While most plants can grow without light, they won’t be able to produce flowers and fruits and won’t grow much as they would with exposure to light. This is because they need light for photosynthesis, which converts sunlight into energy for plants and animals.
The colour of light is a significant factor in plant growth. Plants are photosynthetic organisms with different colour pigments that respond differently to different wavelengths of light. In other words, plants can see specific colours better than others.
Never before has indoor gardening been so simple. But with grow lights for indoor plants, you can cultivate a wide range of plants in any climate and at any time of the year. These grow lights are intended to replace natural sunlight in a way that promotes photosynthesis and offers the ideal colour spectrum for a plant’s growth and development.
With the correct fixture or bulb, you can grow award-winning violets year-round or enjoy excellent tomatoes mid-winter. Grow lights come in various varieties, each with its advantages and features.
Here is a guide on picking the ideal growing lights for your needs and setting them up correctly.
The Main Types of Grow Lights
1. Fluorescent Light
Fluorescent lighting is appropriate for plants like English Ivy that require low to moderate light. They work well for starting crops indoors as well. However, compared to LED lights, Fluorescent lights are less efficient and more costly. “Fluorescent tube” and “Compact Fluorescent Light” (CFL) are the two primary varieties of fluorescent bulbs.
2. LED Grow Light
LED lights are the most effective, efficient, and user-friendly way to grow plants at home since they use less energy, produce less heat and have colours tuned for growth. LED grow lights are known to be the most efficient grow light among the others.
3. High-Intensity Discharge (HID light/HPS lights)
Evidence shows that HID lights produce a lot of heat and energy, making them more effective at stimulating plants. They are excellent at nourishing your plants because they more closely mimic natural light than other grow-light varieties.
Plant Grow Lights: How To Choose The Right One
Grow lights should provide light at the right spectrum for photosynthesis, essential for plant growth. Before purchasing a light, check the colour spectrum it offers. You should choose lighting that offers a broad spectrum for your growing area.
A colour spectrum is a visual representation of all the colours present in light. Sunlight, typically reflected as white or yellowish-white light, is required for plant growth according to its genetic makeup. This light appears white because it contains all the hues of the rainbow.
Various Colour Spectrums And Their Effects On Plant Growth
While excessive ultraviolet light can damage plants, it is important for plant growth. When used in moderation, ultraviolet light encourages plants and crops to develop essential plant oils that improve fruit flavour and aroma. It also assists the plants in defending themselves from excessive UV exposure by serving as their inbuilt sunscreen.
Red light is very good at controlling plant growth and development. It promotes blooming and fruiting and increases flowering time. It increases flowering time and promotes blooming and fruiting. Red light also plays an important role in plant growth and photosynthesis.
Plants need blue light to produce chlorophyll, an important part of photosynthesis. The stems and leaves of plants exposed to blue light will be robust, long-lasting, and healthy.
The microscopic openings on leaves known as stomata, which govern water loss and carbon dioxide intake, are also controlled by blue light. Typically, only a tiny amount of blue light in the spectrum is required for photosynthesis to function fully.
Greenlight reaches the lower canopy’s leaves via the top canopies’ heavy coverings. Even though green light is the least effective wavelength for photosynthesis, it is helpful to plant growth.
Yellow Light & Orange Light
Although photosynthesis does not primarily depend on these wavelengths, yellow and orange lights are essential for seedlings to produce carbohydrates supporting growth and survival.
Violet or purple light is regarded to be useful as a secondary light source to promote the growth and development of a plant’s lush flora since it has a shorter wavelength and higher energy.
Red light vs Blue light: Which is better?
Since red and blue light is essential for indoor plant health, it is difficult to say which colour of light is better for plant growth. The stems and leaves of plants that receive sufficient blue light will be robust and healthy. Red light is what causes plants to bloom and bear fruit.
Additionally, seed germination, root expansion, and bulb development depend on it in a plant’s early stages of development. Both lights have function/s that are essential for plant growth, so choosing one and leaving another is not an option.
The Importance Of Light Intensity
Light intensity is equally important as the colour spectrum. The production of plant food, stem length, leaf colour, and flowering are all influenced by light intensity. Low-light environments typically result in spindly plants with light green foliage. Similar plants grown in intense light typically have larger, dark green leaves and shorter, better branches.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best colour light for your plant. You can’t just choose one and leave out the others, as other colour spectrums also have parts to do to aid your plant to grow, no matter how small they are.
Some plants live in low light conditions, while others need high and bright light to thrive. The best light for plants is still the natural light they can get from the sun. The sun’s light is a mixture of different colour spectrums that plants need to grow.
Simply said, sunshine promotes plant growth best since it contains all visible colours. Wavelength, measured in nanometers, distinguishes the visible spectrum of light. Furthermore, although sunlight emits all primary hues, blue light is stronger than red light in terms of intensity. So you need to care for them properly even while leaving them out.
Can any LED light be used as a grow light?
LED grow lights are becoming a popular choice for indoor gardeners. They are energy efficient, and some models can control the spectrum of light emitted. This makes it possible to create an ideal environment for growing plants.
There are many different types of LED grow lights available on the market. Some are designed for small gardens, while others are meant for commercial applications. Doing your research before buying an LED grow light is important, as not all are created equal.
You should also consider the size of your garden and the type of plants you want to grow. Some LEDs emit a higher level of ultraviolet light than others. This can be harmful to plants if not monitored closely.
How far should my lights be from my plants?
There is no definitive answer to how far lights should be from plants, as it depends on various factors, including the type of light, the plant, and the size of the grow space. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep plants 12-18 inches away from fluorescent, or LED grow lights and 24-36 inches away from high-intensity discharge (HID) lights.
Would the leaves of plants grown under LED lights look green?
Leaves of plants grown under LED lights should look green because LED lights emit light in the visible spectrum, which is what plants use to photosynthesize. While LED lights can be tuned to emit other colours of light, this would not be beneficial for plant growth.