Light is an essential factor defining your indoor hydroponics farming success. Without lights, your plants can’t produce enough energy to grow and thrive. Sunlight is a perfect light source for them; however, it’s not the only option. Therefore, you may wonder: ‘Can I use a regular lamp to grow plants?’ This article will give you the best answer to this and a lot more, including the various types of indoor lighting and helpful gardening tips.
- Can I Use A Regular Lamp To Grow Plants?
- How Is A Regular Light Different From A Grow Light Bulb?
- What Types Of Bulbs Can You Use To Grow Plants?
- How Much Lighting Do Your Plants Need?
- How Close Should Your Regular Light Be To The Plants?
- Is It OK Not To Use Any Natural Light For Growing Plants?
- How To Optimize the Use of Regular Light?
Can I Use A Regular Lamp To Grow Plants?
To some extent, regular lamps are a great gardening tool
Can I use a regular light bulb to grow plants? The answer is yes. You can use a regular lamp to grow plants.
It’s a good idea to place a few LED bulbs designed for plants near dimly lit areas. Besides, remember not to light too long or expose too much energy.
Ordinary lamps don’t release a large spectrum, yet still handle the job beautifully.
These products are more cost-effective than particular grow lights – an ideal way to kickstart your gardening journey with some tiny plants.
Can a regular light bulb help plants grow as effectively as special growth lights? It depends on the lighting type.
Greens thrive best under red and blue spectrums, while ordinary incandescent lights lean more heavily toward the less-effective green and yellow spectrums.
Besides, they generate much heat, which may damage greeneries when placed too close to the bulbs.
However, there are also numerous instances where photosynthetic organisms and plants can thrive under ordinary incandescent lights.
Why can those organisms survive that well with artificial lighting? Because they are compatible with the spectrums that the regular lights emit. Some organisms also absorb lights from those lamps.
But, most organisms can’t consume the regular lights and must absorb the natural energy from the sun instead.
If your plants don’t receive enough sunlight, they may grow tall yet have a weak stem, and their leaves will feature a lighter color. You may notice that new leaves grow larger but will turn yellow soon.
Once you detect these symptoms in your plants, you must immediately provide them with additional sunlight.
The best regular lamps for plants should contain both red and blue wavelengths. The red wavelength is helpful for fruiting and flowering, while the blue one is for healthy foliage growth.
How Is A Regular Light Different From A Grow Light Bulb?
Will a regular light bulb work as a grow light? The answer is no due to the following differences between the two:
Normal bulbs feature narrow spectral wavelengths, which are usually not sufficient enough to cover and support photosynthesis.
Meanwhile, grow bulbs are tailor-designed to produce the exact light volume, allowing plants to photosynthesis properly.
Typical LED lamps feature a low lighting output, which consumes much energy to generate the same light volume.
A grow fluorescent bulb is twice as sufficient as a regular one, whereas an LED growth bulb is nearly five times as sufficient as a similar standard bulb.
- Heat Dissipation
Most normal lights produce a lot of heat, so it’s necessary to hang them at least 24 inches from the greens to prevent burning.
Grow bulbs are way cooler, so placing them 4-5 inches away from the greens is possible for optimal effectiveness.
What Types Of Bulbs Can You Use To Grow Plants?
Hydroponic lamps are extremely powerful
Hydroponic fixtures are common in industrial planting since they duplicate the sun effectively. They’re way stronger than ordinary household lights and can provide vegetables with a large spectrum.
Though hydroponic lamps are not popular household lighting, you can easily find and purchase them online or at department stores.
Many products deliver the same strength to the daytime sunlight, offering houseplants enough lighting to convert into energy.
But don’t forget to turn off the bulbs at night since flowers also need darkness to relax.
Incandescent lamps are a classic lighting type that few people still have at home. While they generate a much red wavelength, there is a little blue wavelength.
Hence, we don’t highly recommend this option for nurturing houseplants. They also release heat and may cause burning, so it’s never a clever idea to place them near your plants.
Sadly, while LED products have improved over the years, incandescent models mostly stay the same.
