A halogen growing system can help your container plants make it through a cold and dark winter. When natural light is not an option, plants grow best under lights that emit colors in the red and blue parts of the visible light spectrum and fare poorly under lights that emit green rays. Halogen bulbs, incandescent bulbs and warm fluorescent bulbs provide red to orange light. Metal halide and cool fluorescent lights emit blue rays. Halogen light bulbs provide a high degree of heat, so they must be placed far from the plants to avoid scorching.
Set your plant stand near an electrical outlet in a room that doesn't fluctuate in temperature due to radiator heat or a drafty window. Changing temperatures can hurt your plants.
Sort your plants into low light and high light requirements. Low light plants should not need a grow light. These can be placed near a windowsill or somewhere where they can receive ambient light. Floridata.com can help you find the light requirements for your plant if you're uncertain.
Arrange your high light plants on the plant stand, placing shorter plants toward the front and larger ones toward the back.
Set a timer to provide 12 to 14 hours of daylight for your plants, ideally overlapping with natural daylight. Most timers require you to set the current time and them adjust levers on the timer's face to the preferred "on" and "off" time. All timers will come with instructions. Plug your timer into the wall socket.
Screw the halogen bulb into the clamp light. Plug the clamp light into the timer, and flip the switch on the clamp light to make sure the light works.
Find a place to situate your clamp light so that it will hang a minimum of 18 inches away from the plants. Squeeze the edges of the clamp together to operate the clamp. If you have a built-in bookshelf or cupboard, you can clip the prong to the wood. If you don't have these items, consider placing a coat rack or hat stand nearby so you can clip your clamp light to its vertical shaft. You can also install an inexpensive wall shelf for your clamp light and other growing supplies, like a spray bottle, plant fertilizer or small watering can.
Angle the clamp light toward your plants by pulling the metal hood in the direction you wish to move the light.
Water your plants regularly. Watch for signs of scorching, such as leaves turning brown. If you see scorched leaves, move the plants farther away from the halogen lamp.
Keep plants under the halogen grow light until the outdoor temperature rises above 40 F. Move plants outside after this time to get natural sunlight.
Dismantle the growing station, and store all equipment in a closet or basement until winter.