This is the Only Kind of Grow Light you Should be Using


According to the magical groundhog from Pennsylvania, Spring is on its way! The problem is I don’t think the weather has quite gotten the memo yet.  In many parts of the United States, cold fronts are wiping out crops and outdoor gardens—even greenhouses are struggling with this seasonal cold.   

Don’t panic. Hope isn’t completely lost if you still want to see your garden thrive!  




Table of Contents 

  1. Indoor Gardening 
  2. What You'll Need
  3. Different Kinds of Grow Lights 
  4. Light Spectrum and Plants
  5. Which Spectrum is Best for Indoor Plants?
  6. Why Choose Full Spectrum LEDs?
  7. Where Can You Find Full Spectrum Grow Lights?

Indoor Gardening  

When nature decides to mess with your crops, a major perk of growing your garden indoors is that you control the weather, kind of like Storm from the X-men**. If you want to move your garden inside, there will be no sudden cold snaps, violent winds, or overly hot days to cause your plants distress.  

You can also keep your plants growing after their regular growth season by bringing them inside. And while starting a little garden in your apartment or home can be great for the plants, it can be great for you too! Plants take carbon dioxide in and release oxygen out, making them natural air purifiers for your home.  

 **Grow Lights do not provide you with Storm-like powers. Results may vary.


What You’ll Need 

For most first timers, bringing a garden to life in their home can seem like a challenge, but with the right tools, it’s actually pretty simple. To start off, you’ll obviously need a plant, or seedlings, depending on which stage you’re looking to begin with.  

You’ll also need pots or garden cups filled with soil. You can never go wrong with a standard soil blend, but keep in mind that some plants are pickier than others and benefit from different potting blends.  

One of the most important things you’ll need throughout this process is a grow light. But be careful—not all grow lights are the same, and only one type will see the most fruitful results (ha, get it?).  



Different Kinds of Grow Lights  

There are a handful of grow lights to choose from when you go to your local garden center and even more online. Finding the right one can feel like the whole needle in a haystack vibe but let me give you the abridged version.  

There are three different types of grow lights you can buy. These are:  

  • LED Grow Light  
  • HID (High-Intensity Discharge)  
  • CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) 

Luckily for you, I already talked all about the differences here, in this blog post. But to sum it up for you, anyone looking to garden indoors would benefit from LED grow lights.  

So, with that much figured out, all we have left to do is determine which spectrum of grow light you need.  


Light Spectrum and Plants  

Have you ever wondered why some plants thrive under certain lights while others barely hang on? This usually involves the spectrum the light gives off. I too was once a curious gardener, scratching my head over the market’s dizzying array of grow lights and spectrums.  

You see, there is this thing called the Electromagnetic Spectrum, which is essentially energy that travels as particles or waves, spreading out as it goes. We can understand this spectrum by looking at its range of wavelengths and frequencies, from the longer wavelength, low-frequency radio waves, to shorter wavelength, high-frequency gamma waves. I won't bore you with the tech talk of it all, but basically there are many different wavelengths, or colors that make up this spectrum and the sun gives off a certain set of waves and colors across it. Plants can be quite picky about these wavelengths. Who knew plants were such light connoisseurs? 



Which Spectrum is Best for Indoor Plants? 

While there are three common spectrums used for the growing of house plants and indoor gardens, (targeted, broad, and full) many start-to-finish gardeners prefer Full Spectrum grow lights. 

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a time and place for the other two. Both targeted and broad spectrum grow lights have their own benefits depending on certain set ups and needs. For example, a fully grown plant, like say a mature tomato plant or an indoor fern, may benefit equally, if not more so from a targeted spectrum LED. This is because targeted spectrums are designed to emit lots of red and blue light, which are most beneficial during the flowering and vegetative stages of plant growth.  

Similarly, broad spectrum LEDs have a place in a casual gardener’s repertoire as a low energy, low light emitting fixture. Broad spectrum units are similar to the full spectrum grow lights, though they are far less intense and tend to benefit one or two small plants at a time. These lights are preferable for succulents or small potted plants.  




