Greens Horticulture - Serving Growers All Over The UK

Plant Lighting

Grow Lighting Buyers Guide

In this section:

  • Introduction
  • Brand Overview
  • Different types of grow lights
  • Light spectrum’s and plant cycles
  • Reflectors
  • Accessories
 

Outdoors, plants use light from the sun to help them flourish. Sunlight has a wide spectrum and plants have to use a specific window of the wavelength range of light (400 – 700 nanometres, in case you were wondering) to carry out photosynthesis (the process which they use to convert light energy into the essential sugars needed to grow and survive).

In the scientific field, this wavelength window is known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR for short), and it’s this range that you need to replicate indoors in order to mimic sunlight and provide the perfect environment to grow a great, healthy crop.

Further to this, plants respond differently to the wavelengths of light within the PAR window. Different wavelengths correspond to both the vegetative and flowering / fruiting stages of the plant growth cycle. Grow lights are purposefully designed to accommodate for all stages of the plants growth cycle, which is why carefully choosing the right grow light matters.

Lumens and Kelvins

In the world of horticultural lighting you are likely to come across the words ‘lumens’ and ‘kelvins’ quite often. These are measures of how much ‘plant usable light’ a grow lamp willgr provide. Kelvins are used to measure blue light and lumens are used to measure red light (both of these colours correspond to the wavelengths of light plants need during different stages of their growth cycle). In a nutshell, the more lumens or kelvins a grow lamp has, the more plant usable light it gives out.

What’s the deal with Watts?

In a nutshell, wattage corresponds to power. The higher the wattage of your grow light, the more power (and therefore light) you’ll be supplying to your plants. Simply put; increasing the light to your plants increases the photosynthetic energy available, which in turn increases your chances of getting a great yield.

For example, a 600W and a 1000W grow light used in the same sized space under the same conditions will get different results. The 1000W light will outperform the 600W light because it produces a greater output, therefore increasing the amount of light energy available to your plants.

However, things aren’t quite that simple. A 250W Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) will not be as effective as a 250W High Intensity Discharge (HID) light. This is down to a difference in the intensity of light produced by these bulbs. See the light types and plant cycles section for more info on that.

The Green's quality standard

We stock a wide range of grow light products here at Green’s, from entry level value kits for the novice gardener to revolutionary lighting products for highly experienced growers. Although our products may differ to accommodate for our range of diverse customers, our commitment to quality stays the same across our product range. All grow lights on our site come from reputable brands, they are all CE certified, and most importantly, they all meet our strict quality standards. We make sure we never settle for second best, so you don’t have to either.

Brand Overview

We’ve used our extensive knowledge and experience of growing plants indoors to bring you the best grow lights out there from the leading brands on the market. All of the grow light products we stock are guaranteed to give you the best performance possible, and all have a great, solid reputation in the industry for being the best grow lights around.

Maxibright

Maxibright have been busy manufacturing premium quality horticultural lighting since 1996. Through extensive industry research and a commitment to producing superior products Maxibright have created an impressive range of grow lights and grow light accessories. All products are manufactured to CE and British Standards and all are RoHs compliant.

Sunmaster

Sunmaster produce premium quality lamps specifically tailored for the horticultural industry. They are the only quality manufacturer to offer a complete spectral range of lamps (Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, and Dual Spectrum) that will accommodate for all stages of the plant growth cycle.

Ecotechnnics

Since 1994 Ecotechnics have been producing and distributing specialist hydroponics products. They have launched several innovative products into the hydroponics industry and are the manufacturers of the diamond reflector; a product that is ideal for smaller indoor growing environments and renowned for high light intensity.

Sun King

Sun King produces lighting solutions dedicated to the horticultural industry. Their innovative and thoughtful approach to reflector design has resulted in Sun King manufacturing some of the best performing reflectors on the market, including the extremely popular and practical parabolic reflector. All Sun King products come complete with a two year warranty.

Osram

Osram are one of the biggest light manufacturers in the world, supplying what they call “intelligent lighting.” They’ve been supplying lighting products to a range of industries for more than 100 years, starting out back in 1908. Since then, Osram have consistently delivered reliable lighting that gets results. Highly recommended and they deserve to lay claim to the “intelligent lighting” title.

