Indoor gardening has gotten immensely easier thanks to the introduction of full-spectrum LED grow lights. These are the best grow lights that allow you to develop plants inside. The lights mimic the impact of natural sunlight, which stimulates photosynthesis and provides an ideal color spectrum, allowing the plants to thrive.

However, you want to make sure you get the right light for the type of plants you want to grow, so there are certain characteristics you want to keep an eye out for.


Should I Buy Bulbs or a New Light Fixture

You may already have grow lights for indoor plants. As a result, you may wonder if you need to buy a completely new set-up or if you can get by with new bulbs. No matter what, it is paramount to select grow lights that are full spectrum. Plants depend on various wavelengths of light so that they can grow to their fullest potential.

Naturally, it will be the more affordable option to simply purchase new bulbs. All you have to do is buy the bulbs and replace them with the ones you currently have. Purchasing grow light fixtures will cost more money, but you will receive a more holistic approach.

Just one fixture will provide illumination for several plants, which disperses light evenly throughout the indoor garden. A fixture will be better capable of providing that full-spectrum light than just a single bulb. If you want the best results possible, then it is worth the investment to buy the full system.


Use the Best Color Light for Plant Growth

Before buying any new lights, you need to fully understand what plant you intend to grow indoors. This involves understanding that when you have a violet-blue light that exists in the 400 to 520-nanometer range, it encourages growth, photosynthesis, and chlorophyll absorption. Meanwhile, red light between the 610 and 720 spectrum range helps plants with budding and flowering.

All of this is critical to a plant’s health, which is why you need full spectrum grow lights. They will provide the full spectrum of light between 400 and 720 nanometers. The only way you will get this is with LED lights, which further benefit you because they are more energy-efficient.


Determine Whether You Need LED, Fluorescent, or Incandescent Light

When you purchase a grow light, you almost always want to go with the LED variety. It is the latest technology available in the marketplace. They are extremely energy-efficient, and they provide a low heat output. However, you will also find fluorescent and incandescent bulbs to choose from.

Incandescent bulbs are the least expensive bulbs you will find. However, they are the least energy-efficient out of the bunch. They provide a high heat output, so you need to be careful your plants do not become damaged. Fluorescent bulbs are more energy-efficient, but they tend to be far more expensive. Growing plants inside is a delicate matter, so make sure you purchase the perfect LED bulbs for the job.



How Long Should I Leave the Grow Light on?

Different plants will require different quantities of light. The general rule of thumb you want to follow is that most flowering plants and vegetables will require between 12 and 16 hours of light every day. You typically want to provide plants with a minimum of eight hours of darkness daily.

While it seems counterintuitive, darkness is critical in a plant’s development. Plants produce energy during the day, but at night, they break down this energy to flower and grow through a process known as respiration.

If you have any questions about what is best for your plants, then you should check the tags and packaging to see if there are any tips. Above all else, you do not want to leave the lights on for 24 hours a day. It can be worth it to invest in a timer so that your LED lights shut off automatically at certain points in the day. That way, even if you have to be away from home for a while, your plants get the rest they sorely need.


Grow Lights Need a Good Warranty

As you look at LED lights, you should find a warranty they come with. Most of these lights should last for a minimum of ten years with regular usage. Therefore, you should buy lights with a ten-year warranty. In the event you find a product with a lower warranty than that, you need to be wary.

Minimal warranties are usually a sign that the lights are inferior quality. They are made out of cheaper materials, so the manufacturer expects them to break down sooner. You also want to check to see if your LED lights come with a guarantee on the light’s parts. In the event a single component has broken down, you may be able to retain the lights while sending the broken part in for replacement.


Set Up the Proper Growing Area

To ensure your lights work at maximum efficiency, you want to set up a proper indoor garden. To best set up the space, you first want to consider your interior garden plot. Whether this is an entire room or a single shelf, you need to plan accordingly. Next, you need to consider the type of plant you want to grow. You should allow between four and eight inches between each try or pot to ensure each plant has room to develop.

Once you have all of this figured out, you are ready to buy sufficient lighting. You want lights that will illuminate the entire area. A single bulb may be able to light up a shelf, but if you want to transform your basement into a garden, then you will likely need more intensive lighting to keep everything in good shape.

Place the Grow Lights at the Right Angle

Ideally, you want to place lights over the pots or plant beds. This is the best arrangement because it most closely resembles the placement of natural sunlight coming in from overhead. It also ensures that all leaves and sides of the plant receive light. Since LED lights have a low heat signature, you can place them between six and 12 inches above the plants.

However, you may need several different lights placed at different angles and heights to ensure your plants get all of the nutrients they need. Again, you need to consult with the specific type of plant you own to see what placement would be ideal. As the plants mature and start to bloom, you may also need to adjust the height to compensate.


Buy the Right Lights Well Ahead of Time

You do not want to get your indoor garden all set up only to realize you have forgotten to buy the right lights. The bulbs you have in the room already likely will not do you any good, so do not leave your plants’ health up to chance.

There are plenty of great grow lights out there, but light is not the only thing your plant will need. You also need to make sure you have the best soil, which means you need to purchase Premium Soil Conditioner from Harvest Gold Organics. Contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help your garden thrive.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/nikkytok

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