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Author: Danny Donello / Category: Article / Published: Aug-07-2019
can bet that grow room glasses are not at the top of anyone’s shopping list and often overlooked when setting up their indoor grow room, however they probably should be. Every indoor grower should be wearing horticultural eyewear that offers 100% protection from the harmful glow of the lights, while also not compromising on color or clarity of vision. The eyes work naturally to help us perceive color, shape, and motion, and grow room lights can potentially disrupt this. We only get one set of eyes, so we have to protect them from damage, which is exactly why you should be wearing grow room glasses.
Grow lights reproduce powerful light waves emitted by the Sun to fuel the process of photosynthesis. Plants respond most to light waves in the red, blue, violet and ultraviolet ranges. In order to increase the efficiency factor of your grow lights, you need the ones which produce the most intense amount of light in a smaller spectrum. This focused light is great for the plants, but also great at damaging your eyes. Exposing your eyes to these lights in such proximity and for long periods can result in migraines, headaches, cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium, sights loss, and even cancer
Your Sunglasses Will Not Work Well for Your Grow Room
So one would think that since sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun then they would be good to wear in a grow room. Do not be fooled into thinking that a pair of regular expensive sunglasses will do the job as effectively. What improvements you gain in sight by less squinting, is taken away by the shade of the sunglasses. Now your eyes are back to straining as you’re staring at your plants, trying to make sense of the color shading and characteristics. The shading of sunglasses makes it impossible to see the exact color and shade of your plant. This could mean missing the early signs of deficiencies and pests creeping into your garden.
It is essential to have a basic understanding of how light works, how it can damage your eyes, and what you need to look for when purchasing a pair of horticultural glasses.
How Light Works
Wavelengths of light are measured in the metric unit of nanometers (nm). Visible light ranges from 400nm-700nm. A nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter! It can be too hard to grasp, but all need to remember at this stage is that the lower the nm measurement of the wavelength, the more energy it has and the more of the a risk it poses to you.
The visible light spectrum is a form of electromagnetic radiation and is light that we can physically see. The range is made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Red begins on the left and moves to the right through orange, yellow, green, and blue. Collectively, this is what is known as sunlight, or “balanced white light” (BWL). The colors are arranged naturally by wavelengths; red has the longest wavelength and is low energy, while blue has the shortest and the most amount of energy.
As either end of the visible light spectrum, you have invisible electromagnetic. Just beyond red, there are warming “infrared” rays with a wavelength of 700nm per millimeter, so not very harmful at all. In contrast, just past the blue end of the spectrum, you have invisible electromagnetic rays which have the shortest wavelength and the highest energy, posing the biggest threat to your health. This lighting is known as ultraviolet light or ultraviolet radiation.
Along with many other conditions, the UV light emitted by grow lights is not a friend of the cornea. This damage is not something that repairs over time, it compounds. In general, the ultraviolet light can be subdivided to three types:
1. UV-A light (400nm-320nm) has the longest wavelength, compromising about 3% of the photons in natural sunlight that make it through the Earth’s atmosphere and is the least harmful.
2. UV-B light (320nm-290nm) is more threatening, causing cellular damage in both humans and plants. It makes up less than 0.15% (that’s less than 1/5th of 1%) of total natural sunlight. In a natural environment, about 95% of this light is luckily absorbed by the ozone layer.
3. UV-C light (290nm-100nm) is the most harmful of all, but luckily, in the natural environment, it is almost entirely absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. UVC is so damaging that it can be used in the process of sterilization because it kills living cells.
Apparently, horticultural eyewear is a must for the serious indoor gardener and any compromise with quality and clarity should be avoided. You spend a lot of time, money, and energy to make sure your indoor garden is as healthy as possible. Why wouldn’t put just as much effort into protecting your eyes?
If you value your vision, then buy a product of some significant value to protect it. A good pair of specially engineered grow room glasses may save your sight, and in some cases, even your life. Consider it an investment. Don’t get blind doing the thing you love, protect your eyes.