Grolux

Grolux specifically manufacture lamps for the horticultural industry. The Grolux range of products is part of the highly respected Sylvania brand, which itself is owned by massive lighting manufacturer Osram. Grolux lamps are dual spectrum bulbs that are capable of providing a sufficient spectrum of light for both the vegetative and flowering / fruiting stages of the plant life cycle.

Philips

Philips needs no introduction as a being a renowned and superior quality lighting manufacturer. As one of the leading lighting manufacturers in the world, Philips has created a full spectrum bulb known as the Philips Greenpower lamp. This bulb is very long lasting and will still provide 95% light output after 5,000 hours of use, giving it a longer lifespan than most other bulbs on the market.

Gavita

Gavita are a company dedicated to providing lighting to the horticultural industry. Through continued research and design innovation, Gavita have become a well-respected brand that provides thoughtful grow light solutions. Using components from renowned manufacturers such as Philips, Gavita make quality products which have been well received by our more experienced indoor gardening customers.

Different types of grow lights

There are three main types of grow lights in the horticultural industry; Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights.

HID Grow Lights

HIDs were the original lighting solution on the horticultural market, and to date, they are still the most effective. When used in the right sized environment, the correct HID light will provide great light intensity that penetrates the entire growing space, helping plants stay healthy from the bottom of the stem to the tip of the highest leaf.

HID grow lights need a ballast to operate and are available in a range of wattages, from 150W all the way to 1000W of power, meaning they can be used in practically any sized growing environment.

HID pros

–  Strong light intensity makes them the market leader in terms of results
–  Replacement bulbs for HID lamps are cheaper to purchase than alternatives
–  When used with a dimmable digital ballast, HIDs will give complete control over the amount of light your plants receive

HID cons

– Use more energy than alternatives which increases electricity costs
– They require a ballast to operate, initially making them more expensive than CFLs
– Put out more heat per watt than alternatives and can be unsuitable for smaller growing environments

CFL Grow Lights

CFL Grow lights are available in 125W and 250W of power, making them ideal for smaller indoor growing environments. Overall, CFL lights use less energy and produce less heat than HID lights, but they don’t generate the intensity of light that can be achieved with their HID counterparts, which means overall yields aren’t quite as good with CFLs when compared to HIDs of the same power.

Nevertheless, HID lights can generate too much heat in confined growing environments and when this is the case, CFLs are a practical solution.

CFL pros

– Greater energy efficiency helps save on electricity costs
– Minimal heat output helps control temperature in small growing environments
– Self-ballasting so you just simply plug in, switch on, and let the light do the rest
– Can be used for propagation as well as the vegetative and flowering stages

CFL cons

– Less intense than HIDs and overall yields aren’t as impressive
– A max of 250W means they’re only suitable for smaller growing environments / propagation
– CFL lamps cost more than HIDs making them more expensive in the long-term

If you’ve put in measures to control the temperature in your growing environment then we always recommend choosing a HID light over a CFL because you will get better results and greater yields. However, if you’re on a tight budget and have a growing environment with a footprint of 100cm x 100cm or less, then a CFL light is an economical choice, as it consumes less electrical energy, still gets good results, and can be used for propagation, vegetation, and flowering stages.

Light spectrums and plant cycles

Plants have three main stages in their growth cycle; the propagation stage, the vegetative stage, and the flowering / fruiting stage. Different spectrums of light are suitable to different stages of growth. Therefore, it’s highly important that you use the correct lighting for each of these stages to ensure your plants are growing to the best of their ability. Luckily, grow lights are available to suit all stages of the plant growth cycle.

The Propagation Stage

Whether you plan to grow from seed or use cuttings, the propagation stage is always the first stage of the growing cycle. During the propagation stage your plants will be busy forming roots and building a solid foundation on which to grow and flourish. As you can expect, this is an extremely important stage of your plants’ life and getting the lighting right makes all the difference.

The importance of propagation lighting

During propagation a light source needs to be placed as close as possible to your plants. This will not only stop the plants using important energy to search for light, but will also ensure they don’t grow flimsy, spindly stems reaching for a light that’s too far way.

The good news is lighting exists specifically for the propagation stage. As less light energy is needed during the propagation stage than in the other stages of plant development, propagation lighting outputs little heat and can be can placed close to your plants, ensuring healthy and sturdy growth.

Propagation lights

Our propagation lighting comes in different sizes to suit various propagation set-ups. Maxibright propagation lights are compact meaning you can make the most of your propagation growing space. CFLs are also great for propagation due to their low heat output.

Our range of propagation lights

 

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