Growing Plants Indoors with Artificial Light- Can Plants Grow?

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2021)

Growing Plants Indoors with Artificial Light- Can Really Plants Grow Under Artificial Lights ( grow lights)? it’s very common question for newbies.

According to the Heraldkeepers report on “Grow Lights Market”, the estimated value of globally artificial grow lights usage is USD 4.01 Billion in 2019.

Where the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is expected to cross 13.10%, with a value of USD 9.50 Billion by the year 2026.

The calculated increment from 2019 to 2026 shows that plants certainly grow under artificial lights and they are becoming trustworthy day by day for the farmers.

However, you can assume the reason behind this increase is, using artificial grow lights in growing plants indoors is trending nowadays and also fruitful in many positive aspects.

So, it is high time we encourage the usage of grow lights to any novice or professional growers’.

Here you will find an in-depth understanding of artificial grow lights and their effect on indoor plants.

What Is Artificial Grow Light?

A full-spectrum bulb/tube/lamp, driven directly from an electric power socket, produces warm or cold light, mostly in blue and red wavelengths, to build bridges with all the needs an indoor plant bid for completing maturation.

Why Do You Need Artificial Grow Lights?

An artificial or natural light source is an indispensable part of a plant’s photosynthesis. Without it, the whole process will hamper, and no good will come out of it. Soon after, the plant’s survival will be at stake in a lack of energy in the form of carbohydrates in its system.

That is precisely why light is essential for growing plants. Acknowledging the fact that at different places or exceptional situations, they do not always have enough sunlight on every doorstep. This is where you need artificial lights to step ahead and compensate for the scarcity of sunlight in your indoor plants.

Artificial Lighting For Houseplants

Difference Between Artificial and Natural Sunlight

While no one would dare to raise a finger on Mother Nature, the natural sunlight, it has been informing that in some instances, an artificial grow light has been more helpful in succeeding over than sunlight.

Let’s observe the difference between artificial or natural sunlight:

            Artificial Grow Lights                Natural Sunlight
1. There are various choices in artificial grow lights such as LED lights, HID lights, Fluorescent, etc.1. The most common and only option we have for natural light is the sun.
2. These lights will be available for your plants anytime of the day and with any required duration.2.You can have the advantages of sunlight only for a limited period.
3. The intensity of artificial light can never be even as close as sunlight.3. It has the highest light intensity that is irreplaceable by any artificial light.
4. You need to make some adjustments to let each of your plants have equal and enough light to grow.4. The plants enjoy growing under sunlight as it falls equally over each plant in wherever the light appears.
5. Artificial grow lights have your back all the year-round, to be more precise in the winter season.5. In such places, where the sun rarely shows up, you will be missing the winter unique fruits and veggies if only depending on sunlight.

Types of Artificial Grow Light

Now you might be wondering, what kind of artificial grow light is best for indoor plants growing? There are several numbers of artificial grow lights in the market. All of them have their own benefits and shortcomings as well.

Instead of thinking about which could be the best among them, why not discuss the grow lights with closer capabilities like sunlight and proved to be best for indoor gardens in different stages.

LED Light

LED Grow Light

With the passing time, LED lights have been a favorable choice over Fluorescent and HPS lights for professionals. Being said that, LED must have a prominent future ahead. Modern techniques usage turned this grow light into a more efficient one, so this kind of light is best for growing plants indoors.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • Both LED (400-660 nm) and sunlight (400-700 nm) provide equivalent wavelength for plant’s photosynthesis.
  • Like sunlight, LED also generates low heat and energy-efficient.
  • LED lights to allow the freedom to use different colors, including blue and red, at the same time to better growth, while the natural color of sunlight is white (a mixture of every color).

In Odds with Sunlight

  • Any negligence in placing LED lights will damage the plant, but there is no adjustment needed for sunlight.

Fluorescent Light

Fluorescent Grow Light

Fluorescent grow lights are on the grower’s soft side as it does not mess with the temperature and stays cooler. The bright light stands a quick choice for those who prefer styling their living room with indoor plants while the blue wavelength stores energy in the thriving stage.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • Fluorescent light has a higher amount of blue spectrum, partly similar to the natural sunlight.
  • It is best for “cool light” and does the same by producing heatless light just like sunlight.
  • Fluorescent lights are relatively less expensive, among other grow lights, great for your budget if you were considering sunlight for your indoor plants till now.

In Odds with Sunlight

  • Unlike sunlight, it has less amount of red wavelength.

High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)

hps grow light

HPS lights ensure a higher amount of usable lumens that much flourish a plant’s life cycle. Because of causing warm temperatures and needing additional reflector and ballast, the advantages get less appreciation. It has more red wavelengths to help in completing a flowering or fruiting stage.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • HPS has no competition with the intensity of sunlight, but the HPS grow light has a pretty much higher intensity, among other grow lights.
  • It runs around 10,000 to 24,000 hours until replacement.

In Odds with Sunlight

  • HPS bulbs produce excessive heat and can be explosive at times, which you’ll not have to face with sunlight.

Metal Halide (MH)

Metal Halide Grow Light

Metal Halide is another HID branch, produces the spectrum a lot of like sunlight. It improves the overall quality of a plant. It staying underrated is because of the heat, and to minimize that extra fan or another cooling system is necessary.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • The final output of MH lights is quite mimic of sunlight.
  • MH lights indulge better quality and aroma in plants like sunlight.
  • It has a relatable spectrum as sunlight, which ends up in white light.

In Odds with Sunlight

  • Metal Halide has a comparatively lesser lifespan than other grow lights.

Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)

CMH light seems to hold the dependency of a lot of experienced growers. It has long durability and synchronizes a spectrum, which helps a plant’s life almost from the start to the ending. The MH lights are expensive and pretty unavailable to begin the planting journey of a novice.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • The CRI of CMH light is in the peak, and it resembles a lot with the sunlight.
  • The crops or fruits are healthier with CMH light, just like sunlight.
  • It causes lesser heat than its fellow HID lights and generates UV rays like sunlight.

In Odds with Sunlight

  • The UV rays from CMH light may severely harm the grower as the number of ultraviolet rays from the sun hits lower in the human body than the amount of MH.

Incandescent Grow Light

Incandescent Grow Light

The growers must have forgotten about this grow light as many replaceable lights have already overflowed the market. This light is not an ideal pick for any situation though knowing it might help your understanding of the modern versions.

Benefits and Similarities with Sunlight

  • Incandescent lights have similar yellow-white end result to sunlight.
  • It does not require any additional parts like other grow lights (Fluorescent light – Ballast).
  • These light are inexpensive items considering others.

In Odds with Sunlight

  • Incandescent lights produce heat, short-lived, and do not contribute much toa plant’s flowering stage.

How to Setup Artificial Light for Growing Plants?

Setting up an artificial grow light is a simple task that anyone can do within a few minutes. But trust me when I am saying, the simple installation might be the trickiest sometimes.

Hanging or wearing with a bearer, the process is almost the same for any artificial grow light. But let’s concentrate on the constant facts that are regarding the plant’s successful growth and much more important to follow:

Maintaining Accurate Distance

The space between grow light and plant varies according to different artificial lights. For instance, Fluorescent lights can be within 6-12 inches of a plant whereas, CMH or HPS needs to keep a distance of 18 inches to 3 feet at least.

Maintaining the exact distance can make or break the luck of your indoor garden. Also, by following it wisely, you can get the best out of it.

Nominating Right Color

Plants urge for blue spectrum in their thriving and have a red spectrum requirement at the booming stage. A little bit of yellow, green, and purple is also needed to complete a photosynthesis session.

Although the visible color is mostly white to us for all the light in default, they have different wavelengths of color, recognized by a plant. So, be sure of your plant’s stage and provide the wavelength it demands right now.

Provide Enough Time

Artificial grow light is something entirely under your control. Hence, you must be thinking the more, the better rule such as leaving the grow light on for 24 hours (exception-orchids and cacti), which is nothing but a misconception because plants at any stage need at least 8 hours of darkness to go through their night-cycle.

Nevertheless, some plants naturally ask for more light, and there are also demanding more or less light depending on growing stages.

In thriving, average indoor plants require 16 hours of light every day and flowering or fruiting 12 hours of darkness and light. With the help of a timer program, scheduling the time and duration is a piece of cake.

Now, we understand, it is facile to miscalculate the time. Therefore, plants pretty much speak for their problems by indicating the exact symbols below:

  • Dark green foliage and weaker growth say the need for more light.
  • A mixture of yellow and green foliage closer to the tubes is the damage that happens from having too much light
  • Burnt, curl, or damaged foliage is a sign of overheated temperature from more active light.

Without these signs in your plant’s leaf, your grow light’s timing is just on point.

Keep track of the Growth

If you are growing a plant you have already experienced or doing it for the first time, keep written notes on their daily, weekly, or monthly progress in both situations.

In that way, you can observe their current stage and predict the damage. Taking help from an expert will also make your task easier.

Growing Space

The space around growing must consider, as it tells the number of lights needed to cover the whole area.

Hence, while the plants will start increasing their height slowly, there should be enough space on the top so that they won’t face any obstacle to growing up freely, and similarly, the distance between light and plants could stay as much as they needed.

Adjustment and Switching Place

The adjustment we have already discussed about-distance, timing, and enough space around needs to be under continuous recheck.

In imitation of a few planters, rotating the plants once a week makes sure they are getting adequate light by changing their positions.

Thinks To Consider Before Buying Artificial Grow Light

As we have already mentioned, artificial grow lights have their own advantages and disadvantages. You have to make the decision by taking every fact and figure into account.

Even so, let’s take a peek at the features that you need to consider before buying an artificial grow light, which will somehow make sure of your triumph.

The light’s intensity

The more intensity a grow light has, the more it can help a plant in photosynthesis. As in, the rate of photosynthesis depends on the number of photons that fall into a leaf. In that case, the iPower HPS light and King Plus LED is ideal while thinking to grab a grow light of the highest intensity.

Providing the right spectrum

The second thing on hand is detecting the spectrum that your plant needs. Most of the grow lights in the market are full-spectrum, where you can find wavelengths for each stage. To be more precise, LED and Fluorescent lights are on the top if your plant is in seedlings; otherwise, HPS and CMH lights for the blooming stage

Balancing temperature

Heating the temperature is an additional characteristic of a few grow light that you have to suffer along with the advantages. So, if you are just searching for grow lights that will not hamper the environment around your plants, then King Plus LED and Hyfrofarm Fluorescent light is the perfect item to rush for any time.


Among all the attractive features a grow light has, arguably durability matters the most. A top-notch, efficient, expensive light will only pay off if it runs fine for a longer time. Continuing that, hardly any other artificial light can beat LED and CMH light on being durable.

Power Consumption

If you are passing exhausted days by thinking of your large grow space’s electricity bill, then choosing to grow lights that cut you some slack on utility bill those are the best. About that, LED and CMH lights have the reputation of using less energy yet producing bright, efficient light.

And just because CMH lights are not always at your reach, BlomGrow CMH light can be a quick solution; suppose you made up your mind to have a CMH in your garden accessories collection.

Last Words

Replacing sunlight with any artificial light was not the center of focus ever. It is about adding all the properties in one light, which is necessary for a plant’s growth so that you do not have to wait for spring and can grow all the plants you want at once.

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