What You Need to Know About Grow Lights
Posted on October 15 2020
With winter quickly approaching you may be wondering how to make sure your plants get enough light to promote their growth, while protecting your valuable investment in your garden.
By now, even as a beginner gardener, you have probably heard about grow lights, although possibly not in the context of your chrysanthemums or tomatoes.
Read on to find out just how beneficial grow lights can be to your gardening style and whether you should invest on them outright.
What Are Grow Lights?
Grow lights are artificial lighting that are intended to provide a spectrum that is similar to that of the sun or which is more in tune to the needs of the plants that you are growing.
There are different types of grow lights that can be used depending on the specific stage of plant growth.
These lights can vary in range, luminous efficiency and color temperature, and are intended to create the best indoor space for your plants, especially at times when there isn't enough sunlight to maintain the plant's normal cycle.
What Are Grow Lights Used For?
The main reasons why gardeners use grow lights are to either supplement sunlight when the weather doesn't allow for normal plant exposure, or to completely replace sunlight in certain cases.
When you are trying your hand at indoor gardening, the first thing you have to be aware of is that household lighting does not do enough to emulate the sun.
Incandescent bulbs don't have the proper spectrum or even the intensity to stimulate photosynthesis in plants, and regular fluorescent lights have to be placed very close to your plants for them to be effective, which is not cost-efficient, nor effective at achieving floriation and the subsequent production of fruits and vegetables.
This is why grow lights are a must have for indoor gardening.
What Are Common Types of Grow Lights?
There are many different types of grow lights, but the most commonly used are the following:
- Fluorescent lights – These types of grow lights are normally used to grow vegetables and herbs. There are two different types, Fluorescent Tubes which are available in a variety of intensities, but are not as powerful as HPS lights; and Compact Fluorescent Lights, which are about 30% more efficient than common incandescent bulbs, and are the least expensive option.
- High-pressure sodium (HPS) lights – Sometimes referred to as HID (High intensity discharge), these are preferred by commercial growers and emit a larger amount of heat, making it necessary to keep them at a longer distance from your plants than other types of lights.
- Light emitting diodes (LED) – These are the most efficient grow lights (about twice as efficient as CFLs). They can be customized to plant needs, and can be placed farther away from plants without losing focus.
Are There Any Pros and Cons to Using Grow Lights?
The use of grow lights in urban agriculture is proving to be a highly viable alternative to traditional farming methods, specifically in what refers to lack of sunlight due to the shorter days of winter or other causes.
Grow lights can be a financially sound investment, especially when you are trying to turn a profit from your plants.
On the other hand, grow lights will require you protect your eyes due to the harm they can cause, and can be expensive for those who are only interested in growing basil on their kitchen counter.
Gardening, whether indoors or outdoors, takes a lot of work, and when you are looking into using grow lights you must be aware that not all lights are created equal, which is why, the best advice we can give, is to do your research and determine what lights are best for your plants before you invest your hard earned money into something less than optimal.
So, don't hesitate, make the most of your adventure in gardening, and take a look at our products today!