With time and space becoming a constraint, indoor gardening seems to be something that is a more practical way to look at urban gardening. Light for indoor gardening is the most important thing you need to know.

Using The Right Light For Indoor Plants - Indoor Gardening 101
Using The Right Light For Indoor Plants – Indoor Gardening 101

However, indoor gardening is not just going to your nearest nursery,  buying some plants and placing it in your living room. There is a lot more to it.

Getting Started With Indoor Gardening


In fact with so many vertical gardening options available these days, even a small space is enough is you really are willing to grow plants. You can grow any plant indoors, just that you need to have some good lighting and fresh air coming in, you might just end up growing tomatoes in your window sill.

If on the other hand you want a larger garden in your room, you can made arrangements like a separate area in your home dedicated for gardening. This might be a bit cumbersome because you need to take care of all aspects for plants to grow.

Light For Indoor Plants

Plants need light to photosynthesize and need to photosynthesize to survive. Without adequate light a plant will grow tall and spindly. If there is enough energy to grow leaves, they still may not totally expand. And without enough light, don’t plan on seeing flowers or fruit.

Even plants grown near a window will probably not get enough light during the winter months to thrive. There are a few things to think about when purchasing a grow light.

Photo Receptors And Indoor Plants

Plants have photoreceptors that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Your light needs to have the same wavelengths as the sun, which is why a regular light bulb doesn’t work.

You could use Cool-white tubes that have an enhanced blue spectrum. This promotes foliage growth. However, there are other Warm-white tubes that provide an enhanced red spectrum that plants need for flowering.

Blue Spectrum – for Folliage

Red Spectrum – For Flowering

Hence its always good to include 1 cool and 1 warm fluorescent tube mounted under a reflector such as the one given below.

Click here to buy 

Light for Indoor Plants
Light for Indoor Plants

Should Be Close To Plant

The light that you use for the indoor plant needs to be as close as possible to the plant – however it should not be too hot so as to burn the plant or its leaves.

light for indoor plants
light for indoor plants

Most vegetables and other plants do best with 14-16 hours of sunlight or simulated light. There are a few ways you can tell if your plant is getting enough light or not. If it isn’t getting enough light, it usually will have small leaves, thin stems, and the color of the plant will be lighter than usual.

You could use a LED Grow Light with adjustable light intensity so that you will have the control on light such as the one below

A hormone called “florigen” controls budding and flowering. Long day plants require about 14 to 18 hours of light to produce just the right amount of florigen to flower and reproduce. Short day plants require about 10-13 hours of light. If short day plants are exposed to too much light, florigen can be destroyed, preventing blooming.

With Indoor Grow Lights, Timing is Everything

In addition to light, plants need at least 6 hours of darkness a day. (Plants need a rest, too.) Using a dual head light with timer saves you time turning lights on and off. Just set it and it’ll come on at the same time every day.

Light for indoor Plants
Indoor Plants Light



DIY Lighting For Indoor Plants

Well, if you want light and do not have the budget – you can simply choose to add some super-slim LED lights beneath the shelves where you plan to place the plants. You need to put the lights on and off as per the requirement of the plant though.

Youcan choose any kind of shelves like metal, wooden or even bamboo shelves.

Either connect the LED lights for each row or maintain the light for a complete row with a single light.

You can even keep your herbs thriving throughout the year.

Need more room for your plants? Get add-on shelves for this sunshelf base. You can stack two or three and grow a tower of plants in any room of your home.

Remember that plants grown under indoor grow lights may dry out faster. Keep an eye on them — you may need to water more often.

How To Start An Indoor Plant From Seed

Place the seed try in a partially lit corner of your room with seeds placed in them, covered with just enough soil and watered to maintain moisture.

once the seeds sprout a tabletop light is all you need to provide just the right full-spectrum light that seedlings need to thrive, plus all the supplies you’ll need to plant seeds.

Once seeds sprout, snuggle them up to the light and watch how well they grow. You may need to adjust the height of the light fixture. Move it closer if seedlings look spindly.

