Grow lights make it easy to grow plants indoors, and luckily there are many grow light systems to choose from. All are helpful, but each type of grow light offers advantages and disadvantages. Use the guide below to select the best grow light for your needs!
HID Plant Grow Lights
The brightest grow lights are high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. They can be installed anywhere in your home, garage, or greenhouse to supplement existing light, and they can serve as the sole source of light for your plants.
These bulbs pass electricity through a glass or ceramic tube containing a mixture of gases. The blend of gases determines the color of the light given off by each type of lamp. HID lights are twice as efficient as fluorescent lamps; one 400-watt HID lamp emits as much light as 800 watts of fluorescent tubing. All HID lights can run on regular 120-volt household current but they require special fixtures with ballasts.
There are two categories of HID lamps: metal halide (MH) and high-pressure sodium (HPS). Both emit a much more intense light than fluorescent bulbs, which also pass electricity through a gas-filled tube.
MH bulbs emit light that's strongest at the blue end of the spectrum. It's a stark, cool white light that produces compact, leafy growth. Because the light does not distort the colors of the plants and people it illuminates, this type of plant grow light is a good choice for a light display in a living area.
Agrosun gold halide bulbs are color-corrected to give off more red/orange light than regular metal halides. This helps boost flowering in addition to supporting compact foliar growth. Halide bulbs should be replaced about once a year.
HPS bulbs last slightly longer and should be replaced every 18 months. They emit light strong at the red/orange end of the spectrum, which promotes flowering. However, HPS lighting may also produce leggy growth unless used together with daylight or a metal halide system.
High-Intensity Fluorescent Grow Lights
High-intensity fluorescent bulbs are also an excellent choice. Fixtures resemble those of HID bulbs, but they are less expensive, and cool and warm bulbs are available that fit in the same ballast. Choose according to which light is more appealing to your eye.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
Traditional fluorescent tubes are the most economical choice if you're going to use grow lights. They can be used in inexpensive shop light fixtures or multi-tier growing carts.
The light produced by fluorescent tubes is much less intense than the other choices, so you are more limited in what you can grow. If you're just trying to supplement natural light rather than replace it, fluorescent light may be a good option.
Fluorescent tubes come in cool, warm, or full-spectrum. Light from cool tubes has a blue cast, while warm tubes emit a pink/white light. Full-spectrum tubes closely approximate the color of natural daylight. Full-spectrum bulbs are a bit more expensive but many growers consider them worth the price since the color of the light doesn't distort the color of your plants.
Less light is emitted from the ends of the fluorescent tubes than from the center. Plants with lower light needs should be placed under the 3 inches of tube at either end of the fixture.
Fluorescent tubes should be replaced every 18 months if they are being used approximately 16 hours per day.
LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights have been proven to produce larger crop yields and decrease time until harvest, all on top of reducing energy up to 70%.
LEDs provide the perfect lighting for all types of plants and flowers allowing the grower to adapt the light exactly to the needs of various crops, in different cycles, promoting healthy plant growth.
The connection between LED lighting and commercial growers of flowers and vegetables appear to be a perfect match. Whether in a greenhouse setting requiring supplemental light or an indoor setting relying completely on artificial light, electricity cost for horticultural lighting has been the major expense for farmers.
LED grow lights are very simple to install and typically have a 50,000-hour life span, with zero maintenance, which means you won't need to change lamps. Additionally, you don’t need to remove the waste heat generated from the ballast when growing with LEDs.
The initial cost of an LED grow light is considerably more than an HPS or MH grow light, but factoring in all of the benefits, LEDs are a better investment.
Check out the Grow Lights we have in stock:
- 50R20/PL | 120V | 50W | E26 Medium screw base | R20 shape | Reflector
- 60A19/PG | 120V | 60W | E26 Medium screw base | A19 shape
Can't find what you're looking for? Call 1-800-772-5267 and ask one of our sales people to help. No matter the kind of light bulb you're looking for, you're likely to find it at Bulb Direct.
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