Why grow lights are a good thing for Hydroponics?
Are you currently considering hydroponics for your growth plans or looking to change your light source for the best results? Many hydroponics growers have trusted different types of grow lights to supply the optimal light spectrum to match their plants’ needs.
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These types of lights are used to mimic the outdoor conditions necessary to grow healthy and productive plants. Conditions such as temperature, varying color, and spectral outputs emitted from grow lights ensure that your plants undergo vital processes like photosynthesis.
Taking a quick look into its history, Andrei Faminstsyn, a Russian Botanist, was the first person to employ an artificial source of light in the cultivation of plants in 1868. Grow lights have come a long way since then and are very popular due to their efficiency and varieties.
Types of Grow Lights
Depending on the particular stage of plant cultivation (vegetative or flowering phase), variety of plant, photoperiod requirement, and many other variables, you will need a specific type of grow light.
The wide variety of options is one reason why grow lights are so popular for hydroponics cultivations. The large variety can be puzzling for some growers, but review sites like Herbonaut can help find the right light for plants like cannabis. Also, because lighting is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful hydroponics system, you’ll need to know all the options of grow lights available for hydroponics.
Here are the main types of grow lights for hydroponics
- Fluorescent grow lights
- HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights
- LED lighting fixtures
These are the three primary types of grow lights that best meet different hydroponic systems’ needs. Understanding the benefits these offer growers highlights why they are effective for hydroponic systems.
Benefits of Grow Lights For Hydroponics
Lower Power Consumption
The primary reason grow lights are popular among hydroponics growers is due to their lower energy consumption. Grow lights such as LED light sources are very notable for producing higher amounts of light with fewer watts. It’s important to note that not all watts are converted to light.
To be more precise, LED grow lights save about 60% more energy than traditional lighting systems while producing the same light. Because of this, they are one of the go-to options for many growers operating hydroponic setups.
Fast Harvest Cycling
Another peculiar property of high-grade grow lights is their ability to produce light around the clock at relatively lower temperatures. Hence, you can use them for extended periods, and they won’t affect the temperature of your hydroponics setup.
This is crucial because the internal conditions of your setup dictate how your plants will grow. Thus, you can influence your plants’ growth rate and get faster harvest cycles by dictating the specific properties of your grow light. Here, you can modify the light hours, the wavelengths, and several other factors.
Changing the light wavelengths is yet another major benefit that grow lights bring to hydroponics systems. You can tweak these to meet the specific requirements of your plant for optimal photosynthesis. Some light models of LEDs even allow users to turn off certain wavelengths completely.
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Some grow lights can carry on for as long as 50,000 hours. Due to the extended lifespan of some grow lights, some control units tend to stop working while the bulbs continue to glow. Even if this isn’t the case with your specific model, most bulbs are easily replaced, and you can install new ones quite easily.
Lower HVAC Costs
Because grow lights like LEDs can produce more light with fewer watts and lower heat, they generally reduce your capital and HVAC costs. Large hydroponic systems that will otherwise require lots of air conditioning to reduce the room temperature can maintain lower temperatures by using the right grow lights.
According to reports from some growers, the reduction in air conditioning costs can be as high as 50% when they switch to LED grow lights.
Other not so obvious benefits of some of the different types of grow lights include:
- Easy installation
- Dust and waterproof
- Wide variety of designs and shapes
- Wifi and remote controllable
Common Mistakes Hydroponics Growers Make With Grow Lights
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The right grow lights used for the right phase of growth can be very effective. However, your lighting can adversely affect plant growth when put to the wrong use. Below are some of the mistakes that prevent growers from getting the most from their grow lights.
- Overheating the plants
- Delivering an insufficient amount of light
- Setting up lights at an incorrect distance
- Buying low quality grow lights
- Failure to properly adjust light spectrums
Your hydroponics system can benefit immensely from the right grow lights. However, you shouldn’t expect any overnight miracles. You’ll have to be realistic with your expectations, get all other aspects of your system right, and remember to avoid some of the common mistakes before you can get the best results from your grow lights.