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Grow Lights for healthy Indoor plants

Updated on September 13, 2011

Indoor grow lights - a light solution for your indoor plants

Indoor plants make the house a home. Plants need light, as much as they need water and nutrition; grow lights are the best solution to growing healthy indoor plants. Without adequate lighting, which is common indoors, your plants tend to grow scraggy and look unsightly The leaves usually become yellow and plants die out soon enough. Grow lights are a blessing to plant lovers who are busy and have very little time for their plants. They ensure that your plants have enough light and remain healthy and attractive all through the year. I find it very tedious to keep changing pots from one place to another in search of sunlight and grow light seems to be the welcome solution to my problem.

Indoor grow lights - your plants need them

Grow lights are essential to keep your plants healthy through the long winter months. They keep your plants active and growing. If you are growing seedlings in large numbers then you could count on grow lights to make your seedling and your hobby or business flourish. You cannot afford to overlook the benefits of grow lights if you have flowering indoor plants. Grow lights keep your plants blooming all through the year, making your house colorful even during the long winter months.

What you need to know while using grow light for indoor plants

Understanding and caring for your plants is as important as buying them. Some plants need more water and more light than others. Knowing your plants can help you provide the right environment for growth. When you buy plants get some information about what they like and don’t like. This will make caring for them easier and safer. Many indoor plants die just due to over-watering.

Not all indoor plants require the same amount of light. Some need intense lighting, while others don’t. Choosing your indoor grow lighting system according to the needs of your plants is very important. Foliage plants need cool blue grow lights as they encourage the plant to be stocky and grow more leaves.

Flowering plants like African violets, euphorbia milli, adenium etc. need red light to bloom, it would benefit to use a combination of cool blue white light and warm yellow white light for your plants. This is a natural phenomenon with sunlight which has a complete spectrum of colors that plants need for healthy growth, blooming and to produce fruits.

Plants need rest too, so the lights need to be on only for a part of the day. A safe bet would be to keep the light on for a maximum of 8-10 hours. Plants need to respire, as much as they need to grow, so be considerate to your plants and they will reward you will with their healthy luscious looks and flowers.

Tips for safe and efficient use of indoor grow lights

Placing indoor plants at the right temperature is important. Placing the plant too close to the grow light bulb could cause serious burns to your plant. A good way to judge the right distance is to put your hand where the top of the foliage would reach and check - it should not feel warm.

Rotate the plants often, may be once in ten days to ensure that all your plants get sufficient light.

Flowering plants and colored foliage like coleus or crotons can be placed directly under the bulb while the foliage plants can thrive on the sides.

It would still be a great idea to rotate the plants, naturally there are bright days and cloudy days. So keeping things as close to nature as possible is the key.

Bulbs need to be cleaned periodically so that your plants get maximum advantage from the light. Dust and grime tend to reduce the intensity of light to as low as 50% at times.

Changing bulbs as they blacken is necessary as you plants may not be getting the light they need.

Choosing grow lights for indoor plants

Incandescent grow lights These are the common kind we use in our homes. They provide intense light and heat which is great for flowering plants but not for foliage. Yet care should be taken to keep plants at a safe distance.

Fluorescent grow lights provide more light than the incandescent bulbs and are a cheaper and better option.

Full spectrum fluorescent grow lights provide a balance of cool white light and warm white light. This may be a wonderful choice if you want to use a mix of plants under them. You need not worry about whether they are foliage plants or flowering plants.

LED grow lights are the best, as they are energy efficient. LED grow lights last for 4 to 8 years due to which frequent replacement of bulbs is not required.
They do not produce excessive heat like incandescent lights and plants can be placed close to without fear of plants getting burnt.
Due to the reduction in heat, period between watering cycles is longer. Your effort in looking after the plants is also reduced considerably.

Now sit back and enjoy your plants as they grow and bloom under your indoor grow lights without you having to do much to care for them. Wishing you more colorful days ahead!


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    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Pegcole, I have lost many indoor plants because of the poor lighting indoors, but after the grow light my indoor plants are as healthy as their counter parts outdoors. I hope grow lights work for winter..Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend !

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Sofs, I've been looking for information on indoor lighting for my plants that suffer during the winter months in this climate. This is a great source to answer my questions. Thank you so much!


