Grow Lights are an amazing addition to indoor growing that may sometimes be expensive and rack up one large electric bill! Though there are many different types of grow lights recommended by long time growers, we’ll go through some scientific research that will initially be controversial to many within industries using them. After learning about Aquaponics our team began to ask questions about what lights are best for growing plants, we were surprised with what we had found.
It turns out that the best type of light for plant growth is the tiny, efficient, cool running Light Emitting Diode! (LED for short) Why and how is this even possible? To answer this question one must learn what plants require to grow, specifically. Plants only feed on very few and very specific light spectrums, the most surprising part of this is that plants DO NOT take in any visible light spectrums whatsoever! Every grow light company which puts their stock into creating a bulb with a “more full visible spectrum than competitors” is utterly useless for growing plants and require far more electricity to power.
Other mistakes most commonly made when using grow lights is that more lumens, UV and heat will bring the outcome of better plants. More lumens, UV rays and heat coming from light sources are all counterproductive to plant growth, this causes plants to burn, dry up, require more water and use far more energy to remain alive rather than using energy for growth. Plant leaves and stalks do not need to be beamed upon with intense heat energy and radiation, more importantly it is the roots that must remain at a special temperature. During hours of light leaves collect radiation from spectrums that are invisible to the human eye while during hours of darkness they open stomata, best comparable to pores in human skin, to breathe, take note that only the roots of plants drink water and send it through the stems similar to a highway.
As illustrated in the pictures above and below, the two types of chlorophyll will ONLY absorb certain light spectrums known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR). Having a more full spectrum for plant growth is completely unnecessary, one chlorophyll type absorbs red light between the 630nm and 760nm light spectrum while the other absorbs blue light between 280nm and 460nm. The use of LED lights solves the problem of electricity being wasted on light spectrums that plants can not take in by allowing for each LED to beam very specific ranges of light. Many have recommended using 2/5ths of a red spectrum, 2/5ths of a blue spectrum and 1/5th UV spectrum to keep accepted light spectrums well balanced. Each type of plant may require more blue types or red types of light spectrum, it never hurts to perform more research on each specific plant’s requirements.
LED lights run at cool temperatures and don’t create anywhere near enough heat to be significant to plants or animals, yet for plant care it turns out that heat should be highly regulated and does not have to come from lights. As long as the temperature in a room is regulated then no heat is needed from lighting.
The Effects of Temperature On Plant Growth
The efficiency of LED lights in both specific spectrum abilities and low electricity requirements are certainly proving to be an innovative and sustainable solution to plant growth. The Growblu website contains a lot of informational PDFs to quickly and easily justify using LED lights rather than outdated bulb types.
How Light Spectrums Affect Plants
Pretty large forum of invaluable information