As you know, I grow a lot of plants from South Africa and other places where there is more winter sun than here. Hell, there are caves that see more sun than we do in mid winter.
Some of these plants flower right in the darkest time of the year. Starved of light here they grow too tall, flop over or fail to open their flowers properly. Romulea, like the one in the featured image, are a good example. Botanical gardens use supplementary lights in winter to help overcome this.
As an amateur with a limited budget and an environmental conscience this option was not acceptable to me until recently. The advent of efficient, low wattage LED growlights has made it at least partially possible and with this in mind I grouped the most susceptible plants into one corner of the greenhouse back in the autumn before they started growing.
For christmas I received a small LED grow light sufficient to illuminate around a yard square area of bench. On Boxing day I hung this and set a timer to switch it on at 2pm when the sun dips down behind the trees ( on days when it bothers appearing that is). It was set to switch off at 5pm, effectively extending the day by about an hour past sunset.
During the bright of day the lamp looked fairly innocent. Bright when close but not really noticeable outside the greenhouse.
At dusk we looked out of the window to be greeted by this sight just before the lights went off:
Now I probably do not need to tell you that the main market for amateur grow lights is domestic cannabis growers ( the instruction leaflet even has cannabis leaf patterns on the cover).
Firstly, I am surprised we were able to get the light because I imagined the whole world supply was on its way to Canada.
Secondly, I fully expect our conservative neighbours to arrange a visit from the drug squad. Fine with me. They can have a cup of tea whilst they totally fail to find anything incriminating.