There are a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to buying grow lights for seed starting. Consequently, it can be daunting and confusing to choose the right one for your garden.
Read on to know why you need to grow lights and how to choose the best ones.
Before we dive deeper into the details of grow lights, let’s have a quick look at the explainer video below. Here is all you need to know about grow light:
Why are Grow Lights Essential for Growing Seeds?
For you to grow healthy seeds at home, grow lights are essential. Seeds of vegetables, flower seedlings, and herbs require a specific amount of bright light for them to flourish healthily. Basically, healthy seedlings should be short, stout, and sturdy and not stretched and long. This is made possible by providing them with a lot of bright light.
You must be thinking, “Well then, I’ll just use the sun’s natural light. What do I need grow lights for?” Yes, the sun can provide light for your seedlings, but it won’t be enough. This is because the sun can only stay until late afternoon, and your seeds need to be exposed to bright light for much longer than that. The bottom line, you would still need to grow lights.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Grow Lights
Before we delve into the numerous options for grow lights, you must first consider a lot of things in your setup. This means the lights, all the supplies you need, your seedlings, the rack, the whole system. Everything needs to fit together.
1. Select the Right Shelving/Rack Unit
When it comes to the right shelving unit for your seeds or seedlings, it is highly recommended to use a wire shelf. This is a good rack for seed starting. Wire shelves are very easy to assemble. You can look it up on Google if you are completely new to this.
Also, they are easily accessible, and you can find them in most hardware stores. Furthermore, it is easy to store this rack away when not needed, and you can use it to hold other stuff.
However, should you decide to buy an already-made shelf, be sure to take note of the width. The width of the shelf should at least be 48 inches since most standards grow lights can fit that size.
The depth, on the other hand, should at least be 18 inches to provide enough space for the seedling trays. As for the height and the number of shelves, it is up to the number of seedlings you want to grow.
2.Type of Grow Lights
There are two main types of grow lights to choose from; LED lights and fluorescent lights. Both of these grow lights have their own pros and cons and your choice will depend on your requirements.
Fluorescent lights are commonly in the size range of T12, T8, and T5. The letter “T” stands for the word tube, and the number beside it indicates the diameter of the light. A bigger diameter means less efficiency.
The advantage of these types of lights is that they are way cheaper than LED lights. Also, fluorescent lights are easily accessible and you can buy them at almost any hardware store.
On the downside, these lights are less efficient when compared to LED lights in terms of energy usage. They also have a shorter lifespan and are prone to releasing more heat which can dry out your plants.
LED lights can do well for seed starting if you don’t mind getting deeper into your pocket. There are different types of LED grow lights and they come in different colors like blue, red, and purple. Most gardeners combine red(warm) and blue (cool) colors because they promote photosynthesis.
LED lights are more modern and high-tech, making them costlier than fluorescent lights. Of course, LED lights are better than fluorescent lights in general. They give off more light, are energy efficient, and they have a longer lifespan. Furthermore, compared to fluorescent lights, they give off less heat, which means that they will not dry out your plants as much as fluorescent lights do.
Regardless of which variation or brand of grow lights you purchase, make sure that it fits the dimensions of your rack. I hope that you have an easy time finding the right grow lights for seed starting.