Grow lights are not cheap. Light bulbs that are not dimmable.
If standard bulbs function for rising plants, this may be a perfect way to save money.
People sometimes think that you need costly, grow lights to compensate for the loss of natural light, but this is inaccurate.
Regular light bulbs can be used to grow plants indoors.
Should you, however, use standard bulbs?
Yes, in some cases; no, in others.
And when it comes to LEDs, vigilance is recommended. Some standard LED lights may be used as grow lights, but many are not—for more details, see the LED section below.
Before we go any farther, you may be wondering how you can realize if your plants are not receiving enough natural light and require artificial light to help them out.
The plants, believe it or not, will inform you. Of course, not actually, but they can demonstrate.
If the plants do not get enough daily sunshine, they can develop taller with weaker stems and lighter-coloured leaves. New leaves are often greater in size, and the leaves on the plant’s inner portion can begin to turn yellow.
If your plants are exhibiting these signs, you can provide them with more sun.
Both blue and red wavelengths of light are found in the most effective light bulbs. The blue is good for foliage growth, while the red is good for flowering and fruiting.
What Makes Plants Want Light?
Photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light into food or sugars, requires light. Humans consume food and use the energy to expand their cells. We always hear the sentence, “you are what you feed.” Plants, on the other hand, are affected by the form of light they receive. The volume and level of development they receive are determined by the type of light they receive.
Although several new gardeners place a strong emphasis on plant food and fertilizers, overlooking the value of light can result in low plant development.
Types of Light Bulbs on the Market
The efficiencies of various forms of light bulbs are seen in this chart.
Any lamp or light fixture would suffice if what you need is light for your daily houseplants.
Which one is right for you is determined by your requirements (see the next section).
Make sure the light you select has the right color temperature (explanation below in the fluorescent light section), as this increases efficiency significantly.
Incandescent and fluorescent lamps are the most common forms of grow lights, although you may also use LED lights, halogen lights, and conventional horticultural grow lights like high-pressure sodium bulbs (HPS) and metal-halide bulbs (MH). For small gardens, the first two are fine; for larger gardens, LED or HPS/MH make the most sense.
If you are planning on beginning plants from scratch, hanging tube fixtures that you can put directly over your plants are perfect. Special packages that include the fixture and reflectors are affordable.
Do Regular Bulbs (Incandescent Grow Lights) Work?
The regular light bulbs that we all have in our homes are incandescent lamps (here are a bunch of examples on Amazon).
They are the most affordable option, but they are ineffective.
They use more resources to obtain the same performance and emit a considerable amount of heat. Because of these factors, we do not suggest using them in your plants.
Have a glance at the diagram below.
When used as grow, lights for plants, incandescent, fluorescent, and LED bulbs are compared. Incandescent bulbs absorb the most electricity, last the shortest duration, and give plants the least amount of available light.
If you are going to use incandescent bulbs, make sure they are not very near to the trees.
Make use of the hand exam. Wait a minute after placing the back of your hand where the plant is. If the light gets too bright for your side, it will become too hot for the vine, and you will need to shift it quickly.
Since incandescent bulbs are inexpensive and we all have several lying about the home, they are normally the first choice people consider.
However, for tiny first-time farmers, we still prescribe fluorescent bulbs.
They are not that much more expensive, and they are much more efficient: they last longer and consume less energy, so you end up saving money.
Plants: How Much Light Do They Require?
Different forms and amounts of light are needed by different plants. Some people thrive in warmer, less sunny climates than others. Plants that grow fruits and vegetables, for example, would need more light than succulents. Make sure your LED light is turned on for at least 14-16 hours a day. If necessary, put them on a monitor to guarantee they receive the same amount of light every day.
Will You Use Regular Fluorescent Bulbs As Grow Lights?
Since fluorescent lamps are the most cost-effective, they are the best option.
They are available in tubes (like this one, which is suitable for larger indoor gardens) or small bulbs that fit into a normal lamp socket.
CFLs are compact fluorescent lights that are ideal for a few plants or as secondary lighting. These are the bulbs we will be talking about from now on (everything we say goes for tubes as well, though).
Fluorescent lamps remain cold enough to be mounted around your plants, and they consume much fewer fuel per lumen (the volume of light they emit) than incandescent bulbs, saving you money on your electricity bill.
All of us still have several at home. To achieve the best possible results, you should pay attention to the color temperature of the bulb.
You can have a specialized fluorescent bulb (like these) designed especially for growing plants if you do not mind paying a little more.
These bulbs have a color range that is tailored for plants (see the following subsections for tips on selecting the correct color temperature), and they are therefore more efficient than normal fluorescent bulbs.
Regular bulbs, on the other hand, would suffice, particularly if your plants are already exposed to natural light. The most important thing is to make sure they have the right color temperature, which is calculated in Kelvins.
