Hydroponic lighting is the first essential to consider in hydroponics gardening, an approach to plant cultivation in which the nutrients are delivered through a solution absorbed by plant roots. Hydroponic gardens are placed indoor. In installing the lighting system in hydroponics, there are 2 considerations to do: the light intensity and light spectrum.
The early concept of hydroponic system used standard fluorescent light bulbs. Foot candle was the measurement system to determine the light intensity. In that system, one candle's brightness equals 1 foot away from the plant. In today's time, the same power is termed one lumen. The plants are cultivated indoors require 2,000 lumens per square foot.
In the light spectrum, the light is understood to have different colors. Plants need blue and green wavelengths for growth. For budding and flowering plants, red and orange colors are essential. For photosynthesis to take place, the light spectrum should be visible with a wavelength between 400 and 700 nanometers.
Today's hydroponic lighting comes with different technologies with different advantages and drawbacks.The cheapest of all is the fluorescent. It is always the choice for growing herbs. However for hydroponic gardening, this may not seem to be effective all the time. For vegetative plants, the bluest temperature is preferred with 5000 Kelvin degrees. For flowering and fruit production plants, a warm light is needed between 2500K and 3000K.
The HID or High Intensity Discharge light, the bulb uses high pressure gas to generate light. It has high lumen per watt with 120 to 140 lumens of light output for every watt of electricity used. To make them work, they need HID lamps need a ballast. However, they get hotter than does a fluorescent. Still, many hydroponic gardeners use HID because it produces light resembling closely the natural sunlight.
There are 2 types of HID lamps-the metal halide or MH that produces blue spectrum of light and high pressure sodium or HPS that emit the red spectrum of light. The MH is ideal to promote strong plant growth while the HPS is best for flowering and fruit-producing plants.
A new lighting system, called Light-Emitting Diodes or LED offers advantages such as less consumption of power than do most grow lights. They do not produce more heat as well and thus, they can be placed closer to plants. The bulbs used are also longer lasting and the spectrum of light is adjustable.
To achieve optimal results, hydroponic lighting may use 2 or more systems. In some areas where the sun does not always shine, a more extensive lighting system is necessary in hydroponics.
Steve Habib is an author and online researcher on the subject of growing and caring for a variety of plants. For a FREE EBOOK that reveals how to avoid problems and disease while growing more of your favorite plants, flowers and veggies - visit today the Plant and Gardening Blog
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