As with all aspects of life, we are bound by the laws of 'energy in = energy displayed/used'.
It is as complex for plants as it is for Reptiles, however, all lifeforms have developed to use the energy contained within the photons of full-spectrum terrestrial daylight. Therefore, this is the 'need' or, can be viewed as the source that is 100% bioavailable. Any deviation away from the sun equals a lowering by % in the bioavailability of that source of energy supply.
There is a vast difference between a 'colour' of light, and the spectrum contained within that colour. This is why we have guidelines and measurement of PUR, PAR and CRI all playing a part within 'kelvin' to denote the potential effectiveness of a lamp.
Can a standard household LED of 6000k aid plant growth? yes, if the lumen output is high enough.
Will be as bioavailable as a specialised lightsource? in almost every case, no. Why, because the spectrum has not been attuned to the needs of plants, i.e the pattern of daylight between 400-700nm.
I cover this subject over many pages in my latest book if you can get hold of, or borrow a copy. It will explain in detail far more than i can here.
There is a 'summing up' in the new JD page here https://www.arcadiareptile.com/jungledawn-ledbar/
In-short, what you need to see long term, natural levels of growth is; the correct spectrum within a colour (PUR) + quantity (lumen output). This equals (PAR), PAR equals the amount of energy available to allow a plant to turn 'light' into 'sugars', or more commonly known as 'photosynthesis'.
The choice, as always, is yours!
John Courteney-Smith MRSB.
Arcadia Reptile; Head of Science and Innovation
BRAND NEW BOOK out now. The Elements series; Part 1- FIRE, The Sun, its Use and Replication in Reptile Keeping
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