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Grow Lights Vs Regular Lights: Choosing the Best for your Needs

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Grow Lights VS Regular Lights: The Best Lighting for your Needs

Light is one of the requirements that help plants grow. Plants use up sunlight and carbon dioxide, and water to perform photosynthesis and prepare food for themselves and release oxygen. But then why cannot plants flourish indoors where they are kept under the everyday lights? 

This is since not all plants are the same, and some plants require wavelengths of light to grow. The spectrum of the light consists of multiple wavelengths, out of which some are used to light up our paths and homes, while others help the plants to grow and produce. 

So, let us investigate grow lights vs. regular lights in more detail.

Comparison between Grow Lights VS Regular Lights

Comparison between Grow Lights VS Regular Lights

Grow lights belong to the red, blue, and UV spectrum of light and have variable efficiency. They are used for a plant’s health and growth. On the other hand, regular lights belong to the entire white spectrum range and have good efficiency. They are used in our everyday life to light up our surroundings.

Grow Lights

It is an artificial light source used in photosynthesis as it belongs to the required spectrum of light. In photosynthesis, light energy is converted to a form of energy used by plants to grow and produce. So, grow lights are found when people want to grow plantations inside the house or for plants that require a specific set of wavelengths. 

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EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light with 3 Modes Timing Function for Indoor Plants
  • Auto turn on and off timing function
  • Red and blue led combination
  • 9 dimmable modes
  • 3 cycle timing modes
  • Suitable for indoor potted plants or indoor gardens

They can be bought as individual bulbs or as part of a set when users wish to concentrate the light. Different grow lights have specific uses that can affect a plant’s health. They can also harm human eyes as the light emitted by them is too strong. So, precautions must be taken while using them.

Who Can Use Grow Lights?

While deciding between grow lights vs. regular lights, one can get confused about whether a particular kind of light is suitable for their requirements. But there is no need to fret. Grow light can be used by anyone, be it a commercial grower or hobbyist, who plans to grow vegetation that requires wavelengths of light emitted by the sun.

Grow lights help get plants (like herbs and flowers) more established and provide seedlings the extra boost they require before planting. They are also very popular in commercial set-ups and greenhouses where they need to look extra healthy.

Common Types of Grow Lights Used

Some of the most frequently used grow lights that help in plant growth include:

High-Intensity Discharge (HID)

HID bulbs are particular and provide spectral ranges of red or blue, depending on our requirements. But they can be interchanged for the different stages of growth of a plant. The light is produced between tungsten electrodes that have been fused with alumina inside a tube by creating an electric arc. The output level is very high, and thus, HID bulbs are mostly used by commercial growers.

MARS HYDRO TS 600W LED Grow Light 2x2ft Coverage Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lamp Plants Growing for...
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  • HIGH REFLECTIVE HEAT SINK LED GROW SYSTEM, quickly heat dispersing material aluminum reducing light...
  • NOISE-FREE FANLESS LED GROW LAMPS FOR INDOOR PLANTS, Designed for home growers, fans get noisy when...

Fluorescent

Fluorescent bulbs mostly provide blue wavelengths. They also offer a full spectrum of white light that benefits plants greatly in their early stages of growth. These bulbs are the right choice if you want to grow plants indoors as they emit less heat and last long.

Durolux T5 Ho Grow Light - 4 Foot 4 Lamps - DL844 Fluorescent Hydroponic Indoor Fixture UL Listed -...
  • HIGH LIGHT OUTPUT: 20000 Lumen, Professional Grow Lighting System, 95% Reectivity German Hammer-tone...
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Fluorescent lights can be found in the form of tube lights or CFL (compact fluorescent) reflectors. Even though it is an energy-efficient option compared to incandescent lamps, they tend to be expensive.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

LED’s emit low heat and are both small and efficient. They can be combined with other forms of grow lights to customize the light spectrum according to our requirements. LED’s are useful during all stages of plant growth as they can produce more than one wavelength at the same time when used in a panel. This is the latest technology available in the market and is also customer friendly.

Incandescent Grow Lights

This is the least expensive option available. It provides a high heat output but is the least energy-efficient, making it the weakest contender in the market.

GE Incandescent Plant Light Bulb, BR30 Indoor Plant Light, 65-Watt, 730 Lumen, Medium Base,...
  • PLANT LIGHT BULB: Highlight the natural beauty of your plants with this blue-tinted indoor plant...
  • GROW YOUR PLANTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR: These grow lights for indoor plants provide the perfect...
  • RECESSED LIGHT BULBS FOR INDOOR PLANTS: These grow lights for indoor plants provide directional...
  • WIDE BEAM LIGHT BULBS: The floodlight design casts wide beams of light to grow your plants with...

Metal Halide lights

The light source is created by mixing mercury vapor with metal salts. They are also mostly used by commercial growers and use a unique fixture.

