Why Use Grow Lights?
Plants need sunlight, but sometimes, that can be difficult to give them. Cold weather, lack of space or other factors can make outdoor gardening impossible. Grow lights give your plants the light they need for essential functions, like photosynthesis, without the need for outdoor space. This is also useful for gardeners who cultivate plants that don't grow naturally in their region. The ZELION HL Horticulture LED, the California LightWorks SolarStorm 880 and the Kind LED K3 L600 are popular choices because of their long lives and low energy requirements.
Grow lights mimic natural sunlight by operating on the same electromagnetic spectrum, which stimulates photosynthesis. Different grow lights have different temperatures and colors, and these variances suit them for different plants. Grow lights for indoor plants are often set to mimic daylight changes, while lights that are used to supplement outdoor plants have simpler setups.
Grow Lights: What to Look For
Grow lights come in a variety of different temperatures, designs and wattages to meet different needs. Here are a few important factors to help you find the best grow lights for your plants.
Type of Bulb
The type of bulb affects energy use, longevity and temperature. Many people look for an LED grow lamp because it tends to have a high level of efficiency and a longer life. Metal halide and fluorescent bulbs are also popular choices for their low initial cost and wide availability.
One wattage is not necessarily better than another, but finding the appropriate one for each situation is important. Higher-wattage bulbs cover a wider area, making them a good choice for professional greenhouses or large gardens. Lower-wattage bulbs are a better choice for plant boxes in living areas because they won't be as distracting to residents.
Color can be related to the bulb type, but it's an independent factor. Many grow lights give off a light in the blue spectrum, which resembles clear summer skies. However, this can also distort the colors of the plants on display, so light with a warmer color may be a better choice for flowers or display boxes.
Grow lights get a lot of use, so a long lifespan can be an important benefit. LED grow lamps usually have the longest lifespan, with some lasting as many as 100,000 hours. However, these long-lasting lights often have a higher initial price that may put them out of reach for the hobby gardener.
Some bulbs burn hotter than others, which can adversely affect plants that prefer cooler climates. For people who live in the same spaces as their plants, it may also create an uncomfortable environment. On the other hand, this can reduce heating costs in cold weather, and many plants thrive in a warmer environment.
Grow lights can help you take your gardening operation to the next level, but it's important to find the right lights for your situation. Learn about the different types and sizes of grow lights to decide which one best meets your needs.