What Is a Grow Light?
Grow lights allow us to cultivate various plants indoors, regardless of the season or available sunlight. They use a specific ratio of wavelengths, mostly in the red and blue spectrums, which are ideal for helping plants photosynthesize.
One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve come across about houseplants is that they don’t need a lot of light. In fact, the opposite is true! In order to live indoors in our homes and continue to provide us with lush plants, they need all the light they can get.
When I first started my houseplant journey, I really didn’t know anything about plants. I just found one that caught my eye and stuck it in the corner. As I slowly started to learn more, I realized that the way I cared for them might not be the best for their needs.
Giving plants as much light as possible can go against our plans to spruce up that bare corner or that dark room that needs some life added. What’s a plant gal (or guy) to do?
That’s when I discovered grow lights for indoor plants and they are an absolute game changer! If you want your plants to thrive, need to grow plants in dimly lit corners, or just want to grow indoors that are usually not Plants that will grow (such as herbs, vegetables, and flowers) are made possible by growing light.
If grow lights are new to you, read on for specific advice on how to use grow lights for indoor plants.
How to use grow lights for indoor plants
First, if you want more specifics on the technical side of how grow lights work, check out my post on my guide to the best LED grow lights.
If you want a quick grow light recommendation, this Aspect pendant grow light is definitely my choice for houseplants. It’s the ultimate grow light if you’re looking for something subtle and stunning, and does an excellent job of keeping plants alive!
What is a grow light (or plant light) anyway?
Plants use light differently than humans. Where we see with light, plants use light as energy for photosynthesis and growth. Grow light sources are specifically designed to provide plants with the correct type of light in the spectrum they need for life.
Can I just use a regular light bulb as a grow light?
While some common light bulbs may produce the specific light waves that some plants need, they are mostly ineffective when it comes to plant growth. This is because they are designed to light up our homes. With grow lights, the spectrum they use, their intensity, their color, and even the design or shape of the light itself, are all designed to give plants the maximum amount of energy they need to grow.
Some grow lights may appear to look similar to regular household globes. But keep in mind that how our eyes perceive light is very different to how plants perceive and use it.
How long should a grow light be left on?
How long a grow light should be on for really depends on a few factors. They include the particular light you’re using, the environment your plant is in and what you’re using the light for (eg, foliage growth, vegetables or flowering).
The light you use should come with specific instructions. But as a general guide, here’s a few tips.
To be effective, grow lights need to be on for at least 8-10 hours a day. Up to 16 hours depending on the environment. That’s why LED grow lights are so popular – when they have to be on all day, energy efficient ones are best! Be sure to place a grow light above the plant. This copy of sunlight. Plants will naturally start to lean towards the light source, so top is always the best option.
If your grow light is getting hot, make sure it isn’t touching the plants or getting too close to them. Young or shade-loving plants can steer clear of weaker growing light, while larger plants and plants with large leaves that can absorb a lot of light (such as fiddle leaf figs) can appreciate the benefits of bright light.
Where Should I Position My Grow Light?
Think about how a plant gets sunlight in nature – from above!
I’ve seen many people clip a grow light to the bottom of a plant as a replacement for an overhead light or even place it in a shaded light next to the plant. While this can help your planting light blend into your decor, unfortunately, it won’t be very beneficial to the plant.
Growth light sources need to be very close to the plants and not in any way obstructing them to be effective. Just as houseplants can start leaning toward windows when they’re looking for more light, they can lean toward growing light too!
That’s why it’s best to place your grow lights above your plant to encourage it to grow upwards as it does in nature.
What distance should a grow light be from my plants?
In general, plants need to be within a few feet of a growing light to receive any benefit. The closer the light is to the plant, the higher the light intensity.
The distance also depends on the intensity and type of light you use. If you’re concerned, I suggest you start farther away and bring the light closer to see how your plants respond.
In general, the closer the light is to the plant, the smaller the width of the cover. So if you’re only lighting one plant, you can place the light closer to the plant (which means more light to the plant).
If you’re lighting a few plants, consider the span of the bulb. You may need to have the grow light further away to cover multiple plants. Keep in mind that the further the grow light is from the plants, the less light they’ll receive.
What colour grow light is best?
You may have noticed that grow lights come in a variety of different colors. This is because plants use different light waves for different purposes, such as flowering, fruiting, or general leaf growth.
If you want to complement your houseplant grow lights (aka leafy, green growth), I recommend full spectrum bulbs. Full spectrum grow light will give plants the full range of light they need (if you find a white one, they will look more attractive than a colored one)!
Therefore, full-spectrum growing light is great for common houseplants such as fiddle leaf figs, rowan, Calatheas, peace lilies, palms, and more.
Other popular light colors are red, blue and red and blue. Red light is good for flowering, while blue light is good for plant growth. However, if a plant has too much color, they may grow a little out of shape or out of shape.
Grow light on pendant cord
So, what grow light should I use for my houseplants?
For green, leafy houseplant growth or to keep your baby plants alive through winter (or in a dark home), opt for full-spectrum LED white grow lights. These can be a bit tricky to track down, so I personally recommend this Aspect pendant light from bbier lighting.
Available in two sizes, small and large, with two different light/power output levels. Small is the best low and medium light plant, small size. If you’re growing larger plants indoors, or want to choose to hang lights above a group of plants indoors, choose a large size light.
Using a timer for grow lights
Given that grow lights need to be on for at least 8-10 hours a day, you may want to invest in an automatic timer. Use the timer to automatically turn the lights on and off at any time you set.
Now, timers can even be controlled via the app, allowing you to turn your grow lights on or off from anywhere! This is useful if you’re out of the house and forgot to turn it off at night, or a storm is coming and you don’t want to turn it off .
When we bring plants home, they become a part of our decor and our lives! Not only do they purify the air, they bring us joy, and in return, I bet you want to take care of them, Let them thrive in your home.
There is (almost) nothing better than watching your baby plants thrive under your care. Grow lights provide us with such capabilities.
Should Grow Lights be Left on all the Time?
If I give my plants light all day, they’ll grow faster, right? I figure all I have to do is leave the lights on and they’ll become monsters!
In general, you should not leave grow lights on 24/7. Plants need a light-dark cycle to grow properly. It is believed that they do “rest” during dark periods, possibly using this time to deliver nutrients to their limbs while taking a break from growth.Keeping this simple fact in mind, we also need to know that most plants require at least 12 hours of light per day, and light intensity varies. Check your plant guide for the specific sunlight needs of your hydroponic plants as they grow and bloom.
Of course, you can set a timer on your hydroponic garden lights to ensure your plants are always getting the proper light. With timers, you never have to worry about remembering to turn them off or on.