Introduction to Hydroponic Lighting
In this article, we’re going to go over the different types of hydroponic lighting and discuss the benefits of each. Lighting is, of course, very important to the growth and nutrition of your plants.
Without lights, your plants would not be will to grow and would eventually wither away and die. While this may seem obvious, it can be surprising how little attention some novice growers pay to the types of lights they use.
Impact of Light on Plants
Like animals and humans, plants respond to light in different ways. The response is reliant upon the type of ultraviolet light and wavelength. For the most part, the use of l to cultivate plants carry the following perks:
You may have heard or read about starting seeds in complete darkness. In contrast, light promotes faster germination. Wait, what?
If so, it contradicts the usual practice of keeping seeds away from light while they await germination. The truth is that the light strengthens the newly germinated plants, giving them the chance to prepare for sunlight exposure once they mature.
Improved Flower Quality and Higher Potency
Multiple studies confirm that light helps plants improve the production of flavonoids and terpenes. One of those studies found out that using grow lights without UV in cultivating tomatoes resulted in large fruits but with a bland taste.
Furthermore, ultraviolet light increases oil production and resins in plants, translating to higher flower yield. By increasing root mass and branching, there’s an improvement in the plant’s ability to carry heavier fruit weight.
Better Resistance to Both Disease and Stress
Plants develop increased resistance to disease and stress when exposed to both ends of the light spectrum. The lighting systems triggers more than ten different types of defence proteins, which work like antibodies. Wavelengths under 300 nm are potent enough to kill microorganisms that bring disease in plants.
The constant exposure to light helps build resistance against bacteria and fungus, plus it keeps insects away. The types of lights we will discuss have been around for a long time and are the most economical bulbs to run your operation. One main advantage to allthese lighting systems is they run cool and could be placed very close to the top of your plants with no fear of overexposing.
Types of Hydroponic Lighting
T5 Lighting System
One of the latest improvements is the introduction of the T5 article bulb system. You will find more than a dozen variations in size and dimensions. The ‘T’ in the T5 indicates the bulb is tubular shaped while the ‘5’ means that it is five eights of an inch in diameter.
There are usually two lengths that the bulb can be found in. They are 2 feet or 4 feet in length. In addition, there are various fixture sizes anywhere from 1 to 12 lighting tubes. This offers a lot of flexibility once you calculate your growing space.
One other major advantage of a T5 tube is they have a wide variety of different colour temperatures. Choosing a bulb that delivers 65,000 Kelvin is a good starting point for plants that are in the growth phase. For mature flowering plants, bulbs that offer 3,000 Kelvin are more suitable.
Hight Intensity Discharge (HID) Lighting System
These are systems that come with much larger balls than other available lighting systems. These work with gas being united inside the bulb. This is done using electrodes that sit close together and when the current passes through them, the gas is ignited. This type of bulb is usually available in two types but there is a third hybrid system, although less common. Metal Halide: These burn gas that produces a bluer light. This is beneficial for the vegetative stage of a plants growth cycle.
High-Pressure Sodium: This bulb type produces light that sits toward the reddish end of the spectrum and is much better for plants that have reached their flowering stage.
Light-emitting Diode (LED) Lighting System
Everybody knows what LED lights are. They have been around for some time as households have gradually switched over to them as they are more energy efficient. However, they are still relatively new in the hydroponics world. Although they are still relatively expensive compared to other lighting systems, they do come with a couple of benefits over other lighting systems. However, thankfully, as they gain more popularity, the prices continue to fall.
Alternative Lighting Systems
Although the above lighting systems are the primary ones used, there are also some alternatives that you can use, but we cautioned that you should do your research before purchasing. Introduction Lighting System These are basically new versions of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and the way they operate is pretty technical. They ignite a gas compound that is generated by magnets, and because of this, there is no igniter. The light is generated inside a sealed tube. Because of the way the light is created, it produces less heat. This gives them thermal range of 100, 000 hours, which is above any other system. In fact, amazing, these lights can last for over 15 years.
Double-ended Lighting System
This type of lighting is relatively new and is a form of HID. It follows the HPS bulb, but then rather than being a single basket socket is double-ended to which connects to the basket lists to both ends. This type of lighting also has a longer lifespan than other variants and is more efficient, although it also runs hotter so you can’t place it as close to the plant.
A Comprehensive Vision on Hydroponic Lighting
As you can see by this article, not all lights are created equal. Each lighting system comes with its own benefits and its own unique downsides. Whatever you do, you should ask other growers and do your research before making a purchase.
Keep in mind, there are countless variables to consider when purchasing a light, including how much space you have and the type of plant you wish to grow. If you understand the impact light has on your plants, you can choose the best system for your budget