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How Do You Know When to Upgrade LED Grow Lights?

upgrade LED Grow Lights

Wondering if it’s time to upgrade your LED grow lights?

This is a question all growers face eventually. Perhaps you initially set up your grow space with cheap LEDs, and now you’re curious to know if using premium lamps would make a difference.

Or maybe you were among the first growers to get onboard LED cultivation. Now that LED lighting technology has taken off, you wonder what benefits you’re missing.

It doesn’t matter what has caused you to question your current grow lights. If it’s time to upgrade LED grow lights, you’ll soon see that all the signs are there. You just have to know what to look for.

Here are some of the biggest signs that it’s time to go premium.

Your Plants are Begging You to Upgrade LED Grow Lights

Any time you’re thinking of making a change in your cultivation routine, take a look at your plant growth for clues.

As LED grow lights age, their lumen output depreciates, especially with cheap LEDs from China. The luminaire that seemed like a robust lamp in the beginning now leaves your plants hungry for more photons. If this is the case, your plants will tell you through signals such as:

  • Dropping leaves
  • Upward cupping leaves
  • Stems and branches reaching toward the light source
  • New growth that comes in smaller and paler than before

If you see signs like these and you’ve only had your lamps a few years, it’s definitely time to upgrade your LED grow lights. Don’t just replace your fixtures with the same model. Quality LED lamps should last at least 50,000 hours—that’s 12-15 years of normal growing cycles.

Everything is Great Until the Flowering Stage

Some growers who use LEDs experience incredible growth during veg but then suffer from low yields during flower.

Those who don’t know much about LED lighting technology would tell you this is because LEDs are only good for the vegetative phase. They’d say LED grow lights can’t match HPS grow lights in terms of light intensity.

Quite the contrary.

Top-tier LED grow lights are designed to provide high light intensity and the right spectrum for indoor plants. Today’s LEDs put out much more light than traditional HPS lights. In fact, growers who switch from HID lighting to premium LED luminaires report higher yields and better quality.

If you’re not getting those benefits from your current LED light system, it’s because the product is inferior. For better results, you need to upgrade LED grow lights.

Upgrade LED Grow Lights if Your Lamp Dies Early

Lifespan is a major consideration for many growers when they purchase their first LED grow light. After all, LEDs are famous for lasting 4-5 times longer than HID bulbs. Longevity is one of the many factors that make LED grow lights a better long-term investment.

While LEDs have rightfully earned this reputation, there are some cheap fixtures on the market that make the whole industry look bad. These lamps are made to last only as long as the warranty. They rarely get anywhere near the 50,000 hours of life they promised.

If you were expecting a longer life from your lamp, it’s time to upgrade LED grow lights.

Choose a reputable brand from a manufacturer who can provide testing information. Get confirmation that the lamp life listed in the products specs is based on real science and not an empty promise.

The Seller Cannot Help You

Who sold you your current LED grow lights?

Are they able to help you troubleshoot problems or put you in contact with the manufacturer? Can they answer questions about testing or technology? Has the seller or manufacturer been able to offer insight and advice regarding the use of LEDs in your specific setup?

If the answer is no, you should upgrade LED grow lights.

If a seller can’t answer your questions or at least connect you with the manufacturer, it tells you two very important things.

  1. The seller does not care about or understand horticultural lighting.
  2. The manufacturer is just trying to pump out cheap grow lights, not serve the needs of cultivators.

Premium LED grow light manufacturers like California LightWorks are easy to reach. Their customer service teams are knowledgeable, helpful, and genuinely passionate about growing. These companies are invested in giving you a good product.

Plus, manufacturers like California LightWorks will help you make the most of that product. When you buy cheap LEDs, you’re pretty much on your own. Our service team provides advice, troubleshooting, and even creates a free, no-obligation light plan for your indoor facility.

You’re Ready for Advanced Features

This one is easy.

If you’re ready to upgrade your product, then you’re ready to upgrade LED grow lights.

Low-end lights can’t provide the same intensity as premium models. Cheap LEDs also feature an inferior spectrum. And they don’t offer the same advanced tech features that you get from high-quality fixtures.

Take our SolarSystem series, for example. These commercial-quality lights feature variable spectrum control. That means you can adjust and program the color spectrum to control the grow cycle and manipulate yield and chemical profile.

Our GH Pro 340 includes wireless spectrum control with light sensors. Greenhouse growers don’t have to adjust their lights to balance sunlight. Our lamps include photo sensors and automatic dimmers so they can balance themselves.

Even casual home growers can enjoy advanced LED technology. Our SolarXtreme lamps are simple to install and use in a grow tent or small grow room. But they still feature our specially formulated Optigrow spectrum for best results in a smaller operation.

The bottom line: if it feels like it’s time to upgrade LED grow lights, then it’s probably time. You know when you’ve outgrown your old equipment and you’re ready to enter a new era of cultivation.

If you’re interested in learning more about California LightWorks products, we invite you to reach out to our U.S.-based team. We’re always happy to help growers like you discover the best lighting solution for your grow space.

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