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Hydroponics Lighting Guide

Blog imageWhatever your choice of plant, nutrition and growing medium, you need good lighting to grow plants with a hydroponic system. As we all know, plants grow by using light energy during the process of photosynthesis. This means that stronger and more efficient lights will result in better growth, and is the reason that hydroponic equipment produces far better growth than natural sunlight – especially in areas like the United Kingdom. You’ll find all of the highest quality discount hydroponics equipment right here at Grown Up Hydroponics, but you’ll struggle to see results without the right knowhow. This is why we’ve produced this guide to hydroponics lights, which will allow you to choose the best product for your own particular set up. There are four types of lights available to use with hydroponic growing systems, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs can be found on everything from your alarm clock to the television, but the same technology is also used in hydroponic growing systems. LED lights produce the least heat out of every type of product, making them ideal for smaller and tighter growing areas, or rooms where proper ventilation is an issue. LED lights are generally the most expensive products on the market in terms of initial investment, but they also have the lowest running costs. Full spectrum lights are available to purchase, as well as predominantly red or blue wavelength models.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)

Compact fluorescent lights are ideal for young and vegetating plants, usually emitting a blue light with a shorter wavelength. On top of this, CFLs release a lot less heat than other types of light – meaning less chance of stress or damage to young plants as a result of high temperatures. CFLs are generally less powerful than MH or HPS lights, but with less energy wasted as heat, they are also far more efficient – second only to LED panels. Compact fluorescent lights are also less expensive to purchase, making them ideal for hydroponic growing on a small scale or with a strict budget.

Metal Halide (MH)

Metal halide lights are more powerful than CFLs, making for faster plant growth. However, they are more expensive to run and emit higher temperatures. This means that efficient ventilation will be required to achieve the optimum growing environment. MH lights produce a warm blue light, which is ideal for vegetative plant growth, keeping vertical growth to a minimum and encouraging lateral growth. Replacement bulbs are available from quality suppliers like Grown Up Hydroponics.

High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

High Pressure Sodium lighting is the number one choice for general hydroponics, regardless of what plant is being grown. HPS lights provide an excellent return on investment, with high power lighting that promotes fast and explosive growth. Good air movement and ventilation is required to allow heat to dissipate, and such powerful products can be have a slightly higher running cost, but in exchange you’ll enjoy the best hydroponic lights available. The age and type of your plants, as well as your other environmental variables, will determine the most appropriate choice of light for your hydroponic system. If you’d like to know more about any of our lights, or to discuss your requirements in further detail, why not get in touch today? As with any hydroponics equipment, you'll need to maintain your lighting for the best performance. To help you with just that, here's a table of timescales for changing each type of light bulb.

Lamp / Bulb Output - Growth Phase Life / Replace
PowerPlant SuperVeg Metal Halide Blue Spectrum - Veg 6 Months
SunMaster Dual Spectrum - Veg & Bloom 5 Months
SunMaster Dual Spectrum - Veg & Bloom 5 Months
Grolux Sylvania Dual Spectrum - Veg & Bloom 6 Months
Philips SON-T PIA Plus Red Spectrum - Bloom 12 Months
GroXpress Red Spectrum - Bloom 6 Months
SuperPlant Red Spectrum - Bloom 5 Months
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