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LED Lights vs HID Lights

LED lights have been a very efficient way of producing light for the last 4 years and each year the technology gets better. The LED manufacturing companies themselves have really increased the Lumen per watt ratios and are now increases the available applications of LED lights with the advent of globes, tubes and LED grow lights. These new LED applications not only replace the inefficient incandescent lights they also replace fluorescent lights and HID grow lights as well with lower wattage and less heat.

Power Savings
LED lights are known for their drastic reduction in power used to produce the same effective light when compared to HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights. The LED is the most efficient way to produce light and can be used with power from the grid or off-grid applications such as solar and battery power. The reduction in power is usually hard to see with the sticker price of an average LED application well over the price of a regular incandescent or HID light. This high cost can be offset by the long life of the LEDs however.

LED Lifetime
The average life of a florescent light is around 1 year before the bulb needs changed. The average life of an HID grow light is or incandescent light is about 6 months with daily use of more than 12 hours. Compare this to the average life of a quality LED light at more than 5 years. This long lifetime is another benefit of LEDs over others but is almost completely reliant on the quality of the LEDs themselves. If you buy a low cost LED light and save money upfront it is almost certain you will be losing some of the time the light will be usable due to the lower quality parts and workmanship.

Quality vs Cost
The most important factor when you purchase an LED light is the quality of the LED and the quality of the heat sink used in the light. A heat sink is a finned aluminum part used in LED lights to dissipate heat from the LED chip itself. All LEDs need some sort of dissipation device (heat sink) or the LED would burn out very quickly. When you look at LED lights you should look for the heat sinks fins, or lack thereof. If the LED light has a simple flat aluminum sheet, this is a sign of poor quality and inferior parts that will lead to a lesser quality of light in a shorter period of time.

The Latest LED Technology
The latest advancements in LED technology have been in two fields, high powered LED grow lights and LED street lights. Although there are many new applications these two types of LED lights are growing quickly and have some top quality suppliers that offer great warranties. These new types of LEDs feature long lasting components that make the initial investment a win for municipalities, retailers (Wal-Mart is testing LED lights in there parking lots), and greenhouses that can now use LED grow lights that replace HID lights.

LED lights are a great choice to replace your old lights but only if you are able to purchase a quality light that will pay for the large upfront cost of LED lights.


LED Grow Lights – Do’s and Don’ts

First, when it comes to growing with LED lights it’s important to know what the light you are using is made of. The wattage of LED, the angle of the lens, and the total wattage consumed by the light. These factors paired with the intensity of the light will determine the best method to follow when using your new LED grow light.

Determining Color and Power of LED Grow Lights

Let’s start with the type of plant and light intensity you desire first. Vegetative types of plants like lettuce or spinach do not need as much intense light to grow. If you are growing flowering and fruiting plants you will need a very intense light with a strong emphasis on red colors. Flowering plants can be hard to grow with LED grow lights if the light uses very cheap 1w LEDs and a wide angle lens (120 degrees) which makes the light spread out and drastically reduce the intensity of the light. Flowering plants should have as much light as possible and usually do much better under all 3w LEDs with a 90 degree lens. With this type of high intensity LED grow light, flowering plants are grown best with the light hung about 18 inches above the plant canopy.

If you have cheap low wattage 1w LEDs with the traditional 120 degree lens you will want to hang the light no higher than 6 inches above the plant canopy in order to produce results. If you have less than 1w/LED of in your lights then I would suggest only using them for vegetative growth, seedlings and clone transplants. These cheap low wattage LED grow lights are not all they are claimed to be and usually will result in a frustrated grower with little to show for a harvest.

Using Light Movers with LED Grow Lights

Another factor in growing with LED grow lights is side light and light movers. LED grow lights are directional lights that focus their light in one direction. If you add some florescent lights to the side of your garden you can see proportional benefits in harvest without much of an increase in your wattage or cost per unit of harvest. Light movers with high powered LED grow lights work great to increase the number of leaf sites that receive intense light and will allow your plants to fill out more evenly. Remember though to check your lights specifications regardless of side lights and light movers because if your wattage or lens angle is weak you will need to be much closer or not use those cheap lights on your flowers at all.

