Hydroponics is a means of growing plants in nutrient water without the use of soil. Instead of soil a non-reacting medium is used such as perlite, gravel, or the husk of coconuts. It was known as early as the 18 century that plants absorb their minerals in water as ions. The soil in traditional growing acts as a nutrient reservoir but does not actually contribute to plants growth. Water dissolves the minerals in the plants soil enabling the plants to use them. In hydroponics the minerals required for plants growth are artificially dissolved in the water making soil unnecessary. It is possible to grow almost any soil based plant using hydroponics. Hydroponics is such a promising field that there is much research into different methods in the academic community.
The first book ever published on hydroponics was published in 1627. After which, water cultivation soon became a popular technique. Experiments were done and in 1699 it was found that plants grown in distilled water grew less rapidly then plants grown in plain water. This is due to the dissolved ions found within non-pure water. By 1842 scientists had published a list of nine elements believed to be responsible for plant growth and the results of which led to what is known as modern hydroponics. At first they used soilless cultivation and grew terrestrial plants using the nine essential elements. It quickly spread throughout academia and became an area of hot research.
One of the first achievements of hydroponics was performed by Dr. Gericke at the University of Berkley. He managed to create tomato plants that grew to over 25 feet tall. At the time this was considered only possible due to the usage of hydroponics. He claimed that hydroponics would revolutionize growing. If only he were alive today to see how it has. He wrote a book in 1940 called the Complete Guide to Soilless Growing which became the go to guide on hydroponics of its day; although, at first he refused to publically reveal his secret.
Due to the extravagant nature of his claims several scientists set about reviewing his work. At first they found that soilless growing was no better than soil growing. They found that the yield of crops were limited by other factors other than minerals, such as light. The research overlooked many of the important factors that make hydroponics benefit plants. Namely that hydroponics allows the plants roots to grab more oxygen. Around this time mineral solutions were developed called Hoagland solutions were developed and are still in use today. Hydroponics was used on Wake Island early on to grow vegetables where there was no soil. Recently hydroponics has been thoroughly researched by NASA.
With the advancement of modern hydroponics along came advances in grow lights. At first the introduction of HPS (high pressure sodium) grow lights allowed plants to be grown indoors. They produced high light output and allowed plants to mature fully. Recently the advances of LED grow lights has begun to revolutionize the field of hydroponics. They completely eliminate the heat issues that come about with HPS lights and can reduce electrical costs by up to two thirds.

Author's Bio: 

Guru Grow Lights has designed and manufactured the best LED grow lights possible. They use a unique blend of LEDs in their grow lights. This unique blend of LEDs enables your plants to grow using only the minimum of grow light.