The Right Color for Your Horticulture Lighting

May 26, 2021

You probably understand that LED horticulture lighting boosts plant growth. Under a high quality grow light, plants grow faster and healthier than under traditional light sources. Horticulture lights also allow you to carefully control your plants’ conditions so you can ensure they are always ideal. 

LED horticulture lighting is ideal for growing healthy plants because they stay cool, unlike hotter luminaires that may burn plants if positioned to close.

But within the broader category of horticulture lights, you may wonder what color light is best for plant growth. Different wavelengths of light produce different effects on plants. The best horticulture lights for you will depend on your overall goals.

Colors for Horticulture Lights

Horticulture lighting primarily focuses on red and blue wavelengths. These are the two most important colors on the visible light spectrum for promoting plant growth. That is why products on the horticulture lighting market often give off a purple glow—it is from the combination of red and blue light.

Every color within the light spectrum does have an effect on plant growth. After all, in a natural outdoor setting, plants are exposed to sunlight, which contains the full spectrum of colors. So how does each color wavelength affect plants?

  • Blue: This is the most important light for plant growth. It is easy for chlorophyll to absorb and convert into energy. 
  • Red: As the second most important wavelength, red light is incredibly potent for plants when combined with blue light. 
  • Orange: Similar to red light, but less effective. 
  • Ultra-Violet: UV light is harmful to plants, which can actually promote healthy growth as plants work to protect themselves against the light. 
  • Violet: On its own, violet does not affect plant growth very much. But when used in combination with red and blue lights, it can promote the color, taste, and smell of plants.
  • Green: While plants do not need much green light, they do need a small amount. Green light helps to regulate the “night” cycle while you navigate the grow room to maintain your plants. 
  • Yellow: Not much yellow light is needed for plants to grow strong and healthy.

So, you can see why a combination of red and blue light is the best mix for promoting healthy, quick-growing plants. Ideally, in general, the best horticulture lights will contain a red to blue ratio of 5:1.

Horticulture Lights for Cannabis

Using the correct wavelength color for your cannabis will result in more buds and helps the buds to be more potent. 

During the sprout stage of growing, blue light is very important for promoting rapid growth. During the flowering stage, introducing additional red light induces budding and flowering. 

Overall, cannabis needs both red and blue light at all times, with stronger concentrations of one or the other depending on the growth stage. This is why many cannabis growers will start their plants with strong blue wavelengths, then switch to a higher ratio of red light when their plants get to the flowering stage.

Horticulture Lights for Veggies

Lights that encourage vegetable growth will contain the full spectrum light for consistent, healthy growth from seedling through harvest. 

But, compared to lights specifically for encouraging blooms, vegetable grow lights will contain a higher proportion of blue light. Blue light encourages chlorophyll production, which makes it ideal for growing leafy greens and herbs.

Horticulture Lights for Flowers and Fruit

If you want to encourage flowering and fruiting from your plants, choose grow lights with a higher concentration of red light, like TCP’s supplemental growth spectrum lights.

Red light encourages flowering, which makes it important for plants grown for their fruit or flowers. While the full spectrum of light will still be included in your grow lights, you can support the flowering phase by providing extra red wavelengths.

LED Horticulture Lighting by TCP

TCP designs and manufactures high quality LED grow lights. Our energy efficient products help you keep costs low to maximize profits. An investment in quality LED grow lights also means healthier, faster plant growth so you can bring in more revenue. 

Interested in which horticulture lights are best for your business? Reach out to our lighting experts today. Our team can provide insightful feedback on your lighting plan to help you get the highest possible return on your investment. 

Shop Horticulture Lights from TCP

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