How to Select The Right Grow Light for Your Indoor Plants

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As any gardener knows, plants need light to thrive. This can pose a problem when growing indoors. As most plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, if you’re going to grow many plants indoors you are going to need a grow light. Here are some tips for choosing the right grow light for your indoor gardening needs.

If you’ve ever visited a nursery or looked for grow lights online, you may have been overwhelmed by all of the different choices. Blue light? White light? Daylight bulbs? How do you know what is the best kind of grow light for your indoor garden? The article below shares some helpful tips for determining this.

And remember, healthy plants require a good balance of light and darkness, so you’ll want to make sure to turn off your grow lights at night to give your plants their rest!

Plants respond differently to different colors of light.
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Kinds of Light

Blue light, referred to as cool light, encourages compact bushy growth.

Red light, on the opposite end of the spectrum, triggers a hormone response which creates blooms.

Grow lights producing the orange and reddish light typically produce substantial heat, however, some lights are able to produce full spectrum light without the heat.

As a general rule, inexpensive lights to purchase tend to be the most expensive to operate and the least effective….

Basic Types of Grow Lights

Incandescent Lights.

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….

Fluorescent Grow Lights.

They are a common choice for homeowners. Fluorescent lights are reasonably energy efficient and relatively easy to install. A typical fluorescent bulb will last approximately 20,000 hours. Fluorescent light is typically on the blue end of the spectrum. Blue light encourages bushy compact growth which makes them perfect for seed starting. Blue light is also cool to the touch making it possible to place lights within just a few inches of the seedlings.

New Full-Spectrum Fluorescent Lights.

Provide the red spectrum as well to encourage blooming.

Combining the lights in a fixture makes for even, all around growth.

The next generation in fluorescent lighting includes the new T-5 lights. These new lights have extremely high output but are energy efficient and long lasting.

…Plants absorb a high percentage of T-5 lighting because the fixtures function well very close to plants. High output bulbs require a high output fixture to operate, so the bulbs and normal fluorescent fixtures will not work together.

LED Lights

The newest type of grow lights use LED technology.

One major advantage to the LED lights is the small size. LED lights are only a few inches in diameter and are easy to mount….
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LED lights weigh a fraction of other lights and are easy to configure where needed. According to LED manufacturers, LED grow lights maximize blue and red light to provide and excellent balance for plants.
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Read the full article at Urban Organic Gardener….

 

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