Is it possible to launch seeds with LED lights?
Seeds may be started with LED lamps, but they may need a lot of light and probably some warmth. When beginning seeds, use a bulb with a Kelvin temperature of at least 5,000 since they need the most amount of light at that point of their growth.
In the vegetative era, how many Kelvins does a bulb have?
Blue wavelength illumination is more prevalent in generic fluorescent lamps and tubing. If you are developing plants that they do not flowers, such as cactus or spices, this is perfect. It is also excellent for blooming plants’ vegetative time.
Using bulbs branded as ‘daylight’ or ‘cool white’ for vegging and plants that do not bloom. These bulbs would have a color temperature of 6000 K to 7000 K.
How Many Kelvins Do You Need To Flower?
You would like a bulb with more reddish light whether you are raising flowering or fruiting plants. You will also use standard bulbs. Just make sure they are labelled as ‘warm white’ or’soft white,’ as these are. They would be between 2000 K and 3500 K in color temperature.
A lamp with a color temperature in the centre, between 4500 and 5500 K (confusingly, these are also often labelled as “daylight”) is another choice.
These bulbs function for all species, but they are not as effective as either cooler or colder bulbs for growth or flowering. We also found that a combination of cold and warm bulbs works well.
The biggest issue of both incandescent and fluorescent bulbs is that they are not strong enough to flower more than a few plants unless you buy a lot of them. When you have a sufficient amount of them, they are no longer cost-effective since there are many more energy-efficient lighting choices. This article will show you how many CFLs you will need for each vine.
If you have more than a few trees, high-intensity discharge lights (HID) or LED lights are a far safer choice.
Is it possible to use some LED light as a grow light?
LED lamps are more energy effective and produce less heat than other lighting options. However, will some led light be used to raise plants?
Yes, in general.
However, since LED technology is so adaptable, each bulb is unique, and you want bulbs that emit the precise combination of red, blue, and other wavelengths that your plants want.
White LED bulbs can function to expand because white light contains a perfect mix for plants. The central problem is one of authority. You would require lamps that will provide enough light for flower plants, which several standard bulbs can not do.
Many general LED lights are not as good for plants as advanced LED lights due to a lack of power and the propensity for a less-than-ideal range.
On the other side, since they are essentially the same stuff, they can perform almost as well as a specialized grow light if they have ample quality and a decent color range (like white light).
If you are not confident, a horticultural LED grows light with COBs is your best choice. They are the best bloom LEDs available since they are engineered to contain the wavelengths used by plants in the perfect ratios.
In addition, you can purchase these instead of general-purpose LED lamps. However, they are not inexpensive. However, there are a few fine, low-cost LED plant lights on the market.
Is it possible for plants to develop under halogen lights?
Halogen lamps, including incandescent bulbs, offer broad-spectrum light and are very effective, but they produce a lot of heat and are not as energy efficient as fluorescent lights, HID lights, or LED lights.
Plant Lights with High-Intensity Discharge
Finally, conventional horticultural grow lights are discussed (if you already know you want to go with HID lighting, head here for help in choosing the best bulbs). HID lights are also classified as high-intensity discharge lights, and they are further categorized into HPS and MH lights.
HPS bulbs produce more red light, which is better for flowering and fruiting, while MH bulbs produce more blue light, which is better for plant development.
HID bulbs are really energy effective, but they do use a lot of electricity and emit a lot of heat because they are so heavy. They often necessitate the use of external materials such as ballast.
HID lights are still the light of choice for most commercial indoor growers since they provide a huge amount of light that is strong enough to flower any plant, while LED lights are steadily gaining ground (read more about HPS versus LED lights).
HID and LED lamps are much too efficient and costly for the rest of us. However, if you have a larger greenhouse, you can choose one of these alternatives. If you plan to go for HID lights, we have a post that will assist you in selecting the right HID device for your needs.
The article discusses both MH and HPS lights.
Many people nowadays choose ceramic metal halide lamps, which incorporate MH and HPS into a single lamp. CMH lights, we believe, are much superior.
More details about CMH programs, including our top picks, can be found here.
Is the amount of light needed to develop plants importantly?
The importance of light strength is frequently underestimated. Plants need more than only the correct spectrum colors; they often need extreme illumination. It is not to be confused with lumens, which corresponds to the brightness of visible light. The pressure is not to be mistaken with light or lumens.
What Is The Best Way To Set Up The Lighting?
A standing lamp with three bulbs and a movable or goose-neck design fits great for a small garden with a few plants in a space with very little natural light. For better performance, use fluorescent bulbs with the maximum wattage the fixture allows.
