What’s the importance of grow light for indoor gardens, anyway?
A serious gardener might raise an eyebrow to the question we just asked. But hey, in case you’re a beginner, you definitely have this question popping up in mind, right?
That’s why we’ve crafted this whole piece to answer this query in details. We’ve broken down the basic importance of lights. And we’ve broken down the pros and cons of different grow light types –
Table of Contents
Why Do You Need Grow Lights?
Although this is a question that every experienced grower is aware of, if you’re just starting, this is important for you to understand.
Here are the sole reasons why grow lights are a nondetachable part of an indoor grow system-
- They provide the plants with essential light power to photosynthesis.
- The heat produced from lights let the plants stay warm naturally.
- Grow lights cycles help plants to grow with the perfect dark-light periods.
- It lets you observe the plants closely, and understand their specs.
Types of Grow Lights
There are a number of variations in case of grow lights, as long as different grow systems are considered. We want you to know the importance of each and every types of these lights, along with their demerits as well.
So, let’s have a glimpse on different grow light types-
- LED Grow Lights.
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights
- Metal Halide (MH) Grow Lights.
- High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights.
- Fluorescent and CFL Grow Lamps.
Apart from these major types, there are also induction grow lights, plasma grows lights and so on. But we’ll keep our discussion limited within these 5 major grow light types only.
Importance and Demerits of LED Grow Light
Among all, LED grow lights are the most popular and energy-efficient light sources for growing systems. They consume less power, produces less heat and still provides a good full spectrum coverage.
- Low heat production, can be placed close to the plants.
- Fills up the shadowy parts of the plants, in case you have a dense plantation.
- Perfect choice of light for seedlings, vegetation, and clones.
- Comes with White and Full spectrum versions.
- Takes less ventilation and air-cooling.
- T-5 type LED lights have limited penetration.
- Not energetic enough during the flowering stage.
- Comes with a larger footprint.
Importance and Demerits of HID Grow Light
HID lamps are actually a broad group of grow lights, where you will have MH, HPS and some more broad-spectrum lights. In the vegetative and flowering stages, these lights are the perfect source of light power.
- Provides a good yield and coverage compared to many others.
- Replacements are quite available and don’t take hard effort.
- Long lasting and durable for multi-season uses.
- One of the least costly light sources for growing systems.
- Takes more power, as they run on filaments and metal caps.
- High heat production.
- Needs ballasts and reflectors with them.
Importance and Demerits of MH Grow Light
Metal Halide or MH grow bulbs are actually a genre of HID type lights. In terms of spectrum, they are rich in the blue region, which partially benefits the grow plants during flowering and vegetation.
- Provides a high and intense quality of light.
- Easier to work with, and shows up the true color of plants.
- Doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to set up.
- Comes with mercury, which is bad for health and the environment.
- Requires replacement after a few months.
Importance and Demerits of HPS Grow Light
Unlike MH, HPS is kind of a decent type of HID lamp to use on grow systems. Here go the advantages and disadvantages of this HPS light-
- The quite intense output of light.
- Added on the red and orange spectrum, good for tender plants.
- A perfect light source during the flowering period of growing plants.
- Extremely high heat generation.
- Requires strong air movement as ventilation.
Importance and Demerits of Fluorescent and CFL Grow Light
Fluorescent and CFL lamps are a great duo together to provide you with high light energy within low cost and expense. Here are the details about them-
- Quite cool in runtime temperature.
- Less electricity consumption, less running cost.
- Fills in the shadows among leaves right away.
- Perfect for seedlings, clones, etc.
- Doesn’t require frequency replacing.
- Not a perfect source for large grow systems.
- Doesn’t contain enough power for flowering.