How to Grow Indoor Plants With Soil Lights

Overview

Soil lights, also known as grow lights, are used to supplement poor or no lighting for indoor plants. They provide a viable alternative to plant enthusiasts to continue gardening indoors when ample natural light is not available. These lights are especially useful in the winter months when plants do not receive the amount of sunlight they need to survive. Soil lights are placed at a certain height above tiny seedlings or plants to provide them the necessary lighting they need, thus helping your indoor garden to flourish rather than wilt and die out.

Step 1

Decide where to place your soil lighting fixture. It should be near an electrical outlet so you can easily extend the cord and plug it in. Place a tiered plant stand or table in your designated spot, and place plant containers on it.

Step 2

Measure the distance from the ceiling to the top of the plant stand so you can purchase the appropriate length of chain. Ideally, the lighting fixture should be hung 6 to 8 inches from the top of the plants, but the height recommendation may vary in some lighting fixtures.

Step 3

Visit your local home department or garden supply center to select appropriate soil lights. Ideally, one 4-foot fixture with two T12 fluorescent bulbs should be sufficient enough for three to four dozen seedlings, or six to eight small- to medium-sized plants. Purchase multiple lighting fixtures if you have more plants. Also, purchase the bulbs from the store if the fixture does not have them attached to it. Remember to select a prewired fixture as opposed to one you have to take to an electrical store and wire. The prewired ones are easy to work with, allowing you to plug the cord into the outlet to switch it on. Also, purchase length of chain to suspend the fixture, according to the measurement you took earlier.

Step 4

Stand on a sturdy ladder, and locate your ceiling studs with a stud finder. Drill holes in the ceiling, making sure they are slightly smaller in size than the threads on the mounting hooks.

Step 5

Screw the mounting hooks into the ceiling, and tighten them with pliers so they are secure. Install bulbs into the light fixture, and hang the fixture with chains. Step back to make sure the lighting fixture is level.

Step 6

Plug the cord into an electrical outlet. Check the plants frequently as they grow, as you will need to move them down or pull the lights up to maintain a 6- to 8-inch vertical distance.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant stand
  • Plants
  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder
  • 4-foot soil light fixture
  • T12 bulbs
  • Chains
  • Stud finder
  • Drilling machine
  • Protective eyeglasses
  • Earplugs
  • Ceiling mounting hooks
  • Pliers

References

  • Fluorescent Plant Grow Lights
  • Fluorescent Plant Lighting
Keywords: grow indoor plants, sil lights, using soil lights

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.