Grow lights can be a really helpful tool for indoor gardening. Many people find that they are worth their cost. However, they aren’t cheap. Therefore, you might want to consider some of these inexpensive alternatives to grow lights.
What Are Grow Lights?
Grow lights are exactly what their name says: lights designed to help plants grow better. As you might guess, these aren’t just any regular light, though. You can’t just turn a desk lamp on to your plants and assume that they’ll grow better as a result. Instead, plants need light that’s similar to sunlight. Grow lights use particular colors from the light spectrum to help your indoor plants grow.
Inexpensive Alternatives To Grow Lights
There are several good inexpensive alternatives to grow lights. However, it’s important that when you look at these cheaper alternatives, you make sure that you’re choosing the right ones for your plants. There are different types of grow lights, with different intensity and energy efficiency, etc. Do your research to find out what works best with your particular setup.
1. Fluorescent Lights
Hydroponic Way suggests using fluorescent lighting as one of the best inexpensive alternatives to grow lights. They note that they generally don’t emit a lot of heat, which is important. A light bulb that burns too hot can burn your plants, doing the exact opposite of helping them to grow! However, because they don’t burn too hot, they also don’t burn too bright. As a result, they don’t produce enough light for some plants to grow well. Do your research to find plants that will grow well under fluorescent lighting.
2. LED Grow Lights
There are actually many different types of grow lights on the market. Some are more expensive than others. If you want to purchase grow lights made for your indoor garden but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then consider purchasing LED grow lights. They’re easy to find. Moreover, they’re energy-efficient so they won’t run up the cost of your home electric bill.
3. Halogen Lights
Hydroponic Way notes that these are not the most efficient option. However, if you already have halogen lights or you can get them affordably, then you might want to see if they work well for your indoor garden.
4. Incandescent Light Bulbs
Today’s Homeowner notes that you can use incandescent lighting bulbs as grow lights. However, as aforementioned, they burn hot so they have the potential to burn your plants. As a result, make sure that you keep the lights further away from the plants than you would with the other types of alternative lights. They note that a nice option is to combine incandescent lights with fluorescent lights because each emits a different type of light on the spectrum, giving your plants a better balance for good growth.
Obviously, the sun is the best light source for your plants. If you can skip the grow lights and use nature, then that’s your best option. It’s free, after all. Of course, you might not have the choice to grow all of your plants outdoors. Or you might want to enjoy indoor gardening during months when it’s too cold for plants outside. If you can set plants up near windows that get the right amount of sun, this is still your best option.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a long time writer, crafter and author of several books. A resident of San Francisco, she is committed to helping others explore, articulate and share their own individuals stories. When she’s not evaluating investing opportunities Kathryn is an avid knitter, researcher, and blogger.