When considering indoor plant lighting, it is important to consider the needs of your plants you are trying to grow. Some things to think about are what kind of plant it is, and where and how it grows naturally. This will help you determine how much light the plant will need.
Foliage plants for instance, need very little artificial light, as they can grow in full shade. Vegetables usually grow best in full sunlight, so your indoor plant lighting should give as much light as possible. Exotic plants require varying degrees of light, depending on the species of plant. It is important to do your research when choosing your plants, so that you learn their needs and what conditions they will grow best in.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that plants do not require indoor plant lighting 24/7. They need darkness just as much in order to achieve proper growth. Photo periods, or periods of light, combined with periods of darkness can impact maturity of plants. Not only does the length of day affect growth, but proper periods of darkness do as well.
Now all this is not to say a plant can’t grow under constant light, because some very well can. But all prefer a dark period, for proper growth, flowering and seeding. Ideal lengths of time for light and darkness will vary on the types of plants you are trying to grow. Some would rather have long days and short nights, others short days and long nights. Still others prefer lengths of time that are equal.
Some types of indoor plant lights are incandescent plant grow lights, fluorescent lights, high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps. There are others as well, but we will just look at these for now.
Incandescent lights are mostly useless as a grow light. They are more for highlighting indoor plant groupings, and should not be placed too closely to the plant as they burn very hot.
High pressure sodium lamps enhance fruiting and flowering, but plants tend to grow taller. Metal halide lamps emit very powerful white light, which has the closest resemblance to sunlight available in indoor plant lighting. Plants grown under these types of lamps tend to look almost identical to plants grown outside.
Fluorescent lights used as indoor plant lighting are a great way to get seedlings started. They are also great for year round cool weather harvests, like spinach, herbs and lettuce. It is best to keep them no further than 4 inches away from the plant for best results.
So, there you have some options on indoor plant lighting. Hopefully it has helped you on your journey to learning more about indoor plant lighting, and how they are used to create successful indoor gardens for your pleasure.