Grow lights can be expensive, not to mention ugly. While I want my plants to be healthy, I am dismissive of the idea of losing hundreds of dollars in one eye wound. But Adam Besheer, co-owner of Greenery NYC and Greenery Unlimited, has an ingenious solution. You’ll find his indoor vertical gardens and green walls throughout New York City – all of which depend on growth light to stay healthy.
“Plants require certain wavelengths of light to grow, and different wavelengths cause different growth patterns. Too much can burn them, but too little, and they starve to death,” he says. “Grow lights are still not as good as sunlight – they are still unable to cover the width of wavelengths emitted by a burning mass of hydrogen that we can not really imagine the size of. But they are a great replacement . “
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When making your own growth light, there are a few things to consider, such as the aesthetics and the kind of light it will emit. According to Besheer, you can make DIY a version that will actually complement your home with something as affordable as a lamp you already own or one from Ikea. (A lamp hanging over the plants provides plenty of direct light.) Simply screw in a suitable bulb, which is available for about $ 15 on Amazon, and voilà-It is done.
“The important thing about a standard growth light is that it is labeled as a growth light. The brightness you need to keep the plants alive is not something normal bulbs are made for,” he says. “LED screw-in bulbs have just become widely available, which have a relative intensity that is good for plants, but to really know that, you have to measure the light yourself.”
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To ensure that your plant gets the exact amount of light it needs, you can measure it using a light meter (which runs for about $ 20 on Amazon), or you can use the Light Meter app on your phone, which Besheer says, gets pretty close to what the actual meter shows. The result will be displayed in “footlights” (or FC), and different plants require different intervals.
On the Greenery NYC website, you can group plants according to lighting needs: options for low light such as snake plants and pothos require 25 to 75 FC, medium light plants such as monsteras and dracaenas require 75 to 150 FC, and highlight plants such as fiddle leaf figs and haworthia require 150+ FC. In terms of how much time they need to sunbathe in the glow of the LED light each day, Besheer’s go-to is between 10 and 12 hours.
With a little help from a do-it-yourself growth light, your indoor plants will thrive again. Honestly, I might grab my happy candle and sit right next to them.
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