The Best Grow Lights for Your Indoor Plants

indoor herb garden

Garden grow lights are vital items for an indoor garden to flourish; poor indoor lighting can cause a failure to set fruit or bloom and turn your leaves yellow. There are several types of good grow lights for your indoor garden that are used for different styles of indoor gardens. This site has reviews of popular grow lights.

indoor herb gardenIndoor grow lights can replace the natural lighting or complement the sunlight needed for growing. There are indoor plants that have a problem with direct sunlight but benefit from artificial grow lights. The sunlight that plants use converts the carbon dioxide into the sugars that are needed for proper growth. Garden plants such as vegetables, herbs, and flowers will need from 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day for them to set fruit or bloom. Accomplishing this is basically impossible unless you are constantly moving your indoor garden from window to window. This is the reason we give our plants the additional artificial light for growing healthy.

Fluorescent lighting is a form of grow light that is very common because they give off a good amount of light for your plants without the risk of burning them and they are less expensive to purchase. The fluorescent bulb labeled T-5 is an ample source of light because of being small and they give out a more concentrated light. This type of light is good for plants that like to have some shade. Indoor vegetable gardens that contain lettuce and spinach and indoor herb gardens prefer to have this type of lighting.

HID or high intensity discharge lights are a very effective lighting for indoor plants. They are available in two different types: HPS or high pressure sodium and MH or metal halide. The HPS are used most often used as flower grow lights because they give off a red or orange light which inspires the plants to flower. MH garden grow lights are best suited for stimulating leaf and shoot growth due to the blue spectrum light they emit. Incandescent grow lights are mainly used to add extra light to some of the plants that do not absorb very much natural sunlight. Incandescent bulbs tend to be more expensive than and not as effective as other types of grow light systems. These bulbs also give off more heat than light and if the plants are too close to them they will burn the foliage. Incandescents are best if used for highlighting plants instead of helping them grow.

Mercury vapor lights can be very expensive if you grow a large number of houseplants or a large indoor garden. The mercury vapor bulbs will give off more light and less heat than the incandescents. This means they are a great source of light for any type of indoor plant. LED or light emitting diode indoor grow lights is the newer style for indoor plant growth. These lights do not send out any damaging heat and will emit more light per wattage; because of this, these lights are able to be placed closer to the plants and do not cause damage.

The lights you use should be placed as near as possible to the plants without burning any part of the plant. A 25-watt incandescent should be no closer than one foot from your plants; the 100-watt bulb, two feet away and the 150-watt 3 feet away to prevent burning. Most of the indoor plants will need grow lights from twelve to sixteen hours each day. To help encourage foliage growth, MH lights need to be running 18 to 24 hours each day. You will only need 12 hours each day for the HPS grow lights for budding and flowering.

The way your plants are growing informs you if the are getting sufficient lighting. Some of light deficiency symptoms include long stem lengths between leaves, very little or no growth of the plant, the leaves are smaller than normal and there are no buds or flowers. The foliage on some plants might turn yellow and fall off prematurely. If any of the symptoms occur you may need to relocate the lights or purchase better garden grow lights.

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