Fall is approaching. My outdoor garden is doing very well. I’m harvesting sweet and bitter peppers and more kale, spinach chard and parsley than I can eat. The harvests, however, of the cold northern Canadian winter however are not so bountiful.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow food indoors, without complicated equipment, in an pleasant manor? Typically, when I tell people that I like growing plants indoors I get a lot of suggestive jokes about what I’m growing. I’ve been growing lettuce, microgreens, wheatgrass, herbs and other food greens indoors for a few years now. I’ve learned a lot about the process.
It can get expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing, but excellent results can also be simply. The one key item in my opinion that was the major roadblock to indoor food growing was lighting. The sun is really, really bright, and to grow healthy food crops, you need a lot of light. Enter LEDs.
Lets first talk about where we were only 4 years ago.
- The old style of high powered indoor grow lights were essentially the bulb style street lights you see on the road. One of these was the first light I tried. It got very HOT! Also, because of the enourmous amount of heat generated, I had to hang it high up. Not only that, only after a year of use you have to replace the bulb. All in all, my hopes of having an indoor apartment food garden were pretty much crushed.
- There was another option, fluorescent. You can search the internet or go to your local garden supply store and find plants growing under fluorescent lights. These are OK for some purposes, and have worked for others for many years but if you want to grow food indoors they are not really that good. They were only used because there was no other better option. They still generate a good amount of heat, the bulb brightness diminishes over time requiring replacement and the amount of light a bulb can give off is not that much.
- There were some other types of grow lights too (induction, plasma, etc) but they essentially fall somewhere between the first two mentioned above.
GOOD Quality LED lights can grow food for you and your family indoors during Canada’s harsh winter!
they are also:
output more light
I have learned a lot about LED lights and their use for growing plants. Bright, cheap, high quality, high efficiency LED lights are available today if you know where to look.
There is unfortunately a lot of bad LED Grow light products on the market. This makes it important to get your information from a reputable source that promotes the good quality LEDs, not the junk.
This is a good website I found, the owner lives in Alberta also, and for anyone wanting to know more about the technology of LED Lights for gardening, this is the place to go.