How to Grow Plants With LED Lights

Overview

Plants require three things to thrive in any environment: light, nutrients and water. Plants that don’t get enough light to grow often have weak, spindly growth. For this reason, many popular houseplants are plants that have low lighting requirements such as African violets, spider plants or devil’s ivy. Plants with higher lighting requirements may be supplemented with additional light from LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). LEDs use less energy than traditional grow lights.

Step 1

Set up LED lamps in your home which are designed for supplementing plant light. These lights are typically sold in stands of several LED lights on a bar. The more LED lights you use, the greater the intensity of the light provided.

Step 2

Place plants beneath the LED at a distance of 12 inches. To increase the intensity of light, add more LED lamps or bring the lamps nearer to the plant. A plant will vary in the intensity of light it can absorb from an LED. A plant such as a cactus may be placed within a few inches of an LED. Plants such as hosta may burn if left this close to the LED.

Step 3

Place the plants in a potting soil that is light and porous such as a soil with a higher vermiculite content. LED lamps do not produce heat the way that traditional grow lights do, so the potting soil does not need to retain water as well as a traditional potting soil formulated for grow lamps that provide heat.

Step 4

Check the soil of your plants daily. Water as needed to keep the soil as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Be careful not to overwater plants.

Things You'll Need

  • LED lighting bar
  • Potting soil with higher vermiculite content

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
  • LED Growmaster Global: LED Grow Lights for the Hobby Gardener
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Holiday Light Technology Could Be the Secret to Growing Better Crops

Who Can Help

  • University of Iowa Extension: Lighting and Houseplants
Keywords: LED plant lights, growing plants indoors, raising plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."