Indoor gardening has surged in popularity over the years. More people than ever have limited outdoor space, so growing plants indoors is a great solution. It also allows people to control their plants’ growing environments and what does or doesn’t go into them. Still, growing plants inside takes certain knowledge and attention to detail. One important factor to think about is lighting. Since indoor plants don’t receive natural sunlight, you have to provide the light they need to flourish.
With so many grow lights available, picking the right one isn’t easy. To make things even more complicated, different plants have different light requirements. You’ll need to cater to the full range of needs to keep your indoor garden healthy. Choose lights from reliable suppliers and the best product line to get the most value. Along the way, keep the following factors in mind to help you pick the ones that’ll best serve your plants’ needs as well as your own.
Exploring Types of Grow Lights
Before delving into other factors, it’s important to understand the different types of grow lights. HID, or high-intensity discharge, lights are popular for growing plants indoors. As the name indicates, they generate intense light. They also get hotter than other types of lights. Metal-halide and high-pressure sodium lamps are common grow lights in this category. While the latter produces red and yellow light, the former provides blue light.
Fluorescent lights are commonly used for indoor plants as well. They don’t get as hot as HID lamps, and they’re not quite as intense. These mainly produce blue light, but variations are available to cover other ranges of the spectrum. LED lights are the most energy efficient, and they often provide full-spectrum coverage.
Consider Light Intensity
As alluded to, grow lights come in different intensities. Those in the lower intensity range are best for plants with low light requirements. High-intensity lights are recommended for plants that need a lot of light. That being said, some plants are more tolerant to the brightness and higher temperatures of intense lights than others. If you use high-intensity light for plants with low tolerances, be sure to leave more distance between them.
What Do Your Plants Need?
Don’t overlook the distinct needs of the plants you’re growing, either. Some need blue light while they’re growing and red light while they’re producing flowers or fruit. Others, like cabbage and collards, often thrive better near autumn when more red light is filtering down from the sun. For fall crops, you may want to use high-pressure sodium lamps or full-spectrum LEDs.
Think about the size of your indoor garden as well. If you have only a couple of plants or you’re using a small closet for growing indoors, you may only need one or two lights depending on the type you choose. For more expansive garden spaces, though, multiple lights will be required. Look into the coverage area of different lights before buying them, and measure your garden area. That’ll help ensure you have enough grow lights to cover all your plants.
Making the Right Lighting Choices
Several types of grow lights are available for indoor gardens. Think about the characteristics of each one, and compare those with the needs of the plants you’re growing. Factor coverage area into the mix as well. With research and careful consideration, you can find the right grow lights to sustain a diverse indoor garden all year long.