Grow Lights and Indoor Gardens

Posted on: April 11th, 2012 by Glen No Comments

Think of the benefits of growing your own fresh vegetable, herbs, salad greens or beautiful flowers all year long. There are many different types of  indoor plant-growing systems available on the market today. Be sure to address the seven limiting factors for good plant growth. Indoor gardens must have water, food, light, temperature, humidity, air circulation and CO2 controls to produce healthy plants.

Lighting

Different color lighting helps your plants grow tall, bloom and set fruit. Bluish colored lights are good for growing green leafy plants. Reddish color bulbs tend to grow tall shinny plants. The yellow-orange color bulbs tricks the plants into think that fall is coming, which stimulates flower or fruit production. The length of time for preferred lighting must also be considered: short-day, long-day or day-neutral.

Fluorescent grow lights are the least expensive and offer a broad choice of sizes and color bulbs. There are newer, compact fluorescent light (CFL), high-efficiency electronic ballast t-8, and high-output t-5 bulbs  They all offer color ranges from 2700k to 6500k to meet your plants requirements. The full-spectrum bulbs are the best for most general applications.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) is used mainly by commercial growers and serious horticulturalists. HID lighting is a cost-efficient way to convert electricity into light. There are three main types of HID grow lights that are used for horticultural lighting.  They include metal halide, high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor bulb.

LED lighting will save you even more money. LED offers photosynthesis-efficient light spectrum that can achieve 90% or better efficiency. There is up to 75% energy savings over HID lighting cost, plus reduction in heat exhaust and cooling fans requirements.

Water and Ventilation Systems

You can manually water your plants one at a time or jump to full-blown hydroponics and everything in between.

Remember to provide adequate ventilation and temperature controls for your plants. The web is full of advice and tips for your indoor growing adventures.

Electricians can provide the proper wire size and location of the electrical outlets for the lights, pumps and ventilation to prevent future electrical problems. GFCI protection of all receptacles near any wet area is required for your safety. Contact your local electrical contractor regarding the electrical safety of your installation.

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