Setting up LED grow lights for efficient plant growth involves a series of crucial steps to optimize light intensity, spectrum, and coverage. This guide draws upon expert insights from JumpLights’ engineers and scientists, combined with collected data and practical experience.

Step 1: Determine Plant Requirements

Understanding the specific light needs of your plants is the first critical step. Each plant variety and growth phase demands different light conditions:

  • Daily Photoperiod: The total daily exposure time to light.
  • Light Intensity: Measured in µmol/m²/s, this metric indicates how many photons reach the plant.
  • Daily Light Integral: Amount of light a plant receives over the course of a day in mol/m²
  • Light Spectrum: Different growth phases may require various light wavelengths.

For example, optimal growth in lettuce requires a specific set of conditions that range due to cultivar. In general, lettuce thrives best with a daily photoperiod between 12 to 16 hours and a light intensity of 100-300 µmol/m²/s. The Daily Light Integral (DLI) should range from 12 to 18 mol/m² per day. Furthermore, the lighting strategy for lettuce ideally involves two distinct growth spectrums, each tailored to different stages of development. The production stage benefits from a red-heavy light spectrum, while the finishing stage is optimized with a blue-heavy light spectrum. This two-phase lighting approach contributes significantly to the plant’s growth, productivity, and marketability. More detailed information on the commercial application of two-phase lighting in leafy greens, specifically for lettuce, can be found in the JumpLights App Note.

Step 2: Select Suitable Fixtures

For the second step, the type and amount of fixtures you choose should match the light requirements of your plants and the applications, which can vary widely:

  • Applications: From low-intensity setups like tissue culture labs to high-intensity growth for light-intensive crops.
  • Types of LED Grow Lights: JumpLights provides several types of LED lights, form factors, and spectrums, including specialized applications such as under-canopy lighting.

Positioning and the type of LEDs are dictated by the plants’ growth phases and the specific application​​​​​​. For certain stages in vine crops and cannabis crops, JumpLights has seen increases in yield and productivity using combinations of their custom top lighting with patented under-canopy lighting.

Step 3: Plan Your Lighting

The third step is effective light planning. This ensures optimal light distribution and minimizes energy consumption:

  • Goal: Achieve the required µmol/m²/s for each growth phase, maximize light uniformity, and reduce light loss.
  • Implementation: Utilizing light planning software like Dialux, light planning determines fixture placement, installation height, and the reflective properties of the growing environment.
  • Installation: Install the fixtures according to the XYZ coordinates from the light plan. JumpLights has convenient brackets and installation hardware to make this step quick and easy.

Additional Steps for Greenhouse Growers

If you are using LEDs in a greenhouse, please refer to the detailed example calculation article by JumpLights here and consider these additional steps:

  1. Calculate Solar DLI for Your Location: Assess the average daily light integral (DLI) for your location to understand natural light availability.
  2. Measure Greenhouse Light Transmittance: Determine the amount of natural light entering your greenhouse, considering factors like material age and type.
  3. Identify Optimal DLI for Your Crops: Different crops have varying DLI requirements; refer to specialized databases or literature for optimal values.
  4. Calculate Supplemental Lighting Needs: If your natural DLI falls short of the crop’s needs, calculate the necessary supplemental lighting.
  5. Determine Light Intensity and Photoperiod: Decide on the intensity and duration of supplemental lighting based on the additional DLI needed. This involves balancing photoperiod and light intensity.
  6. Choose the Ideal Lighting System: Focus on light uniformity, spectrum, and efficiency. Custom light mapping can be invaluable for achieving optimal distribution and intensity.


In summary, setting up LEDs for plant growth is a multifaceted process. It requires understanding plant-specific light needs, selecting appropriate lighting fixtures, and carefully planning the light distribution and intensity. These steps, when executed correctly, can lead to significant improvements in plant health and growth efficiency.

For more detailed guidance and specific examples, you can explore additional resources on JumpLights website.