How To Choose The Right Lighting For Your Setup
Hi, it's Shiran from Aqua Gardening.
In this video I’m going to describe to you what grow light kits are and what options there are for boosting your plants growth outside, or in a completed indoor growing environment.
Plants need ample light to thrive. In an outdoor garden, plants receive light from the Sun for around 12 hours a day.
In winter it’s even less. Because we can’t always get enough sun on our garden, or if we don’t have an outdoor area, we add artificial lighting, which comes with the benefit of working whenever we turn it on! With lights we can grow plants for up to 18 hours a day, instead of being limited by daylight hours. This massively accelerates the growth of plants by as much as 3 times more than growing outdoors – that is why grow lights are so popular and pay for themselves so quickly.
Plants do need a specific type of light, and not every light from your hardware store is going to actually grow plants! The good news is that we stock all the best performing lights for your automatic garden systems.
There are four main types of grow lighting for plants:
CFL lights are cheap to buy and run, and are great for propagation, for small spaces, as a booster light combined with other lights, or for a mother plant to take cuttings from. But they are weaker than other lights, and don’t penetrate down through the leaves of larger plants.
HID lighting was the most common grow lighting until recently, but they use the most power and have a more limited light spectrum than CMH and LED. However you can still have an amazing grow under this light. They also produce more heat, which is great for cooler climates, but can be hard to manage in warm places.
When you buy a HID light kit, you will have to decide on a ballast to power the light. What is a ballast? It is a transformer that takes 240 volt power and makes it suitable for a high powered lamp. There are two types – magnetic or digital ballasts.
A Magnetic ballast provides a plenty of light with 30% likeness of the sun, and they are the cheapest. If your budget is tight, they are a great way to start.
The second type is a digital ballast, that have a 60% likeness to the sun, and convert power better than a magnetic ballast. They are adjustable and more versatile because you can vary their power from 250 to 600W. This can save you power if your plants are small – just dial the wattage down.
CMH lighting provides a 90% likeness to the sun’s light! With around 315 watts of power, you can use to grow plants in up to 1.2 by 1.2 metre space, which is the equivalent to a 600 watt HID light! So if you have a bigger budget to start with, these lights will save you money on power in the long run.
LED grow lights have been in the market for years, but at Auqa Gardening we refused to stock them even when our customers wanted them. WHY? We tried so many of them from all around the world, and were not impressed.
The price was high, and the plants stretched or were burnt under hot spots. We didn’t want to sell a product that we weren’t happy with just because people wanted it. Last year some amazing LED lighting started coming out from the US, and we finally found LEDs that would not fail our customers. They are still more expensive options, but when you already spend money on LEDs, buy the ones that work!
The biggest benefit that LED lighting has, is the fact they run cool, so if you are live in a hot and humid environment, this is the lighting option for you! Our LED lights come with a warranty up to 5 years, so it is an investment you can depend on.
So to summarise our recommendations: LED grow lights are the cheapest lights to run when considering their length of life and running costs.
However they have some of the highest upfront costs. HID lights provide the best bang for buck to get started, however they run hot, and they use the most power. CMH light fixtures have the benefits of a large light spectrum needed for good plant growth and are very compact.
CFL lights are quite large and bulky, like office lighting, however have the benefits of using very low power and put out low heat.
At Aqua Gardening, we always try the products before we put them on our shelves, so you rest assured you will always get a good quality light kit that will not restrict your plants growth, or fail you.
Remember, your lighting kit will accelerate your plant growth and crop yields so you can reap the rewards for years to come!
See our range on the links below this video. I’m Shiran from Aqua Gardening, safe fresh food that grows itself.