Plants cannot function without heat and light, and both factors go hand in hand. If you are growing indoors, it can be difficult to maintain those perfect temperature conditions for your plants, especially if you have harsh winters such as I do.
Plant heat lamps can assist you if your plants are suffering from cold damage or if you want some help with seed germination.
Heating lamps for plants can sometimes be challenging to choose from, but with the right amount of knowledge, you may be able to pick the best heating lamps for plants for your situation!
Some Heat Lamp Questions You May Acquire:
When Do I Use A Heat Lamp?
As mentioned above, a heat lamp can be beneficial when trying to germinate your seeds because they need warmth, moisture, and air.
Also, plant heat lamps are generally used indoors or in a greenhouse structure, particularly if you have a cold climate or season.
If you are starting to see cold injuries on your plants (which is generally irreversible), that may also be an indicator that it is time for an upgrade. Cold damage will be signaled through necrosis and limp tissue because the plant cells die when frozen.
Why Would I Utilize A Heat Lamp?
Heat lamps can be beneficial to you if you cannot regulate your indoor growing temperature, and/or need more red light for your plants.
Again, cold injury is the major worry for plants in cold seasons for it will all together slow and stop function and production within the plants.
In terms of light and using heat lamps, think of plants needing cool and warm light. Plants benefit most from the colors red and blue on the light spectrum and don't use green light as much as we may think.
Red light (620-750 nanometers) would be like a warm color that helps plants develop flowers and fruit (and can also affect plant height and growth habits if using red and far-red light). The plants absorb this light with phytochromes.
Red light can be implemented into growing by using incandescent lights, which are also used for heating.
Blue light (450-495 nanometers) can be like a cool light and is often produced by fluorescent bulbs that are more sustainable than incandescent ones. Blue light is absorbed by phototropin and cryptochromes and is used for vegetative growth.
This all being said, you may want to utilize a plant heat lamp if it is not at least 16 degrees Celsius in your location, if you want increased flower and fruit production in your plants, or if you want to manipulate plant height and growth habits.
When purchasing plant heat lamps, always keep in mind that they can be used for a variety of purposes.
Far-red light will make your plants stretch and elongate, while near-red light will grow them in a more dense and compact fashion.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Plant Heat Lamps?
Having had thousands of plants die from cold damage, not using a heat lamp can result in the loss of your entire crop because it has irreversible effects on the plants.
Plant heat lamps can also provide a uniform heat, be easily moved and adjusted, and can save money compared to other heating methods.
Heat Lamp Characteristics Are Significant
Any time you buy new technology, it is important to know what you're looking at and what would be best for your situation.
For heat lamps, the wattage is important because it can tell you how expensive your electric bill might be; wattage is referring to how much energy is being consumed or transferred.
Moreover, when referring to the structure of a bulb, there are BR40 and R40 lights. BR40’s have a bulged reflector and omit light differently than an R40. The 40 in each of these terms refers to the diameter of the bulb, which would be five inches.
Light bulb types are constructed and used for different projects, so it's important to know what you’re getting.
How Do I Use Plant Heat Lamps?
Incandescent bulbs can be screwed into lamp structures if they are the right size, or you can hang a light structure above your plants. Be sure that the light is not too close to your plants or it will burn them.
Have caution when using these lights because they will give off heat and you don't want to hurt yourself in any way, or accidentally start a fire.
When screwing your bulb into a fixture, be sure it can handle the wattage and type of structure. The last thing you may want is your bulb burning out or, again, a fire.
With bulbs being different wattages and sizes, using a trial plant could help distinguish how far the light should be positioned above the plant.
By sacrificing one plant, you can find the appropriate height to shine the light from in order to receive the heating benefits and not burn plants!
What Are The Main Things I Should Know Before Making A Heat Lamp Purchase?
Keep in mind that these plant heat lamps are not often paired to also provide proper light conditions for the plant, so you have to make tradeoffs sometimes.
The red light provided by these heat sources could have undesired effects on your plants and can alter growth habits and fruit and flower cycles.
The plant heat lamps can help your plants survive cold seasons and that may be worth all the cons to you, especially if it is a seasonal solution. For me, it is worth it because it saves all my early seedlings and houseplants!
Having the heat lamps can open many opportunities with plants because of their versatility in aiding in activities such as seed germination.
