artificial light vs sunlight for plants

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Sunlight provides the full spectrum. This problem is made worse by energy efficiency regulations which are driving the move to fluorescents and LEDs. The "cool white" fluorescent tubes, as well as special plant fluorescent lights are selected by many indoor gardeners, according to the University of Missouri. Most artificial light sources simulate white light by providing only a few colors of the rainbow. The visible spectrum of light contains many different colors. The seeds’ containers should be placed less than six inches from the light source. This is the most common question which comes to every garden lover's mind, especially when we talk about indoor plants. Outdoors, plants experience a natural cycle of light and darkness, with the amount of light changing with the seasons. Cool to the touch and extremely energy efficient, LED lights are a great indoor growing option if you choose the right ones. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." Additional artificial lighting can then help to increase the growth and quality of plants. Unlike the sunlight, artificial light can be adjusted by either installing lights with higher intensity or lower the light closer to the plant to increase the intensity of the light. Green light is not particularly helpful to plants. Light consists of several different wavelengths, each of which produces its own color. Living in a house or apartment with limited access to sunlight does not mean you cannot grow plants. Others emit red or blue light but not both. If the windowsill itself is too hot or cold, move the plant to a stand or table a few inches away from the window rather than placing it directly on the windowsill or against the window glass. If you don't have a timer, you'll have to wake up in the morning and turn the light on and close it at night when the sun sets. Artificial Light in Plant Growth, By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants, Today's Homeowner: How to Grow Houseplants in Artificial Light, House Plants Expert: Indoor Plants Temperature Guide. Exposing your indoor plant to constant light may actually weaken its health. Whether you opt for the traditional long tubes or more modern compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), you'll be using the most popular type of light for indoor growing. "Burpee Complete Gardener"; Barbara Ellis, Editor; 1995. When it comes to the light they emit, incandescent bulbs are the opposite of fluorescents. In fact, low-light foliage plants (such as pothos and peace lily) can grow quite nicely in windowless offices with enough artificial light. Agronomically, new lighting technologies such as LEDs have the potential to cover fluence and wavelength requirements of plants, while allowing specific wavelengths to be enriched, thus supplying the light quantity and quality … As with sunlight, the plant might "reach" for the light bulb; rotate the plant or place it directly under the light source. Fluorescent light tubes are a good source for providing light for plants; however, there are a variety of fluorescent tubes. Incandescent bulbs emit a very warm light that is rich in red wavelengths. Fluorescent bulbs last about 10,000 hours and run cool, so they need only sit about one foot away from your plants. Plants that need less light do better in west or east facing windows. You can expect a lifetime of about 1,000 hours from most incandescent bulbs. Scientists have been very lucky in using artificial light for plant growth. It is important to note that most of the LED grow lights are designed with a reflector that makes it possible to direct more light to the plant thus increasing the intensity. The blue portion of the spectrum promotes healthy leaf growth while red hues foster flowering and fruiting. LED bulbs are inexpensive to operate and last up to 50,000 hours. An article on Earthsky talks about comparing the two types of light on their effectiveness of growing plants. Dust and age further diminish the light. Horticultural bulbs, too, demand a higher price than other light sources. Apollo Horticulture GLBHPS600. When it is combined with blue light, red light helps a plant flower. Take one pot and put it under a light bulb and turn it on. The rainbow effect created by holding a prism up to sunlight is a visual description of the colors in the light spectrum. Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. 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