What is the Effect of Fluorescent Light versus Incandescent Light on Indoor Plants
Upper Iowa University
Experiment measuring growth of plants using different light environments indoors. I used three tomato plants for this experiment. The test group is one tomato plant under a fluorescent light bulb and the second under an incandescent light bulb. The control group is a tomato plant in the sun. Constants were the water and time in light. My hypothesis was fluorescent light would help the plant grow higher in quality, because it supplies better supplemental light. The plant has a better chance of survival compared to the incandescent light. My hypothesis was correct. The plant under the fluorescent light was healthier, full of life, just generally looked better and the soil was moist. The plant under the Incandescent light, the soil was dry and the plant looked as if it was about to die.
Unlike animals, most plants do not need to find their food because they make it for themselves. Plants take sunlight and turn it into energy for them to use. The energy used to help the development of the plant and its growth. (Bernie, 1989) In some areas, they do not receive sunlight most of the year. How are they going to grow their crops without the sun to make energy for the plant? I know people do grow plants indoors using a plant light. This is what gave me the idea for my experiment. The experiment is on which type of light bulb helps plants grow the same, way it would, as if it had sunlight.
Every plant needs certain materials to keep it alive such as oxygen, water, sunlight etc. Sunlight is important to develop energy that helps plants grow. Plants take the sunlight that they receive and turn it into chemical energy, which is stored and used later. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants get their energy and food. Light is needed to make plant leaves green, without light the leaves stay pale or white. Plants with white leaves cannot make their own food but when you put a plant in light, the leaves will turn green. (Casper, 2007) This process starts with the sunlight combining with chlorophyll in the leaves and light energy turning it into chemical energy. Harvesting sunlight and storing the energy is the only thing that photosynthesis can do in chemical bonds of sugar. You cannot use light energy directly from the synthesis of macromolecules. This is where cellular respiration comes in. Cellular respiration takes energy from sugar and changes it into a molecule that is immediately available to work in the cell. The design of a plant is to facilitate the harvesting of sunlight. (Lights’ Effect on Growth - Biology Online, 2000)
When planting plants indoors you still need the sunlight to help with the plant growth. For Indoor plants, they use lights (light bulbs) as there sunlight. Certain light bulbs give the same type light from the electromagnetic spectrum as the sun would give off towards plants. Although visible light is a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is responsible for many biological reactions like photosynthesis and life has become very dependent on this small portion. (David Trinklein, 2002) To plant Indoor plants it is good to use some type of light. Light is a form of energy you will not see, but that does not make light different from other types of energy. Light quality refers to the color (wavelength) of light. Sunlight supplies the complete range of wavelengths and can be broken up by a prism Into bands of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, Indigo, and violet. Knowing which light bulb to use is important for manipulating plant growth. For example, fluorescent (cool white) light is high in the blue wavelength. It encages leafy growth and is great for starting seedlings. Incandescent light is high in the red or orange range, but generally