There is a ton of information available on outdoor gardening, enabling even newbies to grow various plants successfully. But what about indoor plants? How can one grow plants indoors and ensure they have as much access, if not more, to sunlight as outdoor plants do?
Here’s where LED grow light strips come in. These incredible artificial lights can recreate the effect of natural sunlight, enabling a vast array of plants to grow indoors. They are increasingly used across greenhouses, homes, and even office buildings.
This article details how LED grow lights have brought a revolution in indoor gardening.
Is it truly possible to grow plants with an LED light?
Traditional fluorescent lights do not have the type of spectrum that enables plants to grow. They are best only for the purpose they have been designed for – to light homes.
It might surprise most people to know that plants can grow indoors, even without access to sunlight. But that is exactly what LED grow lights can do. Research shows that LED lighting can be very effective in plant growth. They are more durable and energy-efficient, enabling people to grow anything from decorative plants to vegetable gardens.
So, while you take care of your plants’ soil, nutrients, and water needs, the LED grow bulbs can handle the “light” part of their growth process.
Do they produce enough light?
Plants thrive when they have access to sufficient sunlight, which is especially critical for younger plants and seedlings. However, providing enough light for them might be challenging for people who grow plants indoors. But it isn’t impossible.
LED grow light strips can effectively simulate natural sunlight, enabling plants to photosynthesize. To grow seedlings, you will need stronger LED grow lights, approximately 2,000 lumens. However, most mature plants can survive and grow well in dimmer lights.
High-spectrum LED bulbs can help you grow leafy vegetables, seedlings, and root crops. To grow flowers and fruit plants such as lemons, cucumbers, peppers, or tomatoes, you will also need low-spectrum LED grow lights.
What about the color spectrum?
When you shop for grow lights for your plants, you will notice they have labels on them that say 2700K, 3000K, or 4000K. These numbers indicate the warmth or coolness of the bulb’s color spectrum. In simple terms, the higher this number on the LED grow bulbs, the cooler the light they emit.
Typically, a light bulb of 6500K is ideal for foliage growth. However, you may need 3000K-powered lights for the period when plants flower or produce fruits. When it comes to color, white light covers most bases. But more intense, colored lights can help plants thrive in the complete absence of natural sunlight.
So, you can buy multiple blue and red LED strip lights or pick an RGB strip light and alternate between the color settings. Alternatively, you can buy a tunable strip light and set it simultaneously for low and high wavelengths.
How to install them
Installation of LED grow light strips varies depending on the type of plants you are growing, the size of your garden, and the type and number of bulbs used. If you wish to hang the lights over the plants, you need to devise a light track. Ensure to place them over twelve inches away from the plants. If you are out for most of the day, it is advisable to hook the LED lights to a timer. This way, your plants will get the correct amount of light they need each day.
How long should they be left on?
Indoor plants require more light than outdoor ones. Ideally, edible plant species need at least twelve to fifteen hours of light per day. However, one must never leave the lights on for twenty-four hours continuously. That could be harmful to plants because they need at least six to eight hours of darkness for proper health and growth.