How Does a Grow Light Work?

As you probably learned in school, plants require energy from light to grow. But for some people, finding the right place to begin their horticultural journey is difficult because not everyone has the land needed to create an outdoor garden. Thankfully, science has overcome this hurdle in the form of grow lights. With a multitude of options, grow lights have become the solution for the indoor planter.

Grow Light System | Recommended

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

So how do they work

This brief guide should explain a few things and also give you an idea of which can work for you.

Photosynthesis and Grow Lights

Photosynthesis is the process plants use to convert light into nutrients which allows them to prosper. In nature, the sun provides the necessities for them to grow by shining a stream of rays that plants convert into energy through this complex method. Depending on the type of agriculture, humans have tamed this practice to the point where the sun is technically not even required permitting us to fulfill our needs while simultaneously giving plants what they call for in order for both to achieve a comfortable symbiotic relationship.

In a nearly perfect simulation of natural light, grow lights imitate the sun creating an environment that permits vegetation to prosper indoors. These bulbs are completely different from the ones traditionally used to brighten our homes since they generate a range of artificial spectrums that provide just what your plants need. They also, through exclusion, eliminate the type of light that hinders growth or can cause your garden to die. It’s a reproduction of photosynthesis custom designed for you and your plants’ needs.

The Artificial Light Spectrum

Another lesson you may have learned during your academic career is that light comes in a wide variety of forms. Some are mild and others are deadly. For example, ultraviolet light has been linked to cancer and will eventually cause a garden to wither. But the minds that produced grow lights have taken care of this harmful detail.

Depending on which you choose, your grow light will only deliver specific types of light wavelengths. While ultraviolet and far red lights are bad for vegetation, visible radiation lights are not. So grow lights focus on making only certain types of visible radiation lights, specifically red and blue, allowing them to focus their output in order for your choice of plants to flourish.

The Choices

Light emitting diodes, also known as LED’s, are by far the most recommended by professionals for commercial grows. Though a little more expensive than others, they last longer and are more energy efficient allowing you to save money in the long run. They emit little to no heat while running and still providing the red and blue light wavelengths necessary so you can place them further from plants.

High-intensity discharge lights, referred to as HID’s, are similar in energy efficiency to LED’s but they’re far more affordable. Flexible in providing higher volumes of wavelengths, be sure you get ones that work for your choice of plants as some are best for certain species and some aren’t grow lights at all. It’s suggested that you place these far from your garden as they generate a lot of heat which can fry your vegetation. Because of this, a ventilation system is required which can add to costs in electricity. They also do not last as long as LED’s.

Compact fluorescent lights, or CFL’s, are by far the cheapest but they come with their own drawbacks. Nowhere near as energy efficient or long-lasting as LED’s or CFL’s, they still manage to do the job even though it’s to a lesser degree. Also, though they produce little heat so they won’t damage your plants, they must be placed close to your garden or they won’t work. If you plan on having a small garden as opposed to something more sizable, these are perfect for your needs and take up little space in your home.

Now You Know

Since you now have a rough idea of how grow lights work and what certain options offer, it’s time to decide which fits your garden. Just keep in mind that they must produce blue and red light wavelengths and some work better for particular plants than others. Thankfully, there’s a perfect grow light for your garden regardless of what type you have. So whatever you choose, just remember that you can grow anything you need indoors with adequate lighting.

Grow Light System | Recommended

Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you have any questions or do you spot any mistakes, please add them below.

Grow Light
Grow Light

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.