The #1 Rated 3w LED Grow Lights

If you are looking for a great place to find high intensity LED grow lights with all 3w LEDs and 90 degree lens angles then check out Advanced LED Grow Lights. They have the best LED grow lights money can buy and they back it up with a 90 day risk free guarantee. They also sell many custom LED grow lights and small LED lights they call SpectraBoost LEDs to add certain colors to your garden.


All Blue LED Grow Lights: The Perfect Vegetative Light

All Blue LED Grow Lights: The Perfect Vegetative Light

Plants in vegetative growth cycles are mainly using wavelengths of light in the blue spectrum, specifically the 415nm-460nm range. This spectrum of blue light can be found more prevalently in the spring months when plants are growing structure and leaves (vegetation). The latest advent of LED grow lights has allowed indoor growers to target this powerful blue spectrum of light during their vegetative growth cycles by using all blue LEDs. Some all blue LED grow lights have multiple shades of blue LEDs to allow for a broader range of spectral output but still focusing all that energy in the highly active blue band of light.

It has been proven that the blue color spectrum causes very dense vegetative growth and increases fruiting sites on most plants. Another common result with all blue LED grow lights is quick seeding and cloning phase transition in plants that are grown under blue LED grow lights that feature High Intensity LEDs.

The benefits of all blue LED grow lights may be enough to entice an indoor grower to try them but caution is always needed when looking at LED grow lights. Like other grow lights, LED grow lights can range in quality and performance. Quality is the most important factor when buying LED grow lights due to the high cost of this technology. Indoor growers must recover their costs over time and if the light they purchase only works for one year or less they will not recover those costs. It’s always advised to look for a supplier of all blue LED grow lights that offers a long warranty period to guarantee results.

Rest assured that a top quality all blue LED grow light will provide some of the best vegetative growth any indoor garden has ever seen with the least amount of electricity and very little heat.


Toshiba’s A19 7.8 Watt 450 Lumen LED Dimmable Replacement Bulb

Toshiba International Corporation, Dec. 19, 2011 – Toshiba International Corporation announced today that its innovative new A19 LED lamp is now available on Best Buy’s website and in special sections of select Best Buy stores.

450 Lumens at only 7.8 watts!

The 40-watt equivalent LED light bulbs are featured in three Best Buy stores – one each in Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago – that just launched special home energy departments highlighting the latest and greatest energy-saving technologies. The LED lamp is also available on Best Buy’s website.

Unlike many other LED lamps launched to date, Toshiba’s A19 boasts a more traditional light bulb shape – a feature that research shows is important to lighting designers, specifiers, and consumers. Toshiba’s new A19 lamp is manufactured using patented technology that enables omnidirectional light distribution similar to that of an incandescent lamp.

The A19 lamp is also dimmable and comes in a 2700K color temperature. “Toshiba is extremely proud that its LED lamps have been selected as featured products in Best Buy’s Home Energy Departments,” said Ken Honeycutt, Senior Vice President at Toshiba International Corporation and the Chief Venture Executive for Toshiba LED Lighting Systems Division.

Manufactured to ENERGY STAR® performance levels and undergoing ENERGY STAR® testing now, Toshiba’s A19 LED lamp reduces energy use by more than 75 percent and lasts up to 40 times longer than incandescent lamps. In fact, based on an average use of three hours a day, the A19 lamp is rated to last 22.8 years. The lamp also features a 450-lumen output, reaches full brightness instantly, and contains no mercury or lead.

“Toshiba’s LED lighting is already featured in art museums and businesses around the world; now consumers can experience this beautiful lighting in their homes,” said Peter DallePezze, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development, Toshiba International Corporation LED Lighting Systems Division. “We believe Best Buy’s decision to carry LED lighting speaks to the exciting transition that’s taking place in the lighting industry,” DallePezze said. “Thanks to advances in technology, we are producing LED lamps that last for years and significantly reduce the energy usage in homes and commercial buildings. This represents a fundamental shift from selling a commodity product to a durable product with innovation behind it.”

