LED grow lights are considered an efficient solution for indoor farming. The lights are capable of providing optimum conditions to promote growth and yield. More growers are choosing potent LED lights over previous options such as HID and fluorescent lights as it promises better results with less heat dissipation. Also, the system is easy to install, operate, and provides ample benefits for indoor farmers.

But like most technological farming solutions, there are a few parameters that need to be kept in mind to harness the benefits of an LED lighting system properly. One such parameter is the distance from the plants.

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LED grow lights are powerful to provide the necessary light exposure and energy for the plants. By striking the right distance from the plant is crucial to achieving good results. Keeping them too close could become have a heavy impact on the overall yield and potency of the plants. Keeping them too far could affect the plant from attaining its true growth potential. Here we will discuss the optimum distance required to promote plant growth without any side effects of these grow lights.

Why LED Lights?

While we briefly graced the fact that most growers are choosing LED lights over several other grow light choices, let us understand the reason behind this trend. Indoor growers, especially for sensitive plants as marijuana, tend to explore a wide range of choices such as https://www.herbonaut.com/best-led-grow-lights/. They seek setups that provide optimal benefits for the cost of setup as well as power consumption. They also look for options that are durable and provide proper wattage.

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LED lights can offer much better wattage compared to other traditional systems, including metal halides. They do not carry any chemicals inside them and last much longer as compared to others. LED lights are energy and cost-efficient and come in large panels of full-spectrum grow lights, making them easy to install in indoor setups. They can also support comparatively higher yields.

How Far Is Right?

There is no universal rule when it comes to identifying the ideal distance for placing LED lighting. Several factors, including the canopy size, growth potential of the plant, contribute to identifying the right distance.

Stage Of Growth

An important factor to take into account is the maturity level or the growth stage. The phase of growth determines the ideal light and energy requirements of the plant that will promote growth and yield.

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You can explore a wide choice of dimmable lights that will make it easy to adjust the requirements for different stages of the plant. Or you can adjust the height of the light accordingly to achieve the right levels.

Seedling Stage

At the seedling stage, the plant requires minimum help from light and more from soil nutrition and water. Hence keeping the light intensity low provides enough energy to promote growth. Remember not to blast the lights near these tiny seedlings assuming it would help faster growth. Seedlings are sensitive and vulnerable and require a slow and gentle approach to nurture growth. Heavy intensity could damage them and cause stunted growth. Typically the lights can be located between 26 – 40 inches above the canopy. You can also check out cannabis seeds online as per your need and enjoy their benefits.

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Vegetative Stage

The vegetative stage is when the plant needs ample light. Typically, plants will require the highest intensity of light at this stage for photosynthesis. Place the light between 12- 24 inches at this stage for good results. You can adjust the height to draw the light source closer to your plant such that it covers the canopy properly.

Flowering Stage

The flowering stage is crucial for every plant. The stage is, in fact, highly light-sensitive in the case of plants such as cannabis. Hence placing the light source at the optimum distance is important to achieve a good yield. The flowering stage is also known as the hardening stage as the plant transitions from the vegetative stage. Hence providing proper light is much recommended for good results. The plant does not require as much light as that during the vegetative stage. Hence make sure the top leaves of the canopy is at least 18 – 24 inches below the light source.

Grow Light Parameters

The next factor to keep in mind is that different grow lights offer varying levels of energy and heat dissipation. The right way to identify the ideal distance between the plant and grow lights is the take the wattage or power of the light into account. It helps to ensure your plant receives optimum light intensity for photosynthesis.

Here is the average distance required between the plant and LED lights of varying wattages to achieve the best results.

LED Grow Light Distance From Plant
  Inches CM
1W 12 – 15 30 – 38
3W or 5W Bulbs 18 – 25 45 – 65
300W+ to 800W+ 30 – 35 75 – 90
800W+ 35 – 45 90 – 110
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Understand The Distress Symptoms

Very often plants exhibit symptoms that indicate that the light intensity is too much or too little. In the case of light-sensitive plants such as cannabis, these signs are quite obvious and easy to assess. Although LED lights do not create much heat, a light burn is a very common problem that could lead to discoloration or irregular growth.

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Some of the signs of light burns include

  1. Upward pointing leaves
  2. Yellowing of leaves without discoloration of the veins.
  3. Bleaching of the leaf surface causes a white or yellow color in the regions closest to the light source.

Growers often mistake these signs to indicate nitrogen deficiency as the latter shows similar symptoms. The best way to differentiate between the two problems is by identifying the regions that undergo this damage. In the case of a light burn, the symptoms start to appear from the top of the canopy, close to the light source, and travel to the bottom.


A simple understanding of the size, maturity, and light sensitivity of your plant can help you identify the perfect distance to place various LED grow lights. The best advice for growers is to observe the growth of the plant regularly and adjust the height accordingly to make sure they have the necessary energy to grow well.