Best Lighting For Clones And Seedlings: Hydroponics Cloning Made Easy!
Make hydroponics cloning easier by choosing the best lighting for clones and seedlings. Learn how and check out our top 5 picks for the best lighting for clones.
Hydroponics cloning involves the use of nutrient-rich water to grow plants as an alternative to the traditional soiling. It has been around a long time and has earned the favor of plant growers because of its several benefits. This includes being able to mass produce favored plants with all their ideal qualities. Cloning can be quite challenging too, but did you know that there’s a better and more efficient way to grow your clones indoors? Well, I don’t want to keep you hanging so here it is – choose the best lighting for clones and seedlings.
Behind it is a simple rationale, yet it can be quite flustering if you’re unsure of what the ‘best’ is. But fret not because this article is made to enlighten you.
5 Best Lighting For Clones Product Reviews
The amount of light your cloned plants and seedlings receive dictates their quality and how efficient their growth will be. There are several lighting products on the market, but some of them do not possess the qualities your plants require. The good thing is we got it all covered for you! We’re giving you our top 5 picks for the best lighting for clones and seedlings.
Each product listed here met our standards to be labeled the best light for clones and seedlings, but if you are looking for the best HPS bulbs specifically designed for flowering plants, you can go check out our 5 Best HPS Bulbs for 2018.
Educate me: Why Is Choosing The Best Light Important For Cloning?
Light is the growth regulator of plants. It enables them to generate enough energy for photosynthesis which is their way to synthesize food. Plants in hydroponic gardening are no different. Light is essential for any plant’s lifecycle.
Lights for seedlings and clones are especially vital as these plants are still in the early stage of growing independently. Plants can get light from the natural source (sun) or through artificial lighting. Whatever the source, the important thing is; they get the proper amount of light— not too little nor too much.
The most common mistake of indoor plant growers is not providing their plants adequate light. Some are too consumed on multiplying their plant species and forget the plants’ light requirement. This malpractice stunts the growth of plants and may even cause them to wilt and die. Remember that as you increase the number of your plants, you should also provide more lighting. Of course, this is given that all other conditions are acceptable.
Choosing The Best Lighting For Clones
Cloned plants do not need intense lighting. In fact, too much light for growing clones can hinder their growth. So, how much light do clones need? The short answer is: it depends. The longer answer is: clones have varying light requirements which depend mainly on the plant’s classification. Jay Lee, a plant lighting consultant, labels them as high light plants (cannabis, tomatoes, aloe vera etc.) or low light plants (herbs, leafy greens, ferns etc.). Thus, one has to give the right light to the right clone.
Despite the many alternative lighting sources, light from the sun is still the best option. It is natural and readily available. The best thing is; it’s free! All you have to do is to find the right spot and allow sunlight to seep through your plants. However, sunlight is not always available or there’s occasionally not enough of it. This is when you go look for alternative or supplemental lighting.
If you browse online alternative/supplemental lighting, you will often notice their varying hues. Some give off the blue light while others give red or white. Horticulturist disagrees about the effectivity of each one, but many believe a high blue or high red spectrum is most efficient for plant growth. Blue is the best source of lighting for rooting clones as they get the most energy from it.
Another aspect to look out for is the intensity of lighting. This happens when the light is too focused on plants or the light schedule for clones was not well-planned out. It is especially important for cuttings that still do not have roots. Too intense lighting can dry them out. One quick step to take is to hook a curtain on the window (for sunlight) or buy diffusers online. This way lighting will not overheat the plants.
Calculating Light Energy (In Watts) For Your Grow Space
There are various ways to calculate the light energy requirement of your cloned plants. The commonest and simplest way is to estimate the LED wattage requirement per square foot. Plants like cannabis and tomatoes require higher light energy levels whereas leafy greens like lettuce and basil need lesser amount.
For high light plants, you have to assume that 1 sq. ft. (with 1 plant) of grow space requires approximately 25W of the actual LED wattage. By ‘actual led wattage’, it means the real amount of produced energy (not just as products promised in ads). In application, a 10 sq. ft. grow space (with 10 plants) will require approximately 250W.
For low light plants, assume a 16W light requirement for every 1 sq. ft. (with 1 plant). Thus, 160W is needed for every 10 sq. ft. of grow space for these clones. Take note that the LED wattage calculation only involves a 1:1 ratio (1 sq. ft.: 1 plant). Thus, if you have a bigger high/low light plants, you will have to make adjustments.
It is important to note that aside from your LED bulbs or other alternative light energy sources, there are a lot more aspects to look at. The presence of natural light, the color spectrum of the alternative source, and the availability of light reflectors are also essential to provide the best lighting for clones.
Light reflectors are used by indoor growers to limit wasted energy. Basically, they help to direct light energy towards plants instead of traveling in all directions of the garden. However, the use of light reflectors is more typical among large-scale growers. For small-scale gardening, the requirements are a lot simpler. If your light source has low wattage, you can simply place the plant closer to the light source.
A key element for a successful hydroponic cloning is lighting. Without enough light, clones and seedlings will eventually wilt and die. Too much light will yield the same results. Thus, lightning is just as necessary as the nutrient-rich water used in hydroponics.
To make your gardening experience worthwhile and to reduce hassle, we have gathered the 5 best lighting for clones that will greatly help to improve plant health and production. My personal favorite is Lighting Labs Pro Grow LED Bulb by Valed. Each bulb contains a 40W full wavelength light heat perfect for my small scale gardening hobby. However, the best thing about it is the free goniophotometer testing that will ensure the product’s ‘real’ light capacity. Others on the market simply do not offer this.