Choosing an indoor hydroponic grow light

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A grow light will most likely be needed if you are growing plants indoors. For this you basically have 3 choices: high intensity lights (HID) of either metal halide or sodium vapor, LED and flourescents (don't even think about incandescent lighting). HID lighting systems provide enough intensity to grow healthy plants but are very expensive to operate. grow light,plant lights

Due to their design they also require a ballast to work. They are 'hands down' the best lighting you could use, that is, if you can afford to buy and operate them.

Another type of lighting to consider are LED lights. They emit lighting in all spectrums, are cool to run and use almost no energy. But...and there is always a 'but', they are extremely expensive because they are new.

That leaves flourescents. They are cheap and relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of HID's and they come in bulbs which emit different wavelengths for different plant growing stages.

Sounds perfect, doesn't it? Their one drawback is that light intensity decreases extremely fast as you move away from the bulb so they should be placed just inches from the tops of your plants. A plant at 3 inches from the light for instance will only receive a fraction of the light intensity it would receive at 1 inch. Flourescents also discharge light intensity straight down so a few inches off center will show a drastic decrease in intensity.

But, I personally feel they are the best option available at this time. To compensate for the decreased intensity at different spots in the garden you can place reflectors around your plants made of aluminum to 'beef up' the intensity and the lights can be placed on automated movable tracks to more evenly distribute light discharge through your garden.


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