What Is A Plant Light Bulb?

You may have seen these colorful plant light bulbs and now you’re wondering what these plant bulbs are and how they exactly work. They’re specially designed light bulbs to help your plants carry out their vital processes, which helps them grow healthier and stronger. Read on to find out about all the interesting details of plant light bulbs.

Why Use a Plant Light Bulb?

You might be wondering why someone would use artificial light bulbs for his plants instead of just exposing them to sunlight. Well, sometimes, it’s challenging to provide plants with enough sunlight.

Because of the weather changes throughout the seasons, some plants can’t get enough natural light to carry out their vital processes. As a result, the plants might wrinkle or die.

Moreover, not all plant lovers enjoy planting outdoors. Some prefer placing small plants indoors for decoration and improving their quality of life. Even though most indoor plants need indirect sunlight, they still require some periods of exposure to direct sunlight.

Remember that sometimes it’s difficult to take care of indoor plants without using plant light bulbs. For example, if you don’t have big-sized windows or a room that gets enough sunlight daily.

special lamp with a plant bulb
Plant lamp helps to grow your indoor plants

How Do Plant Light Bulbs Work?

So plant light bulbs provide artificial lights for plants to do their vital processes and grow. But how do they work?

In short, plant light bulbs convert electric energy to photons, which stimulate the photosynthesis process.

Plants need specific light wavelengths to carry out this process. For that reason, you need full-spectrum plant light bulbs for your plants to thrive.

  • White color is essential for general plant growth.
  • Blue lights aid in maintaining robust leaves and stems.
  • Red light is necessary for flowering, fruiting, and seed germination.
  • Violet light improves the plant’s aroma and flavor.
  • Yellow light stimulates the photosynthesis process.

Different Types of Plant Light Bulbs

There are a few different types of plant light bulbs, each with its benefits and drawbacks. So let’s take a closer look at them.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

These are the standard light bulbs that you find in most homes. They’re cheap and produce a soft, warm light, making them perfect for use in living rooms and bedrooms.

However, they consume a lot of energy and generate a lot of heat, so they’re not ideal for plants or small spaces.

Moreover, they emit intense amounts of heat (enough to burn your plants) when they’re turned on for extended periods.

It’s worth noting that you might need multiple incandescent bulbs to provide your plant with enough light. Because they’re not energy efficient, however, they’ll cost you a lot on your electricity bill.

LED Light Bulbs

LED lights are currently replacing old incandescent bulbs for various reasons. They’re much more energy efficient and produce more light and less heat. In addition, they make perfect plant light bulbs as they provide an ideal light spectrum for plants.

Thanks to technology, some LED bulbs allow you to customize the light they emit. This lets you choose between specific colors according to your plant’s growth stage, resulting in healthier and stronger plants.

In fact, studies from NASA proved that plants grew much taller under LED lights than any other artificial lightning. So they’re arguably the best option for your indoor plants.

plant lights with LED technology
Customizable LED plant lights

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs are another energy-efficient option to use for your plants. They’re sold as tube lights or CFLs. On the bright side, they produce a decent spectrum of light for plants. Plus, they’re more energy efficient than the standard incandescent lights.

On the flip side, they emit a small amount of heat that might harm the plants. Moreover, they generally cost more than incandescent lights. They also contain mercury, which is toxic to humans and animals, so you must dispose of them properly.

HID Light Bulbs

HID light bulbs produce a ton of heat and light, which is why they’re widely used in commercial settings and greenhouses. They’re also not suitable for indoor use since they’re expensive and pretty difficult to install.

There are two main types of HID lights; HPS and CMH lights. HPS lights emit red light, while CMH lights emit a blue color, which enhances the seeds’ growth.

What to Look For in a Plant Light Bulb

Before you go ahead and buy your first set of plant lights, there are some factors to consider.

From the spectrum to size and wattage, let’s see how to get the most out of your plant light bulbs.

Full Spectrum

It would be best to look for grow lights that emit a full spectrum as they mimic the natural sunlight. Even though blue and red lights are the essential wavelengths for the plant’s growth, you shouldn’t limit your plant light to just those two.

For example, violet light contributes to the plant’s aroma, color, and taste when paired with red and blue colors.

Size and Wattage

Consider the size, shape, and wattage. Select a bulb size and shape that fits your space, wattage and plant’s needs. Higher-wattage bulbs can get hotter than lower-wattage bulbs too, so make sure you have adequate ventilation for your setup.

In general, you should look for 20 to 40 watts per square foot. However, the suitable wattage for your plants varies depending on the plant type, growth stage, and growth area.

Additional Features

Look for features like dimmable options and timers. Dimmable options allow you to adjust the brightness of the light, while timers let you control how long lights are on or off without having to manually turn them on and off each day.

These features can be helpful if you want precise control over the lighting of your plants.

How to Place Plant Light Bulbs

As a rule of thumb, your plant light bulbs should be within one to three feet away. Still, the type of plant and growing method affect the distance. You can start by placing the bulbs one foot away and test different distances to see what works best for your plants.

It’s also worth noting that you should place the plant lights directly above the plants. That way, they mimic the natural sunlight. Avoid placing the lights to the side as your plant will grow sideways, reaching for the light.