Plants, by design, need varying levels of light to endure. Outdoors, the sun provides the exact combination of time, intensity and quality necessary for germination, flowering and growth. Indoors plants, however, may need some assistance in the shape of artificial illumination. Various types of ultraviolet, or UV, light bulbs might help keep your indoor plants healthy and productive.
Quality of Light
1 crucial part of artificial lighting for houseplants is the bulb’s caliber, which is based on the colours emitted. Synthetic light appears white to the human eyenonetheless, it unites all the colours of the rainbow in different wavelengths, measured in nanometers. Plants need 450 nm of blue light, 650 nm or crimson light and 730 nm of far-red light for photosynthesis and flowering.
The complete Spectrum
Fluorescent bulbs, which come in a range of wattages and shapes, including direct, square, U-shaped and curved, offer the best lighting for indoor plants, according to the University of Missouri. Newer fluorescent bulbs specifically designed for indoor plant growth, including compact fluorescent and full-spectrum tubes and bulbs, offer better color outputsignal, less heat output and increased energy efficiency than standard incandescent bulbs. Since fluorescent lights emit very little heat, they may be placed closer to plants and mammals without causing damage.
High intensity discharge (HID) lights, including metal halide (MH) and higher pressure sodium (HPS) lights, are far more energy efficient than standard fluorescent bulbs, but color output is not as balanced and they produce a significant amount of heat. These bulbs should be set at least 2 to 6 feet above plants, based on wattage. MH lights emit elevated amounts of blue beams while HPS lights emit mostly red beams. HID bulbs work best in conjunction with different types of UV bulbs or in rooms with lots of natural sunlight.
A Costly Alternative
Light emitting diode (LED) lights are rather new to the indoor plant arena, providing higher energy efficiency and less heat output than HID bulbs. But for the typical indoor plant room, LED lights are significantly higher in cost than other types of UV bulbs. ACF Greenhouses also notes that LED lights aren’t preferred if lighting a plant for display purposes since the emitted light does not provide realistic coloring.
Too Hot to Handle
Incandescent bulbs come in last place in the UV arc race. They emit lots of reddish and far-red beams but have a shorter life span, use higher quantities of energy and make more heat. With so much heat output, these lights must be placed farther away from the plants, meaning of that light will hit the plants. These lights work best as secondary illumination in conjunction with different bulbs or in rooms with natural lighting. The University of Missouri Extension recommends a mix of incandescent and fluorescent at a rate of 30 watts of incandescent lighting to each 100 watts of fluorescent lighting to get the best equilibrium when growing plants inside.