Light is a crucial part of growth. Humans, animals, and plants all require light to thrive. Some plants, especially those growing in an indoor environment, may not be exposed to as much natural light as is needed to flourish. In cases like this, artificial lighting is used to support the growing process. There are three main types of lighting used in growing. They are as follows... HID, LED, and CFL (don’t worry we will break this down for you in a second). Each light can be used for different purposes and support different phases of growth.
HID lighting, better known as high-intensity discharge, is commonly used to promote indoor plant growth. Generally, HID lighting is used for auto-flowering. Auto-flowering is when the plant switches from the vegetative growth state to the flowering growth state. Breaking that down a little further, HID light works best with plants that will switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage at a certain age, opposed to switching stages from a timed light source. Some plants will make this switch solely because of their timed light dependency and in other cases plants will make the switch simply because of their age. HID light is helpful for those plants who make the switch on their own. HID light is very potent and can damage certain plants if used improperly. So be mindful and intentional when placing these lights. There may be a trial-and-error process required to get your perfect setup! Because after all everyone's hydroponic experience will be different. Lastly, an important notation to make when picking out lights for your plants is to ask yourself how quickly do you need the plants to grow? Are you on a time crunch or do you have some time to spare? HID lights tend to result in faster growth in a shorter amount of time.
The next kind of lighting is a very popular one... a light many of us use daily. LED lighting which stands for Light-emitting diode, is probably the most well-known of the three. When it comes to cloning, LED lights work extremely well because they almost perfectly mimic natural sunlight, containing the perfect spectrum of light needed in a plant's lifecycle. Another redeeming quality of the LED light is its ability to create low energetic waste! With all the pro’s that come with using this specific light there are also some cons. LED lights may result in slower growth. Let me reiterate, LED lights are no less successful than their competitors but may result in a slower growth time. In addition, they must be set up at a very specific distance from the plants to keep them from burning and/or bleaching. In the end, LED lighting is an efficient choice when growing plants.
The third lighting source is CFL light, which stands for compact fluorescent light. We see CFLs in our everyday life, mostly because they are cheap but efficient. They produce a cool white spectrum light that is strong enough to provide light without being overpowering or harmful to the naked eye. There are a variety of CFL bulbs you can buy that emit different colors which can be useful for different stages of plant growth. CFL lights emit a much lower heat than most other grow lights which makes them suitable for smaller spaces (solely due to the fact they can be hung much closer to the plant without burning it). This lighting source is perfect for new cuttings, seedlings, and for use during the vegetative growth state.