CFLs, or compact flourescent bulbs, are often used for indoor gardening applications. For small indoor gardens, compact fluorescents can suffice by themselves. However, many gardeners choose to use these types of bulbs for supplemental lighting. There are three types of CFLs that are used for indoor gardening, the 3000k flowering bulbs, the 6500k vegetative bulbs, and the common full-spectrum bulb, which is typically used for supplemental lighting. CFLs are easier to run when compared to high-pressure sodium bulbs, they use less electricity than most growing bulbs, and have a moderately long life span. CFLs used for growing can be purchased at any hydroponic store, and some hardware stores.
Screw your eye hooks to the ceiling and connect your chain so your light fixture can be hung and adjusted. It is important to have your lights adjustable so the light bulbs can be close to your plant. Compact fluorescent bulbs run cool enough to keep them a few inches away from the plant. If you are using the fluorescent bulbs for supplemental lighting, you can hang them by the bottom of the plant. Many indoor gardeners combine flourescent lights with other types of light to ensure that their plants are getting a complete spectrum of light.
Use your eye hooks to guide the extension cord along the ceiling, and towards and outlet. This will keep the cord out of the way. Plug the timer into the wall, and plug the extension cord into the timer. If you are using these lights for supplemental lighting, then set the timer so it coincides with the main lighting source. If you are using these lights for the vegetative stage, then set the timer between 14 and 16 hours. For the flowering stage, set your light to run no more than 12 hours.
Adjust your lights so they are close to the plants, but never touching the plants. The plants will naturally grow towards the light, and if they touch the light, the plants will burn. If the lights are too far away, then the plant can struggle and grow weak.