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Let It Shine: The Importance of Grow Lights

When growing your own hydroponic garden, lighting is an absolute necessity.  If you’re new to hydroponic gardens, hydroponic systems use solution, not soil.  Plants are grown in a nutrient-rich solution of water that conserves water, soil, and space.  This means that gardens can grow indoors, in controlled environments such as portable grow rooms, and year-round.  Grow light is necessary for hydroponics to work optimally.

To understand lighting and the impact it makes, one must understand what fuels a plant’s growth.  Photosynthesis is a process that must happen.  Plants use sunlight to make food from carbon dioxide and water.  The light captured by the green plant is converted into oxygen and organic matter.

If we’re growing plants inside a controlled greenhouse or inside a warehouse, where is our sunlight going to come from?  How will the plants get the light they need?

This is where growing accessories come into play and specifically LED hydroponic grow lighting.  Hydroponic supply companies like Monster Gardens sell a variety of lighting solutions that can be a game-changer with your hydroponic gardening.  

How do I know what type of lighting to purchase?

The grow lights needed depend on a few things.  First, what type of room/setting are you growing your hydroponic garden in?  How much light reaches that room?  What is the temperature like in that room?  These are your controls.  You need to know the specifics about where you are growing your garden.  Second, you need to know about the plants you are growing.  How much lighting is appropriate for those plants?  Do they need around-the-clock light or partial light?  How many hours per day do they need to absorb light?  Once you’ve answered these questions, you can look at the various choices of lights.

Remember that light is measured differently than other things.  Often, it’s measured by its heat or the units of energy.  This is often either in watts or Lumens.  Watts is typically the most common unit of measurement. Lumens speaks to the brightness of a light.

Types of Grow Lighting

Hydroponics has come a long way from its beginnings and offers such a variety of supplies.  You can purchase fluorescent lighting, reflectors and hoods, LED grow lights, LEC/CMH lighting, and more.  Each type of lighting is geared toward a different impact/effect on your plants.

Fluorescent Lighting

This lighting is popular because it’s more economical.  Additionally, this lighting does not put off heating, so the risk of burning a plant is slim to none.  However, the flip side of that is that, because no heat is put off, the light does not impact more than the outer layers of the plant.

LED Lighting

These are more expensive on the cost scale; however, they have some pretty great positives.  LED lighting can work with virtually any plant because it has the ability to cover all of the colors in the color spectrum.  Additionally, LED lights last longer and they are very energy efficient.  Many would argue that LED lights (particularly Luxx lighting) are the best choice for hydroponic grow lights due to their longevity and ease of use.

LEC/CMH Grow Lighting

This lighting uses ceramic metal halide lights.  Basically, they are similar to high-pressure sodium lights.  They give off UV-B rays that come close to resembling the sun.  They last for a long time and are very energy efficient.  They can also reach really high temperatures that most other lights cannot.  They give off a natural color.  Remember that because they can operate like the sun, it’s imperative that you know your plants’ needs well so that you do not burn them.

I have merely mentioned three lighting choices sold by Monster Gardens.  Monster Gardens offers many more grow lighting accessories and options for your hydroponic garden.  Whether you’re a commercial grower or you’re in it for fun, you can find the right lighting and accessory options for you.  If you’re a novice or struggling to know which way to go, they are the experts and can provide their professional opinion to steer you in the right direction of hydroponic growing success.