The light should be directed into the table with the plants. Place fluorescent bulbs closer to the plants than incandescent bulbs if your light fixture has a movable arm. If using incandescent light, this is to prevent heat disruption.
Place a reflective surface underneath the plants, such as a mirror or other reflective foil, to allow the light to shine back up into the foliage, allowing more effective use of the bulbs.
Finally, mount a timer to the lights and schedule it to operate for 14 to 16 hours per day. You can do it manually, but a timer makes it faster, and a good one like this one does not have to be expensive.
How Long Do You Leave the Grow Light On?
Different plants need different degrees of light. Most vegetables and flowering plants, on average, need 12 to 16 hours of light a day, with flowering plants needing the most. Many plants need at least 8 hours of darkness a day.
The plant growth cycle needs a lot of darkness to work properly. During the day, sunshine aids photosynthesis, which allows plants to generate energy. Plants, on the other side, use this energy to expand and bloom at night, a phenomenon known as “respiration.”
Check your seed packets or plant tags for precise recommendations, or inquire at the nursery. Often, remember to switch off you grow lights every now and then. And plants do not want to operate 24 hours a day!
What Are LED Develop Lamps, and What Are Their Benefits And Disadvantages?
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are tiny but effective light bulbs that can be used to customize the spectrum of light. These are widely found in panels to release several wavelengths at once. As a result, LEDs are beneficial at all levels of growth.
LEDs are basically monochromatic light sources. They are, however, the only sources of light that are engineered to provide the proper spectrum for your plants’ development.
LED lights not only save space but also save energy since they can produce a lot of light without using a lot of electricity. As a consequence, you can save money in the long term.
It is possible that so much fire could melt the leaves. LED lamps, on the other hand, do not provide a lot of heat. Some versions also have self-cooling capabilities.
Furthermore, LED lights are a low-heat artificial light source. Since LED technology is adjustable, each bulb is special.
This is where you can get the various color wavelengths that plants need the most.
LED lights will also assist plants in growing healthier and quicker than they will under natural lighting.
Artificial Lights and Their Many Kinds
Artificial lights are described as any source of lighting that is powered by electricity. Knowing the differences between different types of lighting will help you optimize the value of your indoor garden as a whole if you have only started one. Here are some of the most widely seen plant lights:
Fluorescent lamps are the first thing that springs to mind.
These lamps, according to different indoor gardeners, are the most cost-effective in terms of usage, and they come in full spectrums of red and blue lights that are suitable for indoor plants.
- Lamps that are incandescent
Since these lights are known to emit a lot of heat, they should be put well away from the plant if you want to use them. They produce more red wavelengths and are best used in conjunction with a cool white fluorescent bulb to match the spectrum.
- Halogen light sources
The least energy-efficient, but with full-spectrum colors and, like incandescents, a lot of fire, which is not suitable for indoor plants. Leaf curling and dehydration will result from so much sun.
- Growth Lights for Horticulture
These are the best plants for indoor use. They provide the full spectrum of light required for blooming and development. Most experienced indoor gardeners spend heavily on the usage of these lamps in order to optimize the capacity of their gardens.
LED Lights No. 5
In terms of energy usage, these are extremely effective. Through designing advanced horticulture LED growth lights that produce the key wavelengths required by plants, LED manufacturers have revolutionized the gardening industry.
The Spectrum of Light and Its Corresponding Function
Since sunlight emits all colors in the continuum, most plants choose to be under direct sunlight. The harsh rays of the sun, on the other hand, are not suitable for certain plants, which thrive in sunny areas or indoors. Here’s a look at the different wavelengths in the spectrum and how they affect plant growth and production.
Ultraviolet radiation (380nm to 390nm)
UV radiation, like many other living organisms, can be dangerous in high concentrations. However, UV light is needed in horticulture to cause the plant to shield itself from harmful light components. This protection function would not be triggered at all if it were not exposed to UV radiation. UV light has been shown to inhibit insect infestation and the emergence of pathogenic fungi and mold in certain circumstances.
Violet Blue (400nm to 410nm)
This wavelength stimulates the development of green leaves and tends to darken the colour of the plant’s flesh.
the color blue (440nm to 460nm)
This wavelength is suitable for vegetative growth since it stimulates the production of roots and leaves. This is one of the most common colors for indoor plants. It is essential for the plant’s early stages of existence since it helps in the development of chlorophyll.
a shade of green (515nm to 535nm)
This specific wavelength on the light spectrum is said to be the explanation of why green plants are green. The chlorophyll, which is responsible for the plant’s coloring, retains more red and blue light and reflects out the green dye. The rate of photosynthesis would be significantly slowed if plants were just subjected to green light.
