Does a Plant Light Mimic Sunlight?


Plant-growing lamps mimic the sun by giving your plants light. Plants will flourish in the same way they do when they are getting sunlight. One benefit of grow lights is that you can control the amount of light you give your plants. You can grow beautiful plants, flowers and vegetables all year long. Some things you should know about grow lights are the different types, sizes and heights and the amount of time to keep them on.


There are many types of grow lights to choose from. Metal halide plant grow lights work well by growing plants quickly with light in the blue spectrum. This color of light helps the plants to grow. High pressure sodium grow lights are more-energy efficient than metal halide lights and give off an orange-yellow light that resembles the color of the sun. This type of light is best to use for flowering plants. High pressure sodium lights don't have a blue spectrum so you can use them along with another light source. Other types of plant grow lights are fluorescent, incandescent and LED.

Sizes and Heights

Heat from plant grow lights can burn the plant leaves in the same way as natural sunlight. The height to hang grow lights and the size of the wattage systems depends on the size of your indoor garden. Hang grow lights between 100 and 250 watts approximately 2 to 3 feet from the top of your plants. Hang lights 4 feet from the top of plants for 400 and 600 watts. Plant lights with high watts of 1000 and over should be hung about 4 to 6 feet from plant tops. Plants that need an extreme amount of light should have the lights closer. A convenient way to change light height is use a light hanger.

Amount of Time

Different plants need different amount of light from the sun. Grow lights can give plants light indoors. Vegetables and many types of garden flowers are long day plants and need a lot of sunlight so they need to be under grow lights for about 14 to 18 hours. Azaleas, begonias and other short-day plants need less than 12 hours of light in a day. Day-neutral plants such as peas, potatoes, cucumbers, sunflowers and many kinds of annuals will grow no matter how much light or darkness they are exposed to. Usually day-neutral plants will flower when they grow to a certain size.

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About this Author

Sherry Barnhart has been writing web content and articles since 2006. Her articles have appeared on Associated Content and Barnhart writes for Demand Studios and ghostwrites for several other companies. She is in the process of expanding her writing to include blogging, flipping sites and writing informational products. Barnhart is also working on a children's book for ages 10 to 14.

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