Grow Light Bulbs For Indoor Plants: Enjoy Year-Round Gardening!
Interior Plants and Light
Light is important to successfully grow plants indoors. It is needed to produce carbohydrates or food energy for plants. As a rule of thumb, the more light a plant receives, the more carbohydrates are produced. Carbohydrates are stored by the plant and used during low-light periods.
Light intensity refers to the amount of light reaching a plant and is measured in foot-candles. Plants have differing requirements for light intensity. Some perform best under high light levels, while other plants prefer lower levels. High light intensity is considered to be 1000 or more foot-candles, the medium is 500 to 1000 and low is 50 to 500. Few plants can tolerate light intensities below 50-foot candles.
High light intensity occurs within two feet of south-facing windows from October through March and within two feet of east or west-facing windows all year. These locations have at least four to six hours of daily sun. Medium-light occurs within two feet of north-facing glass from April through September and two to six feet back or one foot to the side of an east or west-facing window. Typically, ten to fourteen hours per day of fluorescent office lighting is considered medium light.
Low light is found within two feet of north-facing glass from October through March and 2 to 6 feet back from, or 1 foot to the side of the south-facing glass from April through September. Six to 10 feet back from, or 1 foot to the side of the south-facing glass from April through September is considered low light. By moving plants to appropriate locations within the home, any number of light intensities can be achieved.
Avoid placing plants so that foliage is touching the glass or cold winter and hot summer temperatures can both be damaging.
Consider artificial light when light levels are too low. Fluorescent lights, when combined with incandescent light, provide a good balance for plant growth. For every four feet of fluorescent tube use one 40 watt incandescent bulb.
Plants that grow well in high light include amaryllis, avocado, bromeliads, or members of the citrus family. Medium-light plants include African violets, coleus, weeping figs, and orchids. Low light choices are cast iron plant, spider plant, piggy-back plant, Vittoria, and some ferns.
Light Bulbs For Indoor Plants
Unless you live in the tropics, the joy of having fresh vegetables is strictly a summertime phenomenon. And sometimes a late or rainy spring can even mess up the planting times for some of your prized vegetables. Luckily, by growing your plants indoors using grow light bulbs for indoor plants you can overcome this problem.
Grow light bulbs for indoor plants are an indoor equivalent for sunlight and you can use them to extend your planting season for year-round. These lights also allow you to jump-start your planting for the upcoming spring season as per your preference. There are several types of horticultural lighting system that exist which are as follows:
Indoor Grow Lights Let You Have Fresh Vegetables All Year Long
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Plant Grow Lights
This form of grow lights is said to be one of the most efficient methods for the conversion of light into electricity. Two types of HID grow lights can be found for horticultural planting. They are:
- Metal Halide (MH): Abundant light in the blue spectrum is produced by these metal halide bulbs. This particular color helps in keeping plants compact, is ideal for green leafy growth, and promotes overall plant growth. If little or no sunlight is available, it can be ideally used as a primary light source for indoor planting. The lifespan of these lights is approximately 10,000 hours. After this time lapses, the intensity of light will decrease which might not be suitable for the plants.
- High-Pressure Sodium (HPS): An orange-red glow is emitted by high-pressure sodium bulbs. Hormones in plants are triggered by these bands of light which give budding and flowering a boost. For supplementary or secondary lighting, these are the best grow light bulbs for indoor plants and can be used in conjunction with sunlight. It is also perfect for greenhouse growing applications because it is beneficial for flowering and two of its features make it an economical choice. As compared to metal halides, their lifespan is double but they will use up more electricity after 18,000 hours. They are efficient but lack light in the blue spectrum. The vertical growth of the plants rises under HPS bulbs.
Fluorescent Plant Grow Lights
These are the second type of grow lights for indoor plants that are available in the market. Initially, they were only used as grow lights for starting seedlings because they were too bulky and big and also had very low output. But there has been changing recently as T5 and CFL full-spectrum fluorescent lights were introduced. Now, these lights have become extremely effective and energy-efficient especially when large numbers of lights are used. In comparison to HID and incandescent grow lights, fluorescent grow light bulbs for indoor plants produce heat in a lesser amount and have improved color rendering properties. These lights can also be placed very close to the plant which produces better results. Different powers of fluorescent bulbs can be used for promoting overall green plant growth and flowering as they provide different colors of light.
Incandescent Plant Grow Lights
These are another type of horticultural lighting but are a very poor and inefficient source of light. They are only used because they are inexpensive and lead to energy savings for the first 60 days of their use. They can only offer supplemental lighting for separate houseplants and have a very low level of output when compared to HID lights or fluorescent grow lights.
LED Plant Grow Lights
The newest lighting alternative which has been developed for plants is the LED plant to grow lights. Amongst the numerous grow light bulbs for indoor plants, these are advertised to be the coolest running and efficient lights. But these lights should not be used with plants that are set out to be viewed as they give an unnatural appearance to them.
These are the different options you have at your disposal when considering plant lighting. The duration of light needed is dependent on the type of plant. You can make an informed decision as you are now aware of the various grow light bulbs for indoor plants.