In horticulture, the interaction between light and plants is a fundamental element of their production and growth. Light is essential because it not only powers photosynthesis, but also produces sugars needed for the development and growth of plants, and a wide range of other important biologic processes. To achieve maximum yields, smart growers need to ensure they provide the right amount of light and use the right type that suits the optimal environmental conditions to ensure plants photosynthesize efficiently. Whether it is providing artificial or supplemental Dorm Grow LED grow lights in an indoor garden or manipulation of light spectrums, growers play an important role in determining the right light needed for plants.
When considering the light intensity, the lighting subject becomes more complex as it is intertwined with a number of other factors that determine the photosynthesis rate. Along with the lighting, carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, leaf area, and the general health of plants also play a role in determining the rate of growth of plants. To get maximum growth from your plants, incorporate the following ideas into your indoor grow.
Plants See Light Differently
We know that light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and made up of a mixture of colored light wavelengths including blue, indigo, violet, red, yellow, orange, and green. Light has varying wave properties, which determine the color and energy of the light. For the human eye, the visible portion of this spectrum is within a narrow band, usually between 390 and 700 nm (nanometers).
The human eye can see yellow and green wavelengths more brightly than the other colors of the rainbow, and does not see below or past the visible spectrum. Although plants do not have eyes to see, they sense and respond to a much wider light spectrum. They even respond to light in the UV (ultraviolet) range, and far-red wavelengths. Plants use a wider range of wavelengths for photosynthesis, which is the PAR (photosynthetic Active Radiation) range that carries out the required biological processes.
Plants Need LED Grow Lights for Photosynthesis
When light falls on the leaf of a plant, this provides the energy necessary for the production of sugars from carbon dioxide and water, which is absorbed from the air through the stomata on the surface of the leaf. As by-product plants release oxygen making photosynthesis the source of much of the oxygen present in our atmosphere.
The sugar (glucose) produced during the process of photosynthesis goes around the plant, which is needed for the development and growth, or stored for use later. Chlorophyll in plants is the pigment responsible for the absorption of sunlight. However, they are also responsible for a number of accessory pigments that allow photosynthesis to use a large portion of the visible spectrum of light. To boost the rate of photosynthesis, growers turn to LED grow lights, which serve as the best choice to ensure healthy growth of plants.
How Light Stress Affects Plant Growth
The rate at which plants respond to light for photosynthesis varies between species. Some plants grow better in shaded conditions, meaning they require less light than others do. In this category, most plants under grow lights burn or face damaging effects. Generally, plants in their seedling stage require less light as compared to mature plants, and the density determines how much output the light source requires to reach maximum yields and light saturation.
Hydroponic grown flower and vegetable crops become light saturated at about half the light output of sunlight, whereas some sensitive plants may need just a fraction of this. Usually, growers are able to pick up signs when the light is too much or less. Keep in mind that too much exposure to grow lights, depending on the plant species, could cause leaf burns, scorching, bleaching and push the plants to become compact with stunted growth. Growers soon become experienced at picking up signs of too much or too little light.
If you decide to grow species like tomatoes or capsicums under grow lights, higher exposure to light could roll their outer leaf margins inwards or outwards in an attempt to lower the amount of surface area that receives the level of high-intensity light. Sometimes, if the light intensity is too low, this could result in spindly, tall plants that stretch upwards, become weak, elongated and have soft stems.
Plants receiving less light may turn yellow due to a loss chlorophyll amount. Fruits and flowers may turn out small in size. Usually, low intensity of light also influences the flavor and aroma negatively as the plant in unable to produce enough sugars for the best quality.
As you can see, lighting plays an important role in the yield of plants. To ensure healthy and high-quality yields, it is advisable that you maintain the right intensity of your LED grow lights in the grow space.