Induction lights are basically fluorescent lights without electrodes. A magnetic field is used to induce an electric current in a glass or plastic tube filled with a low-pressure mixture of gasses including xenon and mercury. Just like fluorescent lights, when electricity excites a mercury atom, it gives off a photon of ultraviolet (UV) light invisible to humans. This UV light is converted into visible light by a phosphor coating inside of the tube, creating waste heat in the process. The colors of light induction bulbs can create are exactly the same as fluorescent tubes.
Intensity of Induction vs. LED Grow Lights
Because induction lights are just a variation of fluorescent lights, they don’t produce very intense light and are not good for taller plants. 3W LEDs are more intense, and 5W LEDs are significantly better.
Spectrum of Induction vs. LED Grow Lights
Induction lights have the same red / blue balance options as fluorescent lights, but also create a lot of green light that plants don’t really use. LEDs offer better options for covering the spectrum plants want to grow with.
Lifespan of Induction vs. LED Grow Lights
By eliminating the metal electrodes that cause fluorescent lights to degrade every time they are turned on, induction lights offer a substantially improved lifespan. Some induction lights can have lifespans as long as LED grow lights, but unlike LEDs the induction lights have mercury in the tube that will contaminate the environment when they are disposed of.
Efficiency of Induction vs. LED Grow Lights
Induction lights are about half as efficient as LEDs at creating light. For the same wattage, you can get more than twice the light from an LED grow light!