How to Use Grow Light for Succulents Indoors

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Succulents are among the most popular decorative plants worldwide and for a good reason too. They are among one the most natural plants to take care of, requiring little water to get by. What the plants do need, though, is high amounts of sunlight, which can be something pretty hard to provide in a dim indoor environment. This is where grow lights come in.

What is Grow Light?

A Grow light doesn’t refer to any specific light in particular; it’s simply used to describe any light used to grow a plant. When developing a succulent pretty much any light will do, the plants are specially adapted to living in dry environments with sunlight all year long.

If you live in an area with long dry summers and mild winters, you probably don’t have to concern yourself with grow lights. However, for those caring for succulents in colder climates, knowing a thing or to about grow lights may do your succulents some good

While there are plenty of species that fare well in colder temperatures, many succulents may need to be brought inside the house, if outdoor temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This is necessary to protect them from developing a hard frost that can permanently damage the plants. If natural sunlight is hard to come by indoors, you may just need to purchase a good grow light.

Do you really need a Grow Light?

As mentioned earlier, indoor plants in a dimly lit room are the most in need of a grow light, but there are other uses for them too. This includes

  • Extending a plant growing season.
  • Propagation.
  • Supplementing low levels of natural light.

It’s important to note that even with some level of natural light available, indoor succulents may not develop their true colors. If you’re succulent remains green even with the sunlight streaming through your window, it’s a clear sign that they’re receiving insufficient sunlight and need the help of a to grow light.

Types of Grow Lights

Nowadays, there’s a large variety of grow lights available to choose from, each with a different shape, size, and purpose. When shopping for a grow light, there are a few key things to look out for such as :

1. Light output

Light output refers to how bright the light is and is measured in lumens. The ideal grows light is one that is bright enough to aid your succulent growth while also being easy on the eyes. When talking about brightness, it’s important to remember that more isn’t necessarily better. Too much light output could burn your plant and should, therefore, be avoided.

2. Wattage

How much electricity your new lights will cost you is something to take into consideration. When looking for a grow light, opt for the one which is the most energy-efficient. In other words, the grow light should provide an ample amount of light using the least amount of electricity.

3. Light spectrum

Light exists on a spectrum, with different wavelengths exhibiting different colors. In plants, blue light helps determine its size, especially during the early stages of growth, as it is the easiest wavelength for them to absorb. Red light allows plants flowers, particularly when combined with blue light. The best artificial light source option, however, is full-spectrum white light, which will enable the growth of well rounded, healthy indoor plants.

4. Color temperature

Color temperature, which is basically how warm or cool visible light appears to the eye, is measured in kelvins (k). For healthy succulent growth, look for a light with a visual color temperature between the range of 3000k to 6000k.

The two most common types of grow lights available in the market include fluorescents and LEDs, which we’ll discuss below.

Fluorescent Grow Lights

Fluorescent lights serve as high indoor grow lights for succulents as they provide ample amounts of blue light without straining your eyes. Modern fluorescent bulbs are both energy efficient and cost-effective. When shopping for fluorescent grow light, be sure to look for one which provides the most lumens for the fewest watts, so you don’t have to worry much about it adding to your electricity bill. The three most popular fluorescent lights include the T5, T8, and T12.the T5 is considered to be the most efficient.

LED Grow Lights 

Light-emitting diodes or LEDs are another great grow light option for succulents.LEDs last much longer than fluorescent tube lights and are relatively more efficient. Another critical difference between the LEDs and fluorescent lights is that the former provides a narrow spectrum of light. Like most other plants, succulents are primarily concerned with just blue and red light, so receiving a small wavelength of light Is unlikely to prevent it from growing normally. This feature of LEDs is also what makes them one the cheapest light bulbs available.

Other Light Types 

Compact fluorescent lights CFLs

CFLs are for those who want a fluorescent grow light but don’t have space for one. They come in multiple small bulbs in one round flat bottom base as opposed to a long tube light. One thing to note about CFLs is that they have a much higher light output than regular fluorescent tube lights, so they should be kept at a safe distance from your succulents.

Incandescent lights

Although cheap and pretty to look at these lights do not provide the necessary light output for healthy succulent growth and should, therefore, be avoided.

The Best Grow Light

After narrowing down the available options, it’s safe to say that LED or florescent tube lights should serve your succulent’s growth needs reasonably well.

The best option, however, would be a full spectrum grow light. A full spectrum light gives your succulent a little bit of everything and is likely to produce the most excellent results.

Again, if you can’t find a full-spectrum light, there’s no need to worry. The view is only part of the equation. With proper care and close observation, your succulent should do just fine under any available light source.

If you want to get specific, it is best to do a little research into your plants and find a grow light that suits your particular succulents’ species best. 

Positioning your Grow Light

For effective results, a grow light should be positioned at a distance of 6 to 10 inches from your succulents. The placement may also depend on the size and intensity of the light you choose to use. An intense light should be kept at a further distance than a less intense one. Be careful not to leave you to grow light too close to your succulent, as this may burn the plant resulting in discolored leaves. Fluorescent and LED lights are generally not very hot, but for CFLs, this is important to keep in mind.

Exposure duration

Like all other plants, succulents need light to photosynthesize but also need a decent amount of dark period in which to take up carbon dioxide. To enable healthy growth, you must keep an eye on your succulent to ensure that it isn’t getting too much or too little light.

The ideal amount to begin with for most succulents is 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness.no two plants are the same, so observe your plant carefully to find the right balance. 

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