As a newbie to indoor gardening, it may be intimidating as there is much to learn. The primary consideration one has to make is in the choice and implementation of grow lights for your plants.
No light = no plants. . . yeah, I know. DUH! You already knew that.
Well here is why: plants need light for photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, plants are able to convert light into glucose & oxygen which is used for growth. Be careful in your choice of grow lights as your gardening success depends on it. Choose wisely and you will enjoy massive growth and increased yields. The wrong choice and you will end up with spindly plants incapable of flowering and fruiting.
With no less than 5 types of plant grow lights on the market, your decision has never been more important. You must not only take into account initial cost to buy grow lights but any ongoing costs such as bulb replacement, additional supplies (reflectors, ballasts, duct work), and most importantly, electric costs.
High-intensity discharge lights (HID) is a category of grow lights that include metal halide and high pressure sodium. HID lights produce light that produce light in a fairly narrow portion of the spectrum, each more suitable to a specific stage of plant growth. Metal halide lights produce light in the blue spectrum (great for vegetative growth) while high pressure sodium bulbs emit light in the yellow-red spectrum (great for flowering and fruiting). Ideally, you would use them simultaneously throughout the plant’s life while altering the exposure to blue or red/yellow spectrum to encourage stage appropriate growth. If a plant does not get the correct spectrum of light at the right time, you will end up with long, leggy plants incapable of flowering or fruiting – and this is whether they are grown hydroponically or in soil.
To say it a different way, the spectrum of light that a bulb emits is important because plants thrive under different wavelengths depending on their stage of growth. When growing lettuce, for example, you need to use the blue light given off by metal halide grow lights to induce thick, stocky vegetative growth. Otherwise your lettuce will look thin and anemic. In another example, for mature tomato plants to produce flowers and fruit then you need to introduce light from the red/orange spectrum after you have sufficient vegetative growth.
At My Hydroponic Gardening, we have great daily deals on grow lights that can include FREE shipping – just be sure to take a look through the item description below.
Metal Halide Grow Lights – great for vegetative growth.
High Pressure Sodium Grow Lights – necessary for flowering and fruiting.
MH & HPS Sets – the best of both worlds at a discount over buying separately.