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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Greenhouse Lighting

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Disclaimer: I did receive the grow lights talked about in this post for free or at a reduced price in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Greenhouses are a sanctuary where people and plants spend time, so knowing what to look for when choosing greenhouse lighting is important.

If you are in love with nature, then, having a greenhouse in your backyard is the way to go, especially if you also suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) like I do.

According to statistical reports, 80 out of every 100 people that own a greenhouse in the United States are nature lovers, while the remaining 20 said owning one was purely for commercial gain.

Greenhouses are built specially for plant cultivation and are specially designed to suit the needs of plant lovers.

 



What Is A Greenhouse?

A greenhouse is a place where you can enjoy the plants you cultivate year-round, even in a cold climate.

It is also a place where the world is filled with lush flora and abundant greens.  

Greenhouses are designed to provide the perfect environment for plants, however some additional equipment is necessary to create the perfect environment for those plants.

Heaters, grow lights, etc. make the area ideal for the plants, but they also make the area comfortable for people to look at, enjoy or tend the plants. 

In this sense, it is important for every greenhouse owner to see to it that the equipment required to maintain the plants they intend to grow is installed.

The Greenhouse Setting

The main concept of a greenhouse is to place specific types of plants in an indoor space.

This indoor space is a specially designed structure designed to provide light, humidity and make it possible to provide the exact climatic conditions that the plants they grow need.

Since the plants are not cultivated in an open, outdoor area, it is extremely important for the greenhouse owner to provide the necessary requirements the plants have.

These requirements include certain temperatures, water, humidity, lighting, fertilization and care similar to what they would get if they were being grown outdoors in their native environment.

The Lighting

One of the most important requirements for every plant to be able to manufacture their own food is the light – however they also need adequate water.

A fan is also necessary to keep the air flowing around the plants just as the wind would do in nature.

This helps to keep the leaves dry and helps to prevent disease which can be a real issue in a greenhouse situation.

With respect to the conditions inside the greenhouse, it is important for the plants to receive adequate amount of light in order to develop and grow.

Lighting is especially useful during the winter months when natural light is much lower – and some days almost nonexistent.

This is why grow lights are so important.

Choosing the right grow lights for your greenhouse takes some consideration.

The price ranges vary drastically – as does the electrical consumption of the grow lights.

For those who are new to using grow lights, there are some important factors to consider when buying a grow light.

Here are a few tips.

First Determine The Type Of Greenhouse You Have

Before buying a greenhouse light, consider the kind of greenhouse that you have.

Is it a commercial greenhouse or a personal one?

Knowing what type of greenhouse that you have is the best way to know what kind of light to choose.

For instance, if you have a commercial greenhouse, it is best that you buy a light that is created to endure humid, adverse conditions that are commonly found in commercial conservatories.

However consider too the types of plants you grow.

I grow a lot of tropical plants especially those that come from the rainforest, thus my greenhouse has a higher humidity level than someone who only uses their greenhouse for seed starting or who grows succulents or cacti.

Length Of Use Is An Important Consideration When Choosing Greenhouse Lighting

When you buy lighting fixtures you will not necessary use them 24 hours a day.

The duration of light use in greenhouses are based on photoperiods.  

This means that the period, in which, the light will be used may vary.

For example, one may use lighting for a 12-hour photoperiod.

This means that within 24 hours cycle, lighting will be used for 12 hours then the lights will be off for 12 hours.

It is best to choose a light with an automatic timer so you can set the timer and for the most part not have to worry with your lights.

Now with that said, it is a good idea to keep an eye on them because we all know lights burn out and other things can happen.

Decide The Lights Purpose Before Choosing Greenhouse Lighting

Choose a light that is capable of producing your desired results.

For instance, if you want to motivate the growth of your flowering plants like the orchids, it is best to buy a light that will put more weight on the spectrum colors like the red, blue and the far-red wavelengths.

The colors of the lights do have a notable effect on plant growth, flowering and fruiting.

This means not all lights are going to give you the results you desire.

I have always been a fan of using regular fluorescent lighting – choosing one hot and one cool bulb.

My plants certainly grew and survived under this lighting, however when I switched to actual LED grow lights the difference has been like night and day.

LED grow lights do cost more than the lights I was using however my energy consumption has decreased and my plants are looking better than they ever have.

So again, know the purpose of your lights and choose accordingly.

Electrical Efficiency Is Another Consideration When Choosing Greenhouse Lighting

Even if lighting can provide most of what your greenhouse needs, it is also important to take note of the efficiency of the product.

This means that you should choose lighting products that provide optimum effect without having to compromise the amount of energy that they consume. 

