A row of lettuce plants growing in a greenhouse.

Grow Lights 101

There are many choices for lighting, but the two most commonly used types of lighting include HID and Fluorescents. The most important thing to know about grow lights is which one to use based on your plant.

Without adequate lighting, plants grow weakly, are leggy, and may even die. Our eyes automatically adjustto varying light conditions, so what seems like bright lighting can be useless for plant growth. Natural sunlight is ideal for plant growth. For indoor gardening it is up to the gardener to supply proper lighting in adequate quantities, and with the proper color spectrum to replace the natural sunlight.

Fluorescent Lighting

Since fluorescent grow lights produce just a fraction of the power of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium grow lights and are generally unsatisfactory for general use. They are useful for starting new plants and for some compact hydroponics projects, but must be placed very close to the plants. To cover a 2 by 4 area, you will need a minimum of four 54-watt 4 fluorescent bulbs placed as close to the growing plants as possible. Even then, results may not be satisfactory and producing fruits and vegetables will be difficult. Still, fluorescent grow lights are well suited for the very early stages of plant growth, and are often used to start new plants.

High Intensity Discharge

Both Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs fall into this category. Their intensely bright light makes them ideal for lighting indoor plantings. Both require Reflector housings and Ballasts to operate. In almost all cases, the same reflectors and switchable ballasts can be used for both MN and HPS bulbs. The area that these forms of lighting can cover depends on their wattage. Ranging from 150 watts to 1000 watts, a single fixture can cover from a small self-contained hydroponics garden up to 20-40 sq. ft. Large installations will require multiple fixtures. Since HID lamps create a great deal of heat, proper venting or even ducting and fans are usually needed.

 Metal Halide  These bulbs produce an intense light of blue-white spectrum, excellent for vegetative plant growth. A plant grown under a metal halide light will often exhibit increased leaf growth and strong stem and branch development. They are less suited for the flowering and fruiting stages of most plants.

 High Pressure Sodium  These lamps produce an orange light, which simulates the autumn sun. HPS light is best for fruiting and flowering . Fruit and flowers will be larger and more prolific when these lights are used. Flowers and vegetables finished off under high-pressure sodium will show tighter, stouter blossoms with increased yields. High-pressure sodium lights are often used in commercial greenhouses. If there is to be only one light source for the entire life of a flowering plant, HPS is the best economical choice. Many indoor and hydroponics gardeners switch between MH and HPS bulbs, depending on the growth cycle. Almost all lighting systems we carry support both types of HID bulbs.

LED Lighting

Grow lights using efficient LED sources are relatively new. Early versions of these lights had insufficient power to be effective for most growers. Recently a new high-density LED array technology was introduced that packs more LEDs and offers more power than previous LED Grow Lights. Here are some of the advantages that LED Grow Lighting has to offer. For further explanation, please call us or come in and talk to our experienced sales staff.

  • Compact Size  Easy to include in smaller reflective growing areas.
  • Self Contained  No ballasts required. Just plug and go.
  • Low Heat  LED grow lights run far cooler than other grow lights.
  • Long Life  No expensive bulbs to replace frequently.
  • Multiple Spectrum Lighting  Customize lights for special needs.
  • Use with Other Grow Lights  Add LED lighting to supplement other lights.

The Kessil H150 32 Watt series of grow lights is a high-performance, energy saving, long lasting lightingsolution designed for the needs of todays indoor gardening. These compact units can be easily used in multiple groups, added to existing lighting and controlled by any timer setup. The modular design packs high-powered LED array packages into each unit, putting out far more light than competing products. Use Kessil H150 LED grow lights along, or in combination with other grow light systems and customize your lighting to suit any environment. The low power draw and efficiency give you immediate savings in energy bills.

Each unit covers a 2 ft. diameter circle, when hung 12 to 18 above plantings, making planning easy. They are ideal for small reflective growing enclosures too, maximizing the light that reaches the plant. Best of all, Kessil H150 grow lights come in four distinct spectral varieties, each tuned for the best results in a variety of growing situations:

  • Kessil H150 32W LED Magenta  The magenta blend of color spectra was designed specifically for plants in the flowering phase.
  • Kessil H150 32W LED Purple  The spectrum of this lamp is multi-purpose, and can take your plants through the entire growth cycle.
  • Kessil H150 32W LED Blue  Specially tuned to enhance vegetative growth, this model wont sacrifice yields.
  • Kessil H150 32W LED Red  The Bloom Booster model. This unit is designed for use along with any grow light system to enhance blooming.

Kessil H350 Spectral Halo  boasting 2.5x the light output of H150. By incorporating the latest 90W Dense Matrix LED platform, H350 produces an extremely bright, penetrating stream of light that reaches deep into the canopy of the plant.

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