Plant Grow Light
Prevent leggy plants by growing seedlings under artificial light created by standard shop lights outfitted with Plant Grow Light. These bright lights provide a combination of blue and red light waves necessary for good plant growth. Look for bulbs that are “full-spectrum,” which plants need.
How to Use Grow Lights
While many houseplants do just fine indoors with whatever natural light comes in your windows, certain ones can be coaxed to bloom more reliably or will grow more healthy leaves with additional light from artificial sources. And if you're starting vegetable and annual flower seeds inside, they often need the help of lights to develop properly. While the amazing power of sunlight is tough to completely replicate indoors, using grow light fixtures fitted with simple fluorescent or LED bulbs can come close. Here's what you need to know about setting up the best grow light systems for your houseplants and seedlings.
How Many Hours Should Grow Lights Be On?
Illuminate interior plants for 12-14 hours a day. If you keep the lights on for 16-18 hours a day, flowering plants will likely bloom sooner. Seedlings grow best when supplied with light around the clock. Leaving the lights on 24 hours a day compensates for the lower light level of the artificial light as compared to sunlight. This is when more energy-efficient LED bulbs pay off. Although more expensive to purchase up front, LED bulbs use less power to run and last longer than fluorescent bulbs. A simple mechanical timer ($6, Target) will make using grow lights easier and more efficient, too.
Tips for Using Grow Lights
Artificial lighting must be very close to plants to be effective. As the rays of light move away from the source, they dim significantly. Keeping lamps close to plants increases the amount of light received which keeps transplants compact, preventing long, weak stems. Position lights 6 inches or so above transplants, moving them up as the plants grow to maintain the 6-inch source-to-plant distance. Indoor plants and edibles grow best when they are within 12 inches or so of the light source.