Hydroponics is the science of indoor farming in the absence of soil and sunlight. Indoor farming is a boon for urban cultivators in a cityscape to grow their own food at home. All though plants require sunlight to grow, in hydroponics, the plants are equipped with lighting. Usually, the plants that remain outside, receive sunlight for a duration of six hours or more at night. Plants while sleeping at night, undergo metabolism and digestion.
The task of setting up a hydroponics system at home can be quite challenging for a beginner. You will need to provide the same or required amount of light during the day, and night for the plants used in Hydroponics as well. When it comes to indoor farming, there are various options to choose from. All you have to choose is the right size according to your system, and the kind that you want to go for. Plants that are perennial have to have their own tight schedule of lighting and dark hours.
The Hydroponics system comprises different types of plants, that can be grown within the system. The lighting differs with the kind of plants we choose to grow. Not all plants survive or need a high amount of sunlight during the day, some grow in a lesser period of daylight. An electronic timer is essential when it comes to plants in a hydroponics system as different types of plants are grown in one hydroponics system. The garden is maintained properly due to the ability to regulate the necessity of light.
Spinach, lettuce, wheat, potatoes, and turnips are some of the plants that require a high amount of sunlight, that is, eighteen hours a day. These plants require a lot of light in a hydroponic system and resemble plants that bear flowers in summer. There are some plants like strawberries, chrysanthemums, and cauliflowers, which are winter plants that require less sunlight. If these plants are kept under sunlight for a period of more than 12 hours, they won’t bear flowers. Then, there are plants that grow irrespective of the amount of exposure to sunlight. Roses, corn, rice, eggplants are some of the neutral plants that can be grown together using the same amount for 14 hours regularly, together.
A hydroponic lighting system comprises of four parts, namely, a bulb, reflector hood, remote ballast and a timer.
Bulbs with a wattage of 400-600 are most popular when it comes to the hydroponics system. Lights with the discharge of high intensity are used in hydroponics. An electric arc is sent by the bulb between the encased electrodes that produce light. Metal halide and high-pressure sodium are the two types of bulbs available for hydroponics. When it comes to vegetation, metal halides are ideal. When the plants are in their stage of fruition, high-pressured sodium is to be used.
This case enacts as a shed surrounding the bulb, so that the plants receive direct light and encapsulates the heat. Usage of these lights ensures saving of electricity and cost of cooling.
Remote Ballast helps the lighting by providing the power to burn. It is expensive, hence, it requires to be handled safely. The remote ballast and the bulb need to be bought together, for the wattage to match.
The timer regulates the usage of lights within the hydroponics system. It controls the amount of time, the lights are to be kept on or turned off. The timer can either be manual or electrical. The ones which are manual comprises of plugs and pins that can be attached to a lamp.
Thus, a successful hydroponics system requires the right amount of lighting for a complete production process to grow and harvest food at home.