Indoor plant grow lights can be a critical component in your growing efforts if you live in an area with a short growing season. You can get a head start on your growing by using indoor lighting to grow your seedlings. Based on the quality and amount of light they emit, you can get a bit of healthy little growth started fairly easily.
Of the three essentials needed to grow plants, water, nutrition and light, light is the one most commonly misused and can thwart even the best efforts at plant growth. For good plant growth, you need the essential components, and since artificial light is much weaker than sunlight, you have to compensate for that by leaving the lights on anywhere from 12-18 hours per day.
Light quality can also play a large role in plant growth. Depending on their growth stages plants can use both blue light and red light. Blue light is used for things like energy, and red light is used for things like reproduction. Because of a plants tendency to absorb very little yellow or green light, it is much more efficient to choose indoor plant grow lights with a higher red and blue output. Yellow and green light tends to get reflected which is why plants look green to the naked eye.
Another important thing to think about when choosing indoor plant grow lights, is the age of the bulbs. Nine months or older and the light production is about 30% less than when they were brand new. That means you are spending the same amount of money to run the lights, but your plants are getting a 30% less benefit from them. Replacing them at the start of each grow season ends up being much more cost efficient in the long run.
If you like your plants to really bloom, you can also choose different types of indoor plant grow lights to perform different duties. High pressure sodium lamps emit red and orange light. These colors promote blooming in your plants. There are also five kinds of high intensity discharge lamps as well. These include mercury vapor, xenon short arc lamps, metal halide, low pressure sodium, and high pressure sodium. For hydroponic plants, high pressure sodium and metal halide lights work great.
Hydroponic gardening tends to be one of the more popular methods for growing plants, and therefore utilizes indoor plant grow lights the most. Many people enjoy this method of growing due to a lack of land, or having land unsuitable for growth. Just remember to do your research, and choose the best indoor plant grow lights for what your are attempting to achieve with your garden.