When growing an indoor garden, a lot has to be taken into consideration. The environment for growing plants indoors needs to mimic that of the natural environment for plant growth. The main three ingredients that plants survive on are sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. However, the plant’s environment must have the prime temperature, humidity, and air circulation in order to receive the best results.
Temperature is the leading factor when it comes to the growth rate and yield of plants. The lower the temperature, the lower the speed of the transpiration and photosynthesis processes. If temperature is above optimal productivity level, then the plants will try to use more energy than is being produced. The ideal temperature for photosynthesis to be performed at is 80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity, as recently stated, is another important factor in the development of plants. It is the amount of water resting in a given atmosphere. If an environment is too wet, 70% or higher, it can lead to the production of mold and mildew which are harmful to plant life. If humidity levels reach lower than 40%, plants may lose the water retained due to evaporation, and may not gain it back quickly enough to maintain development. The smaller the amount of humidity in the environment, the more compact the plants will grow. This is because the plant is trying to adapt to the atmosphere given to them. A more compact plant requires less water to be retained in order to survive. Therefore, the ideal humidity levels for plant growth are from 40 to 70%.
There are a variety of different types of grow lights you can use for the development of an indoor garden. Each type offers its own characteristics. Incandescent light bulbs are typically not used as grow lights, although they may be advertised as such. They are better used for spotlighting plants or decoration plants in your household, office, etc., than actually helping plants grow. Fluorescent lights can and are used as grow lights, typically for growing vegetables and herbs. They offer a longer lifespan than incandescents, and produce twice as many lumens per watt of energy. However, they are not the best for successful plant growth due to the fact that they only provide lighter colors that plants do not normally survive on. HPS (high-pressure sodium) bulbs yield a more yellow/orange/red spectrum. They are typically used for the second phase of plant growth (reproduction). Using these bulbs for the entire span of growth, instead of only one phase, causes plants to be lengthier. The element of sodium can cause harm to the plants, making them look pale. HPS bulbs are also known for providing too much heat. MH (metal halide) bulbs are often used for the first phase in plant growth (vegetation). This is because of their blue spectrum. HPS and MH bulbs are the most popular bulbs used today for indoor plant growth. Most people begin using MH bulbs throughout the first phase of plant growth, then switch to HPS bulbs for the second phase. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs can be used throughout the entire process of plant growth, and are increasingly becoming the number one choice for indoor gardening.
A LED is a silicon wrapped aluminum chip which is infused with an anode and a cathode. A current flows from the anode to the cathode, and electrons connect with holes within the device to release energy in the form of photons. The brightest light is emitted in the yellow, green, and orange spectrums of light with this particular bulb. These bulbs tend to be smaller in size than others, but can fit into any incandescent lighting fixtures. They contain integrated optical components that are used to shape its radiation pattern and assist in reflection.
LED light bulbs are the best choice when determining what type of grow lights to use for your indoor plant growth. If you are growing more than one plant, a LED grow panel is best suited for that purpose. Grow panels combine a variety of color spectrum, but specifically target the blue and red spectrum because they are the most essential in plant growth (blue for phase one and red for phase two). The combination of both colors of light allows you to grow a variety of plants under the same light, saving you space, time, and money. LED grow panels may be a bit more expensive than other grow panels on the initial purchase, but will save you money in the long run. They last significantly longer and consume less energy in order to produce a brighter light. This means that you will not have to replace your bulbs as often, saving you money on replacement costs, and you will conserve energy, cutting down the cost of electric bills. One of the biggest problems people run into when growing plants indoors is the temperature. They often overheat their plants causing them to not survive. LED panels emit less heat than other grow panels, which also allows for lower maintenance of the plants (more time in between watering periods). The ideal temperature for phase one of plant growth is 94 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, while your plants are in this phase, you may want to set them closer to the panel. Once they have entered into the second phase, move them further from the panel because then they only require a temperature of 87 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. No harmful chemicals are emitted from LED grow panels, unlike other types of grow panels, such as HPSs.