The Q&A Archives: Grow Lights

Question: Is there really a difference between grow lights and ordinary florescent lights (assuming identical wattage)?

Answer: The grow lights and other specialty lights include a broader spectrum and thus can be important for plants grown permanently under artificial lighting. For starting seedlings, ordinary fluorescent bulbs (one colored "cool" and one "warm") in a shop light fixture seem to work fine, as long as the foliage is kept within an inch or so of the bulbs and the bulbs are left on 14 to 16 hours a day. The bulbs should also be relatively new.

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