Hue lights and other smart LED bulbs are constantly growing in popularity. Thanks to their unique capability to switch between different spectrums of light, they may also be used for growing plants. There are some essential questions and considerations, however.
Hue or LED lights can work as grow lights but require special attention for some plants. Different crops and flowers grow best in different spectrums of light, which hue lights can hone in on. “Recipes” for different plants are common and supported by some hue light manufacturers.
Studies have been conducted across many plants and flowers with LED lights for growth – it is just important to learn which hue is necessary for which crop. For more information on choosing the spectrum, continue reading.
- How Should Hue Lights Be Set Up For Growing?
- Setting Up a Smart Light for Specific Plants
- What Benefits Do Hue Lights Come With For Growing?
- The Capability to Target Specific Spectrums of Light
- Additional Benefits of Using Hue Lights for Plant Growth
- Draw back
How Should Hue Lights Be Set Up For Growing?
Depending on the type of plant you are trying to grow, different spectrums of light will be better than others. This is especially relevant for growing multiple types of plants off of one bulb; while it is certainly possible, some of the benefits of using a hue light may be lost.
In general, red lights encourage plant size, and blue light controls a plant’s daily cycle, affecting flowering. They each target a different chemical in plants. Color hues in between can also encourage further growth.
Specifically, phytochromes are sensitive to red light, and cryptochromes are sensitive to blue light. This Harvard piece explores how light from these spectrums directly affects a plant’s growth.
Thanks to the color-changing capabilities of hue lights, different setups can be created that encourage growth at various plant cycles – allowing for even greater control than natural sunlight. Especially if you are looking to specifically grow something large or to flower at a certain point, LED lights can be beneficial.
Setting Up a Smart Light for Specific Plants
Thanks to the advent of LED lights and, by extension, hue lights and other smart options, a significant amount of research has been done into how to most effectively grow various plants. While most of these studies focus on crops rather than house plants, the results are largely applicable.
This study focused on the growth of strawberries, for instance, found that strawberries grew larger and quicker under both blue and red light. The inclusion of both blue and red light also led to differences in nutrient and sugar levels as well as taste. The rate of growth and ripening could also be affected, with ripening happening quicker under more blue light.
This is not always the case; another study into candy leaf, a popular flowering plant, found that white lights worked best in most circumstances. All of this shows that different light spectrums can severely influence plant growth. Depending on what you are growing, setting your light to automatically switch tones every few hours may also be a good idea.
What Benefits Do Hue Lights Come With For Growing?
Hue lights offer a unique level of control over different aspects of light and growth.
The main benefit is the variety of factors that can be controlled with no extra work besides the setup, such as:
|Factor You Can Change||What It Controls|
|Light Level||The amount and intensity of light|
|Light Spectrum||The “color” of light given by the bulb|
|Light Uniformity||How consistent lighting is across plants|
|Light Time||How long the plant should get light every day|
These factors are so important, in fact, that Philips, the original creators of the Hue light, combine them into what they call a “light recipe.” They use it specifically for a line of LED grow lights, but the principals apply just as well to average, smart hue lights.
With a hue light, you’ll have extra control over every part of this process.
And hit upon each factor of the light recipe. The only limiting factor is the output of a hue light. Depending on what kind of smart LED you buy, they may not have enough power to properly light your plants.
The “power” of a hue light is marked in lumens; for growing plants, the higher the better. This is especially true for smart lights, as you can dim them automatically if the intensity is too much for a more sensitive plant.
Occasionally, you may see a smart LED light marketed in wattage instead. While it is a less accurate measure of power, the same principle applies.
During flowering, growers using lights that offer spectrum control may dim the blue lights to 50% while keeping the reds and whites at full strength. htgsupply.com
The Capability to Target Specific Spectrums of Light
While total control is a nice benefit of upgrading to a hue light for your growing needs, the capability to target specific spectrums of light is the defining feature. Thanks to the different benefits plants see from different spectrums of light, changing spectrums is key to growing effectively indoors.
While natural sunlight hits the entire spectrum of light, indoor lights often do not. While hue lights also cannot, they do touch upon the majority of colors available on the spectrum. More specifically, the fact that you can choose which spectrum to grow a plant under is perfect.
This way, you can maintain multiple plants over a connected network, each optimized to grow best.
Additional Benefits of Using Hue Lights for Plant Growth
Switching over to a smart system with higher control comes with a host of benefits, even those yet unnamed. Nailing a light recipe is great, but the average smart light user will default to a mix of red and blue light for the best growth.
Hue lights shine best thanks to the extra benefits they offer over traditional grow lights. Some of which are:
Longer Life and Lower Energy Consumption
Philips Hue lights have a 22-year lifetime, meaning that you will rarely have to replace them. In the same time span, you would likely have to replace a fluorescent bulb two to three times as much. They also require much less energy to run and are EPA certified to prove it, saving money on your electric bill.
Easier Setup and Interconnectivity
The easy setup and interconnectivity of hue lights is a huge boon to anyone running more than one grow light. Introducing them all to the same network and setting up timers, spectrum, and intensity at the same time can save plenty of headaches later.
Controlling the spectrum of light is particularly easy thanks to smartphone integration, so you do not have to physically change the bulb.
Would you like to know How To Set Smart Lights to Turn On at a Certain Time? We’ve written a detailed article to provide you with helpful information. Check it out!
Reduced Heat Generation
Finally, the reduced heat generation of smart and LED lights means that you can grow plants in tighter areas. Old lights could burn your plants, causing them to wilt and grow smaller. LED lights give off almost no heat while active, immediately fixing this issue and allowing for more creative growth setups.
The only concern with hue lights is their possible low intensity, so purchasing the highest lumens available is a good idea.