Advice on artificial light

I’m thinking of installing an artificial light to improve indoors photosynthesis. Any advice on types of lighting, types of lamps, any specific brands, etc?

2 Likes

The legal and illegal marijuana industry has our back! Full spectrum led’s used to grow weed are readily available and reasonably priced! The led panels use little energy and give very little heat. The ability to dial in the light spectrum you want and your plant needs is great! I have one panel for my tropicals during winter storage in my 3 season sunroom. So… I searched on Amazon for full spectrum led panels, but you can perhaps find them locally if you search.
Replacing my florescent with led’s was a big improvement.

5 Likes

A cannabis plant is an annual and there is not a dormancy period for them.
The plant is under the growers control. For the vegetative period the plant is given 24 hrs. of light for a period of time. Then the plant is tricked into flowering by changing the length of light it receives.
There is a lot more detail, but that’s off the topic.
The question is what are you trying to accomplish by using lights on your trees.
I believe this will be damaging to the cycle that the trees need to survive.
Trees need a dormancy period.
Artificial lighting, especially from a source that emits in the red to infrared range of the spectrum, extends the day length and can change patterns, and most importantly, promote continued growth which will exhaust the tree of sugar and starches, preventing trees from developing dormancy that allows them to survive the winter.
There is a lot of studies done on the affects of artificial light, night lighting, or light pollution on trees.
My past research is telling me that I do not want to put my trees under artificial light.

2 Likes

I only use full spectrum light to supplement my tropical bonsai, (schefflera, ficus retusa, cape honeysuckle), and my wife’s orchids.
The deciduous and conifers are wintering outdoors if they were not recently worked, and in my unheated garage if they are sapling or in colanders. The addition of light has improved the flowering of my tropical honeysuckle and helps budding on the orchids. These plants need no dormancy in my experience. I agree that conifers and deciduous need dormancy. But I do not keep them where they get no light. Wind protection and consistent temperature below 35degrees has worked for the last 30 years. If you keep plants indoors, they will not thrive. But, we have houseplants that need more light than they get through a window. I only mentioned the availability of inexpensive led’s as a new source that was not available 5 years ago. I am sorry if I gave the impression that growing trees indoors is a good idea. All of my trees spend the spring, summer, and fall outdoors.

3 Likes

The objective of me trying to improve lighting indoors is to be able to grow trees in areas of the house that although directly related to a window, don’t get enough luminosity to develop them properly. It is also appliable to a situation where the luminosty is good but only for a shorter period of the day. In these instances, is there a problem supplementing them with the required amount and frequencies of light they need to optimize their growth, for the natural daylight period? What are the constraints? Required spectrum? Intensity? That’s what I would like to know. Considering this clarification, do tou still feel that it shoild never be pursued? For what reason? Can we do something about it?
Evidently, all this discussion is based on the assumption that growing trees outdoors, given the appropriate climate, is the best case scenario.
Thanks

1 Like

I overwintered a staked juniper bonsai and a korean hornbeam forest in my three season sunroom. Both did fine for several years but started to show signs of decline and weak growth in the spring. The five tree forest became a four tree, and then a three treeThe reason I had them inside was because of fear of breakage on a container with a lip on the juniper and fear of exposure on the concrete slab the hornbeam forest lived on. I now only have tropicals inside, and have had no problem with strength or growth when spring allows them to go back outdoors. I thought that a brief time indoors would not harm the juniper and hornbeams, but my experience has informed me otherwise. Feel free to experiment with your collection. I regret that I did not listen to more experienced pros and hobbiests that told me I would shorten the life of my trees. A complete dormancy is necessary in many of the trees I grow as bonsai. The three season room was too warm and confining for dormancy to be adequate. Adding additional light would be another stimulus to delay or negate dormancy. So feel free to experiment. I am done with risking trees I have invested time into. I plan to continue to do what has worked for 30 years. :thinking:

1 Like

HLG seems to be a very popular and reliable premium brand. I use a couple of Agrobrite brand full spectrum LED lights that have worked well, but I’ve only had them for a little over a year.