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Protect Your Eyes From Grow Lights

Gardening Tips

As a grower, your plants would probably one of the top priorities when it comes to the grow room. Everything must be set perfectly and all the equipment should be top notch and brand new – including (and maybe especially) the lights. Always give what’s best for the plant, a probable motto for any dedicated grower. But, hold on, aren’t you forgetting something? Something more important than the plant themselves? No, we’re not talking about the grow space or the environment of it, we’re actually talking about you, the grower! Confused? It would be best if you continue reading!
Any dedicated grower would probably want the best for their plants that they usually forget about themselves. Still confused as to what this article is saying? Well, there’s a reason why the “lights” were specifically said in the beginning of this article. This is because the lights that are commercially available today (and are usually used) can actually harm you and your eyes in a very dangerous way! Sustaining permanent damage and even blindness is a definite possibility if these lights are left unchecked.
As you may know, horticultural use of lights is not really new. As time goes by, technological advancements made it possible to create very efficient lights and very specific and powerful ones compared to those lanky and wasteful lights that we used to have. In general, the technological advancement of grow lights focuses on two things: being energy efficient and having more PAR (photosynthetically active radiation). Between the two, we will focus more on the PAR as it is the one that can actually do more damage to your eyes.
So what is PAR? It is actually the set of light-wave frequencies that can push or trigger a response from the plant like photomorphogenesis and phototropism. These triggers are the ones actually responsible for the plant to grow towards the light, growth regulation, development of tissues and much more. Additionally, these set of light-wave frequencies also triggers the process we all well know: photosynthesis. These wavelengths function very similar to other wavelengths such as radiation from nuclear wastes, X-ray radiation or even the microwave! This basically means that the wavelength that the lights in the grow room creates is just as strong as those things which can definitely harm you and your eyes.
The most beneficial wavelength for plants is from the extremes of the spectrum. Red, blue, violet and ultraviolet are the wavelengths that the plant thrives in the most. This means that a lot of commercially available lights are created in such a way that it can deliver just the important types of light because it also wants to be efficient by removing any unneeded light or wavelengths; big light companies are creating lights that are concentrated with different types of lights that can be dangerous to the grower.
So what can these lights or wavelength exactly do to our eyes? Well, here’s a short list of what can happen:
1. Cataracts – it’s the unraveling of the protein of the lens which creates a cloud in the lens itself which heavily impairs vision.
2. Macular Degeneration – this is the leading cause of blindness.
3. Pterygium – aka Surfer's Eye or when a benign growth in the conjunctiva is present. Its appearance looks like the white part of your eye extended to the middle.
4. Photokeratitis – a painful sunburn for the cornea.
5. Pinguecula – A different form of having growth on the white part of the eye.
6. Skin Cancer – constant exposure to UV lights can create types of skin cancers near the eyelids.
7. Climatic Droplet Keratopathy – Usually happens when there is an accumulation of translucent proteins/
If you’re thinking of to “so what?”, just remember that most of the things that you can do with your eyes are the things that are also very needed in not only for gardening purposes but also for your day-to-day activities.
So what can we do about it? Unfortunately, there are very few sunglasses that are specifically created to block all the types of harmful UV radiations. If you do plan to get one of these sun glasses always remember that buying cheap can be very expensive as cheap sunglasses may mean that the materials used are not up to par. On the other hand, stylish and expensive sunglasses may also not be enough to protect you from these harmful lights.
In general, you would want a pair of sunglasses that can protect you from any light to get anywhere near your eyes because you would want all the lights to go pass through your sunglass first before your actual eyes. Remember, it’s your eyes, don’t risk it.

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