As a consumer, you should also be informed on the best plant heat lamps in the market that correspond with a reasonable price.
Have a plan before you buy!
5 Plant Heat Lamps I May Consider For My Plants:
1. The Philips Heat Lamp PAR38 Clear Light Bulb ($23.31)
This bulb isn't too far off from the typical price range shown here and the quality seems to correspond.
The Philips Heat Lamp seems to be safer in terms of the environment and structure durability, and the PAR in its title refers to photosynthetically active radiation, or how much light your plant is actually using for photosynthesis.
- More sustainable (less leaching of heavy metals)
- Made of thicker glass which can ensure safety when installing or handling the bulb
- Heats up instantly which could help the plants if the temperature is dropping quickly
- Heat stops about a foot away, so you would have to make sure that the plants are grouped together
- 1 pack, so it may get pricey if you have a large area and would need multiple bulbs
- 175 watt, being on the lower side of available wattage
When it comes to heat lamps, this brand seems to be developed as far as safety and you have low risk of burnt plants because of the wattage and reach of the heat (no more than one foot).
2. The GE Red R40 Heat Lamp ($9.22)
Cost is an important factor when looking at this option. It is cheaper than most and has a higher wattage.
Not to mention, this bulb is coated with a substance to amplify the light output.
- 250 watts, more energy being transferred so it is likely that there is higher heat
- Multipurpose in places like garages and bathrooms too so you could use it outside of plant usage
- 5000 hours, which is about an average or standard lifespan for these bulbs
- Increased hazard risk because of the higher wattage, safety precautions need to be followed and you don't want to burn your plants
- More of an amber color than a red color which could have an effect on plant growth and heat quality
Keep in mind that this bulb also produces more far-red light which could make your plants leggy, elongated, and weak versus being dense and compact. Although this feature could be outweighed by all the pros that this product brings.
3. The RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb ($28.99)
With being on the higher end of the price spectrum, we want to make sure we are getting a good deal here, because there’s always a need for other plant materials like soil and pots.
- 250 watts, on the higher end of wattage out of these choices
- No far-infrared light so less risk of your plant elongating
- Good heat quality as far as its size and capability
- The light seems to die more quickly
- Not built as sturdy and seems to break easier
Like the majority of products, this bulb is CE certified to where it checks the boxes for appropriate environmental, safety, and health regulations.
4. The TheraBulb NIR-A Near Infrared Bulb ($29.99)
The TheraBulb has the strongest energy consumption and is one of the pricier bulbs in terms of plant heat lamps.
- 300 watts
- Near-infrared light could benefit your plants by not stretching them
- The bulb has a longer neck which could help make it safer when creating a setup
- Light Bulb is noticed to not have a long life
A brooder clamp may work best for this style of the bulb as far as heat lamp setup, and this bulb also has a beneficial light-optimizing coating on it.
5. The SYLVANIA BR40 Incandescent Heat Lamp ($10.99)
Being yet another cheaper option, each bulb still comes with its own pros and cons.
It is also a notable mention that this product does not cast red light.
- It is a bulged reflector (BR40) so it omits light differently
- Observed to have a longer lifespan
- 175 watt – this is on the weaker side of things here and so it would be important to consider how big your area would be
Again, here we have a multi-purpose bulb that could also be used if you enjoy creatures that would need a heat lamp.
Despite the diversity of these products, I feel that in a beginner situation, the GE Red R40 Heat Lamp would come out as the winner, especially with its guaranteed, efficient bulb coating.
It is cost-effective with a higher wattage, which equals out with an average lifespan. If you feel comfortable with wattage greater than 250, the TheraBulb may be a close second.
Not going with the largest wattage also ensures a bit more safety versus starting off with the (in a sense) more dangerous piece of equipment that could cause fires or plant damage.
The GE bulb is also highly multi-purposeful leaving you able to use it for more than just plants! Picking this lightbulb could save your wallet and still give you good enough quality to get through the winter.
The red-light feature of this bulb could benefit some plants as far as fruit and flowering and it has high enough energy transfer to get the job done.
Even though this product is known to emit a softer red or amber-red light, this could be a benefit to where the red light being absorbed by the phytochromes is not as influential as if there were more present.
This bulb has a good function ratio as it does well in terms of heating and keeping your plants healthy while still at an affordable price.