Plants need light to grow to their full potential. However, not all regions in the country receive adequate sunlight, thereby hampering plant growth. In addition, more than 30% of solar radiation is blocked by greenhouses and other such structures before reaching plants; this is especially challenging during darker seasons. Growers are adopting to LED grow lights so they can tackle and reverse this situation within their greenhouses. Let’s check out the lighting requirements within greenhouses.
What are Greenhouse Lighting requirements?
Moisture, warmth, and light are 3 essential elements plants need to grow. A greenhouse provides stable temperatures by protecting plants from cold weather. They need at least 6 hours + of direct or full-spectrum light daily to give plants the nourishment they require to grow. However, winters may provide fewer hours of sunlight, which is when a grower might install grow lights. If you want healthy plants, ensure they get the right amount of light. But how can you do so if you’re an indoor grower or your area receives less light throughout the year? Here’s how.
Grow Lights – The Perfect Solution for Optimal Plant Growth
Grow Lights are the best way to grow plants indoors or in areas with low sunlight. They’re energy efficient, promote quality bud growth, increased harvest cycles, and last long! They emit low heat, and hence, don’t damage the plant in any way; they’re built to withstand humidity and high temperatures as well. However, these aren’t the only reasons you should consider investing in Grow Lights. Here are 5 reasons they’re essential for plant growth.
5 Reasons Grow Lights are Essential for Plant Growth
If you’re a grower and already use grow lights, you probably know these already. If not, your purchase decision is just about to become easier. Here are 5 reasons why grow lights are essential for plant growth:
- Light Uniformity
In simple terms, light uniformity refers to how evenly light is spread across a given area. The higher the uniformity, the more even your plants grow.
- If some plants receive more light than others, they will grow faster and better, thereby making your plant growth uneven.
- Uniform lighting regulates plant growth, its development, flowering schedules, and water distribution; if not uniform, all these factors will go out of balance.
- Factors affecting light uniformity include number and types of lights used, reflectors, how close these lights are to one another, the height of installation, and light distribution.
- Light uniformity can be measured using Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) and Photobiological Flux Density (PBFD) to understand number of photons in specific density at a fixed distance.
- It is inversely proportional to a plants’ nutrient intake and water consumption. For instance, the lower the light a plant receives, the more nutrients they consume or faster they dry up due to uneven water consumption.
2. Light Intensity
Light intensity is the amount of light produced, I.e., its strength. Two factors that intensity depends on are the bulbs brightness and how close it is to the plant.
- Different plants require different light intensity. Some plants generally found in jungles require more shade and don’t require as much light as plants in hot, sunny climate.
- Grow lights are designed to provide a good amount of usable light, also known as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Plants use specific wavelengths for photosynthesis, and your grow lights should dissipate light within the PAR range.
- The area you grow plants and the number of lights installed is directly proportional to intensity. Eg: If your light is 1 foot away from a plant, it receives X light intensity. However, if you take it 1 foot further away, intensity becomes X/2.
- LED grow lights disperse light with uniform intensity, thereby reducing the need to bounce lost light back to your plants.
- Light intensity must be decided based on the plant type (SDP, LDP, NDP), what stage of growth it’s currently in, and whether it bears plants, flowers, or fruits.
3. Colour Distribution
Plants are designed to grow best under full-spectrum lights as they replicate the solar spectrum by balancing cool and warm colours. Scientist’s measure this in nm rather than stating colour names for better accuracy.
- Sunlight contains all the rainbow colours, from Red to Yellow and Blue to Violet. Grow lights that replicate this are ideal for plants.
- LED grow lights use specific wavelengths during the most appropriate times to optimize crop growth.
- These lights come with Red and Blue light to control plant traits and maximize photosynthesis. Eg: Red light is desirable for cucumber plants while a mixture of Red and Blue light works well for leafy vegetables like cabbage.
- Red light is imperative for stem growth, leaf expansion, flower regulation, and germination of seeds.
- Blue light affects chlorophyll content and leaf thickness. However, it needs to be mixed with other light colors as too much blue light can stop certain plant growth. 4. Light Duration
Plants, like humans, require rest while growing. Giving them light for 24 hours will adversely affect their growth and must not be practiced.
- Botanists categorize plants into 3 categories based on how much light they require: short-day plants, long-day plants, and day-neutral plants.
- Short-day plants are those which thrive on less than 12-hours of light per day. The closer they are to bud and flower growth, the shorter their days must be. Eg: Azaleas, Chrysanthemums, and Kalanchoe.
- Long-day plants are those which require a minimum of 14 to 18 hours of light, daily; receiving light for less time can make them pale. Eg: Most vegetable and flower seedlings come under this category.
- Day-neutral plants can make do with 8 to 12 hours of light throughout the year. Eg: Tomatoes, Cucumber, Corn, and some varieties of Strawberries are fine examples.
- This is the reason many plants are “seasonal”, especially if grown naturally in an outdoor setting. However, grow lights can make most plants grow across seasons.
5. Heat and Temperature Control
Sunlight can often be harsh on plants if too intense; some of them can get burnt due to excessive sunlight over extended periods of time.
- Heat and temperature control are major advantages that grow lights offer over natural sunlight. This can be adjusted based on the right amount required by each plant.
- LED grow lights operate at cooler temperatures as compared to their traditional counterparts, thereby ensuring better ventilation, reducing lighting bills, and lowering negative environmental impact.
- This means that they can be installed close to plants without the risk of damaging them, based on the setting.
- In addition, the low heat emission ensures a long lifespan of 50,000 + hours as the internal parts don’t wear out easily.
- Heat and temperature control have allowed LED grow lights to become the most widely used lights.
Don’t you feel your purchase decision has just become easier? Well, we’ve got some more news – get a FREE audit for your facility and maximize ROI! How? With EnerSavings, of course.
How EnerSavings can help
Your Trusted Energy Advisors have been in the LED Grow Lights business for a few years, and we’ve helped many growers reduce their operating expenses and carbon footprint. EnerSavings Grow Lights from Oreon should reduce your lighting bills up to 75%, while improving bud growth and increasing harvest cycles. Our hassle-free process starts with an audit which is absolutely FREE, post which you’re presented with a custom proposal – you can then make your purchase decision. For more information on our Grow Lights, please visit www.enersavings.com/growlights. If there’s anything else that we can help you with, feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out on LinkedIn and Instagram.