In today's urbanized environment many people live in accommodation that lacks significant natural light. If you still have a desire to bring some of the natural world indoors with you, the lack of sunlight can be a significant hindrance. One answer to this is to employ artificial plant lighting and the often the best option for doing so is an LED grow light.
Of course there are other options for indoor plant lighting. Most common amongst these options are incandescent and fluorescent systems.
The problem with incandescent lighting, in comparison to LED grow lights, is that they are very hot to the touch. This is a problem both to a user, who may burn themselves and to young plants who are likely to dry up and die under the intense heat. If the lights are being used in a confined space then this aspect of heat generation can become a significant factor which will require additional ventilation specifically to keep temperature levels at an acceptable level. Of course this ventilation costs more money and adds to what might otherwise seem to be a cheap system to install.
Fluorescent plant lighting creates almost no heat and in this respect is a much better option. Fluorescent plant lights do require ballast units to function correctly and these units can be a bulky addition to the size of the plant lights themselves. These plant lights do not require additional ventilation if used on a small scale and basic installations are cheaper. One downside of fluorescent plant lighting is that they are not directional. This means that to be used efficiently reflectors are required. This factor, along with installation of additional wiring for ballast units complicates these plant light installations.
LED grow lights have none of the previously mentioned disadvantages. An LED plant light is warm to the touch, but not so hot that it would damage either delicate plants or the hands of a user who gets too close. As such, LED grow lights require no additional ventilation.
There are other advantages too. An LED plant light, rated at 80 watts, provides an equivalent level of lighting to that which a 400 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) light would deliver. Over time, this can be a significant saving and given that an LED grow light can last 50-80,000 hours this can add up to a tidy sum. Additionally, the light produced by an LED grow light is directional and so requires no additional, heavy, metal reflectors.
Overall, although LED grow lights are more expensive to install initially, they are a superior solution to providing effective indoor plant lighting.