Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Hydroponics

Indoor vs Outdoor Hydroponics

Hydroponic systems can be adaptable to the indoors or the outdoors.  Inside gardens can range from a small closet, or inside garden, while outdoors can be uncovered and open to the elements. Three major components that involve hydroponics are light, climate and size. Each of these components are different depending on system chosen.


Light refers to the quality, intensity, and duration and impacts the growth of plants. Light quality is the color or wavelength reaching the plant’s surface. Different colors lights (based upon the prism spectrum) will produce different vegetative growths. Light intensity refers to the degree at which photosynthesis occurs. Light intensity can vary upon the season, the shade, and the time of the environment. Light duration refers to how long a plant is exposed to light.  Some plants need 4-6 hours of direct light daily.


In indoor situations all of these factors can be controlled by the grower. Grow lights can be used as well as time to control how long lights are on. Duration is as simple as using a timer. Quality and intensity can also control be controlled. Intensity can be administered by the watt of a light, and quality is created by the color of lighting. Bulbs can come in variety of shades.  Outdoor hydroponics can grow huge plants if everything is prepared. Outdoor plants can be covered to insulate and reflect UV rays.

Climate of the growing environment is critical to how much a plant will grow. Most plants growth is dependent for temperatures from 65-80 degrees. Nutrients also require specific temperatures to be used. Solutions in hydroponics should be 60- 75 degrees.  Indoor lights can create heat depending upon the heat given off by the light.  As mentioned above, outdoor plants can be covered to keep temperatures from losing.


Size is the space that the plants occupies. These plants can be small meaning a bush or two, or can be big and cover acres. Indoor space can be restrictive due to house size, or building size. Outdoors can be bigger but more costly.