Artificial lights also known as “grow lights” are used all year long to support indoor plant growth. To meet the needs of various plant species, grow lights are available in a range of color scales and light intensity variations. Indoor plants can receive enough light even in places without exposure to natural sunlight thanks to artificial sunlight grow lights, which are crucial gardening tools for shipping container farms.
The Mechanism of Grow Lights
Electrical power is transformed by artificial lights into photons, tiny light particles that promote photosynthesis and promote plant productivity. The grow light spectrum of wavelengths that the human visual system interprets as color makes up the finest lighting effects for photosynthesis. Fruiting and blossoming plants respond best to red light, while vegetative growth is accelerated by blue light.
Types of Grow Lights
We have a few major types of grow lights that you can choose for your plant growing system as described here;
- Incandescent grow lights – Even though some gardeners utilize incandescent bulbs, this form of grow light has an excessive heat output that might burn plants. Compared to other grow light types, incandescent lights are less expensive, but they consume more power and have a shorter lifespan.
- Fluorescent grow lights – There are many different types of fluorescent artificial lights, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL) and tube lights. Fluorescent bulbs can emit damaging heat even if they provide a full range of light for plants and are less energy-efficient than LED bulbs.
- HID grow lights: Compared to conventional artificial lights, HID (high-intensity discharge) artificial lights are better at simulating natural light. These pricey, elevated lights are most commonly utilized in industrial grow facilities. High-pressure sodium (HPS) lights, which emit a red hue, and ceramic metal halide (CMH) lights, which emit a blue color ideal for seed germination, are the two primary varieties of HID grow lights.
- LED artificial lights: Compared to other types of grow light varieties, LED (light-emitting diode) lights offer a longer life. They produce little heat and use little energy. There are mainly two types of LED lights: Larger LED grow light fixtures and LED grow light bulbs
How Are Artificial Lights Used?
Grow lights are normally used to accelerate the growth of indoor plants as well as make them grow healthier. Could you be among the people who ask themselves ‘’how do grow lights work?’’ well, the following strategies can help answer your question.
- Select your equipment – Choose the type of lighting you believe will be most beneficial for your indoor plants or organic farm. In order to control electrical outputs, ballasts are frequently needed for HID and fluorescent artificial lights. For the majority of indoor plants, full-spectrum artificial lights are a suitable alternative. If you have numerous indoor plants, you might want to use a bigger grow lamp, a screen of lights, or a reflector to provide extra lighting that reaches the underside of the leaves.
- Configure your lighting – Based on the types of vegetation you have for your indoor plants; you may choose the optimum illumination settings. While some plants may survive in low light, most do well in bright light, especially blooming plants and succulents.
- Regulate the heat emanating off your lights – Artificial lights have the potential to burn indoor plants, based on the voltage of your sources of light. Keep your plants at least two steps away from incandescent lighting. Keep plants at least twelve inches away from HID and fluorescent grow lights. LED artificial lights normally don’t cause damage to houseplants until they are six inches away due to their modest heat output.
- LED grow lights normally don’t cause damage to houseplants until they are six inches away due to their modest heat output.
- Place a timer. Continuous exposure to light prevents plants from having a regular light-dark cycle and subsequently destroys them. To control the amount of light your indoor plants get from your artificial lights, install a timer. Ensure your plants receive at least eight hours of darkness each day and between eight and sixteen hours of light.
We have several opinions when it comes to matters of farming. There are two major types of light sources to choose from, that is, artificial lights and sunlight. Some people prefer using sunlight while others swear by using grow lights. On this issue, you might ask, ‘do grow lights mimic the sun?’ here is a detailed explanation to help you in making an informed choice.
The Difference between Sunlight and Artificial Lights
Sunlight is comprised of several colors including green, blue, and red which are crucial for plants since they assist in regulating their growth. It also has ultraviolet light (UV) which benefits plants by helping them manufacture vitamin D.
On the other hand, for plants to thrive, they only require one color and a gradual emission of the other colors. In this regard, grow lights can be controlled to determine how long and when your plants will be exposed to light. The advantage of this is that you can regulate the surrounding in which your plants grow.
The other comparisons between these two types of light sources include;
- Resource – sunlight naturally emanates from the sun whereas grow light is a man-made light mainly created to mimic sunlight.
- You won’t be charged for using sunlight but it can be costly to get artificial lights.
- Sunlight is not controllable since it may be hidden by cloud patterns but you can control artificial lights by regulating how and when your garden will be exposed to them.
- Sunlight comprises numerous colors but grow lights normally have one color that is either blue, green, or red.
- While sunlight is best placed for outdoor plants, artificial lights are more suitable for indoor gardening.
- Some places and climates may not always experience sunlight while grow lights can be used anywhere and at any time.
The amount of light that your plants require is dependent on the type of plant you have. Some plants require full sun implying that they want direct exposure to the sun for many hours daily. Some plants thrive in filtered light or partial shade while some generally do better in a low-light environment.
Artificial lights are a great choice for indoor plants and more so if you reside in areas with no sunlight whereas sunlight can be adequately used in places that experience plenty of it.
Pros of Using Grow Lights
- Get to Grow Plants in Any Climate
With artificial lights, you can easily maintain your garden in any season. You can have natural vegetation all year long regardless of the outside climatic conditions.
- Utilize Less Energy than Ordinary Lights
With grow lights, you end up saving money on your power bill. This is because they utilize around 17% less power than other types of light.
- Rapid Growth
With artificial lights, your plants can end up growing faster. Generally, grow light plants perform better than natural light plants because the former provides the ideal quantity of light to promote plant growth.
- Regulate the Quantity of Light
This is a great option to help you regulate the quantity of light or darkness essential for your vegetation. This is specifically because plants require a small amount of darkness for proper growth. This is therefore easily achievable with grow lights.
- Better Flowering
Grow lights help plants produce more flowers. Compared to other plants, flowers require the most light and therefore they will do better under artificial lights. Flowers can also stay longer under grow lights after cutting them.
- Better Plant Growth
With artificial lights, you end up having bigger plants because generally, plants grown with the use of grow lights happen to do better than those produced in natural light. This as said earlier, is because artificial lights emanate the optimal light quantity for plant growth.
Why is Light Necessary For Plant Growth?
Photosynthesis, the process by which plants transform light into energy, requires light. Additionally, light helps plants develop the chlorophyll that gives them their green hue. Without light, crops cannot manufacture the sugar they require for survival, growth, and reproduction. Chlorophyll is necessary for the plant to absorb light and produce nourishment. Therefore, plants cannot grow and live without light. For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure your indoor plants receive enough light.
Whatever you decide, make sure your plants receive the appropriate amount of light by doing your research. Different plants (and mushrooms!) have different light requirements and therefore proper research will help you a great deal in finding the best light source for your plants.
Artificial lighting comes in a variety of forms, including led and fluorescent lighting. Indoor plants can help purify the air in your home while also adding some vibrancy. For indoor plants, fluorescent bulbs are an excellent alternative because they offer a significant amount of light while not being too harsh. Because they are so energy-efficient, led lights are another excellent choice for indoor plants.