How to Grow With Fluorescent Lights


The growing season doesn't have to stop because of the weather. You can learn how to grow with fluorescent lights indoors and enjoy fresh herbs and tomatoes all through the fall and winter. An elaborate grow light setup is not necessary when growing indoors. You can grow with a simple wire rack and fluorescent light kit. Wire shelving units and fluorescent light kits are available at most hardware stores. With a little planning, you can grow plants under the lights anytime.

Step 1

Purchase an adjustable wire shelving unit. Shelving units come in many tiers. Choose what is best for the amount of plants you plan to grow indoors.

Step 2

Purchase fluorescent light kits to attach to the wire shelves. Buy a kit for each 2x4-foot shelf.

Step 3

Assemble the adjustable wire rack according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most wire shelves require no tools and simply attach with adjustable clips.

Step 4

Locate the shelving unit near an electrical outlet. Most fluorescent light kits have a 5-foot electrical cord. Make sure you can plug the light in without the use of extension cords.

Step 5

Place your planting pots on the lower shelves. Use a tape measure to measure the distance between the bottom of the upper shelf to the top of the planting pot.

Step 6

Cut two pieces of hanging chain using tin snips. Use the measurement between the planting pot and shelf minus 8 inches. Most light kits are 6-inches high and the additional 2 inches is to keep the light off the plants.

Step 7

Insert an s-hook into both ends of the hanging chain. Insert one end of chain with the s-hook on the ends of the light fixture. A hole is in the fixture either on the end or at the very top near the end for the s-hook to attach.

Step 8

Lift the light fixture by the chain on each end, and attach the s-hook and chain to the bottom of the upper shelf.

Step 9

Place your planting pots and plants on the lower shelves, and check the measurement between the top of the plant to the light. Ideally you want to have 2 inches of clearance.

Step 10

Plug the light fixture into the wall outlet.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wire shelf unit
  • Fluorescent light kit
  • Hanging chain (the thin type that can be cut with snips)
  • S-hooks
  • Tin snips


  • Gardeners: Growing Under Lights
  • Home Harvest: Plant Lighting
  • Jason's Indoor Guide: Fluorescent Grow Lights

Who Can Help

  • Wire Shelving
  • Fluorescent Light Kits
Keywords: grow with fluorescent lights, grow plants under the lights, adjustable wire shelving unit

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.