On a hot day, it’s hard to imagine that winter is only a few short months away. But the fact of the matter is, summer is drawing to a close, and many of us who enjoy warm sunny days will soon be greeted with shorter days and longer nights. Besides what this means for your summer softball league and that tan you’ve been working on, it also marks the end of the spring and summer gardening season. But it doesn’t have to.
Gardening indoors used to be an expensive hobby; high intensity discharge (HID) grow lights are expensive to purchase and an even bigger drain on the pocketbook, especially in the wintertime when they compete with high electricity and heating bills. But LED grow lights avoid many of these downsides, and make gardening indoors easier and more accessible than ever.
First thing’s first: when growing indoors, the main goal is to replicate the plant’s ideal natural outdoor setting as much as possible. Natural daylight has a high color temperature (around 6000 K). HID lights have a low color temperature (around 2700 K) and usually give off a red-yellow hue. Outdoor sunlight is bluish in tone.
- Color Temperature: LED lights can be blended to achieve any color temperature required by a specific plant, and can easily imitate the high color temperature and bluish tone of natural light.
- Heat: LEDs do not give off heat, a wonderful advantage since heat can pose one of the biggest problems in indoor grow rooms. If your room gets too hot under the large ballasts of HID lights, your plants might wither and die. Using LEDs eliminates this risk altogether.
- Humidity: The lower heat levels of LEDs will cause less water to evaporate from your plants. When making the switch to LED grow lights, you will have to adjust your watering schedule, but one you find the right amount, you’ll soon realize you’ll have to water less, and thus, are saving water.
- Energy Savings: Plain and simple, using LEDs to nourish your indoor garden can save you up to 80 percent on your electric bill, compared to what you would spend if you were using HID lights.
- Longer lasting: Since LEDs don’t contain a filament, and instead function using a light-emitting-diode, or a semiconductor that produces light when electricity is passes through its circuit, they last much longer than HID lights. This means you’ll have to replace them much less often: another cost-reducing benefit.
Don’t let the winter months pull the plug on your garden—bring it indoors and enjoy fresh flowers and vegetables year round with the help of a little LED TLC!