From plants that need high light conditions (are you growing a Meyer lemon tree in your house?) to those that need only a touch of light, there exists indoor plant lighting to suit every plant you own.
Let’s start with the smallest and most flexible kind of indoor plant lighting first: the spotlight. It may have been manufactured with incandescent bulbs in mind, but this small, clamp-on lamp will also take “plant light” bulbs. This is the perfect set-up for concentrating extra light on that lemon plant, whereas any extra light upon surrounding plants would fail under more light.
The clamp-on fixtures are available at any hardware store and are extremely inexpensive. If you’re growing only one plant in your house that calls for extra light, this fixture would be your pick.
If you have begun to raise your own garden plants from seed (you have a much greater variety of vegetables and annuals available to you this way), then you might want to try long florescent light sticks.
In this case, you would purchase a rectangular metal light fixture that can be hung from a shelf above your plants. This fixture should be mounted to the shelf with chain links that come packaged with the fixtures. Each fixture takes 2 long florescent lights. If you’re using the traditional style florescent lights, you’ll have to buy one in the “blue” spectrum and one in the “red” spectrum to supply your seedlings with the kind of light they need. Otherwise, buy 2 long “grow lights” that fit the fixture.
This is perfect indoor plant lighting. Simply raise the fixture on its chain as your seedlings mature and until the date of your last frost has just passed. Then plant your home-grown seedlings outside in natural light.
The set-up for this indoor plant lighting works well in a basement or other dark, unused space. Your seedlings will thrive even in the dingiest formerly-wasted space.
Indoor plant lighting can also be used for effect—not just for utility. You certainly don’t want to bake plants under incandescent light, but canned “up lights” or over-head lights can bring out the best in an arrangement or room full of plants. Be sure to use low wattage bulbs for this use of indoor plant lights and don’t subject your plants to them everyday or for extended periods. They are only placed near the plants for ambience—not to kill them.
Remember, also, that all plants (from seedlings to small indoor trees) need darkness. If plants are placed in an out-of-the-way place, your indoor plant lighting should be set on a timer to allow for “daylight” and “nighttime.” You can do this yourself if you have simple indoor plant lighting for herbs in your kitchen. It will become habit.
Consult a plant specialist where you bought your plant to find out more about specific kinds of lighting. Our current mindset in exploring more energy-efficient lighting puts new and different kinds of indoor plant lights in stores everyday.