It would be better to buy lights that are efficient but use as little energy as possible.

As stated above I am very happy with my choice of LED grow lights.

Consider The Heat Output When Choosing Greenhouse Lighting 

Use only the amount of light that your plants need as over lighting your greenhouse is a waste.

Simply put, a light that emits more heat as it releases light is of no use.

Too much heat on plants will lead to their untimely death.

For example, an incandescent bulb is not recommended because it gives out too much heat. 

Indeed, lighting is an important factor in a plant’s development.

Hence, it is very important to consider the kinds of light to be used in your greenhouse in order to ensure the quality of plant growth that you want to achieve.

Grow Light Recommendation Based On Results

Over the past month I have been testing 4 different grow light setups – two are LED Bulbs that simply screw into a light socket like a regular light bulb and two are large Cherry Blossom Series LED grow lights designed specifically for greenhouses.

The first lights I received were the Alite Professional LED Grow Light and the GrowHobby LED Grow Light.

These lights are easy to install as they just screw into any standard bulb socket.

I had some reflector lights I use for heat lamps for baby chicks, so I took the heat lamps out and put the LED grow lights in their place.

I have had these lights on a number of different plants and I have tried them at different spacings.

I like the lights, they certainly bring out the color in my plants foliage and they do help prevent legginess. I currently use these in my home, attached to the ceiling above my terrarium.

My Orchids are blooming quite well under them.

The Tillandsia and Venus Fly Trap both have nice red tinting showing on their foliage.

In fact all the plants show colors I have not seen before on their foliage and buds.

What I am disappointed in however is that these lights do not encourage the growth that the larger Cherry Blossom Series lights I own do.

The colors of the two LED lights are not changeable and are a much deeper red and purple than the larger lights in my greenhouse.

With that said, I do like these 2 LED lights still.

They serve a purpose and are easy to use on shelving for seed starting or as I did above a terrarium.

My point is – know your intended purpose because had I wanted massive growth on my plants, neither the Alite or GrowHobby LED lights have achieved that.

 

Cherry Blossom Series LED Grow Lights 

The second set of lights I have been testing are the Cherry Blossom Series GHB CB003 + GHB CB005 LED Grow Lights.

To say I am blown away by the growth my plants have made in a month’s time is an understatement.

My greenhouse maintains a warmer temperature and my plants are all around happier.

I am finally experiencing enough growth that I believe it won’t be much longer until I have a greenhouse filled with lush flora and fauna.

Now we did set these lights to run on the pre-installed automatic setting when we set them up and we have not changed that setting at this time because my plants were almost in a dormant state at the time the lights arrived.

The Cherry Blossom Series lights are off only a few hours in the middle of the night – however with that said, I do keep the LED lights in my house on 12 to 16 hours a day as well so that is not the reason behind the difference in plant growth between the grow lights.

 

The Cherry Blossom Series LED Grow Lights come with their own remote control.

This allows you to program them easily.

You can change the light intensity – I keep mine at 100% – change the light colors and more.

Again with the holidays we have not had a lot of time to play around with the settings on the grow lights and I am very happy with the automatic setting at this point.

I am sure as more of my plants come into bloom or begin to fruit that I am going to want to change these settings.

Other Advantages Of Choosing The Right Greenhouse Lighting

Another advantage of LED grow lights is it does help people with SAD – and I have that so I can say without doubt I do feel much better and far happier in my greenhouse under these lights than I feel under the old grow lights I used to have.

I also notice less arthritic pain.

I did discuss this with my doctor and she was not surprised.

In fact, she suggested I install one of these lights in my house above the area I spend the most time – my computer desk.

This is something I am thinking about.

Now I have had a greenhouse since 1997 and truly these lights are making a huge difference in so many ways.

While there is no heat setting on the lights, there are fans above them.

I believe this not only helps cool the inner components of the lights but also helps to circulate some of the hot air at the ceiling level of the greenhouse.

We do have a fan in one corner but never has it been so warm inside my greenhouse during the winter unless we had the heat cranked way up.

I am using one heater – at ceiling level this year – instead of three.

We used to have one at the floor level and one that sat about chest high plus the one on the ceiling with a wood burner backup.

 

So here is my recommendation to you.

If you are as serious about your plants and greenhouse as I am, make this the year that you choose greenhouse grow lights that positively affect your plants.

I love the Cherry Blossom Series LED Grow Lights that I have.

However, they are no longer available to my knowledge, so the closest ones to them are the Kind LED Grow Lights and those are the ones I recommend.

Greenhouses And Grow Lights

 

 

 

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