The color yellow (585nm to 595nm)
Yellow light is another wavelength that plants do not consume and does not add greatly to photosynthesis. Exposing a plant to just yellow light is equal to depriving it of all sources of light.
the color orange (600nm to 610nm)
Although a poor chlorophyll absorption rate, this range is similar to the red spectrum and has a positive impact on the plant during photosynthesis.
The color red (660nm to 670nm)
This wavelength is ideal for flowering plants, particularly when they are about to bloom. Chlorophyll absorbs the red wavelength well and transforms it into energy for digestion, assisting in the entire photosynthesis phase.
What are LED Lights and How Do They Work?
Light Emitting Diode is the abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode. In terms of illumination, LEDs are the most recent innovation. Electroluminescence is the mechanism by which a semiconductor transforms electrons into photons. LEDs are the most energy effective artificial light source on the market today since 95 per cent of the energy is used in illumination, and just 5% is lost as heat as a result of this method.
The Benefits of Using LED Bulbs
When it comes to artificial lighting for your indoor garden, LED bulbs are unquestionably the best and most cost-effective choice. What is more, here’s why:
LED lamps, as previously mentioned, are much more effective in terms of energy use because the volume of energy consumed is unchanged by their form. In the long term, it is rather cost-effective.
- Use of color
LEDs can now emit light depending on a particular color that is needed, thanks to advancements in customization. We save money by focusing on the individual needs of your plant when we use a specific hue.
LEDs are compact and simple to install in lamps and other light fixtures that can be hung from the ceiling. Some LED bulbs may also be found in the standard stand or desk lamps.
- Keep it cool
You will not need to install airflow as you would for halogens or incandescents. Furthermore, when utilizing LED bulbs, you are not placing your plant under any heat tension.
Existence is number five.
Most other light sources have a shorter lifetime than LEDs. Based on use, climate, and other factors, they will last anything from 15,000 to 50,000 hours. At the end of the day, it is about saving money.
Will standard LED light bulbs to suffice?
Ordinary LED light bulbs can suffice if you are only beginning a garden with a few indoor plants for aesthetic reasons. Ordinary bulbs will not be enough to cover the plants’ needs if you choose to grow plants from seedlings to maturity; instead, you may require growth lights with red and blue wavelengths in particular.
More details on rising houseplants with LED lights can be found here.
Growth Lights of Various Types
Plants can survive even more easily indoors with the help of growth lamps. Development lights have been introduced because standard indoor lighting cannot supply the plant with the full range of color that sunshine does.
• Grow Light with Fluorescent Fluorescent Fluorescent Fluorescent Fluorescent
This fluorescent bulb is designed specifically for plant development. They can be used in chain strips or panels, but if they are High Output (HO) or Very High Output (VHO) bulbs, they must be suited to their fixtures (VHO). Plant propagation in the early stages of vegetative growth is quite common with these lights. Tap here to see a range of fluorescent grow lights of various kinds on Amazon.com.
• Grow Light with High-Density Discharge (HID)
These are the most vibrant of the five forms. They need special fixtures with electrical ballasts which operate on 120 volts in the house. HID lights are divided into two categories:
• Metal Halide (MH) (MH)
This is a cool white light that produces the most effective blue wavelengths, which promotes leafy development. Per year, Metal Halide bulbs must be replaced. Tap here to see the prices of Metal Halide develop lights on Amazon.com.
• Salt under Extreme Pressure (HPS)
The HPS lamp has a much longer lifetime than the Metal Halide. It should be replaced every 18 to 20 months, ideally. This form of light produces a lot of red or orange light, which is ideal for flowering plants. To avoid leggy development, they must be used with sunlight or cool lighting. Both High-Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide bulbs are used in this developing device.
Some Metal Halide lamps release ultraviolet radiation, which may help to destroy rodents and molds.
• Fluorescent Grow Light with Maximum Strength
These lamps and fixtures have the appearance of HID bulb sets but are less expensive. One of the most significant advantages of these fixtures is that they can accommodate both warm and cold bulbs inside the same ballast, rendering them more cost-effective.
• Plasma Light for Growing
While they have a higher performance rate than HIDs and last longer than all other lamps, this growth light technology is quite new in the industry and is very costly.
• Develop Light with Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED technology is one of the most common because of its high performance and low cost of service. With the unexpected boom in the industry for low-cost LED Grow Lamps, several firms are taking advantage of the ability to sell the light with lofty promises that it clearly cannot back up. However, as technology advances in the area, we should expect new developments in this form of lighting that will foster excellent generative vegetation.
LED Grow Lights are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
The Last Word
Given the above drawbacks, it is obvious that utilizing standard LED lights to develop indoor vegetation is not a viable option. You can not take shortcuts if you want to get the best out of this exciting technology. Instead, spend a little money on a good-quality LED grow light and watch your indoor plants flourish.