There are three major factors you have to consider before picking an LED system for your indoor grow operation:
1. What are you growing?
Depending on their species and variety, plants have varying light requirements. Generally, full-spectrum light is essential for photosynthesis.
But even for this purpose, blue and red lights seem to be most important.
And plants from dry, sunny areas like the Mediterranean will need more intense light than those originating from sub-tropical or temperate regions.
Low-light plants like lettuce and herbs will need 25 watts per square feet, while high light plants like tomatoes will need at least 50 watts.
These are just ball-park figures. Different varieties will have their unique requirements.
2. How large is your indoor grow project?
This pretty much self-explanatory. The larger your grow area, the more LED bulbs or panels you will require.
There are a lot of options to choose from. Depending on the shape and size of your grow area, you can pick from LED tubes, panels, bars, bulbs,
3. What type of LEDs do you need?
There are two options: full spectrum lights, and separate vegging and blooming lights.
Full spectrum lights are all-around products that can provide adequate lighting for a plant throughout its life cycles.
But in some situations, you might be opting for a more focused approach. For example, your system may be having separate growing areas for the growing period and flowering periods.
In such conditions, you can opt for a vegging LED light for the growth stage, and blooming LEDs for the flowering stage.
Many good quality full spectrum lights these days come with programmable settings. With these, you can opt for veg or blooming light settings depending on the age of your plant.