Whether you want an indoor rack for selling plants in a retail location or are looking for solutions for a plant growing operation, choosing the right type of horticultural lighting system is vital. Plants can only thrive in proper lighting, and the following factors can help you provide just that.
Light spectrum is very important when it comes to choosing a system. Although the usable light spectrum can vary depending on plant specifics, most plants generally thrive when provided with sufficient light from the red and blue spectrum, but they also benefit from some yellow and orange light. Green light is the least absorbed due to the color of most plants. Opt for systems that use full-spectrum bulbs if you are unsure of the exact needs of the plant species or if you will be growing a variety of plants.
Although many plants, particularly seedlings, need some heat to grow well, it's preferable to provide heat from a well-controlled source such as a plant heat mat rather than from your grow light bulbs. This is because too much overhead heat can scorch the leaves of plants or even cause stunted growth. LED grow lights are a good option as these bulbs produce very little heat.
Lack of coverage can be a real concern, particularly when it comes to taller or denser plants. First and foremost, make sure your light system can cover the width of your growing flats or shelves. Opt for fixtures with multiple bulbs so that the fixture is equal or slightly larger in width to your growing shelf. It's also a good idea to look at systems that have reflective baffles built into the sides and rear of the bulbs, as these will help reflect light between leaves and deep into the foliage.
You may have a choice of fixed light fixtures or adjustable styles. It's better to default with adjustable lights, even if you aren't growing seedlings, simply because these can adapt more readily to the plants you have on hand. Adjustable lights may come on an integrated stand or they may have a hanging system that can be adapted to whatever shelving system you prefer to use.
Will you be moving racks around frequently, such as to new display areas or different parts of a greenhouse? If so, then look for a system that is stable enough once installed to be moved easily. You don't want to accidentally break the lights during transport.
Contact a dealer to learn more about the commercial grow light systems that are available. Alternatively, you can go to websites that offer things like lighting systems.