Thursday, January 05, 2006

Using artificial sun light indoors

Written by James Fohl

if one of your every day hobbies is gardening, and you grow assorted plants or flowers in your home, then you probably understand that it is important to place your potted plants near windows where they have easy access to natural sun light.

every plant has its own requirements for the amount of sunlight it needs. Some plants require very little or no sunlight at all to live a happy, healthy long life. Other plants however require a great deal of light.

You will have no problems if you are growing a plant that needs very little sunlight in your kitchen, however you are bound to run in to all sorts of problems if you place a plant that needs a great deal of sunlight in an empty windowless hallway.

Fortunately, a wide variety of solutions exist to combat and solve the sunlight problem. Today a lot of people who have plants growing in their homes place the plants in areas where the natural light from the sun can come in contact with these plants. Some of these people go a step further and introduce artificial lighting for their favorite indoor plants.

Artificial lighting is not anything for new and has been used in plant growth for quite some time. It is however important to note that not all light bulbs, or lighting fixtures will promote plant growth. You can not just put a plant near a reading lamp and have the plant grow from the light bulb. Normal light bulbs don't produce the spectrum of light that plants use.

Instead, fluorescence lighting is the number one type of artificial lighting that can help plants grow. It is important to remember that not all fluorescence lights are the same, as there are many different types of fluorescence lights, and some work really well while others do very little.

Some fluorescence lights are specially made for helping plants grow, and as usually labeled as plant lights. A lot of these lights glow a light purple, and are somewhat cheap when compared to other fluorescence lights. A recent trip to a hardware store led me to discover a eighteen inch long plant light was priced at well under ten dollars. Although they are cheap, these plant lights don't emit a great deal of light and truly only work on plants and flowers that require very little sun light.

A step up from the ten dollar plant lights are the CFLs, or compact fluorescence lights. These are just little fluorescence lights that are able to be plugged right into a regular light socket. The result is, for some of the bulbs, artificial lighting for your plants and flowers. Not all CFLs provide the artificial light, so it is best to purchase a bulb that mentions something along the lines of "just like natural sun light" on the package. While CFLs are quite expensive when compared with regular light bulbs and the plant lights mentioned above, they hold up a lot better than the plant lights. Not only do they hold up better, but most CFLs are guaranteed to last over seven years.


There are lots and lots of other types of artificial lighting you can use to give the potted plants and flowers in your home the light energy they need, however other types of lighting are often expensive. Because of the high prices of these other types of lighting, it is best suggested that most people just use CFLs. CFLs are cheap, and offer the most bang for the amateur gardener buck.

If you already have been growing some plants / flowers in your home and are not noticing much growth, then perhaps you should read up on your plants / flowers and see how much sun light they should be getting. Then look in to your lighting options and see if you want to spend the extra few dollars on a small light setup for your plants. If you do go ahead and purchase a plant light, then will probably notice a healthier plant / flower if it was lacking in its sun light intake.

In the end, if you have a lot of household plants that are not exactly looking too stellar, then perhaps you should do a little research on your plants, and ultimately purchase a small plant light. Your plants and flowers will thank you with a display of rich plants and flowers that could not be seen without the introduction of the artificial lighting.

1 comment:

Lenny said...

Hopefully, this information, will help provide suggestions or ideas, for your project. Or, something new.

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