© 2014 by MidTN Hydroponics & Gardening

Lighting

 

 

Proper lighting is the most important item in indoor gardening. Adequate light is the key to photosynthesis. Without adequate lighting, plants grow weakly, are leggy, and may even die. Our eyes automatically adjust to varying light conditions, so what seems like bright lighting can be useless for plant growth. Natural sunlight is ideal for plant growth. For indoor gardening it is up to the gardener to supply the proper color spectrum of light in adequate quantities, to replace the natural sunlight. 
 
There are many choices for lighting, but the two most commonly used types of lighting include HID and Fluorescents. The most important thing to know about grow lights is which one to use based on your plant. Our experienced staff understands grow lights and the effects certain one's will have on your garden. Come in or call today to discuss your lighting situation with us. You can also visit our Lighting FAQ's page for more info.

 

Grow-light Seasons

 

In nature, plants of all kinds have their own seasons. The cycle of seasons is the clock plants use to sprout, bloom, produce fruits, and move into dormancy, or the end of their life cycle. All of this is triggered by changes throughout the year in several areas. The indoor and hydroponic gardener can simulate many of these changes to produce artificial seasons and fool plants into coming to maturity outside the normal seasons. 
 
~ Length of Day: Much of the cycle of plant life is determined by the length of the day, with vigorous growth occurring during the lengthening days of the spring, and continuing into the long periods of daylight in the summer. Then, as the days shorten and fall days begin, plants shift into flowering and fruiting mode. Finally, wintertime brings dormancy or death to most plants. Its a built-in clock in every plant. Different plants run on different schedules, but its all tied to the length of daylight hours. Indoor and hydroponic gardeners can use timers to supply any amount of light on any schedule that is needed to produce the desired results. This allows the creation of artificial seasons that can help produce plant maturity whenever desired.
 
~ Length of Day: Much of the cycle of plant life is determined by the length of the day, with vigorous growth occurring during the lengthening days of the spring, and continuing into the long periods of daylight in the summer. Then, as the days shorten and fall days begin, plants shift into flowering and fruiting mode. Finally, wintertime brings dormancy or death to most plants. Its a built-in clock in every plant. Different plants run on different schedules, but its all tied to the length of daylight hours. Indoor and hydroponic gardeners can use timers to supply any amount of light on any schedule that is needed

 

The Rules of Lighting

 

Grow lights are a vital part to the success of your indoor gardening. What many indoor gardeners fail to realize is that there are rules that must be followed to ensure a successful harvest. Below are some helpful rules when it comes to using grow lights. Always be sure to read the instructions that come with your grow lights.  
 
The most important thing to know about grow lights are which ones to use based on your plant. Our experienced staff understands grow lights and the effects certain ones will have on your garden. Come in or call today to discuss you lighting situation with us.
 
 
Rules and Guidelines
~ Choose The Right Light: When choosing a light source, the requirements of the plant you are growing is important. Most vegetables, herbs and flowering plants require high levels of light, while some tropical plants, including orchids and African violets, will thrive at lower light levels.
 
~ Have Enough Light: The biggest mistake people make when purchasing grow lights is not getting enough light. It is always possible to reduce the level of light by moving the light farther away, but its not possible to add light by moving the lamp closer, since the coverage area decreases.

 
~ Maintain the Proper Distance: Fluorescent lights need to be 1 to 4 inches from the plants. High intensity discharge lights should be 1 to 3 feet from the plant. And make sure you change your bulbs on a regular basis. Fluorescent and HID bulbs will last about 15,000 hours, but they lose 25%-35% of their intensity.