LED grow lights aren't just a new trend, they're leading a revolution in the entire field of cultivation. As the interest in cultivating green spaces for both home and businesses arise, the quest for high-quality yet affordable solutions has never been more prominent. That's where LED grow lights shine. These innovative tools aren't just for home gardening enthusiasts — they're a lifeline for commercial growers as well. Delivering consistent and optimal lighting conditions, they're enabling round-the-year production, from individual households to large-scale commercial operations. In essence, LED grow lights are reshaping how we approach gardening, making it a thriving, full-time venture regardless of the scale.
Two popular LED grow light options in the market today are the Quantum Boards and the LED bar Lights. These are the practical options for anyone looking to cover as much canopy as possible. While there are individual LED grow lights, these fixtures were designed for smaller or supplemental usage.
There are factors to consider when choosing between Quantum Boards or LED bars. Choosing the right one will depend on what you are after.
Quantum Board Grow Lights
Quantum Board grow lights are made of a panel loaded with LED. They are often rectangular and come in different sizes. They work best for smaller indoor setups or single plants in a grow tent. Many also prefer Quantum Board grow lights for vertical racking and growing on shelves. Popular brands that use Quantum Boards include HLG.
These grow lights use large circuit boards with LEDs arranged optimally to improve plant development. Quantum Board grow lights are also designed for a more focused light distribution in the center, which makes them ideal for singular or smaller grow setups.
This design makes Quantum Board grow lights easier and cheaper to produce, which explains why they are more affordable in the market. Fewer components are involved, and they are also more compact with this design. However, because of its broader form, Quantum Boards are more prone to accumulating heat, which makes heat management a little tricky.
LED Bar Grow Lights
LED Bar grow lights are known for their rectangular form connected to form a series of arrays. First used as supplemental lights, bar grow lights were later modified to become more potent grow lights to be used across all stages of plant growth.
These bars are arranged in such a way that they deliver the optimal lighting. The LEDs are lined up straight most of the time. With newer designs, the bars also feature customizable spectrums. Many grow lights that use the bar form factor are modular, making them easy to customize based on the size of the growing area. Popular manufacturers of bar grow lights include Growers Choice and Spider Farmer.
Bar grow lights are known for their light distribution, which tends to be more even and accurate due to how you can position the light bars. You get a more consistent light spread due to the spacing between each light bar. Because of this design, Bar grow lights are more favored in larger spaces due to the consistency of light delivered across the canopy.
It’s also worth noting that the Bar grow lights have better heat management than Quantum Boards. The individual and narrow design on each bar makes it easier to dissipate heat without affecting the other bars in the fixture.
If there’s anything not to like about bar grow lights, it’s the price, as they cost more than their Quantum Board counterparts.
Which Should You Choose?
It’s hard to say bar grow lights are better than Quantum Board lights, as both have benefits. It would be best to consider your criteria as a basis for choosing.
Quantum Boards should suffice for you if the budget is a primary consideration. The same can be said if you don’t plan to grow many plants. Quantum Board grow lights should be enough to cover the canopy, given its more centric focus.
Bar grow lights work well if you want better heat dissipation. If you have limited grow tent space, bar grow lights manage heat better so that you don’t need to add fans to your grow tent. And if you plan to grow more plants in a tent, bar grow lights are a better choice, given how they efficiently spread light over the canopy.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use Quantum Boards when the growing size calls for bar lights. You still can, but you may need to consider other considerations, such as nutrients, to get good results.
Quantum Boards and Bar grow lights have the same goal: to provide an efficient lighting setup for your indoor garden with less power but with the efficiency of non-LED grow lights. Both types of grow lights were designed to transition growers from the more power-hungry fixtures without sacrificing quality.
Each of these grow lights were designed for particular users who have considerations in mind, and if you’re looking to choose, pick one based on your needs and limitations.
But considering how grow light manufacturers continue to innovate, it’s only a matter of time that the line between these two fixtures is blurred and eventually may become at par with each other.