Sunlight is an essential element of growing plants.
Without enough light, your plants won’t be able to create enough energy to grow.
Typically, plants use light from the sun for this process.
But humans have found ways to grow plants using artificial lights too.
These lights are often referred to as “grow lights.”
While some artificial lights do a great job of sustaining plant life, can they really replace the sun?
In this article, we’ll explore grow light vs. sunlight and find out whether one is really better than the other.
Light comes in a spectrum of different colors, and plants need red and blue light specifically.
Red light helps plants produce flowers and fruit, while blue light helps them grow leaves.
Sunlight provides the full spectrum.
But most light bulbs only produce yellow or green light.
And others produce red or blue light, but not both at the same time.
But many grow lights are now made specifically to cover the full spectrum.
As a result, full spectrum grow lights are almost as good as sunlight!
But sunlight is a lot more powerful than grow lights.
A plant gets about the same amount of energy from 13 hours under a grow light as it does from six hours under the sun.
Plus, sunlight is free.
You have to buy grow lights and pay for the energy it takes, to run them for hours at a time.
So, if you’re going to grow outdoors, sunlight is usually best.
But grow lights actually work better in some situations.
If you don’t have any outdoor space to grow plants in, using grow lights is almost always better than using natural light.
For one thing, not every room has natural light.
But even if you do have windows, they filter out a lot of the intensity of the sun.
So, it’s not as powerful as direct light from the sun or a grow light.
And if the window doesn’t face the sun, or something is blocking it, the light that comes through is even less powerful.
This means plants that need a lot of light won’t do so well on a windowsill.
But since you can control the intensity of grow lights by adjusting how close they are to the plant and adding or removing lights, you can make sure your plants get all the light they need!
You can’t exactly move the sun to fit your plants’ needs.
Plus, plants that like cooler temperatures might not do well next to a window, because the glass can amplify heat from the sun.
Windows can hurt your plants during freezing winters too.
If the window is drafty or frozen, plants that sit right next to them might not be able to stay warm enough.
Grow lights give you the ability to place your plants in spots anywhere you want and protect them from extreme temperatures.
Grow lights can sometimes be better than sunlight, even if you have outdoor space too!
Some plants prefer indirect or shaded light and wither under full direct sunlight.
If you don’t have any shaded outdoor space, your plants won’t do well outside.
Similarly, some plants prefer full, direct light.
But if you only have shaded outdoor space, your plants won’t get enough light.
Plus, sunlight can be hard to find at times, depending on the season and region.
Take Alaska, for example, it only gets five hours of sunlight some winter days.
Grow lights ensure your plants get consistent, year-round access to sufficient light.
At the end of the day, you can always use both sunlight and artificial light at the same time.
If you suspect your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, try leaving it under an artificial light for a couple hours to help.
It’s hard to determine who wins the battle of grow light vs. sunlight since both have their pros and cons.
So, what works best is going to depend on your personal situation.
To learn more about growing plants, visit our website or call 602-753-3469.