Best Lights for Growing Plants Indoors

Best Lights for Growing Plants Indoors - lintangsore.net

Proper lighting is the most important item in indoor gardening. Adequate light is the key to photosynthesis. Without adequate lighting, plants grow weakly, are leggy, and may even die.

Our eyes automatically adjust to varying light conditions, so what seems like bright lighting can be useless for plant growth. Natural sunlight is ideal for plant growth. For indoor gardening it is up to the gardener to supply the proper color spectrum of light in adequate quantities, to replace the natural sunlight.

Best Lights for Growing Plants Indoors
Best Lights for Growing Plants Indoors

Best Lights for Indoor Growing

There are many choices for lighting, but the two most commonly used types of lighting include HID and Fluorescents. The most important thing to know about grow lights is which one to use based on your plant. Our experienced staff understands grow lights and the effects certain one's will have on your garden. Come in or call today to discuss your lighting situation with us.

Fluorescent Grow Lights - Since fluorescent grow lights produce just a fraction of the power of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium grow lights, they are generally unsatisfactory for general use. They are useful for starting new plants and for some compact hydroponics projects, but must be placed very close to the plants. To cover a 2' by 4' area, you will need a minimum of four 54-watt 4' fluorescent bulbs placed as close to the growing plants as possible. Even then, results may not be satisfactory and producing fruits and vegetables will be difficult. Still, fluorescent grow lights are well suited for the very early stages of plant growth, and are often used to start new plants.
Fluorescent lights are ideal for plants with low to medium light requirements, like African violets. They are also good for starting vegetables indoors. These lights typically come in long, tubelike bulbs in a range of sizes including T5, T8 and T12.
Compact Fluorescent Lights

Compact fluorescents are great for lighting indoor houseplants without having to use a full T5 system and for a fraction of the cost of incandescent lights. Wattage varies, so be sure to ask a specialist what will work best for you and your lighting needs. Carnivorous plants and phalaenopsis orchids do well under compact fluorescents. 

The narrower the bulb, the more efficient and brighter it is, due to the smaller surface area. In addition to this, fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights. So, for example, a 25-watt fluorescent emits about as much light as a 100-watt incandescent light bulb. T5 systems put out about double the amount of light per tube as standard fluorescent lights. They are 6500 Kelvin and also full spectrum, which is very intense light. 

Best Lights for Indoor Growing

Best Lights for Indoor Growing

 Incandescent Lights - Incandescent lights are good for lighting up a room or growing low-light houseplants, such as vines, ferns or dracaenas. They have limited utility for growing plants with higher light requirements. These lights put out only about 10 percent of their energy as light while 90 percent is heat. So, unless you want to cook your plants, they aren't ideal for light-loving plants like many tropicals, cacti or succulents.  
The least expensive lights to purchase cost around $30. These incandescent lights work well for specific plants where the light is placed a minimum of 24” from the plant. These lights get extremely hot so they must be used with care. Spot grow bulbs, color corrected incandescent lights, install easily and are good for use with a specific plant or a small grouping of plants. Most spot incandescent bulbs last less than 1,000 hours. Some light fixtures come with a clip handle so you can put them exactly where they’re needed.

Metal Halide - These bulbs produce an intense light of blue-white spectrum, excellent forvegetative plant growth. A plant grown under a metal halide light will often exhibit increased leaf growth and strong stem and branch development. They are less suited for the flowering and fruiting stages of most plants.
Halides are generally used in larger spaces or on larger plants, as they cover more distance in terms of lighting. In most cases, you're not going to need a 1000-watt light. You can get by with a smaller halide or the T5 fluorescent system.

High Pressure Sodium - These lamps produce an orange light, which simulates the autumn sun. HPS light is best for fruiting and flowering . Fruit and flowers will be larger and more prolific when these lights are used. Flowers and vegetables finished off under high-pressure sodium will show tighter, stouter blossoms with increased yields. High-pressure sodium lights are often used in commercial greenhouses. If there is to be only one light source for the entire life of a flowering plant, HPS is the best economical choice. Many indoor and hydroponics gardeners switch between MH and HPS bulbs, depending on the growth cycle. Almost all lighting systems we carry support both types of HID bulbs.

growing plants with led lights indoors
growing plants with led lights indoors

Growing Plants with LED Lights Indoors

LED Grow Lights - Grow lights using efficient LED sources are relatively new. Early versions of these lights had insufficient power to be effective for most growers. Recently a new high-density LED array technology was introduced that packs more LEDs and offers more power than previous LED Grow Lights. Kessil has advanced this technology and taken it to a level that more growers are switching to LED's and are achieving maximum results. Talk with us today about LED's and lets us explain all of the benefits with this technology.

The Best Grow Light Option

Now that I’ve given you a good rundown on greenhouse lighting options, it’s also important to mention darkness. Remember, plants need darkness too. Although they can grow under continuous light, all plants prefer a dark period. Provide them with 12 to 18 hours of light per a day.
Almost all plants benefit from a period of six hours or more of darkness.

It’s a good idea to know how much light your plants need, but unlike commercial growers, hobbyists often have a wide variety of plants so they need to take a broad approach to lighting.

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