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Light bulbs

The tropical sun, required by your favorite plant, can be artificially substituted by several different kinds of light sources.

First and foremost, the most popular among plant growers in general, is the High Pressure Sodium lamp - HPS. They usually come in 250W, 400W and 600W sizes, though 150W and 1000W are also sometimes used. Creating a yellowish, warm light, they are perfectly suited for the flowering period, stimulating the plant to create and develop buds (or fruits, for that matter, depending on the sort of plant you are fond of growing...).

Similar looking Metal Halide (MH) light bulbs emit a colder, blue light, that is perfect for the first stages of the plants life. Using them will eliminate plants inclination to grow too tall in the first weeks, as it might happen if using HPS for the whole cycle.

Both of those light bulbs fit E40 thread and fall into the category of HDI (High-intensity discharge) lamps, which require external ballast for running them. An alternative that does not require additional investments in starters, come in the form of CFL - Compact fluorescent lamp. They are similar to the standard energy saving light bulbs that you probably use in your apartment - only bigger. They range from 85W to 250W and emit almost 100% photosynthetically active radiation (as opposed to 30-40% in HID lamps), which means all of the light is being used to feed your plant. Since CFL lamps turn little of the energy into heat, they can be kept as close as 5 cm from the plants, thus allowing to use the light more effectively. They are worth considering especially for small grow boxes, where high temperature is a major obstacle.

The latest hype among growers is LED lighting (light emitting diodes). This cutting edge technology changes virtually every month, creating ever more efficient lightning systems.