Growing plants in a greenhouse or indoors using speciality lights allows gardeners to grow year-round, regardless of the outside environment. With all the different and new light technology now available, you may wonder what uses LED--Light Emitting Diode--lights have for growing plants indoors. The answer may surprise you.
Types of grow lights
Grow lights come in several forms. HID--high intensity discharge--lights are produced in two ways, metal halide and high pressure sodium (HPS). Fluorescent grow lights remain popular, and are much improved with the energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) and T5 fluorescent versions. Incandescent grow lights are the least expensive, but also the least efficient. LED grow lights are the newest type of grow lights.
Benefits of LED lights
LED grow lights work well at a reasonable cost. Some LED lights can last from six to 20 years without light degradation. LED lights do not emit a lot of heat, which reduces cooling costs. LED lights are also light in weight and do not contain dangerous chemicals such as mercury. LED lights are tougher than glass bulbs and do not break as easily.
Using LED grow lights
Because LED lights emit less heat you may need to add heat to the growing area by increasing the heat in the room or using a heat mat under your plants. Keep the temperature between 70 and 80 degrees F. Lower temperatures will cause slower plant growth. Be careful not to over-water your plants. Since LED lights use less heat, there is less water evaporation. Over-watering will slow root growth. Do not look directly at the LED lights for very long or at close proximity.