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Proper lighting is the most important item in indoor gardening. Adequate light is the key to photosynthesis.
Without adequate lighting, plants grow weakly, are leggy, and may even die. Our eyes automatically adjust to
varying light conditions, so what seems like bright lighting can be useless for plant growth. Natural sunlight is
ideal for plant growth. For indoor gardening, it is up to the gardener to supply proper lighting, in adequate
quantities and with the proper color spectrum, to replace that natural sunlight.
"The most important thing to know about grow lights is which ones to use based on your plant."
There are many choice for lighting, but the two most commonly used types of lighting include HID and Fluorescents.
Fluorescent Grow Lights - Since fluorescent grow lights produce just a fraction of the power of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium grow lights, they are generally unsatisfactory for general use. They are useful for starting new plants and for some compact hydroponics projects, but must be placed very close to the plants. To cover a 2′ by 4′ area, you will need a minimum of four 54-watt 4′ fluorescent bulbs, placed as close to the growing plants as possible. Even then, results may not be satisfactory and producing fruits and vegetables will be difficult. Still, fluorescent grow lights are well suited for the very early stages of plant growth, and are often used to start new plants.
High Intensity Discharge - Both Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs fall into this category. Their intensely bright light makes them ideal for lighting indoor plantings. Both require Reflector housings and Ballasts to operate. In almost all cases, the same reflectors and switchable ballasts can be used to for both MN and HPS bulbs. The area that these forms of lighting can cover depends on their wattage. Ranging from 150 watts to 1000 watts, a single fixture can cover from a small self-contained hydroponics garden up to 20-40 sq. ft. Large installations will require multiple fixtures. Since HID lamps create a great deal of heat, proper venting or even ducting and fans are usually needed.
Metal Halide - These bulbs produce an intense light of blue-white spectrum, excellent for vegetative plant growth. A plant grown under a metal halide light will often exhibit increased leaf growth and strong stem and branch development. They are less suited for the flowering and fruiting stages of most plants High Pressure Sodium - These lamps produce an orange light, which simulates the autumn sun. This light is best for fruiting and flowering flowers and fruit will be larger and more prolific when these lights are used. Flowers and vegetables finished off under high-pressure sodium will show tighter, stouter blossoms with increased yields.
High-pressure sodium lights are often used in commercial greenhouses. If there is to be only one light source for the entire life of a flowering plant, HPS is the best economical choice. Many indoor and hydroponics gardeners switch between MH and HPS bulbs, depending on the growth cycle. Almost all lighting systems we carry support both types of HID bulbs.
LED Grow Lights - Grow lights using efficient LED sources are relatively new. Early versions of these lights had insufficient power to be effective for most growers. Recently a new high-density LED array technology was introduced, which packs more LEDs and offers more power than previous LED Grow Lights.
No matter what you need when it comes to Grow Lights, we have it all. From LED to Fluorescent we have them all. We carry all lighting accessories and have many Package Specials to offer. So when it comes to your Grow Lights there is no need to look further than us.
Grow Lights Rules
Grow lights are a vital part to the success of your indoor gardening success. What many indoor gardeners fail to realize is that there are rules that must be followed to ensure a successful harvest. Below are some helpful rules when it comes to using grow lights. Always be sure to read the instructions that come with your grow lights.
The most important thing to know about grow lights are which ones to use based on your plant. Our experienced staff understands grow lights and the effects certain one will have on your garden. Come in or call today to discuss you lighting situation with us.
Choose the Right Light - When choosing a light source the requirements of the plant you are growing is important. Most vegetables, herbs and flowering plants require high levels of light, while some tropical plants including orchids and African violets will thrive at lower light levels.
Have Enough Light - The biggest mistake people make when purchasing grow lights is not getting enough light. It is always possible to reduce the level of light by moving the light farther away, but its not possible to add light by moving the lamp closer, since the coverage area decreases.
Maintain the Proper Distance - Fluorescent lights need to be 1 to 4 inches from the plants. High intensity discharge lights should be 1 to 3 feet from the plant. And make sure you change your bulbs on a regular basis. Fluorescent and HID bulbs will last about 15,000 hours, but they lose 25%-35% of their intensity after 4-6,000 hours. You eyes won't be able to see this loss of light because they adjust, but your plants can feel it.
Whether you are involved in hydroponics and indoor gardening in a small, casual way or on a large production garden level, we can supply all the grow light products you need to provide the maximum satisfaction from your efforts.