Solar Umbrella Light Latest In ‘Green Gadget’ Garden Lights

January 1, 2011 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Get light at the BBQ And Stay Green. [ ]. We’ve all seen the umbrella light that clips around the outdoor umbrella. Well this would have to be the next step, one that’s run of solar power. Who would like this: People who have a large outdoor area that they like to use…

Gardening Tips : How Do Black Lights Affect Plant Growth?

May 11, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Black lights can help plants to grow and survive, but they won’t have many blooms, and they will be very leggy. Find out why blue and red lights are the best artificial lights for growing plants with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening tips. Expert: Yolanda Vanveen Contact: Bio: Yolanda Vanveen is a third-generation flower grower and sustainable gardener who lives in Kalama, Wash. Filmmaker: Daron Stetner

Basic Indoor hydroponics Gardening Guide – Indoor Grow Lights for Hydroponics Systems

March 21, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Resources

A great indoor garden requires a good grow light. It could mean the difference between success and failure. Having the right hydroponic light is the single-most important and costly decision in setting up your garden.

 Hydroponic grow lights come in three main types:


Incandescent lights

These are the usual lights found in homes. They are generally a poor choice for garden grown lights because of their limited light spectrum and inefficiency.

HID (High Intensity Discharge) grow lights

Producing more light (up to 10x more lumens/watt than an incandescent light),are more efficient. Drawbacks would be, they produce more heat, generally more expensive than incandescent lights and requires the additional expense and maintenance with ballast. It takes around 100 hours before hydroponic HID grow lights reach their optimum working conditions, or until they reach light intensity and color stability. 

Natural Sunlight

Expense for acquiring artificial lights can be skipped by using sunlight. This is done with the use of solar room, greenhouse or large windows which allows plenty of sunlight. Or you can do this outdoors; hydroponics does not necessarily mean the cultivation of plants indoors but it growing plants without the use of soil.

Basic setup for an indoor garden is 1000w of lighting for and area of 16-25 square feet of plant area. Reflectors and/or light movers should also be considered as they improve efficiency of the indoor hydroponic gardening system. Ballast may also be needed as numerous hydroponic grow lighting require igniting.

 Some Basic Facts

Before plugging in your grow light

Different plants require different levels or types of lighting, this paragraph would deal on some simple know-how on how to make an effective lighting setup. In setting up your garden, it is essential that you determine your growing area in order to determine the best lighting setup for you. Light is an essential factor in the growth of plants, it is important that the lighting solution you chose for your garden is adequate for its size. A poor or ill advised decision would certainly reflect on the quality of plants you produced. Inappropriate budgeting like cost cutting specially on lighting would just prove to be uneconomical and inefficient in the long run.

A general rule for lighting that area coverage is determined by a light wattage output. Reflectors might be used to increase the light area and reach corners but effectiveness is still determined by this formula.

Day and Night Cycles

The type of plant and its stage of growth generally determine the amount of light needed. A common cycle is that with 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness which is recommended for its vegetative growth phase.

For seedlings, a continuous light source is needed until the first real leaves appear. When the leaves appear, the regular 18/6 light cycle is used. Fluorescent or incandescent lights are best for seedling because of the low heat and soft light they generate. Automated timers maybe used to ensure consistent light cycles. Inexpensive timers are also available; this can be found any hardware or Home Depot/ Lowe’s type store.

Light and Photosynthesis

The plants exposure to light intensity, duration and light color directly affects the amount of energy needed for photosynthesis. The color of the light, Blue simulates the summer sun, Orange for autumn seem to stimulate photosynthesis best. The light spectrum produced by metal halide bulbs (Blue lights) and high pressure sodium bulbs (red/ orange lights) produce this effects. HID grow lights produce these effects owing to their popularity to hobbyist and professionals. Combination of metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs provides the complete spectrum of light produced by the sun.

Use Caution When Working with Lights

The combination of water, electricity and chemicals in such a closed-in space makes the grow room one of the most dangerous places in your house. Keep in mind to separate your ballast by elevating it from the water-containing areas of your hydroponic growing system

Basic Indoor hydroponics Gardening Guide – Indoor Grow Lights Fluorescent tubes, Hps and MH

March 21, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under Resources

Fluorescent Grow Light

 Inexpensive and readily available in hardware stores and be utilized with regular light sockets. Producing less heat or none at all compared to full-size fluorescent grow lights.

Not just because of its small size and low heat output; compact fluorescent lights also produce the widest range of color spectrums to any type of lighting. It is ideal for shelf gardening due to their low heat output making the use of multiple shelves on top of each other possible. Compact fluorescent lights can be used with seedlings and small plants in a well designed hydroponic system indoor garden.

 Common Problems with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

 Problems with compact fluorescent light bulbs like inefficiency and poor light penetration are common.  Several compact fluorescent bulbs maybe used and consume energy as that of one HPS bulb, but do not produce the same useable light for the hydroponic indoor garden. 

Optimizing Fluorescent Grow Lights

 With the disadvantages of comparative inefficiency compared to HID lights, several things maybe done to counteract this.

