Grow Lights in hydroponics gardening

Grow Lights in hydroponics gardening

Along with water,  hydroponics plant nutrients, Co2 and oxygen, grow lights is the key basic component, required by plants to live. Providing additional light is necessary for indoor gardening. Furthermore, light should resemble the sunlight as much as possible. In order to achieve that goal several types of lights are used: incandescent, fluorescent, high intensity discharge or HID lamps and sulfur lights. While there are many other types of lighting, only the mentioned above are recommended for indoor gardening. The major concern with other types of lights is that they do not produce light in the appropriate spectrum, required by plants.

Though typical widely used incandescent lamps fit any ordinary light socket, this type of lighting is considered to be the least effective in lighting your garden in comparison with other types of lighting. Incandescent lights produce light in the red spectrum; that is why such lamps are commonly covered with a blue coating in order to increase the amount of blue spectrum in the produced light. In general, incandescent lights are considered to be poor options for indoor gardening needs.

In comparison with incandescent lamps, fluorescent lights produce more light with lower energy consumption. However, the light, produced by fluorescent lamps, is not intensive enough and cannot penetrate more than 6” – 8”. Light, produced by fluorescent lamps, is usually simply insufficient to provide normal growing of plants, vegetables and flowers. The only application, where it is possible to use fluorescent light, is growing seedlings, cuttings, or some particular plants with low light requirements, such as orchids.


High intensity discharge lights, also known as HID lights, are currently the most effective lights for indoor gardening. Metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS) grow lamps are two major types of HID lights. Each type produces light in a particular range: for example, metal halide lights generate blue spectrum light similar to the full summer sun, and high pressure sodium lights produce light in red and yellow spectrum, resembling the autumn sunlight. 

Though high pressure sodium lamps usually are more expensive (by about 10%-20%) than metal halide lamps, they are more durable with extended lifecycle. Besides, HPS lights feature higher lumen output (97-150 lumens per watt consumed) and lose only about 5% of their brightness after one year of use (for comparison, MH bulbs produce about 70-115 lumens per watt and  lose up to 15-20% of their initial brightness within a year). 

Irrespectively to the particular type of lighting in use, it is recommended to replace lights on the timely manner: MH bulbs – after 12-18 months, and HPS bulbs – after 24 months of work. Basically, metal halide lamps is the more preferred type of lighting for plants, when they grow, and high pressure sodium lamps suit best for flowering plants. However, the discussion on which type of lighting is best is still open among gardeners. Each type of lights offers its own advantages, as well as disadvantages, so it is often a matter of personal choice, preferences, growing environment and needs. The scope of this article is to provide plain information on the available types of lighting for indoor hydroponic gardening, while leaving readers enough space for personal decisions on which product to prefer.  By the way, recently a new type of lights appeared. The so-called conversion systems allow switching between MH and HPS lights when it is necessary simply by changing the bulb. Though this type of lighting offers certain benefits, conversion systems are still pretty expensive. More information on particular types of HID grow lights used in hydroponics systems will be provided in the next set of hydroponics guides.

Help your garden grow with

Yard Butler GKS-2 Garden Kneeler and Seat

  • Sturdy, lightweight and portable; 24 x 11 x 19-Inch standing dimensions
  • Reduces strain and injury to your lower back and knees.
  • Protects your clothes from dirt and grass stains. Weighs only 8-1/2 pounds but easily holds 250 pounds.
  • Legs lock securely for safety Folds flat for storage; folded dimensions are 24 x 11 x 5-Inch
  • Sturdy all Steel Construction Like all Yard Butler products it’s built to last!

Heavy Duty Garden Kneeler Don’t Suffer From Knee & Back Pain The ergonomic Garden Kneeler prevents sore knees caused by kneeling on the ground and back pain caused by stooping and bending. Kneel in cushioned comfort and protect your clothes from dirt and grass stains. Weight: 8 lbs Holds 250 pounds Legs lock securely for safety Folds flat for storage Dimensions: 24″ x 11″ x 5″ Sturdy, lightweight and portable Reduces strain and injury to your lower back Protects your clothes from dirt and grass

List Price: $ 28.99

Price: $ 27.99

More Gardens Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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