Light is among the basic needs of a plant to grow. As a matter of fact, plants need maximum exposure to light to carry out photosynthesis.
Without light, there is no photosynthesis and without photosynthesis, plants won’t make food.
The sun is the greatest source of light to plants. What happens to plants grown in grow tents or greenhouses? Does it mean that they should grow in the dark?
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Well, that’s why they invented grow lights which were an initial Russian experiment in 1868.
Since then grow lights have evolved and what started as an experiment is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
With that said, do you actually know how to hang a grow light? The statistics on the number of people who can’t hand a grow light on their own would actually surprise you. The truth is, most people don’t know how to go about this.
After knowing how to hang a grow light you have to decide on the type of grow light to install and there is quite a variety to choose from.
However, on ahead to head comparing LED vs CFL grow which is the most preferred and why?
These are some of the questions we will be answering in this post.
What is grow light?
A grow light is an artificial electric lamp whose prime function is to provide artificial light to plants either in a grow tent or greenhouse.
Unlike plants grown on the open, plants grown under shade are not exposed to sunlight.
Light being a basic need for plants to make food there has to be another source of light and this is where grow lights steps in.
Factors to considering even as you learn on how to hang a grow light
There are crucial factors that have to be considered when installing grow lights to your grow tent. These are the factors that will help you make the correct judgment and decision on where to install and what number is enough. These factors are:
The amount of space
There is no limit as to how big your grow tent can be. There are those who choose to do it on a small space whereas there are those who set aside quite a huge area as the growing area.
The amount of space always tends to dictate the number of grow lights to use and how you should space then. As you probably have guessed, the bigger the space, the more the grow light lamps to be used and vise versa.
Type of grow light to use
There are various types of grow lights differing in the amount of light and heat emitted. Exposing your plants to too many light damages them they can either fold, have stunted growth or burn to make the leaves to turn pale yellow. As a gardener, this is your worst nightmare.
The following is a guideline on how you should space the lights based on the amount of light per grow light:
- 250 watts grow bulb should light a 2*2 foot area
- 400-600 watts grow bulbs should light a 4*4 foot area
- 1000 watts grow bulb should light an 8*8 foot area
What is planted
Different plants have different lighting needs.
There are those that require more light whereas there are those that require rather minimal light.
Even as you focus your energy on knowing how to hang a grow light, always ensure that you research on the lighting requirements for the plants that you are growing.
Step by step guide on how to hang a grow light
Step 1: Decide on the right places you would like to hang the grow light
Deciding the right places hang the grow lights is not always a walk in the park. There are specific factors that you need to put into considerations if you want your project to be a success and not end up damaging the plants.
Depending on how big the grow area you might be needed to install up to 10 grow lights. Evaluate all factors before arriving at a decision on where to place the grow light to avoid double work once you realize the original ones are not effective.
Step 2: Make and make holes
Grow lights are hanged and this means that you have to make holes on the ceiling of the grow area. The holes should not be average just to place a hook. Be extra careful when making the holes since if you do it wrongly the hooks or hanger used won’t fit. It should be the right size if you are not sure on how to drill the holes never shy off from seeking professional help.
Step 3: Double check the hooks
One thing you must know is that these are the hooks you will use to hang in your grow lights. For this reason, you should double check to ensure that the hooks are firmly held. Well, not unless you want your lights to fall off once installed.
Step 4: Hang the lights on the hooks
Hook in your grow light to the already installed hooks. Every grow light has a place where you can hook usually on the top, if not sure on these consult the manual.
Step 5: You are good to go
Yes, it is that easy yet most people never get it right. The most crucial step is deciding on where to place the lights since this will decide on the number of grow lights to be hanger per square kilometer.
LED vs CFL which is better?
Before the emergence of LED and CFL bulbs, people used incandescent bulbs. In all the power consumed by incandescent bulbs, 90% of it was used for heating whereas only 10% for lighting. In reality, these bulbs were energy consuming and this led to their ban on 2014 in the US.
Back to our LED vs CFL, most people hang on the fence when asked to decide between LED and CFL grow light bulbs. Astonishing enough is the fact that there are those who can’t even explain the simple difference between LED and CFL bulbs leave alone judge which is the better one of the two. Without further a due here is a LED vs CFL comparison to determine which grow light bulb is the best.
LED grow light
The abbreviations LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, and these are bulbs that emit light when simple electric current flows through them.
Lasts longer – LED bulbs last naturally lasts longer unless there is a serious short circuit they rarely burn off. Making them a durable and appropriate choice if you don’t want to buy a bulb every now and then!
Cool – LED bulbs are not sensitive to cold temperatures. As long as there is an electric current the bulbs will light irrespective of the environment.
Cost effective – being durable means that you won’t have to buy a new bulb every now and then. In the long run, the LED bulbs are cost-efficient.
Can be used with solar- solar energy is the cheap and getting bulb that can harness this energy is not something that should be taken for granted.
Expensive – compared to other brands LED bulbs are relatively expensive
Light – LED bulbs are mostly for direct lighting and not lighting a whole area. When using such bulbs in your grow tent this means that you would be required to use more of them.
CFL grow light
The abbreviations CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Lamps. CFLs were invented a little earlier than the LED as an improvement of the then incandescent bulbs.
Cheap – CFL bulbs are cheap and affordable.
Good quality of light – light from CLFs tends to focus the whole area rather than direct lighting.
Varieties – as an earlier model, over the years, CFL has released a variety of bulbs and this gives you a chance to choose depending on color, taste, shape… in other words, these brands offer variety.
Contains mercury – CFL bulbs contain mercury which is a very dangerous heavy metal that can cause serious medical complications if not handled correctly.
Not durable – CFLs are very sensitive to frequent on/off and these can reduce the lifespan of the bulb by 40%.
Sensitive to cold temperature – Unlike LEDs, the CFLs will stock working if subject to cold temperatures.
The final verdict on LED vs CFL
If every competition there has to be a winner and a loser, in this case, there has to be a winner on the LED grow lights vs CFL grow lights battle.
It was a tight call but the due to it being energy efficient LED bulbs to have a slight edge over CFLs.
It is my hope that you found this article useful. You know how to hang a grow light while at the same time you can decide on LED vs CFL which is the best.
Don’t keep all this knowledge to yourself, share the article with a friend or two and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section below.