The A19 lamp is backed by Toshiba’s 120-year heritage as a preferred lighting manufacturer in Japan and by Toshiba’s reputation worldwide as a reliable manufacturer of quality electronics products. As one of the largest lighting companies and LED lamp manufacturers in the world, Toshiba is dedicated to creating high quality light, while keeping energy consumption low. One hundred percent of Toshiba’s current lighting product offering and lighting product development in the U.S. is based on LED technology.

To demonstrate their commitment to LED technology as the superior choice for lighting, Toshiba abandoned production of incandescent light bulbs in March 2010. Toshiba was the first major lighting manufacturer to proactively discontinue the production of incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy-efficient LED lamps. Further exemplifying Toshiba’s commitment to producing high-quality, energy-efficient LED lighting, 25 of the company’s LED light bulbs recently received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label.

In order to qualify for ENERGY STAR certification, light bulbs must use up to 75 percent less energy and last at least 15 times longer than comparable incandescent lighting.

About Toshiba International Corporation

Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) is a Toshiba America Inc. (TAI) Group Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. TIC is headquartered in Houston, Texas and employs approximately 1,100 people. TIC provides application solutions to a wide range of industries including lighting systems, industrial, power systems, and transmission and distribution systems. For more information about TIC, please visit

About Toshiba International Corporation’s LED Lighting Systems Division

Toshiba International Corporation’s LED Lighting Systems Division provides the North American market with a variety of high-efficiency LED products. Drawing upon Toshiba’s 120-year heritage of lighting innovations in Japan and world-class electronic and semi-conductor technologies, the LED Lighting Systems Division is emerging as a leader in solid state lighting. The LED Lighting Systems Division is committed to providing lighting solutions that enhance the quality of life and meet the diverse needs of its customers. Further information is also available online at


LED Lighting from the UK

We are big proponents of LED lighting, as spot lighting a task area with a low wattage device makes much more sense than filling unused areas with a high wattage bulb. We use LED lights ourselves, and are proud to showcase the following from our friends in the UK. – Steve Spence

AVR Lighting have pioneered traditional track lighting systems by introducing clearly intense, ultra efficient LED track lighting products that connect directly to 240v mains track systems such as global track. By offering an easy to install, long lasting solution we have led the way with a range of low energy track lights that deliver powerful yet defining light output.

Here are the benefits of using commercial grade led track lights such as an AVR LED track light system:

Low energy usage – Up to 80% energy saving compared to traditional track lights. This can be as little as 4.8W for a 50W halogen replacement to just 28.8W for a CDM70 replacement.

Intensely Powerful – Using Cree MCE LED’s has enabled us to deliver outstanding intensity whilst being ultra efficient.

Defining – Proven LEDs like Cree MCE’s offer beautiful defining effect that brings objects to life. There is also a variety of source colour temperatures available. These include warm (3K), soft (3.5K), neutral (4k) & cool (5K). These temperatures can also be split further offering warmer/cooler temperatures if needed.

Thermal – LED’s are much cooler than traditional lighting products therefore offering less heat. It is common myth that LED’s offer no heat. This is not the case as LED’s can get very hot and are very delicate. Therefore there is a need for thermal management systems that take away the heat from the LED’s and direct it to the heat sync (body of the fitting) which is often made from aluminium.

Life Expectancy – Proven LED track lighting systems that use quality LEDs combined with excellent thermal management will last upto 70,000 hours with minimal drop in light quality.

Instant – LED track lighting products offer instant illumination without the need to warm up.

AVR LED track lights are extremely robust as they are manufactured in the heart of the UK at our Leicestershire lighting manufacturing facilities. We design, develop and deliver quality commercial grade track lighting products that last upto 70,000 hours. All our products include a three year warranty. AVR use only the best components such as Cree MCE diodes, Italian optics & AVR thermal heat sinking & drive systems. Even the best components require expertise. AVR has the experience and knowledge to design & assemble revolutionary products that deliver cutting edge performance every time.

