Indoor grow lights are a necessity when it comes to indoor gardening. You can enjoy a hearty and bountiful garden indoors year round. All you have to do is make your plants think they are outdoors and the plants will act as if they are growing outdoors. The correct grow lights will allow you to provide the proper intensity and hue that nature provides and the plants need in order to grow. Indoor vegetables, fruits, flowering plants, and herbs can all be cultivated from from seed to bud indoors with a bit of an understanding of plant lighting.
Metal Halide grow lights are in the category called Hydroponics shop HID (High Intensity Discharge) and gives off a hue that is in the blue spectrum. It’s the most effective color for plants in their early stages of root growth. Metal Halide mimics the light that the sun in our atmosphere gives off in the spring time. Metal Halide bulbs have an effective life of about 12, 000 hours of burn time.
HPS is also a type of HID that is very popular for growing indoor plants. HPS lights give off light color that is in the red-orange spectrum and great for flowering plants. The red spectrum that an HPS bulbs emits, mimics the atmosphere color at end of summer when the days get shorter and the sun sits lower in the sky giving off a red hue forcing plants to put all their energy into flower production.
Fluorescent grow lights are the overall cheapest grow light option. They have superior energy efficiency and a low purchase price for the amount of light they give off. Fluorescent light bulbs come in different hues. The “cool white” bulbs or sometimes called “daylight ” give off a more blue spectrum of light. These are better for plants seedlings and the early stages of growth. The “warm white” bulbs give off a more red-orange color of light. These two different light colors are achieved by the different types of coatings that are used inside the bulb. It is wise to use both types of bulbs at the same time, or a full spectrum bulb to cover the entire spectrum of the usable light that indoor plants require. The most common fluorescent light is the 4-foot fluorescent with 2 and 4 bulbs which are found in many offices and schools. Another popular type of fluorescent bulb is the compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb which are sold as energy saver bulbs and used in many homes to cut energy costs. CFL lights are being found in more indoor gardens and grow rooms due to the leaps in technology that has allowed compact fluorescent light bulbs to emit more light, using less energy and at lower cost.
LED lights used to only by found in electronic displays, but now are being found in flashlights, decorative lights, landscape lighting, and now for indoor gardening. LED Grow Lights are super efficient and produce practically no heat. LED lighting is great for indoor grow spaces that are too small to handle the heat that HID plant lights give off. LED lights can be purchased in a variety of colors, but for plant light requirements, the red and blue bulbs are the most common. For this reason it is widely believed that LED lights output more usable light. An LED light can last up to 70, 000 hours or over 8 years compared to fluorescent grow lights that are effective for 8, 000 hours or almost a year. Even though the upfront product cost of LED lighting is higher than fluorescent, the energy efficiency and bulb lifespan make LED lighting the most inexpensive grow lights to use.
Choosing the right grow light is an important piece of the indoor garden puzzle. There is no one true answer for knowing which grow light is the best. The best grow light is the light that works best for the type of plants that your are growing. It is wise to first figure out which plants you will be growing, then determine how much and what type of light should be used. Growing plants, flowers and big buds indoors is fun and rewarding. With a little bit of research any plant that grows outdoors can thrive indoors under the right conditions. Just remember to provide the atmosphere that your specific plants require.