How-To: Lighting for Hydroponic Growing

Choosing the right light for your hydro grow can be a difficult.
Watch and read these pointers and get out of the dark.

Not All Lights Are Created Equal

Grow lights are a great way to give your plants the light they need to thrive inside. With the right light you can grow the food that you want, regardless of weather or climate, 365 days a year!  

Without adequate sunlight inside, it is critical to have an alternate lighting source. The Root Farm Hydro Garden System is great for growing plants indoors.

Cool white or full spectrum fluorescent lights are usually a good fit for beginners because they’re effective and easy to use. These are best for growing smaller plants like leafy greens and herbs. Although they are effective, their lifespan is much shorter than their LED counterparts.

Cool white or full spectrum fluorescents are great for new growers.
A higher powered metal halide bulb is perfect for larger plants.

Higher powered lights like metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs are used to grow larger plants that need a lot of light — think tomatoes and pepper plants.

These lights can be pretty bulky and expensive — usually requiring additional equipment to accommodate for heat output. Due to the high investment and complicated setup, these lights are primarily used by more experienced growers.

LEDs provide simple, long lasting, energy efficient lighting for a wide variety of plants.

One of our favorite types of grow lights is the LED. LEDs are great for beginners or experienced growers. Not only are they simple and effective for growing plants, they also last longer and use less energy than alternative lighting systems. LEDs vary in their intended usage and light spectrum, so some additional homework is needed to choose the right kind of LED for growing your hydro garden.

That’s it for this segment on lighting! For more videos, tips and tricks, visit us at the Root Farm blog.