How do you choose the best greenhouse lighting for indoor gardening? For the best, most thoroughly investigated, and most reliably effective grow lights, refer to this in-depth guide.
The plants in my 7th grade science class told me that they needed light in order to photosynthesise, which is the process through which they create food. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants transform water, carbon dioxide (CO2), and minerals into glucose.
Plants can't develop unless this takes place, so having plenty of light is crucial.
To the same extent that outdoor plants require sunlight for photosynthesis, indoor plants may not be able to get enough of it. To continue growing normally, they must have access to some other form of light similar to that of the sun.
And this is where the savior role of grow lights comes into play!
However, not all light is created equal, and today we'll examine some of the best greenhouse lights that will ensure your plants grow to their full potential.
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This is still the most prevalent and inexpensive form of indoor illumination. However, they should be kept at arm's length in greenhouses lest the plants be scorched by the intense heat they produce. They have a lifespan of about a thousand hours and are perfect for some plants.
However, the blue light given off by fluorescent lamps is known to promote lush growth in plants. This type of light source is more efficient and uses less energy than incandescent bulbs. For seeding purposes, they are the go-to for greenhouse gardeners.
High-Intensity Discharge lights (HID lights)
Large greenhouses benefit greatly from these lighting options. Because of their high heat output, these also require careful placement during installation. Metal Halide (excellent during blooming and budding) and high-pressure sodium (HPS) HID lamps are both commercially available, I learned (ideal for stimulating plant growth).
LED (light-emitting diode) lights
These LED lights for greenhouses are the most cutting-edge option currently available. The term "new kid on the block" is appropriate. LEDs outperform the competition and last significantly longer; in addition, they consume significantly less energy. LED lights for greenhouses come in either blue or red and generate even heat.
If you know this information, choosing the best greenhouse lighting for your plants is simple. Plus, I've already done the legwork and compiled a list of the finest lights for the various plant species we typically cultivate to make your life even simpler.
When discussing the light spectrum for grow lights, we are focusing in on the wavelengths that are beneficial to plants. Since your plants will still be exposed to some sunlight, the greenhouse lighting you install will largely serve as a complement. Lights with wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm (in the blue, green, and red range) are most effective for photosynthesis. The wavelength range for photomorphogenesis (the process by which a plant's structure is formed) expands from 260 to 780 nm to include UV and far-red light.
But how can you determine the most appropriate illumination? What matters is the effect that each type of light has on the plant.
UV light (100 to 400 nm)
Even though there isn't enough data to prove how badly UV light affects plants, it's possible to find this choice in a greenhouse because it's thought to boost resistance to environmental stress, fungus, and pests.
Blue light (400 to 500 nm)
The major reason blue light is employed is for its beneficial effects on flowering and growth. With the addition of extra light periods, it promotes root growth and higher chlorophyll absorption.
Green light (500 to 600 nm)
Green light is rarely employed since it is not well absorbed by the plant; nevertheless, when combined with other types of light, it may aid in photosynthesis in the lower leaves. The green light is never to be used alone.
Red light (600 to 700 nm)
The red end of the visible light spectrum is also often employed in grow lights. This combination of red and blue light is commonly used to promote photosynthesis and plant growth. Without the bushy impact of blue light, plants grown under red lights instead become leggy and elongated.
Far-red light (700 to 850 nm)
Like red light, far-red light should never be used alone, however it is thought that it might encourage blooming and leaf expansion, which can increase the surface area a plant uses for photosynthesis.
Type of greenhouse
What kind of grow lights you require depends on the greenhouse's size and layout. Greenhouse lighting for a tiny home greenhouse will vary from that needed for a large commercial greenhouse.
Grow lights, for instance, must be able to endure the humid, severe conditions typically found in industrial greenhouses.
Before making a purchase, you should always check the product's efficiency. This will guarantee the best possible outcomes while keeping costs to a minimum. Try to find grow lights that are both extremely effective and energy efficient.
Some plants can't survive in temperatures that are too cold or too warm for their needs. Because of this, it's crucial to always choose with a grow lamp that has great heat dissipation. There are lights that will produce too much heat, and there are lights that will produce too little.
How long should you keep the greenhouse grow lights on?
Although plants can't survive without light, they also require time to rest for optimal development and health. For plants to complete their necessary chemical reactions, darkness is required. There's no need to leave the lights on for the plants all the time. A timer should be set up to regulate the on time of your grow lights.
There are three classes of plant daily light requirements. To stimulate flowering, short-day plants require a daily light cycle of 12 hours or less. Intense sunlight is bad for these plants.
In a greenhouse with sufficient sunlight, grow lights may not be required to cultivate plants like azaleas and begonias.
Depending on the species, long-day plants require between 16 and 18 hours of light every day. Vegetables and flowers are both long-day plants, meaning they need more light in their early stages of development.
For optimal growth, day-neutral plants like geraniums and foliage plants require between 8 and 12 hours of sunlight per day. If your greenhouse does not receive sufficient sunshine throughout the winter, you may choose to turn on the grow lights just when the days are shorter.
How far should grow lights be from plants?
Grow lights should be put at least 2 feet away from your indoor plants to prevent overheating; however, this distance varies depending on the wattage and light wavelengths used. However, because of their reduced heat outputs, LEDs and fluorescent lights are sometimes permitted to be installed at closer distances.
How long should grow lights be on for?
A grow lamp should be on for eight to sixteen hours a day, depending on where you live, the time of year, and the type of plant, to properly simulate the sun's natural light. Your plants may not require as much artificial light if they get some natural light, but they may require the whole 16 hours if they get none.
Greenhouses can be equipped with a wide variety of automated growth lighting systems to support a wide range of plant species and development phases. The aforementioned alternatives for greenhouse lighting—from supplemental growth lighting to photoperiod control grow lighting—will make the job easy and effective.