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A beginner's guide to LED grow lights

When choosing from the huge number of LED grow lights available on the market, there are three main types: Full spectrum, infra-red and UV. However, even once you know the type of spectrum your lights need to be, there are two common set ups you need to choose from: LED quantum board grow lights, or COB LED grow lights.

Lucky for you, we’re going to break down each type so you know exactly what type of LED light you need.

Light spectrums 


Infra-red lighting is a crucial part of your plant’s growth cycle. It boosts photosynthesis when combined with other wavelengths of light – allowing you to get more out of your plants. 

Emerson effect on plants

Research into the Emerson Effect actually found that infrared light significantly impacts the phytochromes in the plants. This helps your plants to develop larger leaves, taller stems and bigger blooms. Some studies even suggest infra-red lighting can increase antioxidants present in the plants – meaning fruit bearing plants will have a more flavorful taste and aroma.


Does uv light help plants grow

It’s no surprise that plants need UV light to thrive. Most plants are used to getting all the light need they from the sun. Like for us humans, UV can be dangerous to plants when used improperly. But with just the right amount, it can be hugely beneficial for your plants.

With only around 7-9% of the sun’s UV radiation reaching earth, it typically doesn’t have much impact on plant growth. However, in more artificial growing processes – like commercial indoor growing – using UV lighting can be detrimental.

How does UV light affect plant growth

UV lighting can kill off microbes that play an important role in maintaining your plant’s environment. It can change the composition of the soil and food supplied to your plant and may increase the amount of nitrogen available for your plants.

Does UV light affect DNA

Ultraviolet radiation can even have an impact on the actual DNA of your plants. Mutation and other damage can easily occur. However, there are some studies to suggest that mutations can help to boost immunity and encourages evolution within the cells. Plants have been found to replace older organs with new ones, or to block their DNA from being damaged in order to survive in new environments.

There are ways to utilize UV for your plants. But we recommend you use a grow light with UV diodes so that your plants aren’t completely destroyed in the process.

Full Spectrum

To get the most out of your grow light, we think a full spectrum LED is your best choice.

Our HELIOS X Series offers the perfect full spectrum lighting for both hobbyist and expert growers. Depending on the types of plants you’re growing, you’ll need to ensure your plants are getting an even spread of high intensity lighting at each phase of the growth cycle.

The HELIO X range are dimmable led grow lights, meaning you can manipulate the light at any point to change the shape, height or yield of your plants.

LED Light Spectrums For Plants 

Quantum Board LEDs

As mentioned above, there are two common set ups for LED lights. Quantum LED grow lights are made of small diodes or LEDs which are then attached to a single board in rows.

Samsung quantum LED grow lights are regarded as one of the top in the market, thanks to their high energy efficiency, which is why we’re proud to offer our quantum board lighting in 450W .

These types of LED boards are incredibly popular because they have a pretty easy set up process and still maintain the high quality of build seen compared with more traditional, HPS and CMH lighting.

Key advantages of quantum board LEDs are:

  • An even spread of light, rather than a high intensity in the centre of the grow space.
  • Highly efficient; offering larger output of light for fewer watts consumed
  • Full spectrum white lighting that’s very similar to sunlight
  • Cost effective
  • Little additional ventilation needed (passively cooled)


Known as chip-on-board LED grow lights, COB lights have bare LED chips connected to a board. This creates a single point of intense light, with light tapering off on the outer areas. When growing just a few plants in a small space, COBs work perfectly fine when plants are placed directly in the centre.

That said, this intense beam of light in the centre, means COBs are great for penetrating the canopy of your plants, meaning the branches and leaves further down the stem don’t miss out!

The main advantages of COBs are:

  • Smaller than quantum boards
  • Deeper canopy penetration
  • Easier to arrange, more flexibility in set up

So, that’s our quick breakdown of the different types of LEDs on the market. If you’re not sure which is right for your space or plant type, don’t hesitate to get in touch!