By using LED grow lights, your indoor plants can thrive. This includes orchids, houseplants, fruit, vegetables, and even marijuana. A grow light is ideal to use when your plants are seeding as it helps them to grow into a hardy, green seedling.
Using these lights also means you can grow salad greens, herbs, and veggies out of season. Learning how to use them allows you to create an indoor garden that will be healthy and suit your needs at the same time.
Below we discuss these lights in more detail:
Natural sunlight has the complete light spectrum which includes all the colors of the rainbow. Plants like growing in this type of light, which means the LED bulbs you use need to be full-spectrum. These bulbs create a balance of warm and cold light that is a replication of natural solar light.
Fluorescent versus LED
Both fluorescent and LED grow lights emit full-spectrum light. However, an LED uses 50% less electricity than a fluorescent light and lasts around five times longer. This makes them great for indoor gardening as they generate less heat, don’t shatter like glass, and are 100% mercury-free.
The amount of light energy that your plants receive is based on the brightness of the LED lights you choose and how close you place them to the light source. Different plants have different light intensity needs. Generally, plants that are from shady forests or tropical jungles don’t need as much light as those that evolve in sunny, dry climates.
Some houseplants need to be just 10 or 12 inches from the light source, whereas some foliage plants prefer being further away from the grow light, up to 36 inches. But most fruit and vegetable plants need a much higher intensity to produce fruit or vegetables.
No matter what you have decided to grow, you have to give them a rest as they would outdoors. When it is dark, plants breathe, which is a vital part of the growing process. The balance of dark time to light time affects the processes that the plant goes through. These processes include their rate of growth and setting of buds.
Plants are typically divided into three different categories based on the amount of light they prefer: long-day, short-day, and day-neutral.
- Long-day: These plants need between 14 and 18 hours of light every day. Most vegetable, fruit, and garden flowers are long-day plants. Without enough light, they become leggy and pale.
- Short-day: These plants need less than 12 hours of light every day, and normally need to have even shorter light days to flower.
- Day-neutral: These plants are happy with between 8 and 12 hours of light all year long.
How to Garden Indoors with a LED Grow Light
Gardening indoors is much simpler than most people realize. Start by determining what type of plants you have and group them based on this. Set the light or lights up the appropriate distance needed based on the plant’s needs. For a detailed guide on the right lights to choose, click here.
Although gardening has long been regarded as an outdoor activity, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful indoor garden. By selecting the correct LED to grow light and placing it the correct distance from your plants, you will have a thriving garden in no time.