Indoor gardening is an attractive option for city dwellers who lack a good gardening space or when winter makes outdoor gardening impossible. It has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, and it's all due to advancements in plant lighting. LED grow lights for hydroponics are good indication of just how far we have come. They use less energy, produce less heat and last for much longer compared to other lighting alternatives. Be that as it may, LED lights can be quite costly, so ensure that you get the most out of them. If you're interested in LED grow lights for indoor gardening or hydroponics, here are some tips to optimize their use.
Consider your growth space.
Base the size and number of LED grow light units you purchase on the size of your growth space. Getting very few LED lights will limit your crop yield, since they won't be able to provide enough light for the plants. On the other hand, going past what is required for your growing space will mean incurring extra costs for no reason. A good rule of thumb is is using 16-25 watts of power per square foot of growing space, depending on the types of plants you grow. For instance, if your growth space for high light plants is 4 feet, purchase LED lights that will amount to 100 watts of power output.
Customize your LED grow light to fit your plant's needs.
Plants need different types of light at different points in their life cycle. Light that taps into the far end of the blue spectrum (cool light) is ideal for bushy, compact growth. Light rich in red hues triggers a hormone response that is necessary during flowering. LED grow lights, unlike many others, are able to emit both kinds of light. Purchase programmable lights or use light filters to make sure more cool light reaches the plants during their growing phase then switch to red light when the flowering season arrives. This will enhance plant growth and blooming to give better crop yields.
Consider the crop types you're interested in.
Different crops have different light needs. LED lights are most effective for vegetative plants such as lettuce and basil that don't flower. They are also the preferred option when growing plants that are heat sensitive, since they don't emit a lot of heat like incandescent lights. Additionally, select LED lights with a higher wattage when growing sun-loving perennial plants such as purple cornflower. The converse is true for shade plants like heuchera. This will all go a long way in maximizing the effectiveness of your grow lights.