Lighting Buyer's Guide
Lighting is vital for all types of agricultural, growing, commercial and residential applications for a variety of reasons. There are many forms of lighting available, and it is important to know which one is most fitting for your individual needs. FarmTek offers various types of lighting, from residential bulbs to large outdoor lighting fixtures.
What types of lighting exist?
Incandescent Lighting: For decades, incandescent lighting has been the most popular lighting used in homes. These bulbs light up instantly, needing no time to warm up, and provide a warm white light. Though incandescent bulbs are the cheapest to purchase, over time they are more expensive to operate due to their inefficiency and short life. They are also not as bright as newer bulb types, providing about 10 to 17 lumens per watt. The average lifespan for incandescent bulbs is 750 to 2,500 hours. Incandescent lighting will most likely be obsolete within the next few years as newer and more efficient technologies continue to develop.
Compact Fluorescent Lighting: Compact fluorescent lighting is becoming increasingly popular in a variety of places, including residences, businesses, greenhouses and livestock and poultry houses. This form of lighting comes in a variety of lamp types, making it extremely versatile. Compact fluorescents are available in magnetic and electronic ballasts. While magnetic ballasts need a short amount of time to reach full brightness, electronic ballasts light to full brightness immediately. With an efficiency of 30 to 100 lumens per watt, compact fluorescent bulbs normally last 7,000 to 24,000 hours depending on bulb type. When purchasing compact fluorescents, it is important to check the temperature range on the packaging or through the seller because some bulbs are only appropriate within specific ranges. If you are looking for a type of lighting that that can be used in hard-to-reach places and can be on for a long period of time, compact fluorescents are the most cost-effective and efficient option.
Another form of compact fluorescent lighting is full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting more closely resembles actual sunlight than any other type on the market today. This makes it an ideal choice for seed starting and grow lights, and also makes it an excellent remedy for Seasonal Affective Disorder, a disease more than 35,000,000 people suffer from.
Compact Fluorescents from FarmTek: FarmTek offers many types of compact fluorescents including a capsule light, full spectrum bulbs, U-Tube lamps, spring lamps and dimmable lamps. We recommend using the U-Tube lamps for poultry operations and general use. The full spectrum lamps are ideal as grow lights and also work exceptionally well for combating Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you are looking for CFLs for your home, our Spring Lamp is a excellent choice.
Metal Halide Lighting: Metal halide bulbs produce a crisp, white light that makes them ideal for commercial and residential applications, including grow lights and athletic fields. Metal halides are recommended as grow lights in areas where no natural lighting is present, and also work well when starting seeds. They are ideal for lighting large indoor or outdoor areas. With a lifespan of 5,000 to 20,000 hours, metal halides generally produce 70 to 115 lumens per watt.
Metal Halides from FarmTek: We recommend using metal halide lamps in barns, warehouses, gyms, arenas and as flood lights or grow lights in some instances. As grow lights, FarmTek offers a metal halide option for our Growers Supply Greenhouse Light Fixture. For outdoor residential or commercial use, FarmTek offers a Deluxe Metal Halide Wall Light that is ideal for illuminating large areas. A surface-mount option is also available for shop or garage lighting needs. For use in riding arenas and warehouses, we recommend our High Bay lights. If your building has a ceiling below 15' high, our Low Bay lights are ideal.
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lighting: One of the most common types of outdoor illumination is high pressure sodium lighting, which is ideal for parking lots, security lighting, illuminating roads and as highway lighting. If you want to use HPS lights for growing, it is recommended that they are used as supplemental lighting where some natural light is already present. High pressure sodium lamps should be used when seeds have already been planted to promote budding and flowering. Producing a warm white light, HPS lights have a lifespan of 16,000 to 24,000 hours and produce about 50 to 140 lumens per watt.
High Pressure Sodium Lighting from FarmTek: FarmTek offers a variety of high pressure sodium lamps that can be used for warehousing, growing, barn and exterior security applications. Our Growers Supply Greenhouse Light Fixture can be used with a high pressure sodium lamp for use as a grow light in damp environments. High Pressure Sodium Wall Lights with Photocell are also available. These lamps are ideal for mounting on buildings or in parking lots. FarmTek's Outdoor Security Super Light is the perfect street light due to the built-in photo control for automatic dusk-to-dawn operation. The Plantastar® HPS Lamp is the ideal lamp for greenhouse growing, and ensures healthy growth and optimum plant shape.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs): LEDs are the most up-and-coming lighting technology on the market today. LEDs are much more efficient than traditional forms of lighting due to their long life, durability and high quality. In residential applications, LEDs last 25 times longer, while using 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs tend to produce between 27 and 150 lumens per watt and have a lifespan of 35,000 to 50,000 hours, or nine years or longer. LEDs need no time to warm up, reaching their full brightness right after they are turned on.
For more information on the benefits of LED lighting, read our LED Buyer's Guide
LEDs from FarmTek: FarmTek carries an extensive line of LEDs for use in residential and commercial applications. The Infinity line contains flood bulbs, spot lamps and A-19 lamps. From Philips, FarmTek offers dimmable flood lamps. The Sylvania line boasts extremely long-lasting dimmable flood lamps and dimmable A-19 lamps. FarmTek also offers attractive, energy-efficient Gama Sonic® Solar LED lamps, which can light your business or home walkways and driveways.
How is light rated?
There are many ways to rate lights, but for this purpose we will look at color temperature and lumens. The color temperature of light, measured in degrees Kelvin, is a numerical measurement of how its color will appear. The lower the color temperature of a light source, the "warmer" the color the light gives off.
For example, the typical yellow color emitted from an incandescent bulb is rated at a color temperature of -2,700 K. On the other hand, a compact fluorescent, which emits a crisp, very white light, is rated at about 5,500 K. In most cases, low color ratings are desired in areas where you want people to feel relaxed and comfortable, like a spa, while high temperature ratings are used in areas where attention and accuracy are necessary, like a doctor's office. Lumens are a measure of the amount of visible light a light source gives off. The more lumens a light is said to have, the brighter you can expect the light to be. A typical household bulb is usually rated at about 15 lumens per watt, while a typical warehouse bulb may be rated anywhere from 50 to 140 lumens per watt.