Lighting for Indoor Vegetable Gardening


Artificial lighting are needed whenever you decide to grow vegetables indoor where the lights that you used should be able to supply the growing plants at least with 14 to 16 hours of light per day. It is proven that the most effective artificial lighting is the fluorescent lights. Apart from lights, other factors that you need to take into consideration is the temperature, humidity, light level, air circulation, and nutrition. However, lighting is the most important element for you to see the success of your indoor vegetable garden because light will determine how long your vegetables will remain active and is necessary for its photosynthesis activities. The light intensity that you produce may affect the vegetable growth especially in terms of the manufacturing of the plant’s food, its stem length, leaf color, and flowering. The intensity of light for your indoor vegetable garden should be receiving always depends on the distance of the light source to the plant because if you move away from the light source, the light intensity will decrease. If you rely solely on the light coming through your window, you definitely will not be able to grow much of your vegetable plants.

To light up your indoor vegetable gardening, you need:

  • Lightweight chain
  • Two-bulb fluorescent light fixture
  • Two cool white fluorescent light bulbs
  • Electrical timer
  • High Pressure Sodium – HPS

Lighting your Indoor Vegetable Garden

Lighting for Indoor Vegetable Gardening

  • The first thing that you need to do is to install a lightweight chain on top of your growing bed of vegetable garden.
    • The length of the chain should be long enough to enable the fluorescent light fixture that you use will be able to be lowered down directly over the bed to a height of at least 3 to 4 inches.
    • However, the installation of a lightweight chain will depend on your indoor growing bed setting. The normal setup is the usage of two wood screws that you can installed where it would be able to hold the chain like an overhead wooden support of your lighting fixtures.
  • Whenever you are assembling your two-bulb fluorescent light fixture, you should always adhere to the instruction provided by the lights manufacturer.
    • There are various kinds of lighting fixtures available in the market and all of them sometimes require different steps for assembling them.

You will find that the 4-foot long fixtures of lighting that hold two bulbs have the capability of lighting up an indoor growing area of 2-by-4 feet. In order to receive supply of up to 2850 lumens per bulb, you need to use the cool white bulbs. The amount of light produced by artificial lighting is called lumens. The higher number of lumens the light produced, the more nutrients will be produced by your vegetable plants.

  • Once you have finished doing the above step, you need to insert the fluorescent light bulbs into the fixture. You will find that the normal “cool white” bulbs usually come with a 40-watt size.
  • Then, the lighting fixture need to be hanged from your lightweight chain that you have installed earlier.
    • Make sure that you keep at least a distance of between 3 to 4 inches between the bottom of your bulbs and the top of your vegetable plants.
  • Next step that you should do is to plug the cord end of your lighting fixture right into the light timer.
    • After that, you need to set the timer between 14 to 16 hours of light for your vegetable garden per day.
    • Then, you need to install the timer into your wall outlet before you start to turn the timer on.
  • You can also use the ultra-light fixtures which come with a slimmer profile in order to provide more room for your vegetable plants.
    • With a measurement of 14-inch wide, the light provides an even light coverage.
    • The ultra-light fixtures are designed with two T-5 bulbs that produce a full-spectrum light.
    • With 45% less energy usage compared to standard fluorescent bulbs, it can also be used for up to 10,000 hours of usage.
    • All of its fixtures come with their very own pull-chains to provide easy height adjustments along with electronic ballasts so that you can eliminate any kind of annoying sound.
  • You can also use high pressure sodium bulbs that normally produce an orange-red glowing color.
    • This type of lighting is used for triggering hormones of the plants in order to increase flowering/budding within plants. This type of lighting is suitable to be used for greenhouse growing method.

    Always remember that whenever you want to use lighting for your indoor vegetable garden

    • Do not use incandescent lights that normally produce more heat rather than lighting your vegetable garden. If you use too many incandescent lights, it can also prematurely dry out young plants. The incandescent lights are also much more expensive than the cool fluorescent white lamps.
    • Buying the more expensive growing bulbs is also a waste of money because regular fluorescent bulbs are much more suitable to cater for your indoor vegetable gardening.
    • If you want to grow indoor fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers is by using a combination of metal halide that provides intense light that is high in the blue spectrum. After that, you need to switch to high pressure sodium lights. The sodium lights are suitable for the red and orange spectrum which is suitable for growing of fruits.

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