When winter is about to come, many plant cultivators start thinking about indoor growing. But the rules for growing plants changes during indoor growing, especially in case of Lights. Here in the indoor growing of plants, the source of light is not the sun, instead, it is artificial lights called grow lights.
There are few things which should be kept in mind while choosing the grow lights. Based on your specific situations there are some grow lights available to choose from. These grow lights will help you in setting up your indoor garden even in chilled winters.
Grow light Concept:
When you grow your plants outside you, don’t have to worry about the spectrum, intensity, power or footprint, because everything is fulfilled by the sun. But, while deciding about grow lights, we have to consider some points:
All visible lights exist on a range, and plants use specific parts of that spectrum. Like during the vegetative stage, blue light is used by the plants. Similarly, during fruiting and flowering phase, orange and red light are used. Therefore, if a correct grow light is not chosen, then it may not give the required colour of light your plant needs.
The intensity of grow light means, the amount of photosynthetically active radiation(PAR) a light puts out on plants. After the plants are exposed to the right colour, it must be seen that enough of light powers the plant cells. Intensity is one of that factor where many grow lights differ from each other.
Unlike the sun, the footprint of grow lights is minimal. Usually, the footprint is that area of the plants which is covered by light. When a grow light is kept well above the plant, the footprint becomes bigger, but the intensity becomes less. Therefore, it is an important factor while choosing to grow lights.
There are different types of grow lights; we can choose from
- HID (High-intensity discharge) light
These are one of the popular grow light because of the high-intensity light it puts on the plants. But, it may not be a right choice if you are starting with seeds or some plants that don’t require flowering or budding. These lights are very cheap, but the bulbs have a very short life.
- High-pressure sodium(HPS)
If you are growing plants, that will produce flower or buds; then these lights are best for you. They produce light in the warm red end of the spectrum. The red colour is one of the triggering colour for reproduction in plants. It has a bad effect on growing plants resulting in taller, wispier plants.
- Fluorescent lights
These are the mainstay of modern nursery. They produce a very low heat, which helps in growth of baby plants. They are very cheap and have a long service life. The only drawback is it produces a narrow spectrum of cool light that is not suitable for triggering the flowering response of plants.
- Metal Halide(MH)
Metal halide produces light in the range of 2700 to 5500 kelvins and is very similar to natural light. Promotes vegetative growth and has a long-life span. However, they have few drawbacks like:
- They consume a lot of power.
- They operate under high pressure and require individual ballasts.
- While switching on, they cannot give instant warmness.
- Full Spectrum Light Emitting Diodes(LED)
LED’s are new in the field but has brought increase the standard of indoor growing in recent years. They produce full spectrum light and consumes very less energy. Because of its variable spectrum of lights, it promotes quick growth in plants. The heat generated is also minimal thus reducing the cost of AC and other heat sinking costs. The only drawback is they are expensive.
With various features in different growing, it becomes tough to choose from, but with above tips, your work becomes more comfortable.
Do let us know if you have any suggestions or queries related to this post about best led grow lights. We would be happy to help you.