So you have finally decided to get a few houseplants to satisfy your inner green thumb? We would like to congratulate you on making a great decision. However, here the most important point is to ensure that your plants grow and thrive.
One of the best ways of doing this is to get the ideal light for your houseplants. Yes, we know that it can sometimes be a bit difficult to provide enough daylight to your houseplants. This may be due to seasonal changes or even a pronounced lack of window space. This is why you need a set of grow lights to make sure that your plants get all the light they need.
When choosing to grow lights, you will need to ensure they emit light as per your plants’ requirements.
- Why Is the Kelvin Scale so Important for Choosing the Best Light for Your Indoor Plants?
Whenever you decide to grow houseplants, you should consider using light bulbs between 4000 and 6000 Kelvin (3130 to 6740 degrees Fahrenheit).
Kelvin is a basic unit that defines the color temperature of a light source. In other words, we use it to measure the overall whiteness of a light’s output. It also defines the degree of coolness or visual warmth of just about any light source. The higher the degree of the Kelvin scale, the cooler and bluer will your grow lamp appear. On the other hand, the lower the Kelvin degree, the warmer or more red will appear.
Here, the main color temperature will give your plants a full spectrum of required colors, from cool to warm glowing colors. Thanks to these lights, you can easily mimic the same kind of growth that you can get from your external greenhouse or even your garden.
o What Kind of Growing Lights Will Suit Your Plants?
Blue and red lights are some of the most popular colors used for making houseplants grow strong and healthy. They both have certain properties that you can use as per the requirements of your in-house greenhouse.
o Blue Light
Many botanists believe that blue light stimulates Chlorophyll production far more than any of the other colors. It actively encourages strong stems, vegetative growth, and thick leaves. The blue color is considered excellent for growing healthy leaves and roots.
o Red Light
Red light is an aid in plant reproduction. Phytochrome pigments can absorb both the red as well as far red portions of the light spectrum. In layman’s terms, it means that they can easily regulate the following critically important functions of your houseplants:
- Root development
- Seed germination
- Tuber and bulb formation
- Fruit production and
Red light also aids in blooming flowers and helps your plants to bear fruit as quickly as possible.
Now that you have understood the basics, we will see how you can choose the best grow light for your favorite houseplants.
o LEDs or Fluorescent Lights: Which One Is the Best Option?
Both of these options are great alternatives when it comes to growing plants indoors. From marijuana to fresh basils, these two options cover a whole lot of bases. Let us check a few key pointers of these different light sources:
o Fluorescent Lights
Fluorescent lights offer a pretty nifty lighting solution for plants that have very low to medium light requirements. A common example would be the African violet (for instance).
If you are interested in starting your very own indoor vegetable garden, you might consider a fluorescent growing light option. As a rule, most of these lights are usually available in the form of very long bulbs. Especially the kind that looks like the tube lights of yesteryears. These bulbs range in sizes from T5, T8, to T12.
Fluorescent lights follow a simple principle. The narrower the light bulb, the brighter and more energy-efficient it would be in the long run. This is because of its smaller surface area. Moreover, these fluorescent bulbs tend to use 75 percent less energy when compared to their incandescent light counterparts.
Therefore, a typical 25-watt fluorescent lamp will emit almost as much light as the average 100-watt incandescent light bulb. Many T5 fluorescent houseplant lighting systems generate almost double the amount of light compared to other standard fluorescent lights.
These are 6500-Kelvin, full-spectrum, very intense lights. However, their running costs are much lower than most other indoor plant lighting systems.
o LED Lights for House Plants
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are currently the most common types of plant-growing lights available today. LED bulbs are highly efficient and waste very little energy in producing heat compared to their overall brightness.
You can easily find a wide variety of options for all of your indoor plant needs. These include the following:
- Screw-in replacement bulbs
- Desktop fixtures
- Stand-alone clip-on LEDs and even
- High-intensity greenhouse lights
LED grow lights tend to provide broad-spectrum lighting. However, you can now customize LEDs for the specific bandwidth your houseplants might need.
You can program several LED lamps both individually and collectively to provide many different levels of light intensity at different times of the day. Today’s state-of-the-art LEDs now even offer smart technology. One that enables you to synchronize them via your smartphone!
Some other types of growing lights include the following:
o Incandescent Lights
These lights are a great option for lighting up a whole room full of expensive plants. Alternately, you can consider growing low-light houseplants, including ferns, vines, or dracaenas. However, they have a somewhat limited utility when it comes to growing plants with higher lighting requirements.
The average incandescent light bulb emits a mere 10 percent of its energy as light while it wastes 90 percent of its power as heat energy. If you want to grow delicate cacti, tropical flowers, or succulent plants, these lights would not be your best bet.
In light of the above, we may be able to conclude that your plants can be best served by using growing lights of a particular shade and hue. The intensity and type of light you use will depend upon the nature of your plants. It also depends upon how quickly you want them to grow and fruit.