You might be wondering if your plants get enough light during the shorter winter days. Some houseplants may not need the stronger light of winter, but others will still benefit from it. Others, like flowering plants and garden seedlings, might need more intense lighting than your home. Mars Hydro is a company that provides an economically viable LED grow light for indoor growing horticulture. They provide lighting solutions to grow medicinal and food crops and also efficient components and scientific designs.
Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of introducing artificial lighting into your home.
How do I know if my plants require more light?
Your plants may thrive in the spring and summer but struggle during the rest of the year. It might be time to add more light to your home. A few hours of sunlight in winter can help houseplants recover and overwinter outdoors pots to survive until next year. It can also be used to help certain plants produce fruit and flower.
Stressed plants can develop problems. Here are some signs that your plants need more sunlight:
- Yellowing or dying leaves
- They are smaller than normal leaves.
- New diseases and pests.
- Tall, leggy growth
- Variegated plants lose variegation.
Lighten up on the basics
Although grow lights provide the energy plants need to turn light into food, not all grow lights work the same. The following categories will help you understand the differences between the different types of grow lights available today.
To thrive, plants require a variety of colors. While standard grow lights may appear white or clear to the naked eye, there are actually multiple colors that emit in different degrees. This is called a “full spectrum” light. Some colors are especially useful for indoor plants and can be found within this spectrum.
Blue light aids plants to produce chlorophyll which is the essential pigment they require to grow. It encourages germination and root growth in young plants and seedlings.
The red light stimulates plant growth, and plants can produce fruit and flowers with it.
Green light helps maximize photosynthesis.
Standard, full-spectrum lights will be sufficient to support most plant growth. Some grow lights let you adjust the color balance to suit your plant’s needs.
Temperature of color
Kelvin (K), which measures the color temperature for individual bulbs, is used to indicate whether the light emitted appears warm or cool. This is important when grow lights are used to illuminate your living area. A warmer temperature will give your space an inviting glow.
The intensity of a fixture or bulb will determine how much light it emits. In the case of LEDs, this is measured in lumens. The more lumens a bulb produces, the better it will look.
You may also encounter the following terms when considering light intensity:
Watts: Measures how much energy a bulb consumes when it is in use.
Photosynthetic Photon Flux density (PPFD), measures the useful light intensity in a particular area.
Lux is the measure of how many lumens are emitted per square meter.
CRI (color rendering index): This is a measure of how accurately a lightbulb will render colors in an area. A CRI of zero means that all colors will appear black. CRI 100 means that colors will look the same under natural sunlight.
The coverage that the grow light will provide is another important factor to consider before purchasing. This is usually measured in lumens per square-meter (lux), foot-candles, or lumens/square meter for LEDs.
What bulb type is the best?
There are many types of grow lights available, each with varying prices and lasting power.
The most efficient home grow light bulbs, LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, are the most effective in producing light. These bulbs last five times longer than other bulbs, and they are much less expensive. If you’re looking to have a long-lasting, sustainable, and non-toxic option, then LEDs are the best choice. You can choose a full spectrum LED bulb to light your desk lamp, grow fixture, or one of the many red-blue combinations that are available to suit specific plant needs.
These bulbs are less efficient and therefore more costly to operate than LEDs. They are less expensive upfront, but they can last a lot longer and have mercury in them, which can cause vapor release. Compact fluorescents should be used for wide-ranging plant needs.
Although they are not the best option for growing plants, halogens can provide some light for plants. They are brighter than regular incandescent bulbs. They produce less blue light than standard incandescent bulbs because they emit light further along the red spectrum. This is a disadvantage for healthy growth. They can be combined with other types light to meet overall lighting requirements. Remember that halogens can get very hot when activated so be careful not to burn or damage leaves.
Inandescent bulbs are not suitable for indoor gardening. They can get very hot when turned on. This means that they must be kept at a distance from plants to reduce their effectiveness. They also emit light further along the red spectrum. They are also inefficient and more expensive to operate.