Many factors can affect the quality of plant growth indoors. Light is one of them. Plants need the right type and amount of light to thrive. At the same time, you need to save them from being burnt by too much heat. Choosing the right indoor garden lights isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The following five factors should be considered when choosing a grow light:
1. Light Type
Light type is one of the most important factors to consider. Light types for plants will depend on –
- The type of plants you are growing,
- Amount of space you have to grow them, and
- your budget.
There are three types of grow lights:
- HID (High-Intensity Discharge),
- LED (Light Emitting Diode) and
Each has its advantages and disadvantages. These are based on how much light it produces and how efficiently it converts electricity into light. However, there are many more variations than just those three basic categories. If you’re not sure which is right for you, you should consider it.
2. Light Spectrum
The next thing to consider is the spectrum of light that plants need. As a result of photosynthesis, plants create sugars and starches that they use as energy.
You can divide a rainbow into seven sections when you look at it. These sections are each a different color. They’re called ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). These colors make up what’s known as the visible light spectrum. This is the part of your plant’s environment used during photosynthesis.
It turns out that plants only need three specific bands from this entire range — red/orange/yellow; blue/indigo; violet/blue-green. But they do not need all three bands available at once. These three basic color ranges have different effects on your plants.
This wavelength stimulates flowering. So it’s best used for this purpose only.
This wavelength promotes vegetative growth. So it’s best used for this purpose only.
Most grow lights today utilize white LEDs as their main illumination source. These are a unique blend between red and blue. These are needed to simulate natural sunlight more effectively.
These grow lights can be used throughout all stages of plant growth. They have very low wattage outputs (usually less than 50 watts). So a grow light produce very little heat output and require less ventilation.
3. Light Intensity
The intensity of the light is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter your plants will be. However, this does not mean you want to brighten your plants up as much as possible. If you overdo it, they will not grow evenly and may become leggy.
The right amount of lumen intensity can have several benefits for your indoor garden:
- It affects plant growth by influencing photosynthesis
- A high level of lumen intensity will allow more photosynthesis. It is due to increased competition between photons for electrons in chlorophyll molecules. So, this produces more carbohydrates (food) per unit area per day. That would otherwise be possible without grow lights.
- Light intensity also affects flowering by increasing flower size/density. It is increased even further than what its effects on growth alone would provide.
4. Light Amount/Duration
You may have heard that the duration of light exposure is important. This is true, but only to a point. Different plants have different life cycles and growth rates. You need to know how long your plant should be under each light.
For plants that need longer periods of darkness, look for bulbs with higher lumens per watt (LPW) rating. The higher the LPW, the more light will shine. Plants that need less time in the dark are better off with lamps with a lower LPW rating.
5. Energy Efficiency/Heat Dissipation
LEDs are the most efficient grow light available today. But not all LEDs are created equal. Some models are far less energy-efficient than others. The number of watts used per hour isn’t the only measure of LED efficiency. If a lighting system is energy efficient, it uses less electricity to generate more light.
A lumen is a unit of measure for light output. It can be used as a comparison between different grow lights. This method is called cost per watt or cost per lumen (CPW). CPW measures how much electricity your light source would consume. It is measured over time compared to its lumen output.
This article focused on how to choose a good grow light. Grow lights are a great option for growing plants indoors. Choose the right grow light for your indoor garden. It can help your plants flourish.