Properly matching lights to the corresponding growth cycle.

Increasing Watt ratings increases light penetration

One cheap and easy way to maximize energy consumption is by the use of reflectors. Compact fluorescent lights have a 360 degree of distribution but only 90 degrees of it can be practically used. Reflectors direct the light to corners in order to maximize the light produced.

 High Intensity Discharge Lighting

 HID light bulbs are the most after lighting system by both hobbyist and professional growers. It has made possible all-year, all-season planting for thousands of indoor gardeners and industrial nursery growers. Due to their efficiency ( 10x more light produced than conventional incandescent bulbs) and color spectrums ideal for plants have resulted to better yields and plant quality all year round. Metal Halide (MH) light bulbs mainly produce blue lights, making them ideal for plants undergoing the vegetative phase of development.

Industrial cultivators the world over are the main users of HID grow lights. HID lamps provide numerous advantages that conventional Fluorescent and incandescent lights lack. Monetary benefits abound, it boosts overall plant production giving better harvests, and environmental factors are eliminated allowing all year-round production. HID lights operate stock 110 to 220 volts AC home currents and have a standard three prong adapter to link up. HID grow lights mostly come with a ballast resistor and reflective hood.

Photosynshesis in plants allows plants them to produce their own energy. Chlorophyll in plants enables plants to convert CO2, water and energy from light to nutrients and sugars. When all this elements like CO2 and nutrients are readily and plenty in a desired surrounding, the potential for growth is bound only to the amount and quality of light available.

 High Pressure Sodium (HPS) light bulbs produce reddish light, it is ideal during the fruit phase of the plant cycle. Cooler (blue) and Warmer (orange) color spectrums raise chlorophyll production and fruit energy. The sun produces cooler lights when it is higher in the skyline, seen in the summer calendar months. It is essential for plant growth shape and keep it tight. Warmer light, experienced when the sun is lower in relative position to the skyline is important for blooming plants and during the fruit phase.

Choice of lights can also depend on the type of plants grown. Metal Halide growth lights are ideal for bushy harvests such as cabbage and vegetating herbaceous plants. Blossoming plants on the other hand is better suited by high pressure sodium growth lights. Conversion light bulbs are also available for different organizations. More expensive than other lights, conversion lamps give that extra advantage of starting your plants with a metal halide growth light giving taut, small development and being replaced by high pressure sodium light bulbs when the fruit stage of the plant is reached. Recent developments have introduced convertible ballast resistors for regular metal halide growth lights and high pressure sodium light bulbs.

HID grow lights main advantage is that it eliminates such factors as climate, temperature and time of day. Season dependent plants can be grown throughout the year; they provide an alternative to solar light. For those who are garden and flower hobbyists, this would be a plus.

Hydroponic growth lights also gives you control over light exposure. Allowing us to hasten a plants growth or that flower to bloom. Ideal light color, duration and concentration are the key factors in growing those choice plants.

 High Pressure Sodium Bulbs 

A clear ceramic arc tube suspended inside a glass bulb characterizes High Pressure Sodium Bulbs. Xenon gas is the main component inside the inner tube which is then ignited to produce an arc of light. Sizes range fro 35 watts up to 1000 watts. The most popular of which are the 250 watts, 400 watts and 1000 watts.

 Advantages of High Pressure Sodium Bulbs

 Efficiency is one of its advantages; they provide the best light penetration and have strong light spectrums necessary for plant growth. Mainly producing red and yellow lights or little or no blue lights, they mimic the autumn sun. Popularity for HPS lights are mainly attributed to their low energy to light ratio and is the most economical and efficient than any other type of lighting system. HPS lights work best during the flowering or fruit stage of the plant growth cycle.

 Disadvantages of HPS High Pressure Sodium Bulbs

 High Pressure Sodium Bulbs produce great amounts of heat. Proper ventilation and good garden construction and planning help to offset this negative effect. Like all HID growth light systems price is the main drawback compared to fluorescent lights. HPS lights are currently more cost effective compared to other HID growth light systems.

High Pressure Sodium Light bulbs are replaced after 24 months to ensure their and your gardens efficiency.

 Metal Halide Bulbs

 Metal Halide bulbs are constructed by placing an inner arc tube inside vacuum-sealed glass tubing. Electric currents passed through the inner arc which in turn ignites mercury and iodide materials in the tube.

 Advantages of Metal Halide Bulbs

 Metal Halide Bulbs mimic sunlight during summertime. Producing a blue spectrum of light most ideal for plants in their vegetative growth phase. They are also a good choice for indoor hydroponic garden systems because of their efficiency in producing light.

 Other Metal Halide Bulb Information

 Available from 70 to 1500 watts, Metal Halide bulbs present a wide variety of choices. Most popular and commonly used are the 250, 400 and 1000 watts metal halide bulbs. Ballast specifically tailored for each bulb is also essential. Mounting positions depend on its specific bulb type (marks or guides are usually provided). HOR bulbs are mounted horizontally, BU/BD is vertically mounted and U (universal) bulbs could be mounted either way. The vertical position is the most ideal and provides utmost efficiency.