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When it comes to lighting, things can get a little bit confusing for the average home gardener. Lighting for indoor plants is usually designed for cannabis growers, hydroponic gardeners, or agricultural applications that take place in carefully controlled environments like tends. If you’re interested in such an environment you can buy grow tents online.
Growing situations like these usually involve plants that require full sun. The plants themselves are also typically grown until they are fully mature. A tremendous amount of light is required to accomplish both of these tasks. Home gardeners, on the other hand, usually rely on indoor lighting to grow seedlings that will eventually be transplanted to the garden. To choose the right type of lighting, ask yourself these questions:
1. Where will the grow lights be used? Does it matter what they look like?
I enjoy watching the miraculous transformation of a seed into a plant, which is why I grow my seedlings in one of the main rooms of my home. Having the grow lights in my living space adds extra light on dark winter days. It also makes it easier to keep an eye on the seedlings to make sure that there aren’t any problems when they are just starting. Choosing an attractive grow light can transform your growing area into one of the most eye-catching parts of your home. If you plan on growing seedlings in an out-of-the-way area like your basement, you don’t have to think quite as much about what the grow light looks like.
2. How many plants do you want to grow?
If you are just starting, try not to go overboard with lighting. Instead, keep things small to begin with. When I first started using plant grow lights, I purchased a fluorescent light with a single tube, legs that could be adjusted, and a reflective hood. It was designed to stand on a table and was extremely effective. Similar models that are currently available include the compact fluorescentJump Start, which costs $75, or the LED Sunblaster, which is available for $125. Both of these lights are excellent for growing vegetable seedlings and are great for beginners.
If you want to grow more seedlings, you will need to purchase additional light fixtures. Some models come with built-in shelving, while others can be used with pre-existing shelves or utility carts. Grow lights typically come with holes that allow them to be hung from the ceiling using chains or wires. Depending on the design, however, accessing the power switch may not be easy. Always think through details like these before purchasing lights – particularly if you are investing in a large setup.
3. What type of bulbs do you prefer?
Grow lights for plants typically either use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), standard fluorescent bulbs, or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are the most energy-efficient option. They also don’t give off a lot of heat. That makes them ideal for growing plants in tight spaces since you don’t have to worry about them affecting the temperature. Full-spectrum LEDs are a great choice for giving houseplants a boost, starting new seedlings, or propagating plants. These bulbs look white rather than purple.
Many grow lights come in colors like red or blue. Typically, these lights are designed for cannabis growers since cannabis requires specific light wavelengths to get the best results. Hydroponic gardeners or people who grow plants in greenhouses often turn to LEDs for their energy efficiency since they help keep their power usage down.
Looking forward, LED lights are here to stay when it comes to growing plants. Since these bulbs give off so little heat, they are commonly used in hydroponic systems that are sold for home use like Aerogardens. You can also find them in “grow closets”, which are designed for growing herbs. The only drawback to LED grow lights is that they can be quite expensive. The lights that provide the best results are designed to simulate the sun.
Are LED lights mandatory for growing seedlings? Most likely not. TheT-12 fluorescent lights that I started with in the past worked really well. Today, compact fluorescent bulbs give off almost two times more light, allowing a single bulb to accomplish the same thing as two bulbs did in the past. Florescent lights also give off a little bit of heat, which you can use as bottom heat if you are germinating seeds. As long as you have seed trays that won’t drip, a fluorescent light fixture with a flat top can also be used as a heating mat, warming up the soil whenever the light is shining.
In terms of energy usage, the best options are CFL or LED bulbs. Bulbs like these will barely increase the amount of energy that you use each month. In return, a high-quality grow light can dramatically improve your success when growing seedlings, helping you grow the garden of your dreams.