Effects of Grow Lamps


When starting seeds indoors or overwintering house plants, you'll notice weak and spindly growth unless you use grow lights. The effects of grow lamps are easy to see and can help your seeds survive a transplant.


Grow lights create strong seeds and strong plants. Seeds and plants grow without lights will appear weak, will not grow as fast and will be pale and leggy.


Grow lamps may be incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide or LED. Fluorescent lamps are preferred since they provide ample light without heating up, while incandescent bulbs work well for single plants.

Time Frame

Seeds do not need a grow lamp until they have germinated and are visible above the soil; after that point, they need 16 hours of light per day. Plants need an average of 12 hours of light per day to survive a winter indoors.


Plants perform best under grow lights that give off red or blue light and do not perform under green light, since they cannot absorb green light. Fluorescent bulbs offer red and blue light; incandescent bulbs offer red and orange light.


To help the seeds grow, the grow lamp should be as close to the seeds as possible. Lamps should be close to plants also; mirrors placed under your plant stand can help magnify the amount of light rays your plants receive.


Sunlight can help plants and seeds grow. If you have a window, place seed trays in the window and rotate them every couple of days so that all sides receive adequate light.


  • Growrooms.net: Grow Lights
  • Gardeners.com: Gardening Under Lights
  • North Dakota State University: How to Succeed at Seed Starting
Keywords: effects of grow lamps, effect light plant growth, grow light bulbs

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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