Greenhouse lights offer your growing plants with indoor lights that are equivalent to sunlight. The hobby gardeners with a passion to grow flowers, fruits, veggies and herbs can enjoy fresh supply of them all year-round. Greenhouse Lights is a great way for an early start to seedlings probably months ahead of the last frost.
There are mainly four basic types of greenhouse lights available: incandescent, high intensity discharge (HID), fluorescent and light emitting diode (LED) lights.
Incandescent lights are inexpensive lights and they do not require ballasts. However, they generally do not provide sufficient lights for greenhouse applications. Incandescent light bulbs are small lamps that provide enough light for reading and not serve much as a greenhouse lights. However, you can use them in wall fixtures to light greenhouse doorways. It is available in 75 and 150 watt and can be used to provide supplemental light to single plants. However, they produce substantial heat, so do not place them very close to foliage.
2. High Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID lights are categorized into two types, namely, high pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps. These greenhouse lights resemble large incandescent lamps. These are very high wattage lamps that produce lights in the red and blue spectrums. This spectrum is very beneficial in various stages of plant growth.
High Pressure Sodium Lamps are considered best for providing supplemental greenhouse lights. The red/orange spectrum light is useful in promoting flowering/budding in plants. Metal halide lamps are used as the primary light source for plants. It produces blue spectrum light that is helpful for plants’ advanced growth.
The three disadvantages in using these greenhouse lights are – requirement of large heavy ballasts, produces substantial heat and expensive. Normally, these ballasts come separate from the reflectors and unnecessarily accommodate considerable space in your greenhouse. They produce extensive amount of heat so they are placed at a substantial distance i.e. 30-36 inches above plants. This deprives the plants with enough lights affecting its growth. These lights are more expensive to operate than other greenhouse lights options.
The Traditional T12 and T8 fluorescent fixtures are not powerful enough to light an area more than 8″ – 10″ below the bulb. Fluorescent greenhouse lights works best for starts and seedlings but not for growing and budding, because of low lumen output. But with the arrival of T5 lights that are three times better than its traditional counterparts can run in warm and cool spectrums, offering worthy alternative for greenhouse lights. This new fluorescent light provides higher light efficiency with low heat as it comes with light weight self contained ballasts.
4. Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED technology is the newest type in greenhouse lights. There are many advantages of using LED lights. It comes small in size, just few inches in diameter that can easily be mounted. It is light weighted, probably just a fraction compared to other lights and easy to configure where needed. Additionally, it produces very little or no heat and suitable for prolonged use. LED lights consume up to 80% less energy compared to HID lights and up to 30% less than fluorescents lights.
LED grow lights maximize blue and red light to provide an excellent balance for plants. It produces no other light except that which promotes photosynthesis in plants. For some greenhouses, LED greenhouse lights are only practical and ideal option. Due to its light weight and small size it can accommodate into any greenhouse structure. This new advancement in greenhouse lights is making a move as many growers are opting LEDs.
With these many varieties of greenhouse lights you can easily select one suitable for your greenhouse and start growing. Remember proper lights will offer lush growth.