Indoor plant lights can shine when there is no sunlight. They allow you to prolong the growing season of plants, provide flowers, healthy vegetables and herbs throughout the year, and allow your seedlings to grow before planting outside.
Because of different spectra, there are several kinds of growth lamps in the market, from simple incandescent lamp, fluorescent lamp to HID and LED lamp.
Following is an introduction to the market of several kinds of plant growth lamps, prices and advantages and disadvantages.
Incandescent lamps are the lowest-priced plant growth lamps. A good 150-watt bulb can be purchased at a local hardware store for just a few dollars. Incandescent lights can keep plants growing in a small room, but a large indoor garden is not the best choice.
All along, fluorescent growth lamps are low output, too big and bulky to play a good role, so they are used as seed or seedling growth light. Generally speaking, fluorescent lamps are not a good choice for flowering and budding plants because of their low fluency, but they are a good choice for herbs and other plants that do not need a lot of light. Fluorescent lamps can be purchased at local hardware stores or garden vendors for less than $40.
The new T5 lighting system is very efficient and bright, and may be better than HID lights in some cases. T5 fluorescent lamps are more compact and efficient than old fluorescent lamps. They can be used for all plants, not just for seedlings. The main advantages of these high-end fluorescent lamps include: more light can be used by plants, they produce less heat than incandescent lamps and HID lamps, so they can be closer to plants.
HID lights are the brightest and most efficient, but the price is also high. A 1000-watt HID lamp produces the same amount of light as 50 40-watt fluorescent lamps.
In the HID category, there are several types of bulbs: high-pressure sodium lamp, metal halide lamp, low-pressure sodium lamp and mercury vapor lamp. Indoor gardeners only need to worry about high-pressure sodium lamps or metal halide lamps. The most common specifications are 400 watts and 1,000 watts. A 400-watt garden can provide enough light for about 15 square feet (1.4 square meters). A 1,000-watt lamp can cover an area of about 4.5 square meters. For rapid growth, about 25 watts of HID lamps can be used for every 0.09 square meters.
Metal halide lamps are blue and white, which are conducive to the flourishing growth of leaves and the compactness of plants. It is best used as the main light source. A single bulb lasts about 10,000 cumulative hours. (The light bulb will continue to shine for more than 10,000 hours, but the light will decrease, so it's better to replace it before it burns down.) Metal halide lamps are also a lumen source of power. They produce up to 125 lumens per watt, 39 lumens per watt for standard fluorescent lamps and 18 lumens for standard incandescent bulbs.
The high-pressure sodium lamp is red-orange, which is most suitable for flowering plants. It is also economical because its average life is twice as long as metal halide lamps. High-pressure sodium lamps produce up to 140 lumens per watt. Their main disadvantage is that they do not produce light in the blue spectrum. If the high-pressure sodium lamp is the only source of plants, plants will grow thin and long, which is not the type of plant most gardeners want.
How long a growth lamp should be turned on depends on the plant and its needs. Most plants and vegetables need about 10 to 12 hours of light a day to grow. Plants that produce fruit or flowers take more time: up to 16 hours a day.
The LED plant growth lamp takes the LED as the luminous body, which can provide the necessary light conditions for the photosynthesis of plants in the absence of sunlight, so that the plants can grow normally or better. LED lamp can strengthen root, promote, regulate flowering period, flower color, promote fruit ripening, color, improve taste and quality.
In recent years, new LED lighting technology has developed rapidly. As a new lighting source of the fourth generation, LED has many characteristics different from other electric light sources, which makes it the first choice of energy-saving and environmental protection light sources.
Compared with the previous three similar products, LED plant growth lamps are more powerful, efficient and cost-effective. They can save electricity and generate less heat. Less heat can bring the plant light closer to the plant without worrying about the burning of the plant. Because of this, the LED plant growth lamp can effectively promote the better growth of plants, so the LED plant growth lamp is widely adopted in the world.
LED plant lamp also has the following characteristics: abundant wavelength type, which coincides with the spectral range of photosynthesis and photomorphogenesis of plants; half-width of spectral wave, which can be combined to obtain pure monochrome light and composite spectrum according to needs; it can focus on specific wavelength of light to illuminate crops equally; it can not only adjust the flowering and knotting of crops. In fact, it can also control plant height and nutrient composition of plants. The system has fewer heat and occupies less space. It can be used in multi-layer cultivation three-dimensional combination system, realizing low heat load and miniaturization of production space.
The advantages of LED light source are high luminous efficiency, long service life, safety and reliability, environmental protection and energy saving, so the prospect of LED in the lighting market will be more concerned.