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More and more these days, we are witnessing the forthcoming of LED grow lights with integrated microcontrollers. “Smart LED grow lights” are becoming increasingly common as growers are looking toward automation to automate their grows. The microcontroller's functions include, but are not limited to spectrum control, dimming, scheduling and different combinations of these features. For example, a sunrise/sunset function would incorporate all three of these functions.
Some LED grow lights use a separate remote control to program and run the automation features. Other light might use a smartphone application to run the controls. Several grow lights can often be ran off of a single controller via wireless networking control.
These types of LED grow lights are advantageous for growers who are interested in manipulating the quantity and quality of light that reaches their crop. Growers can slowly “wake up” their plants in the morning, vary the spectrum throughout the day and then “put them to sleep” by programming the light intensity and emitted wavelengths during these various hours. Or growers can dim the light down for seedlings and vegetative growth, while maximizing the fixtures full potential during the flowering cycle. Home growers or commercial growers can benefit from LED grow lights with control capabilities. Ensure several units can be ran off of a single controller instead of needing to use one controller
The downside these units is that they may be more expensive than static LED grow lights. There is also a small learning curve involved in learning the control system, plus the time it takes to program the fixture. In addition, more parts can mean more potential to break. Although rare, it is possible that the microprocessor becomes faulty and requires repair. Some large-scale growers might find the extra features of a controllable LED grow light a nuisance and just want a light that turns on and off without the bells and whistles.
Either way, micro-controllers are becoming increasingly common in home and commercial LED grow lights. Controllable LED lighting has already changed the way growers use their lights and this technology will play an important role in the future of indoor growing.