LED Lights for Indoor Gardening – A Critical Success Factor

Published Sep 25, 2020

I was recently interviewed by Martha Stewart Living about the importance of LED grow lights if you are hoping for success in indoor gardening. That article laid out four principles for anyone building their own systems. 

Martha Stewart Living

Indoor gardeners are tasked with the challenge of not only bringing the outdoors inside, but replicating the ideal environment for the species they grow. Of all the variables that need to be controlled and fine-tuned, light is arguably the most important. Quality horticultural lighting can be the most costly component of an indoor garden. Many new growers make the mistake of buying cheaper but less-effective lights to save money, only to be disappointed by their plants’ performance. 

Gardyners don’t need to worry about this. We’ve already solved this problem for you. However, I do get questions frequently on lighting schedules, the LED lights themselves, and how Gardyn is different. So, I thought I’d share some useful tips so you are the toast of your next socially distant cocktail party when the topic of LEDs and mother nature arises.

Lighting Schedules – Science, Math, and Bountiful Harvests

One main component when it comes to lighting is the DLI, or Daily Light Integral. DLI is a measure of how much usable light is delivered to an area per day, and is a great tool to understand how light intensity and photoperiod impact plants. Mature plants typically need at least 10 DLI, but some light/hungry species can handle as much as ~50+ DLI. 

Most grow light manufacturers include data on the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), which is a measure of how intense a grow light is at any given snapshot in time. Combined with the photoperiod, or total length of time the lights are on per day, gives the information needed to calculate DLI. 

If this seems a little complex, it’s why Gardyn includes the built in controls and AI to help new growers ensure their plants are getting the correct amount of light each day. Simply refer to the smiley under the lighting panel within the app: a happy face means your plants are getting the proper amount of light!

LED Lighting – Gardyn Style

A few years back, a new style of lighting entered the grow space with the adoption of LED technology, banded spectrums. Banded spectrum lights only produce the specific wavelengths (or colors) of light that stimulate Chlorophyll A and B in plants’ leaves. Typically these lights give off a purplish, pinkish hue as they deliver blue and red spectrum bands simultaneously. The theory is a good one: why waste energy producing light that the plant doesn’t use most to photosynthesize? The aim is efficiency.

However, banded spectrums fall short in practice. Plants have evolved over millennia to respond to natural sunlight, which offers a very wide band of colors, so diverse it appears almost white. The color of the sun and the ratio of the color bands it delivers can shift over the year as it hangs relatively higher or lower in the sky. There are various morphological responses driven by hormones produced by colors in the natural spectrum not contained in banded LEDs, which makes Full Spectrum Lighting the better choice. 

Gardyn’s LEDs are full spectrum and horticulture grade. Their color temperature closely mimics sunlight in the late summer, making it the perfect choice for growing edible, vegetable and ornamental plants. The warm, soft color spectrum fits aesthetically well in cozy living spaces and can be dimmed while plants are young to limit reflection off walls. 

How Gardyn is Different

Lighting is generally the most expensive part of an indoor garden and can require a lot of consideration to make sure it is exactly what the plants want. There are different lights for almost any design and circumstance and it can be easy to choose the wrong fixture. Gardyn Home LEDs make it easy and provide intensity control, perfect mounting distance for optimal coverage, and a full-spectrum natural color that plants love. 

Gardyn’s LEDs allow plants to grow more quickly and naturally, while fitting in perfectly with your home’s aesthetic. Where other lights produce strange colors that can strain eyes, or intensities that interfere with interior design, Gardyn’s lights are adjustable, minimalist, and can fit seamlessly into any space. 

When growing plants indoors, it’s the gardener’s responsibility to give them everything they need to thrive. It can be challenging to meet those intense demands in a way that also fits well in living spaces. Typically growers have to choose between an eyesore of a grow tent, cheap colorful LEDs that never seem to let plants thrive, or extreme commercial grow lights that work well but can be blindingly bright in typical rooms. Gardyn’s LED lights marry form and function, delivering the performance of commercial agricultural lighting, presented in a design that works for everyday life.

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