Using grow lights for plants is an amazing idea to give the plants an amazing ambience to grow and flourish. We live in a world where air pollution has practically taken over the world and left people with no option but to compromise on health. The air outdoors has been contaminated with impurities and toxins which lead to several health issues. However, environment specialists have advised planting grow light seedlings indoors that can purify the air and give the inmates a healthy living. This is the very reason why it is important to get these artificial lights for growing plants indoors in 2021. Here is all that you need to know.
How Far Should LED Grow Lights Be From Plants?
How far should LED grow lights be from plants to get maximum yield and the healthiest growth? It is a detail that is often overlooked, but the thing is, if you want to increase your yields and potency, you need to keep your grow lights at the right distance. I know you are perhaps asking, “But how far should I hang them?” Well, no need to panic. I will be answering that question, plus several others we have been receiving from our passionate readers. But let me take you back first.
Why Should You Use a Grow Light for Indoor Plants?
Your indoor garden should mimic a natural growing environment as close as possible for the best results- complete with the ‘sun’. Therefore, the grow lights act as the sun from which your plants get the energy to grow. The best part is that you have full control over the type of light to use and how much light will reach your herbs. Grow lights are suitable for seed starting for the simple reason that they help guarantee stocky, green seedlings. A wintertime bumper harvest of salad greens and herbs can also grow nicely under lights.
How Grow Lights Work?
Grow lights are engineered to deliver wavelengths of light necessary for your plants’ growth. Plants hungrily reach this much-coveted lighting source the same way they pull towards the sun when germinating outdoors. Specifically, a grow light imitates the spectrum of natural sunlight. Depending on the plant, it can incorporate a spectrum that has so far proved to immensely benefit a certain plant species.
Your plants may need varying types and volumes of light:
Now, your plants usually need different types & amounts of lighting as they progress through different growth periods. So, if possible, have a mix of several essential grow lights. This is the only way you can give your flowers the best possible lighting throughout the stages.
But There Are Other Grow Lights; So Why LED?
Before I come to tackling the question of led lights for seed starting, I need to remind you of the reason why LED lighting has exploded in the last few years. Here is why LED beats incandescent lights, fluorescent lights, and high-intensity discharge lamps (HID)
- Plants automatically thrive better
- LED lasts longer
- Your electricity bill remains low
- LED grow lights can be customized to emit specific wavelengths
- LEDs are super-green (no mercury, lead or gas)
This Is How To Determine The Correct Distance:
Even though LED grow lights pack all these advantages, they also happen to be the hardest when estimating the ideal hanging height. But at least, the following tips should help reduce your confusion.
- Looks can be deceiving
LED lights are deceptively strong, more so the blue and red mixed lights. While they look dim and don’t feel very hot, they can scorch your plants. Therefore, you must keep a close eye on your garden whenever you install a new light- that is until you have a good idea of the best hanging height.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
Most manufacturers provide a guide on the recommended hanging height. Rather than play the guessing game, start by hanging your lights at the stated distance. Again, observe your plants. If you notice any bleaching (leaves start to turn white), back your lights off. However, if your plants look fine, move your light closer until you notice some bleaching. Then push them back again. If you check well, your plants should be okay. But don’t take your eyes off the ball- just in case they start starving or feeling more heat. At this stage, exercise your judgment. You can easily note the point where your plants start growing robustly and turn lush green.
- General Guide
If you don’t have any recommendations about how close a grow light should be to plants on the package, the following general guidelines will help. For LED lights growing little patches of herbs, spices and wheatgrass (15w-90w), go a minimum of 15¨ away. You will hang even further if you have higher wattage lights. Here is a summary;
|Wattage||Distances from Plants|
- Rule of Thumb
If getting your ideal to grow light height above plants becomes a tough nut to crack, this is what you do: Get your LED lights as close to your plants as possible without compromising their coverage area while leaving enough room for your plants’ growth.
- Change The Distance As They Grow
Also, always ensure that you either lower your lights then raise them as your herb grow taller. Alternatively, you may raise the plants towards the grow lights early on before lowering them as they continue to grow.
What If You Hang The Grow Lights Too Far From Your Plants?
If you set your grow lights too far away, your plants move from normal to a stretched growth. It occurs since your plants have to put in more effort and grow taller to be near your light source. The problem with this is that all the energy that could have gone into producing fruit is now being used to stretch. So, you will experience a reduced harvest by as much as 30%!
What If You Set The Lighting So Close To Your Plants?
Setting your horticultural grow lights too near will also be detrimental. You can easily burn your plants, especially the tops. If not, some growers have reported experiencing strange/stunted growth.
Wrapping It Up
How far should LED grow lights be from plants, will depend on several things, including the wattage, the plants you are growing and even the season. Setting them too far harms your harvest while pushing them too close will burn your plants or inhibit the growth. Therefore, work hard and get your LED to grow lights for seedlings set up correctly for a fruitful garden.