How to Create Lighting for Plant Growing

Overview

All plants require a certain amount of light to grow, develop and make food by photosynthesis, so they are healthy and strong. Plants that fail to receive adequate light become weak and eventually die. Outdoor plants have no problem receiving sufficient sunlight, but indoor plants require extra care and attention. A little research and knowledge on different lighting options to provide for your houseplants will keep them healthy.

How to Create Lighting for Plant Growing

Step 1

Research your plants' sunlight requirements. Visit your local nursery or garden supply center for detailed information, or research online. Different plants have different sunlight requirements. Some plants require low light, while others fall between medium and high light plants. Once you know how much light your plants require, you can decide whether the amount they receive indoors is adequate or not. Plants that flourish in full sun outside require a lot of light indoors, while those that thrive in partial shade require medium light. Plants that require very little sunlight fall in the low light category.

Step 2

Study the amount of sunlight that enters through the windows of your house at different times of the day to determine whether it is sufficient for your plant or not. Keep in mind that the amount of sunlight entering a window is affected by the time of day, time of year, window size, window treatments and colors.

Step 3

Supplement natural light with artificial electric lighting. Sometimes the amount of light entering through windows is not sufficient for certain houseplants. In such a case, purchase a single 2-foot long fluorescent 20-watt tube for low light plants, two tubes for medium intensity plants and three or four tubes for high intensity plants.

Step 4

Suspend the light fixture with the fluorescent tube from a chain at a height of 6 to 8 inches from the top of the plant. Extend the light to an extension cord, and plug it into a wall socket. Turn it on for 12 hours a day if you are using it as a means to supplement natural light, and 16 hours if there is no natural light available to the plant.

Step 5

Raise the lighting fixture as the plant grows, to maintain the required distance. To do this, simply insert the hook into another loop in the chain.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants
  • 2-foot long, 20-watt fluorescent lighting tube
  • Lighting fixture
  • Chain
  • S-hooks
  • Extension cord

References

  • Clemson Extension: Indoor Plants
  • University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Light Requirements for Houseplants"
Keywords: indoor plants, plant lighting, creating plant lighting

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.