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How to Use Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

Indoor plants need at least six hours of sunlight each day. 

Without proper sunlight, even the low-maintenance indoor plants suffer from a lack of chlorophyll in plant leaves. The phenomenon leads to leaves turning pale. 

Furthermore, the little sunlight forces even the best indoor plants to conserve energy by not producing flowers.

Indoor plants never get the required sunlight in winter. The solution? Using grow lights for indoor plants. Thus, you must have grow lights in your indoor plant care kit.

In the next five minutes, you’ll learn:

Ways to set up grow lights

How close to plants you must keep grow lights

How long should grow lights be on for houseplants

Which color spectrum lights are best for plant growth 

Which type of grow lights you must choose

Using Grow Lights for Indoor Plants — A Complete Guide

How to Set Up Grow Lights

Choose a sturdy shelving unit. A wire shelving unit is the best choice as they’re relatively cheaper. Furthermore, you can set up and clean wire shelving units with ease.

Furthermore, choose a grow light for plants. Make sure the grow light has the same width as the shelving unit. 

Afterward, hang the grow lights from the shelving unit above the plants. If you’re starting seeds, keep the lights closer to the plants. When the plants grow, raise the lights or the shelves (if they’re moveable).       

Leave the grow lights on a timer. 

At What Distance from Plants Should You Keep Grow Lights

Do grow lights work for indoor plants? Definitely. However, you must keep the grow lights at a specific distance from plants. The ideal distance depends on the type of grow light and the type of indoor plant. 

Place incandescent grow lights at least two feet away from plants. Miss that and the light will damage the foliage as incandescent grow lights give off a lot of heat.

Place fluorescent grow lights a foot away from plants as the lights give off much less heat than incandescent lights.

Place LED grow lights 0.5 feet away from plants as LED lights give off almost no heat at all.    

Always place grow lights over plants as the placement mimics natural overhead sunlight. Furthermore, the placement exposes all leaves and sides of a plant to the grow light.

How Long Should You Leave Grow Lights On

Can grow lights damage plants? Yes, if you leave the lights on 24X7. 

If you overexpose indoor plants to grow lights, the indoor plants will dry out, the plant’s foliage will be damaged, and the plants will stop flowering.

Here Are Timeframes You Can Follow:

Indoor plants thrive with 8 to 12 hours of light each day. 

Furthermore, flowering plants thrive on up to 16 hours of light each day.

Plants love consistency. Thus, always turn the grow lights on and off with a timer. The process helps plants stay healthy and grow.

Make sure to give indoor plants at least 8 hours of darkness each day. Check your indoor plant care guide for further tips. 

The Different Color Spectrum Grow Lights Ideal for Plant Growth

Cool (400nm - 500nm)

Green, violet, and blue lights fall under the cool spectrum. Here’s what the colors offer:

Green lights contribute to the plant’s growth. However, plants reflect most of the green light.

Violet light works only when mixed with blue and green. The light — when combined with blue and green — encourages chlorophyll absorption and photosynthesis. Furthermore, the color enhances a plant’s smell and makes the plant’s taste and color.

Blue light gets absorbed by chlorophyll the most. The process promotes photosynthesis. 

Warm (580nm - 700nm)

Red, yellow, and orange lights fall under the warm spectrum. Here’s what the colors offer:

Red light helps the plant grow strong and create more vegetation. Furthermore, the light helps in flowering as well.

Yellow and orange lights are essential for overall plant growth.

Full Spectrum

Full-spectrum LED grow light for indoor plants resembles natural sunlight the most. Here’s what full-spectrum offers:

Emits all spectrums of light including infrared and ultraviolet. Thus, the lights help indoor plants achieve the most growth. 

Full-spectrum lights mimic natural sunlight both in wavelengths and intensity.

The 4 Different Types of Grow Lights

Incandescent Grow Lights

The cheapest and most commonly found. However, the lights give off lots of heat which can scorch your plants.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Offers the full spectrum ranging from cool for vegetation and warm for flowering. The lights are energy-efficient, last for over 20,000 hours, and never give off much heat.  

LED Grow Lights

Offers a wide range of wavelengths. The lights give off almost no heat. Furthermore, you can customize the light colors as well. 

HID Grow Lights

Mimics the sun better than any other grow light. The lights come in two types — High-pressure Sodium and Metal Halide. The former gives off yellow light while the latter offers blue light.    

Using Grow Lights for Indoor Plants — the Phenomenon Will Continue to Grow

The grow light market worldwide has reached a value of $3.26 billion in 2020. 

Furthermore, the market is projected to reach $4.9 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 32.2% from 2021 to 2026. 

Thus, the grow light industry is here to stay. In this article, you’ve learnt everything about using grow lights for indoor plants:

How to set up grow lights

The ideal distance of grow lights from plants

How many hours you must keep the grow lights on

What different color spectrum grow lights offer

The difference between incandescent, fluorescent, and LED grow lights  

The information will help you use grow lights to their maximum potential. 

If you need more information about interior plant service or interior landscape design in offices, Google ‘office plant services near me,’ Talk to a consultant. Try to gauge whether they’re helping you or only trying to sell, and buy from a service you trust.