Take a step towards the future of farming with horticulture lighting. Grow crops year round with tailor-made lighting systems where outdoor conditions are mimicked for optimal growth. Choose a horizontal farm or a vertical farm system. Horizontal farms are what most people are familiar with - all plants on the ground level. Vertical farms, however, are growing in popularity due to their space-saving benefits. They allow for more plants to be packed closer together and stacked on top of each other on shelving units; maximizing the grow. When plants are grown in a controlled environment, color spectrum, temperature and light intensity can be regulated so crops can thrive with faster growth, bigger harvests and higher quality plants. Indoor farming can be difficult and there is lots of science that comes into play.
Here’s a quick overview of the grow cycle
The mother plant is where the cycle begins. Typically, crops are not cultivated starting with seeds. Rather, a clone plant is grown by cutting an off-shoot from a branch of the mother plant and then dipped into rooting gel. After about 7-12 days, roots begin to develop on the clone plant. The plants then go through the vegetative and flowering/fruiting stages. In the flowering stage, lights are on for about 12 hours and off for about 12 hours per day. During the 12-hour dark cycle, it’s important that there is absolutely no light present in the room. Lastly, the plants are harvested.
How does your light bulb choice affect the growth?
There is still some debate about which lighting applications are ideal and which type of lighting is needed to obtain the best responses in plant growth. Green plants need light for photosynthesis to take place. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Light exposure in greenhouses can be limited so supplemental lighting is needed to grow plants all year long. The three types of bulbs that are most commonly used are High Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide and LED.
High Pressure Sodium
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs are used during the vegetative and reproductive cycles. They may also be used as supplemental light for full-spectrum lighting. HPS bulbs emit a yellow-red visible light. The red spectrum may induce a greater flowering and fruiting response in plants and may cause the plants to grow more rapidly. In a greenhouse, plants receive light from blue spectrum naturally, so HPS bulbs are often used as supplemental lighting so the plants also receive light from the red spectrum.
Metal Halide and HPS lamps have a color spectrum similar to the sun’s rays, which make them great for growing plants. Metal Halide bulbs are commonly used in the vegetative cycle since they radiate blue and ultraviolet radiation. Blue spectrum lighting may initiate a better vegetative response in plants.
LED; Light Emitting Diode
The white light from LED bulbs provide a full-spectrum of light designed to emulate natural light with a balanced spectrum of red, blue and green. LEDs are a great choice for all grow operations. The industry standard for the vegetative cycle is to use 400W HID bulbs. Even in a small grow room, energy costs can be astronomical. LED bulbs are great not only for lowering your energy costs, but they also produce little to no heat. Even though they produce little heat, LED grow lights should be kept at least 12” away from plants to prevent leaf burn.
Need a reputable horticulture lighting brand?
Look no further than Growlite. Growlite and Barron Lighting Group together have been in business for over 100 years. They are pushing to challenge the status quo of horticulture lighting products with innovative ideas in a niche market. Their mission is to provide the highest quality, safest products in the market and educate the indoor grow market with the latest and greatest technologies. They continue to deliver state-of-the-art lamps, ballasts and fixtures engineered specifically for the indoor horticulture market.
While we don't claim to be horticulture farming experts, Lighting Supply is your one-stop shop for all horticulture lighting products including lamps, ballasts and fixtures from trusted brands. Please contact an expert when looking to set up your own grow operation. If you have any questions regarding the lighting aspects, give our Customer Service team a call at 877.231.2852 or leave a comment below. We are always happy to help!
Have you noticed how some light bulbs appear more yellow or orange and others a bright white? This can be explained by what’s known in the lighting industry as color temperature. Color temperature refers to how warm or cool a bulb’s color appears. Try not to get caught up on the word “temperature” since this has nothing to do with the actual heat the bulb produces. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (k) – a thermodynamic temperature. The lower the Kelvin rating, the warmer the bulb will appear; the higher the rating, the cooler, and seemingly brighter, the bulb.
Color temperatures range from warm white to daylight; and even full spectrum beyond that. When you imagine your typical household incandescent bulb, you’ll think of the warm glow it emits. Incandescent bulbs have a color temperature of around 2700K, or warm white. When most people think of LED bulbs, they picture a bright white; or daylight (5000K). However, it’s a common misconception that LED bulbs are only offered in this bright white, which most people find too harsh or blue for use in common areas of homes. CFL and LED bulbs can actually come very close to the warm color of incandescent bulbs, while still offering a wide range of other color temperature options.
Let’s take a look at the different color temperatures and their best uses.
Warm white bulbs will have a Kelvin temperature of 2700K; again, picture any incandescent bulb in your home. These bulbs promote a warm and cozy environment and are best utilized in restaurants, hotel lobbies and homes. Quickly growing in popularity, LED Edison bulbs mimic the look and warmth of vintage incandescent bulbs with unique filament designs. Try them in your living room or bedroom!
Soft white bulbs have a Kelvin temperature of 3000K. They will have a slightly more white appearance than its warm white counterpart. Use these in libraries, office areas and retail stores to create an intimate and personal space. This color temperature is also great for homes and is interchangeable with warm white color tones.
Neutral white bulbs have a Kelvin temperature of 3500K. They have a mostly white appearance with a subtle yellow tint. This color temperature is ideal for public reception areas, showrooms, bookstores and office areas where you want it to feel friendly, inviting and non-threatening.
Cool white bulbs have a Kelvin temperature of 4000K-4200K. Cool white bulbs have the appearance of pure white and make a room feel neat, clean and efficient. They are commonly used in conference rooms, classrooms and hospitals. Cool white bulbs are known to help with concentration in classrooms and productivity at the work place. Studies show it reduces the brain’s production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in our sleep, reducing daytime sleepiness.
Daylight bulbs have a Kelvin temperature of 5000K and higher. Museums, jewelry stores and print shops commonly use daylight bulbs because they are great for exacting coloration. They are also very bright and promote alertness, making them great for use in medical exam rooms. You can also use them in warehouses because, similarly to cool white bulbs, they also encourage higher productivity and ensure your employees can see well – cutting back on workplace injuries.
Full spectrum bulbs have a color temperature of 5700K and higher. Full spectrum light most closely simulates the light we receive from the sun. Humans rely on sunlight for not only Vitamin D, but it’s also thought to produce serotonin, a hormone associated with happiness and focus. For those who aren’t exposed to the sun very often, it can often leave us feeling down in the dumps – especially in the wintertime. Full spectrum lighting helps alleviate these feelings and has shown to boost moods and a feeling of calmness.
When deciding which color temperature is best for you, consider what feeling you are trying to evoke in each room. Do you want all of your rooms to have the same lighting, or are you going to base the lighting in each room on a preferred ambiance and tasks completed in those rooms? Many people prefer a brighter light in the bathroom or at a vanity where make-up is applied, whereas they may want a warmer light in their living room or bedroom for relaxing. This is an individual decision based on preference.
In any situation, if you have questions, our Customer Service team is happy to assist! Give us a call at 877.231.2852 or contact us here.