VIVOSUN 2-Pack 600 Watt Metal Halide MH Conversion Grow Light Bulb Lamp - Enhanced Blue and Violet...
  • 600W VIVOSUN MH bulb compatible with electronic and magnetic ballasts, 60000 Lumens, E39 Base
  • Optimized blue & violet spectrum and high PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) to stimulate flower...
  • Extra-low lumen depreciation: maintaining over 90% of initial lumen output after running for 5,000...
  • Startup Time: allow 2-3 mins for full bright. After power off, do please wait at least 5 mins before...
  • Lifetime: 24,000 hours

Pros and Cons of Grow Lights

Pros

  • Provides the required wavelength of the light spectrum
  • Low energy is used
  • Low heat output, so the bulbs do not get overheated
  • Helps plants in the process of photosynthesis

Cons

  • Can damage the human eye
  • Costlier than regular lights
  • All stages of plant growth are not supported by an individual grow light. It needs to be customized.

Regular Lights: Light up Our Path

The primary purpose of regular light is to light up dark spaces. They provide us light to read and work comfortably and brighten up our house as the sunsets. They are found everywhere, be it our vehicles, garages, or the front porch. 

SYLVANIA Halogen Light Bulb, A19, 60W Equivalent, Efficient 43W, 610 Lumens, 2750K, Soft White - 4...
  • SYLVANIA halogen bulbs provide significant energy savings than incandescent bulbs. These A19 bulbs...
  • Halogen A19 dimmable lights offer numerous benefits. Experience true color (100 CRI), instant on,...
  • These high-quality light bulbs offer an extra long life of 2,000 hours.
  • Use for indoor and outdoor lighting when not directly exposed to weather. Omni directional lighting.
  • Halogen light bulbs meet federal EISA requirements.

These regular lights are mostly available as bulbs but provide various options to choose from, depending on the shape, colour, style, or the bulb socket available. Specialized lights need to be decided based on size and compatibility, like the ones used in cars. 

Regular lights have a large heat output and can get overheated easily. So, they must be placed away from human skin to avoid accidental burns.

Who Can Use Regular Lights?

These are the most used lights and can be spotted everywhere around us. They help us to get by in our daily lives by lighting up our working space and homes. Regular lights guide us through the darkness and make visibility better. 

They are also a significant part of the entertainment industry as they govern what we see on our electronic devices, like phones, tablets, television, video games, and computer screens. The lights can also be specialized to help us see things that would usually be invisible to us, and a particular spectrum of it also helps keep our body warm during winter months.

Common Types of Regular Lights

People are becoming more aware of energy conservation, efficiency, and safety of regular lights. So many kinds of bulbs are phased out of use and new and better ones introduced. The ones found today are:

Incandescent Bulbs

They once used to be the most popular choice. But with increased awareness, these were phased out. Safer and efficient decisions were brought into action.

A19 Frosted Incandescent Rough Service Light Bulb, 60 Watt, 2700K Soft White, E26 Medium Base, 550...
  • 60 WATT A19 FROSTED GLASS ROUGH SERVICE BULB - Provides 550 Lumens of output; Comfortable 2700K soft...
  • STANDARD HOUSEHOLD SERVICE LIGHT BULB - Rough service bulb contains additional wire to support and...
  • APPLICATIONS - Ideal for kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living rooms, ceiling fans, porches, patios,...
  • DIMMABLE - Customize the brightness to your preference; Ideal for home or commercial use; 360°...
  • SAFE AND DURABLE - Lasts 3,000 hours - longer than standard incandescent bulbs, Heavy duty...

Halogen Bulbs

They can be used to light up large areas and thus are used in high vaulted ceilings. Halogen bulbs are warm when touched and need proper airflow and ventilation so that overheating can be avoided.

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  • 60 Watt - Replaces 75W PAR30 (Same lumen output)
  • PAR30 Halogen - 120V
  • Indoor & Outdoor Use
  • Halogen Flood Reflector
  • Pack Of 6 Bulbs

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Bulbs)

CFL is the most long-lasting choice as they are steady. They emit a white spectral light that does not harm the eyes. Their heat output is low, so it can easily be used in recessed lighting units.

PHILIPS LED PHILIPS 433557 100-watt Equivalent, Bright White (6500K) 23 Watt Spiral CFL Light Bulb,...
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  • Compatibility: These Philips Indoor CFL Light Bulbs fit in a medium screw base; Not compatible with...

LED (Light Emitting Diodes)

These can emit specific wavelengths from the light spectrum like grow light LEDs. They are also relaxed when touched and a long-lasting choice.

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  • Superior light quality - Non-flickering light and zero harsh glares prevents eye fatigue and...
  • UL certified, 3 years warranty - Built with premium materials and circuitry, Tenergy led daylight...

Pros and Cons of Regular Lights

Pros

  • Cheaper choice
  • Readily available all around us
  • Numerous daily uses
  • Energy efficient
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Wavelengths provided are narrow
  • Does not support photosynthesis and thus plant growth
  • Heat output is very high

The Best Lighting for Your Needs

Grow lights vs. regular lights are very different from one another and used for specific purposes. Grow light supports photosynthesis and aids in the various stages of plant growth. 

They are used when the plants need to be grown indoors, and thus natural light is limited. Grow lights tend to mimic the spectral wavelengths that are provided by the sun’s light. 

Regular lights are found everywhere around us. Regular light is a part of our daily lives and aid us in our everyday activities. Regular light is not suitable for plants’ care as their wavelengths are not concentrated enough. 

If you plan to grow plants indoors as a hobby or a commercial supplier, you must grow light to satisfy your wavelength requirements. But regular lights can be used to light up your house.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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