Love growing plants but don’t have a garden of your own? It requires a lot of time, effort and proper maintenance in order to grow plants in a home. They need the right amount of sunlight and water to keep getting nourished. But if you are in a hurry and do not have enough space to keep your potted friends, grow lights provide you with the ease you crave. With the help of grow lights, you can easily grow your plant indoors. These lights replace the need for sunlight and space and come in a variety of different sets to choose from. They offer a great alternative during winters when you can nurture your succulents’ right inside your room.
You might have a door or window which allows enough sunlight to enter. However, during winters, the days are shorter and hence the need to keep your plants nourished comes without saying. Grow lights help in nourishing your plants even at night. They are a good option for your indoor succulents and you no longer have to depend on the sun to shine. Your plants need enough sunlight to maintain their shape and color, or else they can dry out and fall. Winters may result in your plants getting stretched out because of the drastic weather change and lower time span of light. To keep your plants happy and healthy by all means, grow lights play a major role. They can even brighten the day with the amount of light they emit.
The availability of grow lights however, is not just enough to maintain your plants. You would also need to keep in mind the type of grow light to buy, what color should the light be, what distance the grow light should be kept away from the plant, and several other factors. You want your grow lights to be efficient and cheap for regular usage. They do not wear and tear that easily and can be used for long hours. A basic grow light should have,
- Fluorescent CFLs or T5/T8 bulbs
- Daylight ‘spectrum’ light with a preferable color temperature of 6500K
- 6-12” away from the plant, only in case of fluorescents
- Number of lights in accordance to the number of plants; one for each
You might have some confusion regarding red or blue lights for your succulents. The 6500K variant is generally a blue light, resembling broad daylight and would be ideal for your plants. If you need your succulents to blossom under the grow lights, a 3000K red light variant would be apt for this purpose. The amount of light a plant gets also plays a vital role in its growth. Placing the grow lights above the plant would be the ideal decision, however this might not be the same cases for potted plants kept in small rooms. The basic idea would be to get a grow light which matches the height and space acquired by the plant. One grow light is more than enough for one succulent.
Apart from the basic types, grow lights can also come in the following different variations,
- HID Plant Grow Lights – These high-intensity discharge (HID) lights are the brightest of the lot and provide twice as more light than fluorescent lights. Their ceramic built offers different colors according to the way they are made. They can be used anywhere in your home or garage to help your plants grow. They can be used on a basic 120-volt household current. However, they need proper fixtures to suit the same.
- High-Intensity Fluorescent Grow Lights – These provide for an excellent alternative to HID lights. They are less expensive and provide cool and warm balls, ideal for the same ballast. No special fixtures are required to use this kind of light.
Your fluorescent lights would be the most cost-efficient choice for your homes. The light emitted is however limited so it is a good option as long as you wish to supply light to your plants, and not replace it with natural light. Their blue, red and full-spectrum variant are their most availed options. The cool lights have a blue cast whereas the warm cast emit a rather pink or red light. The full-spectrum cast emits a color very similar to daylight. They might be a little more expensive than colored lights, but they save your plants the trouble of getting discolored. The full-spectrum fluorescent light keeps your plant compact and growing, without any distortions in shape, color or size. The fluorescent tubes emit less light from the ends than the center. Shorter plants should be kept within 3 inches of the fluorescent tube to receive maximum exposure from the center of the tube than from its sides. These lights last long and should be replaced within 18 months of their purchase.
Having decided the type of light you need, you would need to determine the exact amount and space your succulent requires for its proper growth. Each square foot should have 20 to 40 watts. The wattage of your bulb should be divided by 20, first and then 40 to give you an approximate of the space you need for your plants. This would be your ideal light intensity range. Once you finalize your setup, you can observe the way your plants grow. Their speed would determine the amount of light they actually need and if there is a need to increase or decrease the light to facilitate further growth. This does not mean changing the bulb but actually moving your plant closer or far, to make the right amount of light fall on it by not compromising on its health. The measurements are necessary for you to start your own indoor harvest. This would be good practice for you to welcome your new friends and give them the right kind of nourishment to flower into something more beautiful. You can start putting seeds once all these fixtures are taken care of, and slowly wait for your succulents to grow and show you results in no time.