For quick reference, 12 to 18 inches is a reliable distance between your lamps and your plants—you’ll get good canopy penetration and probably won’t burn your plants (luckily, LEDs don’t produce much heat so the risk of heat burning is lower).

Insufficient Light Supply – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

Before you start growing you should find your grow room floor’s surface area. This will help you figure out the number of plants that you can grow within the area and the number of LED grow lights/wattage you will need as well.  We’ve made a quick chart to show the floor area of each of our tents:

Tent Dimensions (L x W x H) Floor Surface Area
30” x 18” x 36” 540 sq. inches
24” x 24” x 36” 576 sq. inches
36” x 20” x 63” 720 sq. inches
32” x 32” x 63” 1,024 sq. inches
36” x 36” x 72” 1,296 sq. inches
48” x 24” x 60” 1,152 sq. inches
48” x 48” x 80” 2,304 sq. inches
60” x 32” x 80” 1,920 sq. inches
60” x 60” x 80” 3,600 sq. inches
96” x 48” x 80” 4,608 sq. inches
96” x 96” x 80” 9,216 sq. inches
120” x 60” x 80” 7,200 sq. inches
2-in-1: large section: 24” x 24” x 53”, small section: 12” x 24” x 53” Large section: 576 sq. inches, small section: 288 sq. inches
2-in-1: large section: 36” x 36” x 72”, small section: 12” x 36” x 72” Large section: 1,296 sq. inches, small section: 432 sq. inches
2-in-1: large section: 48” x 48” x 80”, small section: 12” x 48” x 80” Large section: 2,304 sq. inches, small section: 576 sq. inches
2-in-1: large section: 96” x 48” x 80”, small section: 12” x 48” x 80” Large section: 4,608 sq. inches, small section: 576 sq. inches

Take the surface area of the floor and make sure that your light is able to cover that space. We don’t include the light size in this chart because the light really depends on your growing goals—how many plants you have, if you plan to upgrade your tent size, or your budget, for example. But just for your reference, we include a reference chart to match our LED with tent sizes (how many you’ll need for coverage).

Using Low-Quality Products – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

What really is the difference between high-quality and low-quality equipment? You’ll find that higher quality lighting has a better wattage to usable plant energy conversion, the light spectrum can be adjusted to be more focused to a full spectrum, they last longer, they have a better PAR value, and you’ll get better yields.

It can be hard to tell which product is high quality and which is not, so getting recommendations from other growers can be really helpful. The growing community is very diverse and has a ton of experience, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Not Having a Proper Light Schedule – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

Your lighting schedule is another key factor that helps determine a plant’s health. Be careful not to leave the lights on all day—you’ll need to keep a day-night cycle to allow your plants to rest. Each individual strain has a preferred growing cycle (along with nutrients, light height, and everything else that goes into growing), but in general, you can reference the chart below for a quick guide to lighting schedules:

Stage of Growth Day/Night Cycle
Germination 18 hours on/ 6 hours off
Seedling 18 hours on/ 6 hours off
Vegetation 18 hours on/ 6 hours off
Flowering 10-12hours on/10-12hours off

You’ll need to emphasize different parts of the light spectrum during different stages of growth to encourage your plants to produce the best buds and strongest structures. Just remember that red-spectrum light helps with flowering, and blue-spectrum light helps with vegetation.

That said, LEDs produce the full spectrum of light—you cannot go wrong by producing the same light that the Sun produces! Just be careful if you decide to use an MH or an HPS bulb since they do not produce as much red and blue light, respectively.

Lack of Maintenance of the Grow Lights – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are generally lower maintenance than HPS or CMH/MH bulbs. However, you’ll need to make sure that your lights are well maintained: clean them with a dry microfiber cloth occasionally, make sure they don’t get wet, and use a power stabilizer to stabilize the voltage of your lights, otherwise, you might experience power failures. That said, they are much easier to maintain than other types of lights.

Overwatering when Moving from HID to LED – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

If you’ve been using HID lights (HPS and MH/CMH, among others), you probably will have a different watering schedule than when using an LED light. Why? Because LEDs do not produce as much heat as HID lights so the ambient heat won’t be drying out your soil as quickly. Make sure that you pay close attention to watering when first switching from HID to LED. You can use a sprayer to water your plants. Overwatering is actually a bigger problem than underwatering with new growers.

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

Ignoring Some Other Factors that Can Affect Your Grow Light – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

While LED grows lights are a great tool for indoor gardening, they are part of a larger system that needs to be controlled, such as airflow and ventilation, temperature, watering, soil and pH, nutrients, and a ton of other factors that we cannot go into in one blog post. Since there are so many different factors that go into growing, you’ll need to pay close attention to your tent—make sure you take measurements every day, keep a journal of your watering schedule and your feedings, and take consistent pH readings.

Also, be sure to read up on cannabis and check out multiple sources of information since there is no right way to grow it. Measurements and reading are the keys to making sure your plants turn out healthy!

Sum Up – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are an essential tool for indoor growing but not the only tool! We hope these tips help you start organizing and planning your grow because it is very important you pay careful attention when growing and adopting new technology. Make sure to avoid the mistake when using LED grow lights.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

And be sure to check out our other blog posts for useful tips on becoming a great grower!

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