Grow lights are useful, but you gotta be careful!

Plants love the sunlight – it’s how they eat, grow, and get energy. The amount of sunlight a plant gets can have a big effect on how much the plant can grow, and how heavy their yields are. Growers have tried to better use and understand how light affects their grow; either with greenhouses or indoor grow rooms, which rely on special grow lights to simulate sunlight. Though greenhouses generally capture enough natural light to ensure a strong grow, there can come times when they need to supplement the interior with grow lights as well, and this is where things can get complicated.

Plants in sun

If your greenhouse isn’t getting the light you need, it’s fine to supplement it. Here are the top 4 problems growers run into when using grow lights:

Bad lighting for plants

The wrong light: Light has a wide spectrum of colors, and the reasons plants love sunlight is that they use the red and blue light it emits for photosynthesis. Manufactured bulbs all emit different waves at different strengths – sodium lights are bright, but if they're not produced specifically for growing, will emit yellow waves that are unusable by plants. Incandescent bulbs do emit more waves that plants can use, but they also emit heat, which can harm young sprouts. The best lights for growing are metal halide and fluorescents, both emit waves the plants can use, stay cool, and are energy efficient.

Uneven lighting

Uneven lighting: Different plants have different light needs, but wherever they are they should all get light. The basic rule for greenhouse lighting is that it should provide 20 to 40 watts of light per square foot, spread evenly. That light must be able to reach all the leaves for everything in the greenhouse; plants that are too close together will have some leaves that are shaded all the time. This results in only part of the grow being able to grow well, while others are stunted.

Not enough light for this plant!

Not enough light: If you notice a plant that appears to be stretching upwards as it grows, it’s usually looking for more light. These plants often become spindly, using its energy to strengthen the stems instead of leaves or flowers. To fix this problem, make sure the wattage is high enough on your lamps, and that the lights are close enough to the grow.

Too much light

Too much light: Having too much of a good thing can seriously compromise the health of your grow. Plants have a set schedule - they use light and water to make starches and oxygen during the day, and at night, the plant converts those starches to sugars and stores them. Some growers choose to leave the lights on around the clock to spur fast growth, which can result in a plant becoming pale, and in some cases sunburned. Plants need a period of at least 8 hours of darkness to maintain their health and grow efficiently.

Genesis HPS Bulb

Another thing to consider is the quality of the lights you’re purchasing. Genesis HPS Bulbs are one of the best choices for greenhouse, as well as indoor grow, lighting. Considered the standard for high performance grow lights, each bulb is painstakingly inspected in the factory and tested to ensure quality performance and longevity. Genesis HPS Bulbs are ideal for indoor growing and greenhouse applications, delivering 27% more energy in the blue and red spectrum than competitor brands for superior performance and best-in-class yields. Genesis HPS Bulbs also secure 19% more spectral energy than the leading competitor brands. This improves the photosynthetic response of the plant greatly, resulting in rapid growth and better yields

Greenhouse with lights on

Now that you’ve seen the light, it’s time to get growing!

Have a hydroponic or garden supply store? Left Coast Wholesale has you covered with wholesale pricing available on Genesis HPS Bulbs. If you’re looking for Genesis HPS Bulbs near you, call 800.681.1757 today to find a local Genesis HPS Bulbs retailer!

 

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