Growing Plants with Lights

Using grow lights to cultivate plants indoors is a great way to enjoy fresh herbs and vegetables all year long. It’s a great growing option if you live in an apartment, a home with no outdoor garden space or if you simply want the ease of gardening indoors, as you can control nearly every aspect of the process. In this guide, we’ll show you why you should use indoor grow lights, how to choose the right grow light for your needs and give you some tips on how to get the best results with your new indoor garden.

Why Use Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

Using grow lights indoors helps you grow healthy, vibrant plants without the need for outdoor sunlight. You can place them wherever you like, without having to rely on window or skylight placement, giving you complete control over where you grow your indoor plants. You’ll never have to worry about bad weather and your lighting can also be selected based on the plants you want to grow so you can create an optimal growing environment for them.

Types of Grow Lights

There are different grow lights, all with different benefits for your indoor garden. While both LED and fluorescent lighting provide full-spectrum light, which is a balance of cool and warm light that mimics the natural solar spectrum, each has different features that we’ll walk you through so you can choose the right lighting for your space.

LED Grow Lights

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights use about half the electricity of traditional bulbs and last nearly five times longer. They also give off significantly less heat, so there’s no danger of burning your plants. LED lights are a great choice for seedlings, leafy plants, herbs and succulents, making them one of the best lights for growing plants indoors.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Fluorescent Grow Lights

While not as energy efficient as LED bulbs, fluorescent indoor plant lights are still a great choice for seedlings, leafy plants, herbs and succulents and are still widely used. T12 fluorescent bulbs provide the right amount of light for seedlings. T8 fluorescent fixtures give off more light, which can be better for more mature plants. High efficiency T5 fluorescent bulbs are so bright that one T5 can do the work of two traditional bulbs.

Tips for Gardening with Grow Lights

Tips for Gardening with Grow Lights
  • Plants also need roughly 6 or more hours of darkness per day to grow properly, so ensure you turn the lights off when needed. You can also use a timer to control your plant grow lights, so you don’t have to worry about being home to turn them off.
  • Seeds grow better in a warm environment, so get a heat mat to keep the soil temperature warm, between roughly 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check your water level daily to ensure the soil is moist but not soggy. Be sure you don’t over-water.
  • Fertilize your plants with an organic fertilizer every other week and be sure to rotate them to ensure even light absorption.

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