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A Look at HID Lights for Growing and Alternatives: Incandescent, Fluorescent and LED

People who grow plants indoors have been using HID lights for growing for many years. An issue with these grow lights is that they are not very energy efficient. There exist other options that can be just as effective, and don’t consume as much energy. Incandescent, Fluorescent, and LED grow lights are other choices you have, but you should know what they’re all about first.

LED Grow Lights

The first thing to say about LED grow lights is that they have a hyped reputation. But if you acquire the right product, after proper research, they have great potential. These grow lights are effective, because every amount of light produced, across different spectra, is used by plants for photosynthesis. Also, they consume the least energy of all lighting options, and they can last up to 100 thousand hours.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

If you buy these bulbs, you should look for them as T5 fluorescent grow lights. They can be easily confused with T12 bulbs, which are those commonly used in offices. Because they have high brightness levels (75 to 90 lumen per watt), they can grow healthy plants. Often they are used to grow seedlings and low-light plants, and they consume little electricity as well.

Compact fluorescent grow lights are a smaller version of T5 bulbs. They are more effective if used in smaller spaces, but they perform as good as their larger counterpart. Expect to find more information on fluorescent bulbs than LED, because they’re more popular and have been used for a longer period of time.

Incandescent Grow Lights

Incandescent bulbs provide a low quality lighting setting for plants. They are not fit to grow healthy plants, because their brightness level is so low it can maybe be used as supplemental lighting. They are the least expensive of all grow lights, but they’re also the least energy efficient.

We recommend looking into fluorescent grow lights if you’re just starting with indoor growing. There is far more information on how to use them than LED grow lights. Besides, you should only consider LED if you’re willing to experiment, research and tweak to get optimum results. There is a lot of promise in LED grow lights, but also more work to be done on the side of the user.

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