Fluorescent lights are a great value for the high quality of light, low-heat output, and long service life they provide.

Using The Right Light For Indoor Plants - Indoor Gardening 101
Using The Right Light For Indoor Plants – Indoor Gardening 101

35 Comments on Using The Right Light For Indoor Plants – Indoor Gardening 101

  1. I really like room plants. Until now, I did not set up special lighting for them, but after reading your article I think that’s a great idea.

  2. Plants definitely brighten up a home but finding the right light is so difficult! I didn’t know you could buy your own little lights.

  3. Helpful post, thank you. It never really occurred to me to provide lighting for an indoor plant. I usually just put them in sunlight or near a window. Thanks for the info!

  4. I know I have tried to grow plants indoors to no success whatsoever. I think this will be very helpful in trying to produce the right atmosphere for them. Thanks for the great tips.

  5. Maybe this plant lighting is what I need to keep plants alive in my house? I have tried so many times to have real indoor plants and unfortunately I kill them every time…

  6. I have never read any post about indoor gardening! Such a unique and much-needed post. I had no idea plants needed 6 hours of darkness per day!

  7. Very informative post, I have never knew that indoor lights may also affects your indoor plants lives. This is an important things that I need to keep in mind.

  8. This was a good read today. I have succulents which I want to take inside the house but I wasn’t sure if they’d get enough light they need. Thanks for letting me know about the right kind of light to use.

  9. I stopped putting an indoor plants in house because it always getting dry and it did not stay long and because of your tips it will lead me to try again.

  10. That was such an in-depth analysis. My mom takes special interest in indoor gardening. It’s a shame I didn’t. Thanks for the detailed post 🙂

  11. I have been wanting to have an indoor garden, but wasn’t for sure how to go about doing it. Thank you for these wonderful tips!

  12. This is useful! I am SO blad with plants, but I do have a few I manage to keep alive. Ha! Thanks for the tips.

  13. Such a cool post my mom loves gardening and growing plants I am going to bookmark this post for her for some tips

  14. An indoor garden sounds like a good option for people who want to grow their own food but don’t have a lot of outdoor space. You offer a lot of great tips!

  15. We do have some indoor plants but never really paid any attention about lightning. This post is definitely an eyeopener. Need to work out those lights ASAP!

  16. This sounds really useful, I am not particularly skilled at gardening in general so any tips help. Plus my son wants to grow a beanstalk, now I know ways to keep it alive!

    Jackie – Organised Mum Life

  17. I’ve never even thought of using lighting for indoor plants! Thanks for sharing this information, going to have to give this a try and see if the plants last longer.

  18. This was really helpful! I am planning to get a few indoor plants – i love how they add freshness to a room. Thanks for sharing

  19. The indoor plants set such a positive aura to the decor of the entire room! And thanks for sharing some wonderful tips! My mom loves gardening and I wish I had more space in my apartment for the indoor plants!

  20. I have never thought of providing artificial light to my indoor plants. Maybe it’s because it’s always sunny here but I see the need for it for a country without so much sun.

  21. That’s a very useful information! Unfortunately I’m so bad with plants so they can’t live too long with me 😀

  22. ive been wanting to grow indoor plants for a while and wouldn’t you know it, i never realize the right LIGHT was essential for growing them properly! your post was perfect for what i’ve been looking for!

  23. This is a very informative article. I have some herbs hanging perpendicular to a window and I wondered why they always grew so small…now I realize the herbs are not getting enough light. The different types of grow lights it new to me, I didn’t realize that you needed blue for the leaves to grow and red for the flowering…very neat.

  24. This is such an interesting post. I had no idea you had to use specific lighting for indoor plants so I definitely learned a lot here.

  25. I really need to look into planting lights more as I swear that my plants don’t have the right lights for them. Especially one that I have as a shady plant, I don’t know if it gets too much shade x

  26. Ahhhh sooo lighting is needed for indoor gardening? I have put some plants inside our living room. But since it’s dark and dank, the plants didn’t stay long. They withered and died. Geez.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.