Grow lights come at different models and prices. This can make you not know which is the best grow light for your indoor plant. Grow lights are vital for indoor gardens. This is because there is no enough sunlight in rooms, unlike outdoor gardens. So, if you are considering buying a grow light, there are several factors you must consider.
Continue reading this guide for more information about grow lights.
What are Grow Lights, Uses, and Types?
This is an artificial light that produces light rays that enable plants to cultivate. A grow light mimics the sunlight and other outdoor conditions that favor the growth of plants.
It is a light widely used in indoor gardening, horticulture, indoor aquatic plants, and hydroponics.
The most common types of grow light include;
- High-intensity discharge lights (HID)
- Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
Under these three types of grow lights, there are other sub-categories.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Grow Light
Now that you have details about what grow light is. It is time to inform you what to consider before you purchase a grow light.
- Photosynthetically Active Radiation
Is also known as PAR is the waveband between 400nm to 700nm that facilitates photosynthesis. When buying a grow light, you should check the PAR of the grow light. This will show you if the light is best for the growth of your plants.
For your information, different grow lights have to vary photosynthetically active radiation. Thus, a high PAR lamp doesn’t make it better than the one with a lower PAR. Additionally, the PAR spectrum is vital for plants as they use each wavelength as they grow.
- Type of Plant You Grow
Which plants do you grow in your indoor garden or hydroponic? This is a vital factor when you think of buying a grow light. When you know the type of plant, you find out which conditions favor its growth. This will enable you to learn which grow light will be best for the plant.
How much heat does the grow light emit? You should know that different grow lights generate varying heat. The heat produced is not best for all types of plants. When the grow light has too much heat, it might burn a specific plant. Additionally, a high amount of heat leads to less generation of visible light.
Visible light is essential in photosynthesis. This means less heat is a favorable condition for the growth of plants. Fluorescent grow lights tend to generate a high amount of heat compared to HIDs and LEDs.
When you decide to use high-intensity discharge lights, it is best to install fans on the grow area to reduce the heat the HIDs produce. The CMH or ceramic metal halide is a type of HID known to create less heat.
Light-emitting diodes are recognized as the lowest heat-producing grow lights. But this depends on the price and quality of the LED.
The cost of the grow light is equally important as you consider buying one. Other than the price, you should know about the annual electricity cost while using a grow light. Various grow lights have different wattages.
For example, when you consider the T12 and the T5 (both are fluorescent grow lights), the cost differs. The T12’s total wattage when you have four bulbs and one hundred fixtures is 13600W. While T5’s is 3600 using two bulbs and one hundred fixtures.
The annual cost of the T12 is $5000 while T5’s is $1300 when the price per kWh is $0.12.
Buying a grow light is not complete if you don’t have specific accessories. It is a must to purchase its accessories in the process. For you to make it easy, you need to ask your vendor for a grow light kit. This will go handy when you are fixing the grow light.
The accessories in the kit comprise the light, clamps, grow tent, and fans. So, as you think of buying a grow light today, don’t forget about the accessories. You can also research the tools you require when installing a grow light.
Growing plants indoors needs you to do strategic planning. It would be best if you considered various things, but the vital one is the grow light. To make it simple for you, we have outlined the essential factors you need to know before buying a grow light. Thank you for your time.