Feeling overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of choices of grow lights available on the market? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will help you decide on the ideal grow lights for you, whether it’s a set of bare-bones fluorescent grow light strips or LED grow light strips.
Basics Of Grow Lights
Plants require light to help nudge them into photosynthesis, turning energy into sugars that they need for growth. During the process, plants release oxygen.
Of course, not all plants are the same; they don’t all have the same light requirements for growth. Low light plants like dracaenas only require a minimum amount of light, whereas fruiting and edible plants like tomatoes need a much higher and brighter amount of light. Their seedlings also require a high amount of light.
Terms Used To Describe Lighting
There are a few terms used about plant lighting that you may need to know. They are:
Color: Describes the appearance of light. The lion’s share of grow lights provides full-spectrum light. Most colors used in grow lights are blue and red, with very little green and yellow.
Intensity: It is the amount of light that reaches a surface from a certain distance at the light source.
Duration: This is the number of hours of light a plant gets in 24 hours.
LED or Fluorescent, Which Is Better?
In a toss-up between the two, LED grow light strips are arguably better for both the plants and the environment. Here are some reasons why:
LED lights are fantastic for plants. While they can be slightly more expensive than fluorescent lights, they also last five times longer than their counterparts and consume half the electricity. They’re both budget and environmentally friendly. The mercury-free led tubes don’t break like glass, so less of them end up in landfills.
Also, a tip? Don’t use regular, run-of-the-mill incandescent bulbs as they can fry and burn tender plants and foliage.
Grow Lights Used By Professionals
The best and brightest grow lights are called high-intensity discharge lights. These are convenient and can be installed anywhere in your home, from your basement to your garage. However, they do need special fixtures.
Two categories of HID lamps exist, metal halide and high-pressure sodium. Metal halide bulbs produce light at the blue end of the spectrum, promoting leafy growth. High-pressure sodium bulbs emit light at the red end of the spectrum, allowing plants to flower and bear fruit more rapidly.
Figuring Out How Much Light You Need
When you’ve finished choosing what kind of grow light you want, it’s time to decide how big and bright your light will need to be for the current space you have. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want 20-40 watts per square foot.
The lights you end up choosing should be a good fit for your home and plants, and hopefully, this guide has helped you select the perfect grow lights for your garden or home. Also, ensure you pick LED grow light strips that are within your budget, as you do not want to spend too much on them.