It’s probably fair to say that the biggest and most obvious rookie error of all when it comes to providing light for indoor gardens is that of simply using the lights, lamps and bulbs you already have around the home. But even if you’re sensible and realistic enough to acknowledge the fact that household bulbs won’t cut it, there are still plenty of enormous mistakes you might just find yourself falling into.
Of course it’s only by making mistakes and learning from them that we’re able to move on to bigger and better things, but at the same time it’s always a better idea to learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid the hassle of making them yourself.
So with this in mind, here’s quick introduction to five of the most painfully common rookie lighting mistakes you’ll probably want to stay away from:
1 – Assuming More Is Better
First up, the fact that you know light is good for your plants and pretty much the single most important thing they need to survive may inadvertently lead you into the assumption that more must inherently be better. In truth however, while providing too little light will result in plants that either fail to flourish or never even get off the ground in the first place, abiding them with too much light will yield pretty much the same results. In terms of how much light your plants actually need, try to remember that every plant is different and you need to check out the specifics, rather than making assumptions.
2 – Assuming Brighter Is Better
The same also goes for the brightness of the lights you choose as while you are unlikely to come across anything that even comes close to replicating the brightness of the sun, there is very much such a thing as drowning your plants in light that is far too strong. As mentioned above, the strength and type of light each of your plants requires will vary considerably, therefore it is crucial to do your homework and not simply assume that brighter is better…quite often it isn’t.
3 – Ignoring Temperature Changes
Try to bear in mind that regardless of what type of lighting you go for, it will have at least some impact on the temperature of the room in which you are growing your plants. The more lights you have in any given space, the bigger the change to the temperature which will of course lead to fluctuations as the lights are turned on and off. Needless to say, temperature is something of a biggie when it comes to determining how successful your indoor gardening efforts will be, so it’s probably in your best interests not to ignore potential temperature changes.
4 – Using One-Size-Fits-All Lighting Strategies
Never under any circumstances assume that you can put dozens of different types of plants together and utilize a single one-size-fits-all lighting strategy that will deliver outstanding results. As already touched upon more than once, the fact that pretty much every plant and type of plant out there has somewhat different needs when it comes to lighting should tell you that a single lighting strategy cannot and will not work with a wide array of different plant varieties. As such, you’ll need to either tend to their lighting needs individually, or make sure you grow plants with near-identical lighting demands.
5 – Buying Bargain-Basement Bulbs
Last but not least, it’s more often than not accurate to say that when it comes to hydroponic lamps and bulbs in general, you get what you pay for. There are certain brands and products on the market which have stellar reputations for getting the job done with gusto and reliability, while others exist just for the sake of shifting inventory. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune just to get by, but if you’re only willing to spend pennies of the market’s most barrel-bottom bulbs, you better be prepared for the consequences.