    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Hi there Vocal coach, Our paths have not crossed for long. I am glad that you are here. Honestly when I wrote this hub I had not really seen the full effect of having grow lights. When I look at my plants now they look so healthy, flowering abundantly and beautifying my home..I can with a joyful heart recommend these grow lights. Thank you for the comment and Have a wonderful year. I really need to catch up with your writings. See you soon! Have a lovely day!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Great information on grow lights and how to use them. I like growing plants indoors so this is very helpful. Well written!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      I agree with you that the LED grow lights are the most viable grow lights available. But it is a choice that people have to make.. and in an article like this you give them the choice and they make their decisions. Thanks for the recommendation, I am sure people would find it useful.

    • cidly24 profile image

      cidly24 6 years ago from China

      I am Kevin.Most traditional commercially available grow lights are unattractive, bulky and use excessive amounts of power, and tend to have short life spans as bulbs burn out. With the advent of LED's many new grow lamps are overcoming these limitations by leveraging their inherent power efficiencies, small size, low cost, and long life. LED's operate in fairly narrow spectrum bands, and so LED grow light can target the narrow bands required for photosynthesis and ignore all other bands, thus increasing power efficiency.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Jocaobkuttyta, grow lights are indeed a boon to those who love indoor plants. Mine seem to be flourishing with them.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      I am new to grow light. Thanks for the valuable information.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Rosemay there is nothing more cheerful looking than indoor plants during the long winter months. Plants needs light and water, and the rule of the thumb for most indoor plants is the soil should feel slightly dry between watering. The grow lights should take care of the light requirement. Provide your plant nutrition once in a fortnight and this should give you the satisfaction of seeing some healthy plants indoors. I truly hope you try this this season. Thanks for the interest and the comment :)

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Hi Sofs. This is a great hub with plenty of information. I stopped keeping indoor plants because they never did so well but I will probably re-think that now. I had never thought of the lighting before.

      Thank you

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      DAL thank you for that generous comment!! I appreciate it :)

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi sofs a well written and informative hub thank you so much for sharing.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Venzkhvam, sorry I missed your comment, an oversight that I shall now rectify. It is true that some people buy plants and forget all about caring for them. Grow lights are indeed a boon for busy people. I appreciate your interest in following me ..thank you!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Eidween, thanks for the read and the comment. Take care of yourself .. Shalom!!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      @ Angarastone, thank you !

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      MsDora, silky green fades into insignificance when you have the real thing. Once you get hooked on, you will take so much pride in seeing your plants, grow and bloom and the satisfaction that comes from growing indoor plants is something that cannot be measured. Get those grow lights and see your indoor plants continue to grow in winter.. Good luck to you and I truly wish I could pass some of this gift ( the green thumb) to you ... :)

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Ruby, you just struck gold! Get grow lights and see your African violets bloom, and while you are at it make sure that you get yourself some colorful winter plants to shake away the gloom. Thank you Ruby I always appreciate hearing from you :) (( hugs )) to you!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant read and thank you for sharing.

      Take care


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is my first year growing indoor plants. I've always liked the silky green, but my neighbor inspired me to go for the real thing. Never even thought of grow lights until now. Voted useful and will refer to this page again. Thanks!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The only indoor plant i've ever had was African Violets. I think i would like to have more indoor plants and the lighting would be great. The winter months are so gloomy, i'm sure plants would make the time go faster toward spring. YEA, Thank you sofs. Great info.....

    • VENZKHVAM profile image

      VENZKHVAM 6 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      Hi sofs,

      It is general trend to buy and keep indoor flowers and forget it.People don't really take care to even kleep it out some times for light. But this grow light is a new information for me and many a person in my surrounding TOO FEEL THAT . I need to search for this where i will get this.

      Thank you very much for sharing this.I will book mark this and forward also.

      I had vopted this up and usefull.

      I am following you with lots of likeness and wish to hear from you too.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Your ficus would love you more.. if you gave it some more light in these long autumn and winter months.. our ficus never turn yellow because our summers never end :) You can keep it growing all through these months by using a fluorescent light above it.. and see the difference. Remember to thank me for it.. lol Thanks Tim for that quick comment :) God Bless !!

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 6 years ago from Me to You

      Hi sofs. Strangely enough, I've never tried using grow lights, except for growing flowers from seed. I think my ficus could use some more light in the winter. It seems to get more yellowing leaves, even though I keep it watered and occasionally fed. Nice hub.