Published: Mar 03, 2022
Plant growth under different colors of light
Several studies have managed to achieve the goal of diagnosing that plant growth under different colors of light is totally positive for them in any of their stages. That is why it will also be very common to find in the market, specifically LED lights that handle a full spectrum of light. Well, we know that although some affect the growth of plants directly, the others are also necessary to complement the work of the former.
Also, indoor plant cultivation has proliferated much more in recent years, thanks to the technology provided by LED lights; which focuses on imitating as much as possible the spectrum of visible light that the sun emits to plants and that makes possible their process of photosynthesis, plus their subsequent flowering.
That is why, knowing how the spectrum of light emitted by the sun affects plants directly, has allowed it to be known in greater depth how to create better artificial environments for plants and keep them at the same time healthy and leafier, away from the organisms in the environment that could damage them.
That said, we proceed to tell you how plant growth under different colors of light really is a positive aspect for them; explaining part by part how that light is produced, what colors they emit and how they affect plants directly in their healthy development.
Is it affected plant growth under different colors of light?
Plant growth under different colors of light affects them in the sense that, as long as they enjoy a spectrum of light as complete as possible, they will find enough energy to feed themselves.
As we know, plants have the possibility of producing their own food and responding to certain stimuli of those they find in nature, precisely to convert them into energy that helps them grow, develop and flourish.
In that sense, one of the main elements or factors that helps its growth is precisely light; because, through it, plants find the possibility of carrying out their photosynthesis process.
However, in natural environments, the light that plants receive is directly from the sun, while in controlled environments, light is received through the wavelengths that certain colors of artificial lights transmit to them.
From the information that studies on the spectrum of light have given us, we know that each color of light emits a different wavelength that plants absorb to transform it into energy. Therefore, each color has its own contribution to the plants and collaborates in parts of their growth process, in various ways. Also, depending on the wavelength of each color, the plant will receive a certain level of energy.
Purple and violet lights, for example, are located in an area of the colored light spectrum that makes them have a short wavelength; that means that they are colors that transmit a lot of energy. On the other hand, red light turns out to be the opposite, because it emits less energy and is located on the opposite side of the color light spectrum.
In the same way, the use of plants with respect to the different colors of light, is what helps them stimulate the vegetative growth of their leaves, and makes flowering possible, among other elements.
That said, it should be taken into account as a most important element, the fact that plants need to receive enough light to be able to grow; and it does not matter if it is natural or artificial, as long as the plants receive it in sufficient quantity (not much, not very little):
From the latter, we highlight the importance of the intensity of the light that plants receive. Well, because of this, the photosynthesis process will be carried out correctly (or not) and they can be shown with stronger and greener leaves and stems, as well as with a greater or lesser production of chlorophyll.
How can you tell if your plants are getting enough light?
Plants speak directly through their appearance. Therefore, by observing their physical state, you will be able to notice how well or poorly they are receiving the amount of light you are emitting to them.
In that sense, there are different symptoms that could help you detect when the amount of light is low. For example:
- You will see that plant growth slows down and does not occur in the estimated time.
- You will notice that the leaves are small.
- You will find yellow spots on your plant, because it will not produce enough chlorophyll.
- You will see that the plants will grow inclined, because they are in search of light to regain their health.
- The spaces between the leaves will be larger, since they will not grow enough in the absence of light.
On the contrary, if the plants receive too much light, it will produce white spots on their leaves, their size will be reduced and they will look wrinkled.
To know how much light your plant needs, you first need to know what type of plant it owns and in which stages a certain amount of light works best for it. For example, if it is cannabis plants, which are quite sensitive and to the effects produced by light, you should know what stage of growth your plant is in, to determine what type or color of light is most beneficial during that period.
A more general way to test the intensity of the light on your plants will be to put your hand under the light emitted by the lamp you use for the plants, for at least 30 seconds. So you can feel a little how much heat the plant is receiving and whether it should be closer or farther away.
Wavelengths of light that contribute to plant growth
The fact of knowing that blue lights, along with red lights, emit low energy and that helps the growth of plants, tends to form the belief that they only need these two colors and wavelengths of light to grow.
However, the truth is that, as with the sun (which emits a full spectrum of visible light), it happens with artificial lights: each one is needed so that the growth and development of plants is parallel, correct and meets what is desired.
More specifically, the different colors of the visible light spectrum and their corresponding wavelengths affect plant growth as follows:
- Blue (450 nm to 495 nm): helps to encourage plant growth. If they receive more blue light, they will grow faster; thanks to the fact that it is the greatest enhancer of the photosynthesis process.
- Red (620 nm to 720 nm):collaborates in the creation of leaves and the flowering process when combined with blue light.
- Green (495 nm to 570 nm):plants absorb the entire spectrum of visible light to feed, however, green absorbs less and that makes it the color they reflect (so plants look green).
- Violet (380 nm to 450 nm):encourages plants to taste, smell and color better. Therefore, it is an enhancer color.
- Yellow (570nm to 590nm): performs a secondary work in the growth of plants, some consider that it does not intervene in the process of photosynthesis and rather slows down their growth.
What is the best color for plants to grow?
From what was stated in the previous point, we can already notice that blue light is the most important for the growth of plants. And we can also understand that accompanied by the red, growth can be much more productive.
On the other hand, when using both, the violet or purple color is usually reflected, which is responsible for enhancing the color, flavor and smell of the plants; so it would be in second place of importance.
However, we must emphasize that each of the wavelengths of light of the visible spectrum, brings an element and some development to plants. While greater intensity of one color is needed than another, plants require all the colors of the visible light spectrum to be 100% effective and healthy.
Similarly, if you want to enhance any specific aspect of the plant at some point in its growth process, knowing the type of plant and the stage of growth in which it is located, will help you delimit the color with which you should illuminate it more. Also, remember that this choice will be to the detriment of the rest of the effects transmitted by the other wavelengths.
How to choose the right growth light?
Remember that, just as sunlight provides plants with a full spectrum of light and they develop in a good way, it happens with artificial lights; most importantly, you will find artificial lights that give your plants the spectrum of light they need. And currently, the market produces many lights that handle that full spectrum that has boosted both the rise and popularity of indoor crops.
Grow lights that we recommend
Within the existing diversity, the grow lights that we recommend are LED lights, that is, light-emitting diodes.
Why do we do it?
Because plant growth under different colors of light is a positive thing for them. And precisely, LED lights are the ones that work best at this point, since they imitate the full spectrum of light that plants need; because they are composed of small bulbs that emit just those colors and can be adapted according to the need of the plant and the growth period in which it is located.
Another positive aspect of this is that LED lights have the option of providing plants with the color that is programmed. Therefore, by increasing the amount of light of one color or another, it will be possible to enhance many functions of plants; for example, its flowering, fruit yields, growth, among others. And that way, more environmentally friendly crops will be produced, which will not need the support of fertilizers or chemical proteins to grow the plants faster.