9 Common Grow Light Mistakes
Grow lights are fantastic if you want to grow your own at home in an environment where you can’t grow outdoors. However, people do make mistakes when using them and this article is created to prevent such mistakes.
1. Overheating The Plants
Too much heat (emitted by light bulbs) can have a devastating effect on your plants. The first signs of too much heat manifest in the form of leaves changing color (brownish) and curling up. Leaves too close to the heat source (the lights) are among the first to be affected, one of the reasons you should keep a safe distance between them. Improving ventilation and moving the light bulbs away from the plants can, however, help with the issue.
2. Insufficient Lighting
Insufficient lighting not only affects plant health but also leads to lower yields. That said, you need to ensure there is adequate light to illuminate the entire garden properly. You also need to ensure the lighting is just right and not too much. If running LED lights, you then should know how much light they can produce, and how many will be required to provide sufficient lighting.
3. Not Installing the Lamps Properly
Improper placement of lamps can either lead to insufficient lighting or overheating the plants. Placing the lamps too far means the plants won’t get sufficient light while placing them too close causes overheating. Experts recommend placing the LED bulbs between 12 and 18 inches from the plants for the best results.
4. Using Substandard Products
Investing in substandard products, and especially lighting, can have a significant impact on the plant’s growth rate and health. Light is essentially required for photosynthesis, one of the reasons you should invest in the best quality lamps possible. While incandescent bulbs may seem handy, they do not produce the spectrum of light required/needed for optimal photosynthesis. Full-spectrum LED grow lights are thus recommended for this purpose. These LEDs are capable of delivering light in the spectrum necessary for photosynthesis and healthy growth. Shop Redbud Soil commercial grow lights.
5. Setting the Wrong Light Spectrum
Different light spectrums are required at various stages of a plant’s growth. You, therefore, need to know which light spectrum to set, and when. While full-spectrum LED lights make it possible to alter the spectrum settings, it’s quite possible for one to choose the wrong setting. The wrong light spectrum will affect plant growth and development, which is why you need to ensure the right setting is always selected. An excellent example of this is when the plants are in the vegetative stage. You’d be required to set it to the blue spectrum for desirable effects. Choosing the red spectrum at this stage will only inhibit plant growth, hence affect its ability to produce good yields.
6. Following the Wrong Light Schedule
While light is essential for plant growth, you ought not to leave the lights on all day, every day. You also should be careful never to forget to turn them on at the right time. Some systems, however, come with a programmable system that allows you to set ON and Off times. The light settings will also depend on the plant in question. Cannabis, for example, requires at least 18 hours of light while in the vegetative stage, and only 12 hours during the flowering stage.
7. Not Adjusting the Light
The key to perfectly growing plants is by ensuring the plants get enough light without overheating. This can only be achieved by adjusting the height of the lights as the plants grow. Some people, however, forget to adjust the height of the light, increasing the risk of overheating and leaves browning. You should also consider rotating the pots to facilitate consistent growth.
8. Failure to Protect/Maintain the LED Lights
Grow lights are a vital investment in gardening. Like everything, they too need to be taken care of and maintained properly. LED grow lights require little maintenance, something some people take for granted. Failure to protect the LED lights (using a power stabilizer) can shorten their lifespan, or even cause them to malfunction.
9. Overwatering the Plants After Switching to LEDs
Regular HID lights generate lots of infrared light and heat, hence causes the soil and plants to dry up quickly. LED lights, on the other hand, do not produce the infrared light, do not generate as much heat. There is thus no need to overwater your plants after switching from HIDs to LEDs.