Growing plants indoors can be a fun, interesting and challenging hobby. Finding out the best way to get your plants to grow can be a pain though, and discovering places in your house or apartment with suitable light for growing plants can feel impossible. Using indoor plant lights can make growing plants indoors possible. There is a variety of plant lights available for different growing needs.
High pressure sodium lights, or HPS, emit an orange-red glow. This spectrum of light promotes hormone growth in plants and is good for flowering or budding plants. These bulbs are not recommended for primary light, or as the only source, but are good to use as a supplement to natural sunlight. These bulbs have a long life, and are cheap to use.
LED lights are the newest innovation to the indoor plant growing scene. LED lights take very little energy to create a large output and run extremely cool compared to other bulbs. However, LED lights provide a greater light absorption rate than HPS lights, which is how much light from the bulbs is actually captured by the plant leaves. They also cost less than HPS bulbs as well. LEDs create an unnatural viewing environment, so if you are trying to display your plants, LEDs are not recommended.
Advanced HPS bulbs emit more blue spectrum light than standard HPS bulbs, preventing inter-nodular elongation of plants, containing the plant to a specific growing area. These bulbs can be used as both primary and secondary sources of light.
Metal Halide Systems
Metal halide bulbs give out a large blue spectrum, which promotes growth, and is especially good for leafy plants. Metal halide is a good bulb to use as a primary light source if no sunlight is available in your home. As metal halide bulbs begin to lose light throwing ability as it ages, it is best to change the bulb after 8,000 hours of running time.
Fluorescent lights are relatively new to the indoor plant light market, as they were once thought too bulky for their low energy output. These days, fluorescent bulbs are much more practical, as well as being cheap. CFL and T5 are full spectrum bulbs that generate a large output of energy. These bulbs emit low heat and render color better, making the light they throw off more easily absorbed by plants, and are great for plant growth.
These are cheap bulbs, but are mainly ineffective in the home. These barely make a good secondary light, and only do so if used in large numbers.
Daylight bulbs emphasize the blue spectrum, but also give a red and yellow output to simulate actual daylight. These are suitable for primary light sources, but use a large amount of energy for their output.