There are a lot of things you need to pay attention to when you grow flowers, especially delicate flowers like orchids. No matter which type of flower you want to grow, you need to make sure you are feeding the stem correctly, you need to make sure your providing the proper amount of water and nutrients, you need to make sure you’re using the correct soil and you need to provide sufficient light. Moreover, the light needs to be the correct type of light.
Obviously, sunlight is exactly that. However, if you are growing indoors or if you are growing in an area that does not get enough natural sunlight year-round, you will need to provide additional lighting for your plants. Artificial grow lights make it possible to grow plants year-round, no matter the climate.
For most flower gardens, I recommend one of two types of grow lights. All the others, like the high-pressure sodium or metal halide lights, are too much trouble for our use. Leave those to the pot growers.
The first type of lighting I recommend are T5 fluorescent grow lights like the Agrobrite series from Hydrofarm (review here). These lights provide a spectrum very similar to sunlight, although there are different color temperature bulbs available.
The T5 bulbs called daylight, which have a color temperature of around 5500 to 6500 kelvins, are the most like natural sunlight. If you get a warmer bulb with a temperature around 2700 kelvins, you provide your flowers more reddish light. This is useful for flowering. If you have a small garden you can go ahead and flower with florescent lights, but generally I would not recommend it for any reasonably sized garden. T5 grow lights are amazing to get plants to grow during the vegging stage, but they just aren’t that efficient when flowering.
That’s what my second recommendation comes in. If you have a larger garden, I would definitely recommend LED grow lights. Actually, I would recommend them for smaller gardens too, if you have the money and if you are growing plants that flower. Since we are talking about flower gardens, I’m going to assume you are growing something that flowers. For this reason, LED horticultural lighting makes a lot of sense.
As for the brands, well that is another matter entirely. Of course you could go with one of the really expensive brands, but for many applications a less-expensive light will work just fine. I generally like to go somewhere in the middle. The absolute cheapest lights usually are not good enough for flowering and are are prone to breaking down as well. The most expensive lights are, again, for pot growers.
A great middle ground are the Advanced Platinum lights by Platinum LED (review here). These lights definitely cost a bit more than the cheapest ones, but they produce similar results to most of the much more expensive lights. They’re not quite as good as the absolute top-of-the-line brands, but they are close and they cost much less. If you are looking for an affordable way to get into LED grow lights and you don’t want to sacrifice too much quality, Advanced Platinum lights are definitely the way to go.
For anyone growing a flower garden, the Agrobrite series of T5 fluorescent grow lights in the Advanced Platinum series of LED plant lights are far and away the best two options. Get yourself one of these two lights and your orchid flower garden will love you for it. It will reward you amazing colors and the type of beauty you usually only see in European castle grounds.