If you are looking at growing any type of plants indoors, and your room is low in natural light, don’t be discouraged, technological advancements have made it possible for you to grow your favourite plants indoors even when you don’t have access to direct sunlight.
Artificial lighting is the perfect solution to help your plants in the photosynthesis journey. In fact, certain plants peace lily, pothos, and the marijuana plant can grow nicely in an artificially lighted environment.
What do plants need to grow?
Let us do a quick biology class. Plants don’t require a lot to grow. In fact, they are probably the only living thing on earth that can thrive with very little.
- The right temperature
Once you have all of these in their right proportions, there is not thing stopping your houseplants from growing and thriving.
The nutrients will obviously come from the soil where the seeds are planted, although you can also help the process along by investing in micronutrients or plant food.
Water is needed to keep the plants well moisture. The type of plant you want to grow will determine how often they need watering.
Your indoor atmosphere already contains carbon dioxide so that one will take care of itself.
Typically, the sun is meant to provide light, humidity and the right temperature, but where you can get enough natural light indoors, an artificial lighting system will fill those functions perfectly. Your artificial lighting will provide adequate light for the plants, in the right wavelengths. It will also control the humidity and temperature, giving the plants exactly what they need for photosynthesis and growth.
Types of Artificial Lights for houseplants
There are different ways you can go about this. If you intend to cultivate regular houseplants, you can use virtually any kind of light fixture as long as you choose the right kind of bulbs and place them where they will best benefit your plants.
For serious indoor plants, especially if you are looking at making money off them, you will need special artificial grow light kits that come with fixtures and reflectors. As there are tons of them to choose from, it can be difficult making the right choice, because surprise surprise, plants do burn. In order not to make a mistake, read grow light reviews at budsgrowguide.com before you buy.
That said, the three most common choices are:
These are by far the most economical choice to go for. They work well with most houseplants and are also easy to set up.
Fluorescent lights come in compact bulb (CFL) that screw into a regular light socket or tubes that go into their own custom fixture. Even though these type of lights are bright to the naked eyes, they are not too hot and so can be put quite close to the plants.
The key to buying fluorescent lights for houseplants is to go for the full spectrum types. These are lights that come in the mix of colours plants need to grow. Generic fluorescent lights are more of the blue spectrum variety which works well for foliage growth, but will not do enough for flowering and fruiting.
LED lights are energy-efficient, low heat emitting source of lights that are also ideal for your houseplants. The beauty with LED lights is that their energy efficiency means lower energy bills. Most LED lights have tiny light refractors built in to amplify the light so they don’t require ballasts.
Because LED lights are customisable, every bulb is different, so when buying LED lights for your indoor cultivation, be sure to get the ones that produce the needed wavelength for plants. In fact, rather than buy the general use LED lights you will find in any hardware store, look for LED grow lights, as these are specially designed to produce the wavelengths plants need.
LED lights are rather on the expensive side, but when you use them for your houseplants, you will realise that the initial cost is nothing compared to its effectiveness.
Horticultural grow lights
These are lights specifically designed for indoor plants cultivation. They are tube-like and can fit perfectly in the regular fluorescent light fixtures.
Horticultural grow lights come with the full spectrum of wavelengths for indoor cultivation of any kind of houseplant and are ideal for propagating hybrids or growing plants from seeds.
Which is the best artificial light for growing plants indoors?
Even though you have a wide range of options to choose from, there is actually no right option when it comes to choosing artificial lighting for your houseplants. Each option has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, your choice will depend on your budget, the type of plants you want to cultivate, and your indoor space.