Using Grow Lights

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  laurie 9 months ago.

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  • #11868

    I am moving into a basement suite and want my houseplants to still thrive. I have African Violets, a Philodendron, and a Palm Tree. I have been researching grow lights but find the information overwhelming and confusing. I find lots of info on using grow lights to start seedlings, but not much on using grow lights to maintain mature indoor plants. Need some help!

  • #11920

    Hey Laurie! Yep, grow lights are definitely what you want. While they are primarily used for seedlings, they’re also commonly used to grow / support full sized plants etc. If you want some back-to-basics info that isn’t overwhelming, check out Mother Nature Network’s and Today’s Homeowners’ guides on this. They’re pretty great.

    Long story short? CFLs and LED bulbs are usually the way to go – other types tend to run hot, which you don’t want. You might also want to check out some of the branded / Grow Lights, though they can be pretty expensive & require a bunch of extra gear that regular ol’ us probably don’t need. Hope this helps!

  • #11921

    Thank you @kinfuzzy. Good information here.

    @laurie, Garden Answer recently released a video on this very topic. She’s in Oregon but the tips are still relevant. Also, Gerald Filipski has a published article in the Edmonton Journal that is worth the read

    While fluorescent bulbs are less expensive initially, LED bulbs are cheaper to run, don’t make a buzzing noise while operating, don’t get hot, and provide the spectrums your plants need.

  • #11869

    I use grow lights in my plant room on a daily basis but not in any serious way. I am planning to add a grow light to a particular shelf in my library (I don’t have kids so I have extra room for these things) for growing cacti and succulents. I want LED but the guy at the local grow shop said they aren’t quite as good as the old fashioned fluorescents. I’m planning to buy Lee Valley LED 48″ PK542 for $136.50 CAD.
    So, although I have no good advice for you, Laurie, it sounds like I’ll be going through the experimental stages at the same time.

  • #11938

    This is all great info – thanks everyone. I just received my first grow lights ordered from Amazon – two led clip on lights for my African Violets. Still searching for good solutions for my larger plants and in the meantime they are in my daughters suite upstairs where there is enough natural light for them. I loved the video and will be ordering one of the shelving systems for starting seedlings for our vegetable garden.

    • #11940

      Hello @laurie. I’m excited for you!! Glad this little community could help. Please share photos so we might all draw inspiration from you too!

    • #12021

      Wow, how time flies! I know I’m late to this, but that’s great to hear @laurie. Let us know how you get on 🙂 How have things worked out so far?

  • #12023

    Hi! It’s worked out beautifully. I have a shelf of African Violets (6 of them), and I purchased two clip on lights for them – they are happily blooming. They do get a bit of sunlight from a window as well. My daughter and I have started seedlings for the vegetable garden, and we have to small “flood” lights on them – they are thriving. She didn’t really have room for my palm tree, so I brought it downstairs and am trying it with one of those regular floor lamps that I put three grow lights in. So far so good – don’t really know how to tell if it’s getting enough light, but a new frond that was starting when I moved, has opened. I have to say the grow lights are also helping the suite feel more bright – which is great for my mood too!

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