When starting seedlings or keeping houseplants indoors for the winter, indoor grow lamp technology provides the light and nutrients your plants need to stay healthy. With many products available, however, beginning gardeners can easily get confused.
All light is composed of colored rays, with natural sunlight having some of every color. Plants perform best under light in the red or blue spectrum and are unable to absorb much green light.
The types of light commonly used for grow lamps are incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, metal halide and LED.
LED lights are the newest lighting option and, while promising to be more energy efficient, Aarons Creek Farms Greenhouses, a company with more than 40 years experience growing commercial plants and selling and constructing greenhouses, has found no difference in using LED over fluorescent.
Both halogen and metal halide bulbs heat up as they produce energy. These types of bulbs need to be hung far enough from the plants that they don't burn them, typically 4 feet from your plants.
Low-light plants need eight to 12 hours of light per day, while high-light plants need one to 18 hours of sunlight.
You can construct a simple grow station with a plant stand and hanging- or clamp-style grow lamp. For many plants, consider creating a vertical lighting system where several shelves hang from a wall.
- Aarons Creek Farms Greenhouses: Indoor Plant Grow Lights
- The Orchid House: Indoor Plant Lighting
- University of Missouri: Lighting Indoor Plants
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About this Author
Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.