AVR are currently looking for trade partners who share our passion and vision of delivering an LED track light to every major store globally. AVR products are already supporting many leading retailers within the UK by delivering diamond standard illumination whilst saving up to 80% in energy savings compared to traditional track lights.

AVR systems are the perfect fit for commercial & industrial applications. Our LED track products are both aesthetically & visually pleasing to the eye, which offers a refreshing outlook. AVR lights are contemporary in design, bringing us to forefront not just in technical ability but in how the physical product is perceived.

AVR have started a revolution and will now be pushing to introduce many innovative LED products over the course of 2010/2011.

For more information feel free to visit our led track lights lighting page.


High Tech LED Grow Lights

Growers worldwide have been using traditional HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights for decades with proven results. These powerful grow lights do have their drawbacks, such as high power consumption and heat. The average HID light consumes 1000 watts of power and creates large amounts of heat that requires additional air conditioning.

In an attempt to solve heat and power issues some people have tried to use LEDs to grow plants since LEDs use less power and run much cooler. Early LED lights have disappointed many growers due to low yields and longer growing times. The cause of these performance problems is due to poor LED quality and low powered LEDs.

In 2010 a new LED light called the Extreme Flower LED, from has rivaled HID lights in yield and exceeded traditional lights in harvest quality. These new lights are made with all USA 3w LEDs, focused optics and 11 wavelengths of light color to simulate mother nature. The Extreme Flower LEDs have been proven to grow as good as HID lights while also saving electric bills. The Extreme Flower LED requires no ballasts and eliminates the need for large air conditioning units which save thousands of watts each year for commercial growers. The Extreme Flower LED technology also lasts over 5 years (HID bulbs last 1 year) and has no mercury to dispose of like HID lights.

With these new 3w LED grow lights, indoor growers can be more efficient, save money and make their greenhouse even more green.


LED Grow Tents – Efficient Gardening Made Easy

Grow tents are fast becoming the easy and effective way to grow indoors and LED grow lights make it even easier. Grow tents have typically been used with High Intensity Discharge lights such as HPS and Metal Halide. Indoor growers have always faced problems when it comes to these HID lights because they get extremely hot. High output fans and sometimes even water-cooled reflectors are necessary for HID lights to run indoors. With the latest advancements in LED grow lights, growers are now able to avoid the high heat issues while using a grow tent indoors. LED grow lights allow for the most efficient use of electricity converted to light without high heat output, eliminating the need for cooling systems. This reduction in heat coupled with the use of an economical grow tent allows growers to operate efficiently, reduce heat problems and save money on electricity.

Grow tents and LED grow lights range in quality and it is worth noting that they often look the same. Be careful when choosing a grow tent or LED grow light because the benefits listed above are drastically reduced and sometimes completely void if your LED grow tent does not perform accordingly. Some grow tents are made of cheap white plastic and can actually kill plants due to toxicity. Cheap LED grow lights can also be sold as “top quality” lights but cause poor yields and usually fail within the first year. When looking for a high quality LED grow light and grow tent try to find a supplier that offers a 120 day money back guarantee and sells the product at a respectable market price. If the prices are very low compared to others in the market, beware! The best grow tent suppliers will have a long list of quality testimonials or reviews with specifics of their experience with the product.

In the modern world of high tech gadgets and technology, these new LED grow tents and LED grow lights are a welcome advancement in the indoor gardening world and offer a much needed solution to the old ways of growing indoors and the problems that came with it.


Wiring LED Lighting

How can you wire up LED lighting? There are some precautions, in order to ensure long life of your bulbs, but it’s easy, and they don’t consume a lot of juice.

Why do you need a resistor with an LED? The short answer: to limit the current in the LED to a safe value.

