As I have mentioned before…growing chillis can be an all year round hobby, with the use of growing lights. Now before I go any further, can I just say….. this is by no means a tutorial, or how-to guide, it is just me passing on some ideas that have worked for me over the last few years.
Why grow under lights ? well, all plants need light to grow, and as chilli growers, it’s handy for us to grow under lights, as this means we can sow seeds and rear seedlings at a time of year when there isn’t much natural daylight.
It’s not as complicated as you might think, once you know which light will work best for you. Ok…blue spectrum light helps plants with growth, and red spectrum light helps with flowering….now that we now this bit of information, we can look at the different type of lighting to give us these spectrums.
The Two main types of lights used by chilli growers are: CFL (Compact Flourescent Lighting)….and HID (High Intensity Discharge)
Compact Flourescent Lighting (CFL)
These are what I use, and I would say they are probably the most popular. They come in blue spectrum, AKA daylight, and red spectrum AKA, warm white. I only use the daylight ones, they are great for placing over a propagator, or in a lightbox. They need to be quite close above the plants. I have never needed red spectrum lighting, because by the time the plants are ready to flower they are in a heated greenhouse getting natural light.
High Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID’s are usually more powerful than CFL’s, and are ideal for growing more plants…or growing indoors all year round. They also come in the red & blue specturms, and don’t need to be as close to the plants.
You can also get dual spectrum lights, which do the lot, however I’ve never used them, so wouldn’t like to comment on them.
Another type of lighting being used regularly by chilli growers is LED, Light Emitting Diode lights…..and I’ll be honest with you, I use these for all my newly sprouted seedlings. In fact…I use a set of 100 blue LED Xmas lights set into a board ! These are great for boosting plant growth and leaf development, are they are cheap to run.
I personally have my lighting set to a 16 hour cycle, using a digital timer to switch the lights on & off.
So, if you fancy having a go at growing under lights….I hope this article helps. One piece of advice I would give you, is shop around on the internet, and do try and get the best lights you can afford.