Hydroponics is a method of soilless culture. And the perfect method for all the gardening fans who hate the creepy crawlies that go with the land! Hydroponic plants are grown in a culture of liquid nutrient solution, either transferred to plants through water or mixed into artificial plant media that offer support to growing plants. If you set up your hydroponic gardening system indoors, in a greenhouse, you will need artificial lighting to nourish your plants with.
The amount and intensity depend on the plant you are growing. Other factors you should think about before zeroing in on a lighting system include, for instance, the area the light covers, and whether it has an on/off schedule that can be planned according to your requirements. For example, if you grow in a glass greenhouse, your plants will get some amount of natural light and only a part of the light will have to be from artificial sources. Buying a complete lighting system might then burn an unnecessary hole in your pocket. So it is always wise to carry out an extensive study of the ground conditions before you select a hydroponic lighting system.
Let us go over the basic means of hydroponic lighting that are available to you. The commonest and cheapest method is using spotlight lamps. Size and power vary, but they’re simple and work well for home-based hydroponic systems. However, their size might affect their efficiency negatively. Another popular lighting option is the LED grow light, which is efficient and slim, thus making it fit into any kind of space. Neons can be placed on top of the hydroponic system or on the sides. They can be attached and detached and moved around. Use two LEDs, red and blue, to simulate natural light conditions better.
Metal halide lights are said to generate very high intensity white light, and that makes them the best substitute for natural light. Since they create temperature and light conditions comparable to those made possible by sunlight, they spur photosynthesis and photoperiod. High pressure sodium lamps are useful for plants that must lights that are not white or blue. Sodium lighting glows pink initially, then turning into a deep shade or orange.
Stuck with a huge greenhouse and no money for lights to match? Rail lights are what you should go for. By installing a rail on the greenhouse ceiling or the sides, a single hydroponic lighting lamp can be fitted and cued to move along the rail, stopping over plants to give them a dose of light. The rail method is cost effective as you can use only a few lamps and do not need to light up your entire greenhouse.