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Getting lit with Hydroponic lighting.

How much light should you give your plants depends on what plants you’re growing, and where they’re at in the life cycle. Each plant will have a specific amount of daylight needed for optimum growth in the outdoors. You can find this information easily with a quick google.
Depending on how strong your hydroponic lighting set-up is, you might need to run your lights longer or shorter than if the plant were outdoors. It’s about the amount of light the plant gets, not necessarily how long it is in the light.

It’s also a question of what type of light your plants need, too.

When plants are seedlings, they’re concentrating on growing stems and leaves, and grow best with more light from the blue part of the spectrum. If you’re growing plants with leaves you want to harvest, more blue light will mean a better harvest.

When it comes to flowering, plants love red light as well as blue. The red helps with flower

Plants need light to grow. Cells within the plant leaf convert sunlight into carbohydrates which the plant uses as an energy source. Without the right light levels, the plant cannot perform basic biological functions and will either be stunted in its growth or will die.

Naturally, plants get their light from the sun, but if you’re growing some crops indoors in a hydroponic set up you’ll need to simulate that sunlight with grow lamps.

We all love lamp, but there are a few different types of grow lamps you can use in your hydroponic setup. Let’s shine a light on a few options –

  • LEDs are the newest tech on the market, and they are extremely energy efficient and flexible. Because LEDs are so small and strips are adjustable, you can build lighting setups that are super specific to your plants and tailor each diode to point exactly where you want it. LEDs offer the full light spectrum and can be tweaked to have more red or blue depending on what you’re growing.
    LED fittings are made up of individual light emitting diodes (LED), so whilst every diode will produce usable light, you’ll need to make sure that the lamp you're using has strong enough diodes or enough diodes to get your plants the right amount of light. Because of this, LEDs can get quite expensive when you need to add more to get the right levels.


  • Fluorescent lights are an old-school favourite and provide a good amount of blue light. This makes them great for seedlings, as they’re also lower temperature, so they won’t burn leaves. Fluro tubes are pretty inflexible though, so you can’t customize where they point, but they’re generally super cheap, and standard lights will work fine.

  • Metal Halide lights are an older technology that is dirt cheap to set up but can be expensive to run. They offer a good array of light and are a great all-rounder. Because of the way they generate light, they also produce a fair amount of heat (around 15% of the energy used is lost as heat). This can be bad news for tender micro-herbs or seedlings but can be used to your advantage if your hydro setup is in a cold part of the world, or you’re trying to grow plants out of season.


Home hydroponic farms can provide de-lightful produce, and can be a real turn-on for anyone into gardening. To get the best out of your crop, you need to have the best hydroponic lighting setup. With the right lighting, you can turn your harvest from a light snack to a full main meal.

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