The long answer: LEDs are semiconductors, diodes in particular. The current flowing in an LED is an exponential function of voltage across the LED. The important part about that for you is that a small change in voltage can produce a huge change in current. That is the most important concept of this article. Resistors aren’t like that. The current and voltage in a resistor are linearly related. That means that a change in voltage will produce a proportional change in current. Current versus voltage is a straight line for a resistor, but not at all for an LED. –More

A good calculator for determining the size resistor needed for series/parallel strings of LED’s can be found here. If using White LED’s (3 in series) with a operating voltage of 3.8v, and a current of 20ma each, and a 13.8vdc supply, we want a resistor of 150 Ohm, 1/8 Watt.

These series strings of 3 LED’s and one 150 ohm resistor can be wired in parallel.

Check out these Mega Bright white LED’s.


Mimic the Sun with the Latest in LED Light Technology

As the seasons change there are many things that affect plants and their growing cycles with the main factors being light timing and color of light.

The timing of light is affected by the rotation of the earth on its axis over the year, which happens to be a constant event. As the earth rotates it changes the seasons by increasing or decreasing the time that the sun is shining on plants in different hemispheres. Some plants are dramatically affected and built to respond to longer hours of light or a reduction in light.

Light color also affects the performance and sensitivity of plants in different cycles as well. As the earth rotates it also has an effect on the color of the light or what is known as spectra of light. All sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere and the angle at which is passes through the different layers of atmosphere affect the spectra that reach the surface. For example, during spring the sun shines at an angle which produces a more blue light, although to the human eye it is not that noticeable. With this increase in blue light the vegetative growth flourishes. The same affect is true with the fall or autumn when the earth rotates away from the sun and this fall angle of sunlight produces a more red color of light. During this time plants are triggered to produce flowers and subsequent fruits and seeds before dormancy or death. The red color of light during fall is a major factor in flower and fruiting cycles of plants.

For the average grower these seasonal factors are just a normal part of life and if you grow outdoors the sun is all you need, but if you are in a greenhouse or indoors things are different now. Indoor growers and greenhouse growers alike can now affect their gardens with LED grow lights that provide very specific colors of light such as red or blue without adding hardly any heat or power costs. Although new 3w LED grow lights can be used alone without other light, the newest invention in LED technology is called SpectraBoost LEDs and only consume as little as 7 watts of power but pack a huge punch of targeted light. Adding blue SpectraBoost to any greenhouse during winter or fall can boost vegetative growth and the Red SpectraBoost LEDs can provide better flowering and fruiting plants during winter as well.

Any indoor grower using traditional grow lights such as metal halide or high pressure sodium are able to supplement their gardens with colors that are low in their lights such as blue in HPS or red in MH. The latest field tests show an increase in flower sites and overall yields with these new LED grow lights versus traditional lights alone.
Now it is possible for growers everywhere to use the reaction of plants to the suns rotation to affect their gardens in ways never before seen with new LED grow light technologies.


America Recycles Day – November 15th

Think for a moment about all the trash you produce in a day. If you’re like the average American, you generate 4.4 pounds of trash in just one 24 hour period. Instead of all that trash going into a landfill, help us ensure that more of it gets recycled and given a new life.


November 15 is America Recycles Day, and we’re working with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to encourage the entire country to recycle more. Americans recycle just 35 percent of our waste, and we need YOU and your readers to help us change that.


Take the I Recycle pledge today, and tell us what you pledge to recycle more. You can make your pledge go even further through our America Recycles Day Thunderclap, which will post a synchronized message of support on the Facebook or Twitter accounts of all our supporters at the exact same time on America Recycles Day. All it takes is one click!


Help us make as big of an impact as possible with our recycling campaign. Here’s what else you can do:


·         Share our America Recycles Day Thunderclap with your social media followers. The more people that spread the word, the more people we will reach.

·         After you have signed the America Recycles Day pledge encourage your readers to do the same. Ten lucky people who take the pledge will win a park bench, made from recycled materials, of course!

·         Direct your readers to to find the nearest recycling center near them. The website also contains facts on what materials can be recycled and what they can become in their new lives.

Thanks for supporting this important campaign!


Sacha Evans

Manager, Public Relations | The Advertising Council
815 Second Ave, 9th floor | New York, NY 10017

P: 212-984-1963 | F: (212) 922-1676
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