Technology is awesome and incredibly frustrating, isn’t it? You just figured out what LED lights mean for your grow room and now we’re talking about LEC lights. What the heck are LEC lights, how do LEC lights work, and what does any of this mean to home growers and big operations?
Let me try to break this down for you.
What’s An LEC Grow Light?
LEC stands for Light Emitting Ceramics, which are essentially a new wave of the HID lamps you’re used to. Unlike LED lights, LEC lights are impressive because they burn so hot. Hot as the sun, my friends.
The bulb is hot, but the heat the light throws off is less than the standard HPS- a very desirable thing for growers!
This can mean a big performance jump in your crop, better light quality, lamp color-shift, and a more stable spread.
Here’s some numbers:
The sun = 100 CRI (color rendering index)
LEC lights = 80-96 CRI (80 is excellent)
HPS lights= approx. 22 CRI
MH lights = 65-70 CRI.
Just on the numbers, LEC lights win. Of course, it’s not that simple.
How LEC Grow Lights Work
If you’re growing, you know something about light wavelengths and which kind is best for which stage of growth. Blue, violet, and ultra-violet wavelengths are shorter and more dense with energy. Orange, red, and far red light wavelengths are longer but less energy dense.
Because the shorter wavelengths are so powerful, they’re best for veg growth while the longer wavelengths mimic late summer and fall, best for flowering stages.
LEC lights have all the wavelengths, which means you don’t have to change out any bulbs until they blow, which is around every two years. They’re not going to last as long as LED lights, but may very well promote better growth.
Additionally, LEC ballasts utilize a more efficient square wave frequency that results in a smoother, more efficient rate of fire.
The light may be brighter and fuller, but it still throws off less heat than standard HPS lights. That lets you, you know, grow in your closet. The dream of every cannabis consumer.
One 1000w HPS = 3500 BTUs (heat)
Two 315w LECs at a combined 630 watts = 2205 BTUs.
That’s less to cool, so more efficient and easier to deal with overall.
Are LEC Lights Right For You?
The truth is, LEC lights are relatively new and probably not fully tested by growers like you. The information out there is promising, however, and certainly worth a closer look.
It’s pricey to change your lighting setup, but if you’re taking the plunge, let us know in the comments section. We’re hungry for your first hand LEC light knowledge.
Grow on, my friends.