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HomeHydroponic Indoor Growing

Hydroponic Gardening: 7 Grow Lights You Need to Know

grow lights

Hydroponic Gardening: 7 Grow Lights You Need to Know

Are you a current hydroponic expert? Or are you a beginner trying to learn the basics?

Either way, grow lights are a crucial part of your hydroponic growing and decision-making. It is a scientific fact that lighting is a must have for growing anything. This is especially crucial when that something is grown indoors away from natural light. 

Which grow light is right for you? Which will give you the best growing power for your indoor garden? Hydroponic plant growing depends on a lighting system. That system is then tailored to your plant's needs. From LEDs to fluorescents, there are many options available.

Here are seven different types of these special lights. We'll also tell you what makes them tick, and break down each of them to help you choose.

HPS Grow Lights

HPS, or high pressure sodium bulbs, are well-known in the hydroponic grower industry. These lights are a long cylinder-shaped light that emits orange light towards your plants and are great for all plant types. 

HPS lights are used primarily for flowering plants. This is because the yields are higher when using this type of bulb.

The orange light and type of emission has been proven to create higher yields during the flowering stage. HPS lights can be used in conjunction with other types of lighting systems. This leads to better growth. 

Although HPS lights are relatively inexpensive to purchase, they require a great deal of energy to work.

This creates a higher energy bill for you in the long run. Overall, HPS lighting systems are great lights for all types of indoor growth. This is especially true for flowering plants. 

MH Grow Lights

MH or metal halide bulbs imitate the suns's natural lighting by using wavelengths of light in the blue and white spectrum. These bulbs are best used during the growth phase of your plants. However, they can be used for the entire life cycle. 

These lights are also cylinder-shaped, yet differ from HPS lights in their emission. This light mimics the sun and does not warm as high as HPS. 

Although your flowering plants can reach flowering stage with MH lights, they may not yield as much as they would with a warmer light such as HPS. MH lights are also inexpensive, but require higher amounts of energy. 

Fluorescent Lighting

This type of grow light is now making headway in the industry.

Fluorescent lighting uses multiple tubes of light that emit cool blue light. Due to the size of these types of lights, they are able to give off a wider angle. This makes them perfect for larger areas of growth. 

These grow lights have the ballast included within them, which is a big plus. 

Compact Fluorescent Lighting

Fluorescent lighting is also available in compact. This is great for smaller rooms or smaller areas of growth. This type also includes a ballast, which cuts down on overall cost. 

These lights, including large fluorescent and compact, are less expensive to run. This is due to the low amount of energy required to run them. However, the lights do not emit enough light to help flowering plants reach completion. 

LED Grow Lights

LED lights are relatively new to indoor growing, however are growing in popularity for good reason. These lights have endless opportunities for all stages of a plant's life cycle. 

LED lights have a higher initial cost than the other options of lights.

However, they will last for years, differing from the other types that may not last past one season. LED lights are very cost-effective after purchase. This is due to their very low energy need and emission. 

LED lights emit less heat than traditional bulbs. This makes this a great option for compact growing rooms or areas. 

These lights can be purchased in all different types. This make them great for each section of a plant's life cycle and beyond. Since they do not need replaced each year, you are able to plant and replant quicker. 

RGB LED Lights

These lights are multi-colored LED lights that mix primary colors to offer a fuller spectrum of light.

These lights are also cost-effective due to their ability to be used throughout the plant's life cycle thanks to their unique mixing ability. 

RGB LED lights create a better option for longer growth. You do not have to change your bulbs throughout the growing season and the yield can still be large. 

Like regular LED bulbs, RGB are also more expensive in the beginning, but will save you money throughout each season. 

Sulphur Plasma Grow Lights

Once again, these lights are new to the indoor growing industry. However, they are being used frequently. The best thing about sulphur plasma is the ability to simulate different wattage for each area of growth. 

Sulphur plasma lights allow you to place them in large rooms or small rooms and change the wattage as necessary. These are also great for all different kinds of plants. This is due to their ability to customize the emitted light.

It is rumored that these lights can simulate natural light like never before. Not much is yet known about sulphur plasma light's ability to grow continuously. However, they are on the market and have a bright future for indoor growing in high capacity.

The Takeaway

Overall, if you are looking for bulbs with lower initial cost, HPS and MH lights may be great for your indoor growth needs.

However, if you are looking for lights with lower overall energy costs, LED and fluorescent lighting should be an option to look into. 

These lights are a crucial part of the hydroponics equipment set up and success. Although the options are many, it is easy to see the differences.

You should choose a light that works best for the plant you are attempting to grow. You should also choose a light that works best for your planting area. You should also remember your budget and what works best. 

Grow lights are available from many different places offering many different options. Hopefully now, you are aware of some of the best options for indoor plant growth to increase your yields and save you some money in the end. 

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