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There is a renewed interest in gardening and horticulture like I have never seen before. More and more people are setting up home grows with a renewed interest in their health and growing their own food.
Once the decision has been made to live a healthier lifestyle and learn more about how to grow your own fruits and vegetables, the next step is to build an indoor garden and look for the right tools to help maximize yields.
As the years roll on, new and more efficient ways of growing are coming to the market and lighting technology is no exception. Here are a few lighting systems you may come across when searching for the perfect system for your garden.
The first new design which caught my attention utilized a 250W compact fluorescent bulb. Compact fluorescent bulbs have caught on in the home consumer market as they are as much as fifteen percent more efficient than traditional bulbs, on par with LEDs.
One of the major benefits of using a CFL grow light is that you can save a ton of money on a small indoor grow. You can find CFL light packages for as low as $50 and their light spectrum is good for indoor growing.
If you are a novice grower looking to get started, consider a CFL lighting system as one of the easier ways to start earning your green thumb. Compact fluorescents are great but keep in mind that they are most efficient when growing one or two plants. Anything more than that and you might want to look into other technologies.
A trend I have seen lately is the replacement of older high pressure sodium bulbs with lighting systems that utilize ceramic metal halides. Ceramic metal halides fall under a category of newer bulb designs known as high intensity discharge (HID) bulbs.
Ceramic metal halides are known to be more efficient while radiating a more penetrating light at a much lower wattage than traditional HPS bulbs. The use of these efficient HID lights will save you a ton of money on your electric bill. CMH bulbs last up to 24,000 hours and are available in a large range from 20 to 400 watts, and CMH systems are proving to give more bang for the buck than a lot of other models arriving on the market today.
Now, let’s move on to everyone's favorite new kid on the block, the LED lighting system. The world is obsessed with LEDs because they seem futuristic; they make us feel like tomorrow has arrived today.
LED lighting technology, much like CFL, is a modern and efficient way to grow an indoor garden. LED lighting technology has a wide range of entry level options, as well as more expensive and elaborate designs, suiting a wide range of horticulture enthusiasts. LEDs use semiconductor technology to produce a very bright light from a very small bulb. Another great feature of LED technology is that light systems can be custom tailored to fit the stage of growth.
LED lighting systems can consist of one, two or many different spectrum bulbs to ensure your plants get a wide range of frequencies. Nothing is as good as the sun when it comes to growing your plants, but with a variety of LED lights you can come close to recreating the sunshine that spills over us as we walk through the daylight.
LEDs are available in a wide range of designs and sizes, from a small one-plant grow to large industrial scale. While it is unclear if LEDs are as penetrating as HID bulbs, there is no denying the popularity they are having among both manufacturers and consumers.
Overall, LEDs just may prevail as the go-to bulb. Not because they are necessarily better than the competition, but because they offer unique lightweight designs, efficiency and the ability to customize your spectrum.
While any of these types of lighting are likely to work well in your home garden, there isn’t necessarily a perfect lighting method that suits everybody.
So there you have it; the wide range of new and improved lighting systems to look for in the years to come. Any or all of these types of lighting design would work wonderfully in your home garden. Remember, there isn't a particularly best lighting system out there. Picking a lighting system that meets your needs and your budget is always a surefire way to go.
Source: Maximum Yield 02/28/17. "You Light Up My Leaf: New Lighting Technologies for Growrooms" https://www.maximumyield.com/you-light-up-my-leaf-new-lighting-technologies-for-growrooms/2/2872 Source: Yakobchuk/Dreamstime.com