What Type of Compact Fluorescent Will Grow Plants?


Not all fluorescent lights are created the same; they have different light and color outputs that affect plant growth. Growing plants with artificial light is complicated and scientific, requiring a special setup.


Two recommended types of fluorescent bulbs that will grow plants are the CFC compact fluorescent and the TS fluorescent tube light.

Regular Light

According to Wayne Vandre in his article "Fluorescent Lights for Plant Growth," most regular fluorescent bulbs don't have enough lamp watts to grow most plants. A regular fluorescent is 10 lamp watts, while 30- to 40-lamp watts are needed for good growth.


Vandre goes on to say that the various color spectrum that different lights give off can affect plant growth as well. He states that the blue and red wavelengths work best.


The position of the bulbs should be very close to the plants, a foot away if possible. The plants will need as much light as they can get from the bulbs, so the closer the better.

Nighttime Needs

The amount of darkness that a plant gets can affect how it grows and blooms. Be sure to check the specific needs of the plants you will be working with.


  • ACF Greenhouses
  • Wayne Vandre: "Fluorescent Lights for Plant Growth"
Keywords: greenhouse, grow lights, indoor plants

About this Author

Sarah Foster is a writer from San Angelo, Texas, with a bachelor's degree in writing from Charter Oak State College. She has published articles for eHow about massage therapy, alternative medicine, and jewelry making. Further education includes eight years experience in massage therapy, and other alternative therapies, as well as a strong background in the visual arts.

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