It can be confusing to know which gives better light for growing plants in a polytunnel fluorescent or led because they both have advantages and disadvantages. The best organic light depends on your specific circumstances, but most polytunnel gardeners in the UK choose LED lights because of the spectrum of light they offer. So why does choosing the best light matter in a polytunnel?
Growing lights and the proper use will help the polytunnel mimic the necessary conditions for the growth and development of your plants. But because there are different types available, gardeners in the UK can get confused not just with the colour but also with the specific light. Below are the differences between fluorescent and LED so that you can find the polytunnel’s ideal growing light.
Battle of Growing Lights: Which Gives Better Light For Growing Plants In A Polytunnel Fluorescent Or LED?
What is LED grow lights?
LED grow lights, or light-emitting diodes, are gaining popularity for polytunnels because they have specific light spectrums. The particular light spectrum makes it easier to select a LED to grow light that will meet your plant’s needs, and typically, they are in blue and red or as a full spectrum. Besides, some LED grow lights allow adjustment of wavelengths, so you can control them as your plants grow.
Like a natural LED light, the most significant advantages of LED grow lights are durability and energy-efficient. To make them even more reliable, some models have cooling systems as well. However, they are at a higher price point compared to other grow lights.
What are fluorescent grow lights?
Compared to LED grow lights, the phosphor powder’s chemical composition will dictate the colour of fluorescent grow light. While you don’t have control over the wavelengths, farmers commonly use fluorescent grow lights for seedlings. Additionally, their lower costs make them a more economical choice for a small-scale polytunnel.
Their durability and limitation on wavelengths make fluorescent grow lights second to LED lights as a polytunnel choice. But if you want to start vegetables indoors or if your plants have medium or low lighting requirements, fluorescent lights would be enough. A quick tip for a brighter grow light is to choose a narrower bulb.
Which grow light is sufficient for the polytunnel?
LED grow lights give better light compared to fluorescent lights because of their light spectrums, and some allow adjustment of wavelengths for specific growth stages of plants. However, the term better light is also applicable for fluorescent grow lights because they’re easy and reliable for sowing seeds. The University of Maryland Extension mentioned many fluorescent lights that you can choose from to grow healthy transplants.
The College of Agriculture & Natural Resources discovered fruiting in tomato plants within five weeks using T-5 fluorescent lights. Therefore, choosing between these two types of growing lights will depend on your specific needs and conditions. Trial and error may also help you identify which will work best for your polytunnel.
Which grow light is more energy-efficient?
As mentioned previously, LED growing lights are more energy-efficient, but both lights vary in their efficiency depending on types. For example, cool white LED growing lights and straight-tube fluorescent organic lights are similarly efficient for both models. Remember that you must consider how much energy the bulb will use for the light it produces.
However, what makes LED growing lights the winner in this factor is that the fluorescent bulbs require replacement as quickly as annually. The quality will decline when you notice darkening on the ends of the tube. In turn, this will also affect the bulb’s efficacy.
Which grow light has better colour?
To say that a growing light produces a better colour, one must identify what your plants need. Both LED, and fluorescent grow lights offer warm and cold colours but remember that plants need them both. Therefore, you must choose a full-spectrum fluorescent or LED light for your polytunnel and adjust accordingly.
There is also speciality LED grow lights that will give you the proper balance. These lights have warm and cold diodes in a single bulb, which is more convenient than a fluorescent fixture with two bulbs. Some LED grow lights also allow adjustments, so you won’t need to buy other types as your plants grow.
Which grow light is more cost-effective?
If you’re using a small-scale polytunnel, you can save on costs with fluorescent grow lights. However, cost-effectiveness is also applicable to LED grow lights. They may have a higher purchasing point, but they don’t need replacement often.
In the long run, you’ll have minimal expenses with LED grow lights. If you want to use a full-spectrum or T-5 fluorescent grow light, they will also cost higher anyway. Therefore, it would be more economical to choose LED, but small-scale gardeners in the UK can use fluorescent lights.
LED grow lights are the answer to, “which gives better light for growing plants in a polytunnel fluorescent or LED?” They offer specific light spectrums and adjustable wavelengths to match your plants’ needs. However, small-scale gardeners in the UK may also benefit from cheaper fluorescent.
Additionally, fluorescent lights that are full-spectrum or T-5 are beneficial for starting crops indoors.