Table of Contents
- Why Plants Need Light
- LED and Wattage
- Light Spectrum
- Grow Light Style
- Don’t Be Scared To Get A Grow light
Generally, inside homes are a lot darker than outside and in tropical zones where a lot of our plants come from. So, a lot of our house plants can struggle quite a bit being indoors even in the summer seasons.
If you just do not have a lot of light available(for whatever reason) but you still want to keep your beautiful luscious plants inside your home; grow lights are the solution. Grow lights are specifically tailored to your plant’s needs and provide exactly what they need.
When you go shopping for grow lights and try to learn what you really need it can be really hard and really intimidating. Trying to figure out exactly what you need, when you need it, where is it going to go, how it is going to work, and if it is really worth that price. There are so many questions. Do not worry we answer them today for you.
Why Plants Need Light
I know we say plant food is fertilizer but really fertilizer is just like vitamins for humans. The actual food that plants are absorbing on a regular to sustain themselves and perform all their functions is light.
So, if plants do not get enough light they are not going to be growing for you. They just stay stagnant. They will not push out any new leaves and some plants may perish. Especially, if they are a light-loving plant like a tradescantia or a Hoya. Those plants need their light or they are just going to become a pile of mush and leave you wondering why that happened. You did everything else right they just need more light.
LED and Wattage
When you are shopping for your grow lights the thing you want to keep a look out for are LEDs because they are going to be the most energy efficient for the amount of money you spend on your plants. They are going to give you the most light by taking the least amount of energy.
A lot of times to see articles out there that tell you to look at the wattage or you will see the wattage on the packaging or in the description. You will think that that it is something really important to pay attention to but the wattage is just how much energy the grow light is going to be taking from your home. It is just how much energy it is going to be absorbing and spending to produce that light. It does not mean that a higher wattage is going to produce a stronger light or be better for you. LED Lights actually have a very low energy footprint so they are going to have a low wattage for a large amount of light. Very energy efficient.
Look at how many LED bulbs are going to be in whatever grow light fixture you have and then you can determine how strong it will be based on that. More LED bulbs mean the stronger it is going to be. You can also look at the lumens, lux, or foot candles if you need a more exact measurement. That is the actual measurement of light. The bigger the number the stronger the light.
You do not need to do this but you can if you want to. Generally, if you can get something with LEDs and not worry about the wattage too much you will be fine.
Another aspect to grow light shopping that you need to worry about is the light spectrum. You will see them coming in different spectrums marketed for different stages of growth.
You will see lights that are red and some that are purple. Also, you may even see ones that are black lights. They will market them for use with specific plant maturity. For example, seedlings will need X type of light while more mature plants for flowers and fruit will need another type of light. Really if you were just trying to simplify it just get a full spectrum light.
Your plant is going to need all the different colors of the light spectrum any way. This is including light that humans can not even see. Even yellow light is used by plants to perform different functions.
Just in the interest of simplicity today your plant needs full spectrum light for the long term. If you were on a time limit running a nursery and trying to get hundreds of seedlings to maturity in a limited time then it would be worth getting specific lights for specific plant maturity. However, today we just want to feed our houseplants some light and help them stay alive and grow.
Grow Light Style
When you are trying to decide what type of plant light to get you want to consider its shape of it and the size of the area that you were trying to cover. Do you have a full wall and large space in need or do you have just one little spot that needs extra light?
There are 4 basic shapes to your grow lights. You can get strip lights which are very thin little LED lights. You can attach them under cabinets or under bookshelves. They are generally not as bright as other grow lights but they have adjustments for brightness which is really nice sometimes. They will even come with a timer so your lights turn on and off automatically.
You can expand upon that and get a much bigger bar light that would usually hang from the ceiling and produce a lot more light. This usually encompasses one or two very large LED bars. A lot of time you will see that greenhouses will use these and this is just a smaller version of that same setup for in-home use.
Another lighting method is hanging fixtures that you hang into the ceiling and you can add whatever type of grow light that you want in there.
There are also lights that are very big, flat, and rectangular. They are much stronger lights. They are meant to grow all types of seedlings or for professional growers. If you were trying to start your own plant nursery and you need something bigger or you have a very large area to cover this is the light for that. For example, if you bought a grow tent then you would want a really big light to go over all the plants in that.
However, if you need something smaller because you just have one or two plants in one little corner that is just not getting enough light there is a better option. You can get some type of lamp and there are actual grow light bulbs, that look like the regular light bulbs, that you fit in your home in any fixture. They come in a full spectrum and they grow lights for your plants.
Don’t Be Scared To Get A Grow light
Grow lights are an easy and affordable way to help your plants thrive. Unfortunately, they tend to get bogged down in various blogs with all kinds of graphs, numbers, and just all statistics. Then you are left trying to figure out exactly what is going to be calculated to work the best for you. Unfortunately, they end up making people so terrified that they basically get decision paralysis. They can not choose which one to get so they end up not getting any grow lights.
Then the plant just sits there in the dark corner without the light they need and it becomes a vicious cycle. Plants end up perishing and plant parents think they can’t grow plants. You absolutely can! Your plants just need more light.
So let us simplify it. Just get an LED, Full Spectrum Grow Light, that fits your plant space. You can absolutely get more into the numbers if you want but you definitely do not have to in order to grow happy, healthy plants.