Why Choose Full Spectrum LEDs? 

In the past, it was theorized needed only red and blue lights. That is why the “blurple” lights (with only red and blue wavelengths) were so popular for a time. As our understanding of photosynthesis and plant growth expanded, scientists realized that the other colors in the spectrum are equally as vital for seeding and propagation stages in plant growth. 

For that reason, Full spectrum LEDs became more popular among growers as they contain a balanced combination of all visible wavelengths and are the closest model to natural sunlight.  

This comprehensive spectrum ensures that plants receive the ideal light conditions for all stages of growth, including seed germination, vegetative growth, and flowering. Full spectrum LED grow lights are highly energy-efficient, long-lasting, and versatile enough allowing growers to tailor the lighting requirements to suit the needs of different plant species, resulting in healthier, faster-growing plants and higher yields. 


Full Spectrum LED Wavelengths


With new developments in plant science, many indoor gardeners will agree that you should be using Full Spectrum grow lights. But why? Well, as I mentioned, full spectrum lights provide all of the wavelengths needed across every part of a plants’ life cycle, from start to finish. That means that you can start your seeds and watch them flourish and produce fruits or flowers under the same fixture. 

Here are some other ways in which full spectrum LED grow lights for indoor plants contribute to the most effective full-cycle plant growth: 

  • Optimal light spectrum: Full-spectrum LED grow lights emit a balanced light spectrum, including all the wavelengths plants need for photosynthesis. They provide red and blue light, which is crucial for different plant growth stages. Red light promotes flowering and fruiting, while blue light enhances vegetative growth and leaf development. 
  • Energy efficiency: LED growth lights are more energy-efficient than traditional lighting sources like fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. They convert a higher percentage of electrical energy into usable light for plants, minimizing energy waste through heat production. This efficiency translates into cost savings and reduced environmental impact. 
  • Customizable light spectrum: LED grow lights offer the advantage of adjustability. You can fine-tune the light spectrum by combining different ratios of red, blue, and other wavelengths to meet specific plant requirements. This versatility allows growers to optimize lighting conditions for different plant species, growth stages, and cultivation goals. 
  • Reduced heat emission: Unlike traditional grow lights, full spectrum LED lights produce less heat. Excessive heat can damage plants and require additional cooling mechanisms. LED grow lights reduce the risk of overheating, creating a more favorable environment for healthy plant growth. 
  • Long lifespan: LED grow lights have a longer lifespan than other lighting options. They can operate for tens of thousands of hours before needing replacement, reducing maintenance costs and downtime. This longevity provides for consistent light output over an extended period, contributing to continuous and uninterrupted plant growth. 
  • Precision and control: Full spectrum LED grow lights allow precise control over lighting cycles and intensity. You can easily adjust the duration and intensity of light exposure to match the specific needs of your plants. This level of control is particularly beneficial for controlling flowering, fruiting, and overall growth rates. 
  • Compact and versatile design: LED grow lights are available in various sizes and shapes, ranging from small panels to larger fixtures. Their compact nature allows easy installation in tight spaces, making them suitable for various indoor gardening setups, including vertical farms, hydroponics, and indoor plant cultivation. 



Where Can You Find Full Spectrum Grow Lights? 

Most online retailers that specialize in garden supplies carry grow lights of different varieties, so when you decide to go looking, be sure that you know what you’re getting. With such an extensive range of grow lights to choose from, it can get overwhelming, so try to narrow down your search based on your specific needs.  

For example, if you are looking for something compact, yet powerful for a small space, try to keep the size of your fixture under 50 inches long. This ensures that your set up doesn’t overcrowd your space or look bulky in a small environment.  

Sunco Lighting offers a 2ft, full spectrum, LED grow light, which is the perfect size for a new home garden. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, that covers a more extensive square footage, you can upgrade to the 4ft option instead.  

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