If you are looking at using a hydroponic growing system at home then one of the things that you are going to need to do is pay attention to the grow lights that have to accompany it. You cannot leave your plants to try to grow just with natural light as they will be stunted and may not even develop in the way that you anticipated.
The problem here is that there appears to be a number of different options for you to choose from and clearly you are then going to begin to wonder which one to go for, but there are various things that you should take into consideration.
The Key Factors to Take Into Consideration When Buying a Grow Light.
First, you need to think about various key factors when you are looking at purchasing a grow light rather than just jumping into it feet first. By taking these points into consideration, you will make it more likely that you will end up with the correct light for your situation.
So, what are the kind of factors that you need to think about?
Well, you have to think about what you are growing as different plants will perhaps need specific types of light at a certain part of the light spectrum so that they can go ahead and grow the way that they should have done outside. However, as we will see later on there is no need for you to worry about this part.
Another factor to think about is how much growing space you are going to have because clearly the bigger the space the bigger the light that you are going to need. In other words, think about the space because you will often find out that an everyday light is just not going to suffice.
However, it is not just the size that has to be taken into account when choosing a light as there is also another important point, the cost. You see, different lights will clearly cost various amounts of money in order to purchase the basic grow light but at the same time you also need to consider the ongoing costs for running it on a continual basis.
For example, what are the bulbs going to be like? How long are they going to last before they have to be changed? What is the cost of a new bulb? How easy are they to get?
As you can see, there are a number of questions connected to just dealing with the bulbs so you can begin to understand how you need to think about this when trying to decide on the type of grow lights that you are going to purchase.
However, there is more.
You see, it is also important to look at how the lights are going to be powered and even the heat that can be generated by them because clearly this can be an issue with a number of plants. Furthermore, the heat that is generated by certain lights will also determine how far away from the plants they have to be and this will, in turn, mean that you need to purchase a more powerful light just to get the same intensity on the plants. This costs more money and bigger equipment so you are going to start getting a picture as to how difficult all of this is going to be.
What this also means is that there are some lights that are going to require a ventilation system or a cooling system and that is just going to bump up the cost to you in getting everything set up in the correct manner. When you stop and think about the various aspects that need to be considered, then you really have to come to terms with having a full understanding of the use of grow lights and what the different things are capable of.
Also, some grow lights will need their own power supply and this is something else that needs to be taken into consideration as this is going to be another costs and we are not even talking about how it is going to cost you money to run it. That comes down to the efficiency of the light source and you need to be aware of how certain lights are far more efficient in what they can do compared to others so keep that in mind before you go ahead and make any kind of a decision.
Finally, you also need to think about what is in the lights. Are there any toxic chemicals because in some instances that is what is generating the light and providing the intensity. Now, do you really want that kind of thing around your plants especially if something goes wrong? Probably not, but then the final decision is always going to be up to you.
Types of Hydroponic Grow Lights.
We just went through the different factors that need to be taken into consideration when looking at choosing grow lights for your hydroponic system, but we stated earlier how there are various options when it comes to the type of lights so it makes sense for us to learn more about the different types.
1. Fluorescent Hydroponic Grow Lights.
Fluorescent lights have been popular for some time as they are relatively inexpensive and produce a lower level of heat. You will also find that they do not cost too much money to operate the lights but there is a problem with them even though they do sound as if they are pretty amazing. The problem with them is that they offer a very narrow spectrum of light and, most importantly, they cannot help plants that are being moved to the flowering part of their growing process.
2. New Full Spectrum Fluorescent Lights.
However, there is a new type of fluorescent light that is designed to counteract the problem of the limited spectrum with the older versions. This new full spectrum does provide you with a wider range of light and that is going to help plants in general and they do also have the same other positives as the older version. See this as being a super version or the vastly improved new version of something that has been used since grow lights first really came into being.
3. Metal Halide Hydroponic Grow Lights.
Metal halide hydroponic grow lights sound quite fancy and elaborate, but that is not actually the case. This light produces cool light that mimics natural light to a certain extent. It is extremely close to the natural light and that does mean that it is going to be highly beneficial for the growth of plants and you will also notice that it lasts five times longer than the standard incandescent light bulb.
However, it too has problems and it is not perfect by any means. These grow lights require a lot of power and also ballasts due to them operating under a huge amount of pressure. You will also find that they take some time to warm up so you have to wait a few minutes before you start to see anything happening. Also, there is a cost issue as they are not the cheapest by any means.
4. High Pressure Sodium Grow Lights.
High pressure sodium lights are going to help a plant get to the flowering and fruiting stage, but at the same time they are not going to be that helpful in getting it to start the vegetative state. That is because it only works at the red end of the spectrum so it will get plants to grow but they will be weak and you will not be impressed.
The lights themselves are highly efficient when it comes to comparing them to other types of grow lights. However, the fact that they can starve the plants of nitrogen leading to them looking poorly should mean that this is a type of light that you should not really consider.
5. CFL Grow Light Bulbs
CFL grow lights are relatively inexpensive to purchase so that in itself is a major advantage especially for those individuals that are looking at just getting started in using grow lights in general. They are also self ballasted which is another advantage, but at the same time they are slightly restricted in the light spectrum that they can offer and for a number of people this is enough to make them change their mind regarding using them.
6. HID Grow Light Fixture.
HID grow lights are interesting options to consider and they are available in a range of wattages. However, due to the pressure that they operate at they are going to require ballasts so that is going to increase the cost to you when it comes to getting started. With this, the cost is more likely going to put people off.
7. Incandescent Lights.
Incandescent lights are normal light bulbs and if you think that plants are going to grow under those conditions, then you are going to be sadly mistaken. You see, the light is just at the wrong power and even though there might be some growth, it will not be enough for you to be amazed at it. Forget about using incandescent lights as they are not worth the effort.
8. LED grow lights.
LED grow lights are new to the scene and they have made a real impact in a short period of time.The light that they give out is very precise and that is a huge advantage to growers as it does mean that you can be sure in advance that the light you have bought is the light intensity that you will be getting. Furthermore, you will have both red and blue light from the spectrum meaning LED grow lights can help with every aspect of the growing process from germination through to the fruiting. They produce minimal heat loss and are highly efficient.
So, even though there are a number of different options when it comes to the grow lights that are available, we have to come to a conclusion and the answer that we have come to is that LED grow lights are the best option.
There are a number of reasons as to why they are the best option and it is all because of the way in which LED lights can provide plants with the full spectrum of light and in particular red and blue light which is perfect for plants that need to flower in order to produce their fruit. Also, the cost is lower than other options and they are far more efficient as well so you do save money in the long term.
In other words, if you are serious about growing plants indoors on a hydroponics system, then make full use of LED grow lights and your plants will reward you in ways that you never thought possible.