How to Use a Green Lightbulb to Light a Plant


You'll want to set up a plant lighting system to help outdoor plants through the winter. If you've brought your container gardens and other plants indoors for the winter, providing them with light and water will see them through their dormant season. Lighting systems can get very complex but it's easy to set up a beginner home system. While you might think green light bulbs work best for green plants, this is not the case. Red and blue light are preferable, with fluorescent or metal halide lights being ideal for serious plant lovers. Plants tend to reflect green light due to their chlorophyll content, therefore absorbing very little of it, as Professor Michael McDarby of State University New York notes. While a green light is not recommended, it won't harm your plant and is more beneficial than no additional light, since the plant can still absorb some light rays from a green light source.

Step 1

Determine where you will set up your indoor lighting system. If you have many plants, you may wish to do it in a garage or mudroom. Since you are providing light you won't need someplace with windows, but you will want to make sure the temperature doesn't fluctuate. Avoid setting up your indoor lighting system near a fireplace, radiator or other source of dry heat.

Step 2

Set up your clamp light. You can clip the clamp to a shelf on a pantry or bookcase, or onto a pole light already in your home. If you have a spare pole lamp, you can skip the clamp and install your green plant light bulbs directly in the pole lamp.

Step 3

Plug your clamp light into an outlet. Get an extension cord if you need one. Screw the green light bulb into the socket and test the system to ensure it works.

Step 4

Arrange your plants near the light, using the plant stand for height if you wish. You'll want to keep the clamp 1 to 2 feet away from the plants so it doesn't burn them. Angle the clamp light so that it shines directly on the plants.

Step 5

Turn the clamp light on every day to provide the plants with eight to 16 hours of green light, preferable during natural daylight hours. You can install a timer if you wish. Rotate the plants after two weeks so that another side of the plant receives more light.

Things You'll Need

  • Green plant light
  • Clamp light
  • Plant
  • Plant stand (optional)
  • Extension cord (optional)


  • The Orchid House: Indoor Growing
  • Little Greenhouse: Plant Lighting
  • Professor Michael McDarby: Photosynthesis

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri: Lighting Indoor Plants
  • Springerlink: University of Ulm study
Keywords: green plant light, plant light, green lightbulb

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.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Use a Green Lightbulb to Light a Plant