How to Light an Indoor Garden


All types of plants need light to survive. Houseplants are no exception, but they might not receive all the light they need indoors. Providing additional electric lighting for houseplants can give them the light they need while they grace your home with their beauty. A mixture of plant fluorescent and cool white fluorescent lights is a good balance for lighting indoor plants, according to the University of Missouri.

Step 1

Determine what kind of lighting your houseplants need. Low-light plants need between 50 and 250 foot candles which are provided by a single 40-watt fluorescent tube. Medium-light plants need 250 to 1,000 foot candles which can be provided by two 40-watt fluorescent tubes. High-light plants need 1,000 foot candles, or more, which can be provided by three or four 40-watt fluorescent tubes.

Step 2

Place the fluorescent tubes into the lighting fixture. Use one plant fluorescent tube for every cool white fluorescent tube.

Step 3

Plug the lighting fixture into the wall and place it above the plants you need to light.

Step 4

Position the plant below the lighting fixture. Space low light plants about 1 to 2 feet from fluorescent tubes. Space medium light plants 6 inches from two fluorescent tubes. Space high light plants 6 inches from four fluorescent tubes.

Things You'll Need

  • Cool white fluorescent tubes
  • Plant fluorescent tubes


  • University of Missouri: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
  • University of Vermont: Indoor Lighting for Plants
Keywords: light indoor plants, light indoor garden, light plants

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.