The impact of grow lights in hydroponics gardening is very essential as it mimics the work done by natural sunlight. There’s is no disputing that leaving grow light on for long will result in faster growth. However, the question is: is leaving your grow lights on for 24 hours ideal? Let’s look into this.
Leaving your grow lights on for 24 hours will sure supply your plants more light and if you notice they aren’t getting adequate light, increasing the number of light supply is fine. However, this is usually not the ideal way out and we will let you know why.
Can You Leave Grow Lights On 24 Hours A Day: Ideal Or Not?
It is not the best idea to leave your grow light on for 24 hours even if your plants are not getting enough light supply. The best solution is to obtain more light installations or switch to a stronger grow light. Thus, it’s not ideal to leave your grow light on all day and we will give you more reasons.
Reasons Why Leaving Grow Lights On For 24 Hours Isn’t Ideal
Let’s take a look at some reasons why leaving your grow lights on 24 hours is not recommended:
- No Resting Time For Plants: when you run your grow light all day, your plants will have no time to rest. Just like a human being needs rest, plants also require a resting stage. Have in mind that the natural sun does not go up all day. We have the night time which is the dark cycle of the plants. Allow your indoor hydroponics plants to also have this dark cycle. During the dark cycle which is the resting stage, it is believed plants use this period to convey nutrients into the most distant part of the plants.
- Not Ideal For The Flowering Phase: 24 hours lighting duration is not ideal for plants that need to enter the flowering phase. Your plants won’t transition into the flowering phase unless you decrease the hours of lightening. Now if your plants are already in their flowering phase and you up the light duration to 24 hours, doing that can be quite catastrophic. This can cause your plant to go back to the vegetative phase and it might even take a long time to return to its flowering phase.
- Additional Cost: An additional cost is another reason. More electricity will be used and it might require you to change the bulb frequently.
- Additional Heat: more heat is will be emitted when you leave the grow lights all day. It will require you to also run more fans as well as other cooling instruments to control the excess heat.
- Puts Stress On Equipment: additional stress is put on your equipment as they are working all day without rest. This can reduce the lifespan of your equipment.
Leaving your grow lights on for 24 hours long has just one advantage. Your plant receives more light and it will result in rapid growth. This is usually ideal for plants that require only the vegetative phase. So, plants like veggies may benefit from this. Nevertheless, the disadvantages of leaving your grow lights on for 24 hours outweigh the advantages.
How To Determine Light Duration: Factors To Consider For 24 Hours Of Light
Put these factors into consideration when deciding the duration to leave grow lights on:
- Type Of Plants: there are different types of plants namely low-light, medium-light, and high-light plants. Always determine the type you are growing.
- Type Of Grow Light: the types of grow light we have are LED, compact fluorescents, regular bulbs, metal halide, and high-intensity discharge lights. All these grow light supply different capacities of light so you can choose one whichever that suits your growing needs.
- Growing Phase: vegetative type of plants may benefit from 24 hours light duration. But flowering and fruiting plants will require a dark phase. The cloning or seedling germination phase is critical so they require both light and dark phases. You can supply them with 12 to 16 hours of light and 8 hours of the dark phase.
What Are The Ideal Hours For Running Grow Light?
It is required to supply your hydroponics plants with at least 12 hours of light and at most 18 hours of light daily. However, if you notice your plants aren’t receiving optimal light you can replace the fixtures or switch to a more powerful light.
Light Output Plants Require
All flowering plants and fruit-bearing plants require 20 to 40 moles of light daily. 18 hours grow light duration can supply 20 moles of light if you make use of LED grow light that has 308 micro-moles of light.
For a 12 hours light duration to produce 20 moles of light, your grow light must be able to supply about 462 micro-moles of light.