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How to use grow lights for indoor plants

How to use grow lights

Using grow lights is a great way of keeping your indoor plants healthy during the cold, dark months of winter, or if you live somewhere that doesn’t get enough natural sunlight. If you want to grow your own flowers, fruits or veggies from seed, then grow lights are also the ideal way to strengthen your young plants before it’s time to plant them outside – or keep them inside if you don’t have a garden

Both newbie and professional gardeners can use grow lights to nurture their plants in the comfort of their homes. It can be an inexpensive, easy way to get the best out of your indoor gardening. With our handy guide you, you’ll soon see how easy it is to use grow lights for gardening success

Know before you grow

  • Many summer harvest fruits and veggies such as tomatoes can be sown earlier in the season under grow lights so they start cropping earlier in the season

  • Popping plants inside a terrarium or propagator under grow lights is a simple way to start

Grow light

Why use grow lights?

Light is essential for a plant’s survival and makes sure they are healthy and flourish beautifully. Plants make their own food through photosynthesis, where they absorb energy from sunlight. When plants don't get enough light, they can’t produce the food they need to grow, and they become pale, weak, and produce fewer fruits or flowers

You’ll find that some plants may grow well on a bright windowsill at home, but using grow lights can provide many more benefits such as:

  • Nourishing plants that may need more intense light levels than we get in the UK, especially during the winter months, and in Northernmost areas

  • Sowing seeds earlier in the year rather than waiting for warmer, sunnier seasons

  • Developing stronger, more advanced young plants to plant on outside in greenhouses or the garden when spring comes

  • Growing plants in darker places in your home

  • Decorating your rooms, for example, a terrarium display is super trendy and feels like an outdoor space inside your home

Plants from tropical climates like palms or orchids thrive under grow lights. Terrariums are good as well because they retain the high humidity they love. Our specialised orchid grow light has a halo-shaped bulb that sits under the flowers of your orchid which encourages better flowering as only the leaves and roots get the light

Grow lights

How do grow lights work?

Grow lights work by simulating photosynthesis, mimicking the sun so that plants can get the best light throughout all their stages of growth. This is especially helpful for your plants if they are in a position where they don’t get enough natural sunlight

The amount of light and its intensity affects the rate of photosynthesis and a plant’s overall growth. The grow lights provide the correct type of light to ensure that your plants grow healthy leaves and lots of fruits or flowers

What grow lights should I use?

LED grow lights have longer lasting bulbs, low power usage and low operating temperatures. They also have an ideal spectrum for all plant types

How to use grow lights

Place your grow lights directly above your plants so that the light is directed downwards onto the leaves. Don’t let the grow lights touch the leaves as they are easily damaged

Grow lights should be on for 8 to 10 hours a day to mimic natural sunlight. Our range has built-in timers and means you won’t forget to turn them on or off. If your plants aren't receiving any natural sunlight at all, then they might need a few hours more (normally 16 hours max). If you’re using grow lights for seedlings, make sure the light is on for 16 hours day

Plants will often need different light intensities, so it’s best to research the requirements of your chosen plants to make sure they grow and flower the best they can. Check your plants regularly to see if they’re getting enough (or too much) light - a healthy green leaf colour usually means your plants are receiving the correct light

Our houseplant expert's top tips:

  • All our grow-light range include timers to ensure your plants receive the right amount of light

  • For seedlings, make sure your grow light is on for 16 hours per day

  • If leaves are looking pale then there may be too much light. Correct this by reducing the number of hours the lights are on