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Can You Use Regular Light Bulbs As Grow Lights? Ideal Use

Growing plants indoors often require supplemental lighting; sometimes, you may consider using regular bulbs. So, can you use regular light bulbs to grow lights? This article will discuss various factors when using these devices for your indoor garden.  

Let’s scroll down to explore!

Can You Use Regular Light Bulbs As Grow Lights?

The answer is yes! Although a regular light bulb can aid in plant growth, the effects may not be as favorable as those produced by grow light bulbs. 

However, you can combine this lighting option with natural sunlight to supplement the light that seedlings receive. If you decide to use regular light bulbs, you should use the types that emit much light while producing as little heat as possible. Moreover, consider the following factors before using this lighting solution for your indoor garden!

Type of bulb

Type of bulb

You can use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of grow lights, but they are less effective than others. LED grow lights are the most effective type of bulb for growing plants indoors.


Wattage is another critical factor when using regular light bulbs as grow lights. The bulb with higher wattage often emits more light. However, it would be best not to use bulbs with wattage exceeding the recommended amount for your plants. Using a lighting source with higher wattage can cause your seedlings to burn or dry out. If you use regular lights, selecting a wattage from 40 to 60 is best. 

Distance to the plant

The distance between the light bulbs and your plants is crucial. If these devices are too close to your seedlings, they may burn the plant’s leaves. Meanwhile, they can’t provide enough light for your plants if they are too far away. It would help if you found the proper distance to ensure your plants receive enough light without getting burnt.

Lighting duration

Your plants must receive the right light exposure amount to ensure their proper growth. You should leave the lights on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours as well. 


Plants require different amounts of light intensity at various stages of their growth. You must ensure the light intensity is enough for your seedlings to grow.

Lights color

Blue light is suitable for plants’ vegetative growth. Meanwhile, red light is ideal for their flowering stage. You must use the correct bulb color for their growth stage.

Read more: Purple Vs White Grow Light: Which Is A Better Choice?

How To Optimize The Use Of Regular Light?

How To Optimize The Use Of Regular Light?

You can use ordinary lights to provide the necessary light, but it is crucial to optimize their use. One way to do this is by using reflectors around your indoor garden. Different reflectors are available for indoor plants, each with its benefits.

Foylon reflectors

This type can endure wear and tear. Also, these reflectors are easy to maintain. Yet, their price is higher than others. 

Elastomeric paint

If you are searching for reflectors for boxed flowers and vegetables, look no further than this option. This type has a rubberized roofing coat, making it easy to maintain. Also, it’s mildew-resistant and can generate 90 percent of reflection. 

Mylar reflectors

This type is the most affordable reflector. Yet, these things are softer than Foylon’s reflective films.

6 Tips To Grow Plants With Regular Light Bulbs 

Check out 6 tips for using ordinary bulbs for your indoor plants!

  1. Consider various factors when using regular lights for your indoor garden. They include the type, distance, and wattage. 
  2. Plants require darkness. So consider the lighting duration when using these devices.
  3. The room’s temperature should not be too cold or too hot. 
  4. Water the plants regularly.
  5. Provide appropriate nutrients, temperature, and water for your indoor garden. 
  6. Your plant’s leaves must be green to ensure photosynthesis happens. 


Using regular light bulbs as grow lights can be an affordable solution for indoor plant growth. However, consider the factors discussed in this post to ensure your plants grow properly. By doing so, you can enjoy healthy and thriving indoor plants.


Mike Rastus-Josiah

Mike Rastus-Josiah

Mike Rastus-Josiah is the Master Gardener of Swipe Garden. He has over 30 years of experience in horticulture, plant physiology, and sustainability practices. Mike wants to continue sharing his expertise with inspiring others to explore the wonders of gardening.