How To Choose The Right Lighting Solution For Your Plants
There are a lot of different ways to choose the right lighting for your plants. There are a ton of different factors that will contribute to the success or failure of your plants. We’ll explore some of them here, from plant type, light intensity, and proximity to a window, as well as share some tips on choosing the best lamp.
The first thing you will want to do is choose the type of plant you’d like to grow. Some plants, such as succulents and cacti, prefer lower light intensities, while other plants can survive higher light levels. You will also want to make sure the plant you select can produce flowers in lower lighting conditions. For some plants, you might want to consider to switch to T5 LED grow lights, while for others you might want to switch to T8 fluorescent grow lights. This is important because certain plants, like orchids, need to see a specific spectrum of light to bloom. Have a look at otheremedies.com if you are interested in bonsai plants.
Picking The Right Lamp
There are a variety of lamps out there on the market that is designed specifically for plant growth. However, these lamps typically aren’t an exact science. You will want to increase the intensity when your plant is growing and decrease the intensity when it’s flowering. When choosing a lamp, you will want to consider:
- The type of light (blue, purple, white)
- The distance from the lamp to your plant
- How often you will be using your lamp for health and wellness reasons (how often will you be checking on your plant)
A popular choice, especially for smaller plants is LED grow lights. They are relatively inexpensive, they are low heat emitters, and they don’t use much electricity. As far as blue light vs white light, the jury is still out on which one produces better results.
T5 and T8 Fluorescent Bulbs
Fluorescent lighting can be inexpensive and easy to set up for beginners. They also produce low heat, so you won’t have to worry about your plant overheating. However, they are not recommended if you want to grow larger plants because of the low light intensity. They do produce more ultraviolet light than any other lamp, so it’s important to make sure your plants are at a safe distance from the lamp. These lamps provide a lot of the same benefits as T5s, but they can be used for larger plants. You will want to keep them closer than you would T5s and have multiple around your plant, however. Keep in mind, these lamps produce a lot of heat and will need to be ventilated.
T4 and T12 Fluorescent Bulbs
While T5s and T8s are the most common types of fluorescent lights for plant growth, there is also a small compact version called T4. They typically run hotter than other fluorescent lamps, though you could keep them closer to your plants without having to worry about them burning. If you are looking for a more traditional plant light, T12 lamps might be the choice for you. Not only do they produce a lot of heat, but they also run very hot and can burn your plants if they’re too close to the lamp. One advantage to T12 lamps is that they emit a lot of light and can be used in multiple fixtures without any issue.
HPS Bulbs and Metal Halide Lams
High-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps are one of the most common choices because they produce such high light intensity. They also don’t run very hot, so you won’t have to worry about your plants burning. The downside to HPS lamps is that they emit a lot of heat and the light only lasts for 20,000 hours before needing to be replaced. On the other hand, if you want more blue-spectrum light in your growing space, then metal halide lamps are what you’re looking for. They emit more light than fluorescent lamps and less heat. The only problem with metal halide lamps is that they need to be at least 10 inches away from your plants because of how hot they get.
Don’t Forget About UV Light
Don’t forget that plants need ultraviolet light, too. These types of lights are typically used for health and wellness or to purify the air around your plants. However, if you are looking for a great growth lamp, UV light is the way to go. Make sure your plants are at least 6 inches away from any ultraviolet light, though.
There are a ton of choices for you whether you’re just starting to grow plants or you’ve been doing it for years. The most important thing is that the lamps fit the specific needs of your growing space and plant type. If possible, make sure they can be mixed and matched with your lights if you need different types!
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