TYPES AND REQUIREMENTS OF LIGHTING FOR HYDROPONICS: A COMPLETE GUIDE
A hydroponic system comes with new challenges and options for beginners. While veterans and people who are already versed with such systems know their way around, beginners need to understand how things work. A bit of research always comes in handy. While there are a few new things to learn in hydroponics, the one thing that is always tricky and can cause problems is the lighting of the entire system.
Lighting is crucial to how your entire hydroponic system will work and how efficient it can be with concerning plants, their growth, and their wellbeing. There are a ton of lighting systems available for your system and it is tough to conclude if there is a single lighting setup that could be beneficial for all the plants in your grow room.
You need to know exactly how the plants will react to the lighting systems that you are going to install in your hydroponic system. Whether to install specific lighting for specific plants is vital. Each type of lighting is different from the others as it can affect the growth and health of the plants.
We could go as far as saying that lighting is one of the vital aspects that affect the plants directly in your hydroponic system as they are substituting for natural light in a controlled environment.
There are a ton of lighting systems available out there so we will take your confusion out and tell you what is it that you can go for.
What to know about lights? (Requirements)
Apart from LED lighting systems, all lights are given a lumens rating, which is a scale of brightness. This does not affect plants as only the Kelvin rating is something that matters to the plants. Brightness does not matter much to plants but different areas of the color spectrum, as well as the temperature of the lights, affect them.
Now you might be wondering about the temperature. No, this is not the temperature that we measure. This is the natural color the lights match with. To be clear, what we mean is the cool lights are blueish and the warm ones are on the yellowish side.
There’s a good example of a small LED Growlight Garden that you can buy completely assembled for you with lights and everything installed here.
Now we must get just a little technical. For plants to conduct photosynthesis, the light needs to be between 450 nm and 650 nm levels. Hence, we need to measure the nanometer levels of the lights. That is what matters the most when it comes to lighting systems for plants. When lighting is within the above-said limits, plants can create the food they require with the help of the light, water, and CO2.
There are another range of 650 nm and 730 nm lights that you require as well. This is required for phytochrome which helps plants control their flowering.
Hence, a full spectrum of light is required at different stages of a plant’s life. It is vital to get lights that can fulfill these requirements.
Fluorescent lighting is the most popular choice when it comes to hydroponic systems, and rightly so. They have been around for a while and they are still the best and most well-rounded choice in grow room systems.
The major reason behind that is they are cool lights that can be placed right on top of the plants without ever burning them. This also becomes a disadvantage as fluorescent aren’t strong enough to penetrate through the plants and strong plants can often resist these lights till their surface. This is not the case with all fluorescent lights as they are new, stronger, and better ones.
T5 Lighting fixtures
Often, we see that lights are not as much as of an issue, but the lighting fixtures are. There should be appropriate lighting setups that can house tube lights, bulbs, and other types of light for your plants. Whether they should be directly on your plants or at a distance, these are the duties of the lighting fixtures.
Fortunately, you can find some brilliant lighting fixtures like these here. (Link inserter: tollaa.com)
The one I recommend the most is the Agrobrite Designer T5 432W alongside a few others available. These are all sorted and assembled. You can just get these and install them at your place.
T5 Bulbs and lights
Bulbs and lights are crucial to your plants’ growth and health. Fluorescent T5 bulbs are an essential addition to your hydroponic setup. There are a few categories of T5 bulbs divided on the base of outputs. We recommend getting the VHO (Very high output). Economical, long-lasting, and they deliver an excellent amount of light that is more than enough for your plants.
Some of the best choices are:
LED lighting and alternatives
LED lighting systems are relatively new and untested for hydroponic systems. There are good reviews but not many experts prefer them because of LED systems being expensive and some lights not being suitable for plants. Though, they are cheap to maintain and to run.
If you are looking to invest lots of money in your hydroponic system, you can look into LED lighting systems.
There are other alternative systems available such as Induction lighting, DE (Double-Ended lighting), and Sulphur Plasma lighting. These are not suitable for hydroponic systems as they don’t go along with plants nicely.
This concludes our today’s blog. As you have read above, fluorescent lighting is the most suitable setup you can get for your hydroponic system currently. Veterans already know this; beginners are getting to know this.
If you are a beginner, this is a complete guide to know the types and requirements of lighting for hydroponic systems that are the most suitable, reliable, and economical. They last long, just like your plants.
Extra: If you are looking to buy bulbs, lights, lighting fixtures, or other hydroponic setup related equipment, we know just the perfect place for you. Tollaa.com is such a store that is dedicated to bringing high quality to your hydroponic setups. You can buy everything you want by just a few clicks.