Sunlight or LED Lights: Which Is Better?

Plants need light to grow, and the vast majority of the time that plants have existed, sunlight has been the only option. Now, however, modern technology has created another plant friendly light source -- LED lights. Wondering which is better? Sunlight or LED lights? Well, there are pros and cons to each of these options, and in some cases, you may even want to use both:

Benefits of LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights can be placed anywhere. If you're trying to keep herbs alive in a basement flat, growing a plant in your closet so no one sees it, or trying to lengthen the growing season in a cold climate, LED lights work perfectly in those situations where sunlight isn't even an option.

Additionally, you can position your LED lights so they are hitting the plant directly, which can be much more advantageous than putting a plant in a window where it will only receive light from one direction. LED grow lights also offer gardeners the consistency and control they need -- you can choose exactly how many hours of light your plants get, and you never have to worry about storms or cloudy days. Finally, using LED grow lights protects your plants from all the threats of the great outdoors, including pests, hail, freezes and others.

Benefits of Natural Light

The biggest benefit of sunlight is that it is completely natural and totally free. Sunlight also offers plants a larger spectrum of light than most LED lights. However, it's important to note that LED grow lights have been designed to give plants the type of light they need for photosynthesis.

Benefits to Combining Sunlight and LED Grow Lights

In many cases, the debate between sunlight and LED grow lights shouldn't be reduced to an either-or situation. Rather, many gardeners opt to reap the benefits of both tried and true sunlight and modern LED lights.

In particular, many gardeners opt to start their seedlings inside under LED lights. This gives the seedlings the consistent amount of light they need to start growing, and it also protects these plants from the numerous outdoor threats that may try to end their tender young lives. Then, when the plants are a bit more mature, the gardeners move them outside. There, they can receive the benefits of natural sunlight at a time when they are sturdy enough to harden to the outdoors.

If you want to learn more about LED grow lights, contact a light or gardening specialist.