Fluorescent fixtures are more cost-effective than the two options above. With a small carbon footprint, they’re more energy-saving than incandescent fixtures.
Ordinary fluorescent tubes are remarkably effective artificial lights for some houseplants. T5 is a type of fluorescent lighting for fostering seed germination.
Today, LEDs are the most common lighting options
LEDs are a promising name in home gardening since they’re energy-efficient, practical, and more cost-effective every year.
LED grow lights are reputable for producing an enormous volume of light, especially full-spectrum wavelengths.
One of the main reasons LED fixtures are becoming more commonplace in homes is that they’re highly energy-efficient and last an extended period.
Since they don’t emit much heat and can generate a broad spectrum, they’re a fantastic option for growing low- and medium-light indoor plants.
This artificial lamp is the same as incandescent lighting, but its electric current runs through the tungsten filament instead.
The halogen surrounding the filament can be bromine or iodine. It helps the bulb produce more heat without too much energy.
Halogen fixtures are a fantastic choice for growing houseplants since heat is necessary for many plants in warmer climates.
How Much Lighting Do Your Plants Need?
Different plants require different amounts of light
- Low-lit greens
Most houseplants fall within this class, which need to enjoy the light of 10-15 watts each sqft of growing space. The daylight from the windows should be enough to make these greens happy.
The palm tree is one of those low-lit indoor plants. As a bonus, we’ve got some fantastic tips on fertilizing palm trees here.
- Medium-lit greens
Medium-light houseplants will require artificial light of 15-20 watts for each sqft of growing space to develop. If your greens fall within this class, you should give them a few hours of direct sunlight daily.
Let’s take roses as an example. Adequate sunlight combined with proper rose fertilization will help your potted flowers thrive powerfully.
- High-lit greens
We don’t recommend growing these plants indoors since they usually can’t absorb artificial lighting. That means you’ll need to invest in high-intensity bulbs to keep them surviving indoors.
Twenty watts is the minimum wattage high-lit greeneries will need to develop healthily. We tried growing mango trees in our houses and had to use the best mango fertilizers combined with heavy-duty fixtures to nurture them successfully.
How Close Should Your Regular Light Be To The Plants?
If you’re planting low-lit houseplants, don’t worry much about the distance between the lights and them. Straightforward overhead fixtures should work just fine, particularly if they’re cooler fluorescents or LEDs.
On the other hand, greens that require medium-to-high lighting will need the bulbs to be closer to their leaves.
You’ll also have to use high-intensity lamps, so placing them a foot from the leaves is best.
If you identify the leaves’ edges that start to turn brown/black or burn, the high chance is that you’ve hung the bulbs too close to the plants.
Here’s a short guide video sharing a few helpful tips for setting up artificial lighting on household plants:
Is It OK Not To Use Any Natural Light For Growing Plants?
Can greeneries live without natural sunlight?
The answer to, ‘can plants grow from regular light bulbs?’ is yes, but can we grow our houseplants without any natural sunlight?
If you’re a hobbyist grower, artificial lighting is not enough to nurture indoor vegetables. However, this task is doable if you’re an experienced gardener with high-quality equipment.
How To Optimize the Use of Regular Light?
The best way to optimize the use of ordinary lights is to place reflectors around your houseplants.
They will promote the effectiveness and strength of the fixtures and reduce the number of bulbs needed. Reflectors come in various materials, like:
Foylon reflectors can withstand wear and tear and are effortless to maintain. They may be costly compared to other materials yet surely be more cost-efficient over the long term.
- Elastomeric paint
Elastomeric paint is excellent for boxed vegetables and flowers. This rubberized roofing coating is mildew-resistant, straightforward to maintain, and can yield 90% reflection.
Mylar is an affordable reflective film. Though it’s softer than the Foylon, it’s reasonably durable concerning the price range.
Can I use a regular lamp to grow plants? While sunlight is the best wavelength balance essential for plant blooming and fruiting, you can use artificial lighting to keep your tiny home garden bright and green.
Choosing the suitable greenery for your environment is the key to your gardening success. So, ensure to research each plant’s light demand thoroughly before farming. Thank you for reading!