Light Emitting Ceramic (LEC)

Definition - What does Light Emitting Ceramic (LEC) mean?

Light emitting ceramic (LEC) halide lights are used in indoor gardening applications to provide a wider spectrum of light than is possible with conventional fluorescent bulbs. They also reduce energy costs at the same time.

MaximumYield explains Light Emitting Ceramic (LEC)

Indoor gardening can be a very rewarding option for growers with little usable outdoor space, or for those with short growing seasons and gardeners interested in the benefits of hydroponics. However, these systems are not without their drawbacks. One of those is the need to provide artificial light for plants indoors. You have many options for lighting, but one of the newest options is light emitting ceramic halide bulbs.

Also called ceramic metal halide (CMH) lights, light emitting ceramic halide bulbs provide a full spectrum of light for plants, resulting in healthier, stronger growth. While results do vary from gardener to gardener, all have noted improved yields from indoor gardening. Square-wave technology used in these lights also ensures that plants receive more light overall throughout their lifespan than with conventional lighting options.

They also reduce electricity consumption, helping indoor growers use less energy, reduce utility bills, and be a bit “greener”. One drawback with their use is that CMH lights emit significant heat, which means that growers will need to invest in a cooling system (reflector cooling, for instance), which can increase set-up costs.

With that being said, LECs cannot be used with conventional fluorescent light ballasts. They require a low-frequency ballast, while standard fluorescent bulbs require a high-frequency ballast. These bulbs have a decent lifespan, with some manufacturers claiming buyers will only need to replace bulbs every two years or so. However, they are more expensive than conventional fluorescent bulbs, so cost savings may not be realized until many years later.

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