Grow lights have been always an aid for the people who maintain the greenhouse in the absence of sun. To some extent, these lights help to keep the plants healthy in the indoor conditions. The heat and the intensity of these grow light helps in their nourishment but if not being used properly can cause severe damage.
Some things that are important to know about the grow lights will provide you ease and give better know-how regarding the intensity according to the plants. Firstly, let’s just discuss what is the basic requirement that a plant need from these grow lights.
The Requirements of a Grow Light
For the proper growth of plants, the quantity, the quality, and the time required are the keys to the development and growth of the plants. A plant can get stunted if it does not get the required amount of light and also reduces the pigmentation and becomes decolorized.
Well, the quality and quantity adjustment of the grow light has become an old technique. Now HPS (high-pressure sodium) and the MH (metal halide) are the supplements that are the common ones to be used today as the supplement for grow light. Scroll down to read in detail about the HPS and MH grow light.
The intensity is the actual amount of light requirement of a plant. The requirement of a plant depends upon the color and light, the power of the bulb, and the angles at which they are placed.
This is called the photoperiod, the required duration of a plant. Generally, a plant grows better within 16-18 hours under the light every day. More effect is not found for the betterment or any kind of improvement in the growing process of plants.
The plants which show the photoperiods (that speed up the flowering and length process) requires a time of 12-14 hours of constant light when the flowering is required. For the formation of flowers and fruits, they should be kept in complete darkness which is called the darkness cycle.
Placement of Grow Lights
This indicates how many lights and what kind of lights are required that gives the perfect coverage to the plants. If placed at a distance, the amount of heat and light will be little. To grow in a square foot, this defined area will require a bulb of 30 to 50 watts.
Well, these are the main requirements for the grow light for succulents and other plants. Here, to know more in detail we have mentioned the types that are available in the grow lights for plants.
Types of Grow Lights
The common types of grow lights include
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
- Metal Halide (MH)
- Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)
- High-Pressure Sodium
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
High-Intensity Discharge (HID): Fluorescent lightening is the most common type when it comes to the indoor grow lights. These lamps possess high lumen-per watt. The different kinds of HID grow lights include metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and conversion bulbs. The color of the spectrum produced by metal halide and a conversion bulb gives an imitation of the sun to the plants.
This light requires an electrical ballast that has a specific power rating. The common rating includes 150W, 250W, 400W, 600W, and 1000W. If we compare electricity wise, then 600W is suggested as it produces 7% more light than a 1000W.
Metal Halide: These bulbs are the kind HID that emits the light in blue and violet in the form of a light spectrum. This kind of light is generally available naturally during the period of spring. These kinds of light bulbs need a replacement once a year for better results compared to HPS lights.
Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH): You can say that it is a subtype of metal halide but a Kind of HID. The light that comes out of these light is known ad polycrystalline alumina which is the same as the material of HPS. The PCA reduces the sodium that minimizes the color shift and the variations comparing to the MH bulb.
High-Pressure Sodium: These lights are efficient ones than Metal halides. The HPS bulbs emit the lights that are yellow or red in color. These lights deliver more energy in the red area of the light spectrum for the growth of fruiting and glooming and are used as a supplement to natural daylight.
Light Emitting Diodes LEDs: LED grows lights are made by the combination of different LEDs commonly in the casing with the heat sink. It does not require any ballast, can be used directly with plug and play. These lights provide a complete spectrum of light that imitates natural light with a total balance of the color light spectrum. The white LED grow light is designed to produce the same amount of light that it appears to be white.
Fluorescent: These lights are available in different forms. These are durable and the color temperature of these lights ranges from 2700K to 10,000K. The efficacy range is 30Im/W to 90Im/W. the intensity of these light is less and mostly preferred for the growth of vegetables. These lights are further divided into 2 types. It includes tube styled and compact fluorescent lights.
Tube Style: This style of light includes T5, T8, and T12 and are the brightest ones but less powerful.
Compact Fluorescent Light: These are the smaller version of the fluorescent light and was designed to preheat the lamps actually. The good thing about these grows light is that they are electrically efficient.
How does the color affect the growth of the plants?
The wavelength of lights or known as the light spectrum is basically measured in the nanometer can tell how the color affects the growth of plants. The indoor plant keeper should use the account within the limit of 400- 700 nanometers which is commonly known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation or PAR.
- The blue light that ranges from 400 to 490 nanometer is used to see the effect the vegetative and foliage growth phase process.
- To see the flowering and fruiting; the orange and red light 590 to 700 nanometer.
- The green light ranging from 490- 580 causes a small amount of effect on the growth because of the natural green color of the plants.
Which grow light is recommended?
After getting the knowhow of available types of grow lights, it will become easy for the user to narrow down according to the requirement. It also somehow depends upon the plant that which light, color, and distance.
The recommended growing light that is mostly for succulents is Fluorsent T5/T8 bulbs. The light would be a daylight spectrum with a color temperature of 6500K. the distance should be 6 to 12 inches depending upon the plant’s number.